White Christmas (1954)

 


 

First and unforgettable picture in VISTAVISION See »

A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general. Full summary »

Genre: Comedy,Musical,Romance

White Christmas (1954)
   
Release Date: 14 October 1954 (USA)
Country: USA
Director: Michael Curtiz
Cast:
  • Bing Crosby
  • Danny Kaye
  • Rosemary Clooney
  • Vera-Ellen
  • Dean Jagger
  • Mary Wickes
  • John Brascia
  • Anne Whitfield


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35 Responses to White Christmas (1954)

  1. stmm
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    This movie is pretty good, but your time would be better spent watching Holiday Inn instead. White Christmas is basically a rip-off of Holiday Inn. The cast of Holiday Inn is also much better (Bing is the star of both) the supporting cast and story are much better. Fred Astair instead of Danny Kaye come on people give it a chance.

  2. bobo-29
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    At first I thought it might have been Curtiz directing her to do it as some sort of inside baseball type of thing but then I watched Call Me Madam tonight on TCM( filmed a year earlier) and she’s doing it in that film too. Kind of endearing, in a way.

  3. bobo-29
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    Was just watching the original trailer on the 2007 DVD and spotted a Mandy shot that isn’t in the final production. Vera Ellen dancing down the red stairs with John Brascia holding up her arms and following behind her. Probably only about 15 seconds in length but makes you wonder what other unused Vera Ellen dance footage is sitting in a vault somewhere. Couldn’t they have included outtakes in the 55th Anniversary release ? (which I wouldn’t buy anyway because there is no recognition given to the best thing in the film….. Vera Ellen).

  4. shulma2002
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    Alfalfa from the "Little Rascals" is featured in the film but IMDB refuses to list him in the cast. He played Benny Haynes, the "freckle-faced kid" who served with the guys in Italy at Monte Casino. He is even shown lowering his head several times while Crosby croons "White Christmas". His photo is even shown to Bob.

  5. angel8080
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    Is that Judy (Vera-Ellen) in pink in Choreography? The dancer in pink looks a little like Judy but not as skinny.

  6. wrfarley
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    I gotta thank jackboot for inspiring this post.

    I now realize the reason General Waverly didn’t get that command he was so keen on is probably because he sent General Carlton (a Patton-like martinet) on that emabarrassing wild goose chase early in the picture. Carlton, by 1954, a 3 or 4-star general, probably learned of Waverly’s request for re-enstatement, and settling an old score, sent word down "that s.o.b. gets no quarter here. The army has no use for a creaky old fool like that," hence the gentle reminder from his other general friend that he’s "Old Tom," and needs to stay retired.

    Waverly is a peculiar guy. Not only does he think he’s ready to go back into service and command a division after being retired for a number of years, the sixtyish year old retiree thinks he’s too young for horseshoes, invests in a financially risky hotel venture and, at the end of the day, discovers what he really wanted all along was to simply be remembered at a big retirement party. Instead of worrying about Judy and Phil’s and Bob and Betty’s relationships, he should look out for himself and finally hook up with Emma.

  7. nichole-23
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    Why is there no movie soundtrack?? I don’t want recordings with Rosemary Clooney and her daughter for "Sisters" (that’s the best I could find on iTunes), I don’t want any versions except the movie version! I don’t want the new cast recording. Does anyone know of a soundtrack to this movie? I can’t find one.

  8. whimsical5
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    females: Would you rather be Judy or Betty? WHy?

    males: Bob or Phil?

    nice socks, man…..

  9. TravisBickle88
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    Danny Kaye was undoubtedly a homosex-ical in real life. I have no problem with this personally. This being said I think that the writers had a little fun with his character in regards to Kaye’s real life sexual orientation. They made him afraid to kiss his love interest in one scene and Bing’s relationship with him is a little past "just friends." Any reactions to what I have said? Oh, and keep your retorts wholesome, it’s Christmas time after all.

  10. jandacinnamon
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    My wife and I watch this every year and the thing that gets to us is that the innkeeper’s housekeeper (Mary Wickes) never really has to account for her misunderstanding about what she overheard on the phone. That’s the thing that starts the whole tiff between Bob (Bing) and Betty (Rosemary). And frankly, Betty’s not much better. Why doesn’t she just come out and tell Bob why she’s upset? He’d clear it up just like that…but then the movie would be about a half an hour shorter.

    That’s what we get for trying to analyze a 1950’s musical.

  11. bron-tay
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    You can stuff a massive wardrobe that includes show costumes, wool skirts, dresses, and coats, shoes, accessories, toiletries, etc. into two small bags that you can swing around as easily as balloons (while climbing onto a train in high heels at that).

    You can put together an entire act for a New York club with two days’ rehearsal.

    Housekeepers at empty inns prepare massive plates of sandwiches and buttermilk even though 95% of it will be thrown away.

    Ladies! Always slather on a coat of bright red lipstick before going to bed. It won’t get on the pillows, I promise.

    Incredibly hot blondes like Barrie Chase have to fight to get a date or a dance partner.

    Hotel housekeepers who steam open the guests’ letters and eavesdrop on phonecalls are considered trustworthy and reliable.

    Don’t get me wrong — I loved the movie! But you have to laugh at Hollywood "science."

    ~~~~~~~

    Think cynical thoughts.

  12. gbisaga
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    When the guys come on the train, they are told there is no place to sleep but they can sit up all night in the club car. The girls are in their drawing room.

    After singing "snow", they turn in for the night. In the morning, Bob is helping Betty down from an upper berth. Obviously the girls gave the guys their original room back, but where did the berths come from where the girls slept? The conductor said there was no places to sleep left.

  13. ceva
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    One internet source states Doris Day was offered the role of Betty in White Christmas but had to turn it down due to other commitments. Hmm…interesting. I will not begrudge Rosemary Clooney her one bright moment in the Hollywood sun (she’s terrific), but Day may have been effective as well. And in terms of her appearance, Day would have been a more plausible choice as Vera-Ellen’s sister. There are several stills of Vera-Ellen from about 1946-1950 (when she was not so thin) that show a passing resemblance to Doris. And to top it off, Day and Vera-Ellen were childhood chums. There’s a 1932 program where the two of them performed together on stage at the Taft Theater in Cincinnati!

  14. ermichan
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    Does anyone know the name of the actor/dancer who dances with Vera in "Mandy"(in the lighter green suit, the groom?)

  15. wrfarley
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    There’s so much deceit going on in this film. Here are a few examples:

    1 Phil uses his injured arm to get Bob to do his bidding.

    2 Judy tricks Wallace and Davis into showing up for her performance.

    3 Phil tricks Bob into doing the "Sisters" number then tricks him into going to Vermont.

    4 Phil and Judy trick everybody into thinking they’re married.

    5 Mary Wickes uses steam to open a letter.

    6 Phil fakes breaking his leg to fool Gen. Waverly.

    Anything else I’ve missed?

  16. shulma2002
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    I was surprised that AMC aired "White Christmas" in the letterbox format. The beauty of the VistaVision process was that it could be shown on regular screens. I found the letterboxing to be annoying as were the zillion commercial breaks.

  17. wrfarley
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    I’ve noted this before, but it bares repeating:

    Why do the Haynes sisters run out on their hotel bill? The landlord says they "burned a hole in the carpet," which, according to Phil, we’re supposed to take to mean that he’s some sort of scam artist using an old bit of chicanery. But would a scam artist run to the sheriff for help? Isn’t it better for the Haynes sisters to take the matter up with the sheriff. Granted, 200 bucks is a lotta lettuce, but they risk a heck of a lot more by lamming it. And where’s Novello in this thing? He should be the one paying the hotel bill in the first place.

    And, lastly, why on God’s green earth are Bob and Phil fleeing the sheriff? They didn’t do anything wrong.

  18. frailty03
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    I know a rumor persists (and it IS a rumor) that all of Vera’s costumes in this movie had high necklines because she was battling anorexia and it affected the way her neck looked….but that is not the case.

    So does anyone know WHY every single thing she wore had a high neckline? Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but those high necklines are a constant throughout the movie and I just wondered if there was a legitimate reason as to why.

    Save a life…adopt a homeless pet.

  19. IndyUser
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    I thought it was odd that the General never explained to them how his granddaughter ended up living with him. Were her parents both deceased, on a long trip or what?

  20. photochic
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    Does anybody else think that Rosemary’s black "Love you didn’t do right by me" dress is a total knockout? It’s one of the most beautiful, seductive and curvacious gowns I have ever seen, and looked fantastic on her. And Rosemary wasn’t exactly a small girl! I wish hollywood today would take a que or two from the old pro’s and get some style!

    Any thoughts?

    There’s a good picture here:

    http://www.variety.com/…/future_crosby_clooney.jpg

    "I’m hard to get, Steve. All you have to do is ask me."

  21. IloveMuggy
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    Vera-Ellen has a lovely face, dances beautifully, and delivers snappy dialogue well–but I found her body disgustingly thin both in full dress and costume. Yuk.

    I wasn’t shocked at all to read in her IMDB bio that she struggled with anorexia–I knew it as soon as I saw her. Poor thing.

  22. momsabeach
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    how old do you think Betty, Judy, Bob and Phil are supposed to be?

  23. sdiaz-3
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    Am I nuts?

  24. xsandlapper
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    They were a nice addition to the scene. Why aren’t they in the credits?

    Does anyone know anything about them?

  25. Bruce_Cook
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    I haven’t watched this movie since my divorce in 2001. It was a Christmas tradition in my family for years — along with other Christmas videos, mostly from the first few years of the Disney Channel, back when it actually aired classic Disney shows.

  26. ChristinaBarrettM
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    It’s a very good movie and shows you how cultural people are. There are some nice tall ladies in it when I stopped the movie.

  27. ceva
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    Did you know Leo McCarey and George Seaton were both offered the director’s chair before Michael Curtiz? Or that Nick Castle was the original selection for dance director?

    Did you know the first choice to play Betty (eventually played by Rosemary Clooney) was Jean Simmons!! Or that the number "When a Man Chases a Girl" which Donald O’Connor performed in THERE’S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS was conceived for WHITE CHRISTMAS?

    Did you know Bob Alton created a version of "Puttin’ on the Ritz" for O’Connor and Vera-Ellen but after much trial and error he pleaded with Irving Berlin that the number would work better if the old chestnut "Abraham" was dusted off? Or that "I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" was to be danced by Donald and Vera?

    And when White Christmas was in post-production, did you know the number "Choreography" came within an inch of its life from being cut out of the final version? Egads!

  28. Bilwick1
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    When they arrive in Vermont and are getting their bearings, Bing suggests they ask the stationmaster, whom he refers to as "Cisco." That puzzles me. Why "Cisco"? I assume it was some reference to television’s Cisco Kid, since Bing pronounces it "Sees-co," the way the Kid’s tv sidekick, Pancho, pronounced it. But I don’t see the connection between the stationmaster and the Cisco Kid. Obviously Bing was making a joke, but I don’t get it.

    • JeffJK
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      Stanford Jolley, who played the station master, acted in many westerns in the 40’s. He also played several parts in the TV show, “The Cisco Kid,” in the early 50’s. So, I think the nickname “Cisco” was one of those showbiz asides that Bing and his contemporaries were known for.

  29. broketeacher
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    Does anyone know if Lifetime will air that MUTILATED version this year?? If they do air it then I hope that they will air it in the original form and not sliced and diced. Last year I was literally SCREAMING at my TV. How could they cut SNOW, CHOREOGRAPHY, MANDY and the others? If they show it then I won’t be watching!

  30. Skrbi
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    Who was the chorus girl that said that line? She was dumb but awful hot looking !

  31. kenny_d
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    What does Betty mean when she walks in on Judy and Phil dancing, and says "What is this, the best two out of three?"

    We have no idea what she is referring to.

  32. JavierBoredom
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    Just a little box-office trivia: WHITE CHRISTMAS was a huge success upon its release in 1954, earning a then-whopping twelve million dollars at the box office. These were the Top Five standings that year:

    1. White Christmas – $12,000,000

    2. The Caine Mutiny – $8,700,000

    3. The Glenn Miller Story – $7,000,000

    4. The Egyptian – $6,000,000

    5. Rear Window – $5,300,000

  33. Bilwick1
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    Get together a bunch of guys, and wait until you see an old man walking down the street. Then fall in behind him (preferably without his knowledge, so you won’t look like you’re trying to mug him), and then all walk behind him singing in low but audible voices: "We’ll follow the old man/Wherever he wants to go/Wherever he wants to go. . ."

    Let us know how it goes, won’t you?

  34. LeAnn
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    oops, forgot one bit of info on the 2 out of 3 comment- Rosemary Clooney was implying that Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen were wrestling- Danny Kaye has Vera Ellen over his knee, so she’s just making a funny wrestling reference to their ‘challenge’ dancing.

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