Friday, December 14, 2012

'White Christmas' ... the movie

One of my all-time favorite Christmas movies is "White Christmas," the 1954 musical featuring four of the biggest talents in Hollywood -- Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera Ellen.

The movie opens with a scene in December 1944 during World War II, and continues the story line by following two Army buddies (Crosby and Kaye) after the war. Now in the entertainment business, they meet two sisters (Clooney and Ellen) and become romantically involved with them.

I love this movie ... and Christmas is not complete until I have seen it each year, usually while wrapping gifts in front of the TV. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye absolutely made it work along with Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen. It is a light-hearted romance comedy that weaves a Christmas/winter theme into it and is set mostly at the fictional Columbia Inn Ski Lodge in Pine Tree, Vermont, during the holidays.

For this snow/Christmas/winter lover, it does not get much better!

Many songs are unforgettable ... "White Christmas," of course ... but also the "Sisters" tune sung by Clooney and Ellen, something my two sisters and I have jokingly done for years ... not to mention the spoof of that same melody by Crosby and Kaye.

"Snow" is the tune sung in four-part harmony on the train as the four travel from Florida to Vermont.

And there is "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep," a simple little Irving Berlin song that hits reality right between the eyes...
When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings
The basis of the entire story line is the two Army buddies who are successful in the music industry taking their stage show to their World War II General's floundering Vermont inn and ski lodge as gratitude to the "old man."

Crosby's character, looking at the General across the room, observes, "We ate ... and then he ate. We slept ... and then he slept."

To which Kaye's character quipps, "And then he woke up and no one slept for 48 hours!"

Friendship, gratitude, and love ... "White Christmas is a classic to be seen over and over.

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