Directed by Michael Curtiz. USA. 1954. NR. 120 minutes.
Sun., December 26, 2010
This holiday-themed musical is essentially a buddy film. Well sort of, it’s certainly got two buddies in it, but it’s also a love story, a Christmas fable, and a vehicle to hang some exceptionally catchy hits on. Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Paris (Danny Kaye) meet during the Second World War and become firm friends. After getting de-mobbed they team up to become hot property as a song and dance duo ripping up the nightspots with their own brand of feel-good hits. After five years of rolling success they need a holiday and cruise off to a New England skiing resort in the company of two comely sisters, Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Vera (Vera-Ellen). They arrive to find the place nearly bankrupt, as there has been no snow for over a year. The local top man is their old army boss General Waverly (Dean Jagger), and sure enough our two heroes wade in to help their old comrade and organize a benefit concert. But can they save the resort? With wit, exuberance, and some show stopping hits, “White Christmas” is a cracking musical. Sure, it is outrageously sentimental and it takes very little time to develop any of the characters, but then so what? It’s warm, sweet, and perfect for wasting a winter afternoon. (Matt Ford, BBC Online)