I grew up watching classic movies. I feel so connected to the stars like Audrey Hepburn, Gene Kelly, Cary Grant, Bing Crosby, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, and Humphrey Bogart…I could go on for miles.
I mean who doesn’t like a movie that has tap dancing and singing?
I am also obsessed with the style of the time. Absolutely gorgeous.
To say that I have an obsession with classic Hollywood would be understatement. I mean seriously, we named our dogs after Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby, and we walked out of our wedding to a Frank Sinatra song.
So it should come as no surprise that my two favorite holiday movies are right along with this era.
Holiday Inn is a musical about an inn that only is open during the holidays. They circle the year and put on grandiose dinner shows about several holidays. It is interesting because you definitely see the culture of the time throughout the movie. Gotta love a little historical context. The focus does fall around the Christmas time though, so it still counts as a holiday movie to me. And this is where the famed song “White Christmas” debuted, not with the movie White Christmas like most think.
The story line has humor and romance. Jim and Ted were partners in a show in the city. Jim decides to retire to the country once he learns that Ted romanced Jim’s partner Lila (and thought life partner). Jim then opens the Holiday Inn, as a supper club of sorts. He creates a dinner show for only holidays. Ted was dumped by Lila and comes to be comforted by Jim, only to find his next “love.” I will let you watch it to see who ends up with who.
It is just a funny movie showing the antics of early showbiz. Crosby has a laid back casual approach with perfect wit and charm, which is perfectly paired with Astaire’s more satirical humor and the acrobatics he brings to the table.
I love it all, and Bing’s voice is a dream.
(Also it doesn’t hurt that Tom has a striking resemblance to Bing-in voice and looks. I’m one lucky gal!)
Facts about Holiday Inn from IMDB:
- It was released in 1942.
- It was the first time Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire were paired together.
- When Irving Berlin won an Oscar for his song “White Christmas” from this movie, he became the first artist to present himself with an Academy Award.
- The firecracker dance sequence required 3 days of rehearsal and took two days to film. Fred Astaire’s shoes for the dance were auctioned off for $116,000 worth of war bonds.
- The set of the Holiday Inn (1942) was reused by Paramount 12 years later for the musical White Christmas (1954), also starring Bing Crosby and again with songs composed by Irving Berlin.
Which brings me to my next holiday classic….
This is my ALL TIME favorite holiday movie.
Following a very similar story line to Holiday Inn, this movie also occurs at a Vermont inn. White Christmas tells the tale of two Army buddies (Bob and Phil) turned song and dance team when they meet the Haynes sisters who are also a singing duo. They all end up at this inn, which is failing miserably. Bob and Phil find out that that the inn is owned by their former Army general so they stick around to help drum up some business. They of course do this by putting on a marvelous Christmas show.
Again, romance and humor fueled by the singing and dancing.
Facts about White Christmas from IMDB:
- It was released in 1954.
- The “Sisters” comedy act that Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye perform was not originally in the script. They were clowning around on the set and the director thought it was so funny that it was written in. Many takes were attempted, but Crosby was unable to hold a straight face due to Kaye’s comedic dancing. The scene shown in the film was the best take they could get (which includes some laughter from Kaye as well).
- While preparing to go on stage for the Sisters routine, Betty and Judy mention their brother being out of the country working in Alaska. This movie was released in 1954 and Alaska wasn’t admitted as a state until 1959, so he was in fact out of the country.
- One of the dancers accompanying Rosemary Clooney is George Chakiris. He went on to earn the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, as “Bernardo”, in West Side Story (1961).
- Even though Betty was the elder of the Haynes sisters, Rosemary Clooney was actually seven years younger than Vera-Ellen in real life.
Both of these movies are great films to sit by the
fire heater with a cup of something warm to breath in the holiday spirit. They are both on my list of must sees during the holiday season! It is so surprising to me how many people have never seen these two movies, so I urge you to check them out if you are guilty of that!
Friday Filters offer a review that are my own opinions. I was not contacted by anyone associated with these works or compensated for my review. My review has not been influenced by anything other than my love for entertainment and art.
What movies are on your “holiday-must-see” list?
Also, I have a plug for an upcoming post. Next week I am co-hosting a Faith and Fellowship devotional with Susannah. We will be exploring a few verses in the first couple chapters of Luke and are focusing on Mary and her submission to God, which I feel is a great thing to focus on this holiday season! We will be opening it up on Friday, December 27th, so I hope you come back for some thoughts on faith!