Christmas Classics: White Christmas (1954)
There are so many holiday films that we could talk about during the Christmas season, but it seemed like a good idea to focus on classics from decades ago. With that being the basis of this series, Michael Curtiz’ 1954 holiday musical, White Christmas, seemed like a good place to start. Written by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, and Melvin Frank, the story follows two performers who end up teaming up with two sisters to save their old commanding officer’s failing lodge. The film stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen, who all perform some fantastic song and dance numbers. While the film received a range of reviews, it ended up being the top moneymaker for 1954 and has since been included in the catalogue of films often revisited during the holiday season.
So, what makes White Christmas stand out as a Christmas classic?
1) Musical Numbers
I know not everyone is a fan of musicals, but this movie is a product of its generation. Movie musicals were incredibly popular at this point, so why not pair that with a Christmas-themed film? In all seriousness, though, this film has some fun musical numbers that are made all the better by the choreography that accompanies it. Vera-Ellen is a true marvel in this film with her many flips and fast-moving steps. The film overall features colorful tap sequences in addition to group performances, and honestly, the numbers are all incredibly charming. I mean, if you don’t get a little emotional at their performance of “The Old Man,” then I don’t know what to say.
Of course, the most iconic of them all is Bing Crosby’s performance of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.” The song itself won an Academy Award in 1942, and the true highlight of the film is its appearance throughout the movie.
2) A Sweet Theme
While the movie is not actually about Christmas itself, it is set during the Christmas time frame. Also, the movie ends up focusing on helping someone in need, which makes it an excellent watch during the holiday season. Christmas is all about generosity and good will towards all men, and this movie definitely plays into those themes.
Sure, it has some romances and dance numbers, but the heart of the movie is what these men go through to help out a man they admire and respect. It’s a sweet story with endearing, holiday themes.
3) That Final Show
There are so many winter themed songs in this picture, but the most iconic performance of them all is the final show at Pine Tree. Whenever people think of this film, I am sure they picture the four leads in their Santa-colored outfits and dresses. The whole cast singing “White Christmas” as it begins to snow in the background is the picture perfect moment of the movie, and it does not disappoint. This movie might be over sixty years old, but this iconic moment still holds up after all this time.
So, have you ever seen White Christmas? Is it a holiday film that you revisit on a yearly basis? Comment and let us know!
I feel obliged to tell you all that White Christmas is currently streaming on Netflix if you do want to give it a watch.
Stay tuned next week as we revisit another classic Christmas film!
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.