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USA 1954
Directed by
Michael Curtiz
120 minutes
Rated G

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

White Christmas

Despite its title Michael Curtiz's film has little to do Yuletide festivities and more with the tried-and-true "putting on a show" musical formula, this time with a rather aged Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as his side-kick, old war-time compadres and now successful Broadway producers helping out their former commander (Dean Jagger) whose Vermont ski lodge business is failing due to the absence of snow.

Essentially a re-working by Paramount of Holiday Inn (1942) which starred Bing and Fred Astaire and which gave Irving Berlin's White Christmas its initial cinema airing, White Christmas was a huge hit in its day and the biggest hit Curtiz ever had during his career although his Casablanca (1942) has long since outstripped it, this film having fallen from favour largely because of its paternalistically syrupy tone.

Nevertheless the combination of Berlin's engaging songs, variously performed by Crosby and Kaye (replacing an ailing Donald O'Connor) as a couple of song-and-dance men opposite Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen as the obligatory romantic counterbalances, along with the fruity '50s art direction has enough to sustain one through the sentimental doleurs.




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