For many the songs of Irving Berlin are synonymous with the Christmas season. This timeless musical features songs like “White Christmas” (of course) and “Snow”. He is one of the best loved composers of the 20th century and hearing his songs sung by the likes of Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney is certainly the highlight of the film.
Two talented song-and-dance men, Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Hans Christian Andersen), team up together after leaving the army after World War II and are now one of the hottest acts going.
Doing his best imitation of a matchmaker, Phil introduces Bob to a pair of sisters, Betty (Rosemary Clooney – appeared in episodes of ER and Frasier) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen – On the Town, Call Me Madam). The two sisters are talented entertainers themselves. The four performers decide to work together and for the winter season they head to Vermont for work.
The boys discover that the owner of the inn they are working at is none other than General Waverly (Dean Jagger – Vanishing Point, King Creole), their commander during the war. They also find out that Waverly is having some financial problems and might lose the inn. While trying to win the sisters’ hearts the two men also try to bring enough people into the inn to save it for their old General.
For most this charming film is a must during the Christmas season for the last 56 years. It is not a deep Christmas film like “It’s a Wonderful Life” as it is really just an excuse to hear many Irving Berlin songs in one film. The music is the centerpiece. You don’t have to pay attention to every second of the story as there is nothing too complex going on. A great film to put on after eating a heavy Christmas dinner and sitting down to watch with a full belly.
As a film it works because of the good chemistry between Crosby and Kaye, Vera-Allen is quite a dancer and not many can grab hold of a torch song like Rosemary Clooney. All the production numbers are fun, fun, fun.
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