Starring: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney
Director: Michael Curtiz
Running Time: 120 mins
White Christmas is an American film about a singing and dancing duo who meet a sister duet and team up to save a struggling inn in Vermont, owned by their former general during the war.
This is a pretty pleasant classic musical, just like the ones you used to know. It’s a little short on a convincing and compelling plot, but most of its entertainment comes from the delightful performances, and some wonderful songs.
Let’s start on that note, actually, with the music. The film begins and ends with the now classic ‘White Christmas’, and those are really the high points – bringing the festive feeling and the heartwarming atmosphere of the film together to make you feel all doughy inside. The rest of the songs, while not as powerful in that respect, are still wonderful, and just like any classic musicals like On The Town or Singin’ In The Rain, they feature absolutely fantastic dancing, and an always cheery feel that is so infectiously enjoyable.
The next best thing about the film is the fantastic performances by the four main actors. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, who play a song-and-dance duo, have such brilliant on-screen chemistry, and play off each other so well that you get a great deal of laughs from watching them too. Meanwhile, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen, the female leads, don’t just play the love interests, but are just as important as the male leads, and it’s great to see them put in such entertaining performances in a greater role than you would normally expect.
The film is all about the spirit of bringing people together and helping each other, and that’s what we see particularly in the final act, and whenever you get the big set-pieces with that feeling really emphasised, it’s one of the most heartwarming things you’ll ever see.
This isn’t all perfect, though. Like I said, it’s a little short on plot that other musicals have managed to succeed in, and occasionally feels a bit like a compilation album of songs and dances, but the niceness of it all does make up for that. Also, oddly, it doesn’t have a very Christmassy vibe. Yes, I know it’s called White Christmas, it’s set in Vermont during the winter, and its themes seem very linked to the festival, but I just never got that feeling from it. Maybe a hugely Christmassy film wasn’t the intention in the first place, and it wasn’t frustrating or anything, but it’s something that I would also have liked to see.
Overall, however, White Christmas is a simply delightful film that does all the jobs of a classic musical very well, and you’d be hard pressed not to have a good time watching it, so that’s why it gets a 7.4 from me.