White Christmas, Paramount's belated follow-up to the 1942 hit Holiday Inn, was the studio's first VistaVision production. A veritable warehouse full of oldie-but-goodie Irving Berlin tunes are woven into the film's simplistic plotline, along with a handful of new songs, of which "What Can You Do With a General?" is the least memorable. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye (replacing an ailing Donald O'Connor) play nightclub entertainers Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, while Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen are cast as singing-sister act Betty and Judy. The foursome travel to Vermont to visit Bob and Phil's WII commanding officer, General Waverly (Dean Jagger, who looks and sounds like Dwight D. Eisenhower!), who now runs a rustic old inn. Discovering that the general is in dire financial straits, the four entertainers secretly make plans to bail the old guy out with a big musical show, enlisting the aid of Bob and Phil's army buddies. Corny in the extreme, White Christmas evidently struck a responsive note with film fans; it was the high-grossing picture of 1954, and a decade later proved to be a ratings bonanza when it was given its network-TV premiere. Of the four stars, Crosby comes off best, especially when singing the title song at the beginning and end of the film; Kaye is a bit overshadowed this time out, though he's quite funny camping it up in a "drag" version of Irving Berlin's "Sisters." Still a big favorite on the home-video circuit, White Christmas may not be the best Bing Crosby musical on the market, but it's certainly one of the most heartwarming.~Hal Erickson
New Special Features:
-Classic Holiday Moments: five Christmas television show appearences by Bing Crosby including a virtual Christmas duet between Bing & Michael Bublé
-Assignment Children: special 1954 UNICEF documentary featuring their first Goodwill Ambassador, Danny Kaye, with introduction by Michael Bublé
-White Christmas photo galleries form rehearsals, filming, & more!
-PLUS over an hour of previously released bonus featurettes
I used to be able to be able to count on seeing this movie every Christmas season, but no longer can find it on TV so I finally bought the DVD! Glad I did so I can count on seeing it whenever I want now. Wonderful classic musical!
Bing Crosby (Captain Bob Wallace), Danny Kaye (Private Phil Davis), Rosemary Clooney (Betty Haynes), and the always underrated dancer Vera-Ellen (Judy Haynes) are in top form. While not all of Irving Berlin's songs in this film are top-drawer, most are first-rate.
I have watched this classic movie at least three times a year for decades on a VHS. The Blu-Ray although it has been out a while, was just purchased to have a more convenient and permanent copy. I have always loved this film. I am a 67 year old male and I still get all misty at the ending. The extra features on the Blu-Ray are informative and very entertaining. This a must have for fans. Now I have to find, "Going My Way" and "The Bells of St. Mary's". Highly recommended.