Christmas Movies: White Christmas

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White Christmas is based on the song White Christmas.

The song White Christmas was first introduced in Holiday Inn

The song White Christmas first appeared in the 1944 film Holiday Inn. The song became a hit for star Bing Crosby.

The 1954 film features songs by Irvin Berlin and stared Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.

The film was the first to be released in VistaVision {a widescreen process developed by Paramount that entailed using twice the surface area of standard 35mm film; this large-area negative was used to yield finer-grained standard-sized 35mm prints.}

The film begins on Christmas Eve, 1944, where somewhere in Europe, Captain Bob Wallace and Private First Class Phil Davis are with their troop. The two men perform together for the retirement of their beloved Major General Thomas F. Waverly. Davis saves Wallace from an arieal bombing. After the war, they team up to become a duo act and producers. Asked by their mess seargent during the war, they take a look at an act of two sisters. The men are immediately smitten by the sisters, who must flee and they are reunited on a train and end up at an inn in Vermont, which is run by their Major General Waverly. They decide to practice their show there, but it isn’t enough and they need to bring in a crowd to save the inn and lift General Waverly’s spirits. Love ensues between the couples, but not without complications. They are all reunited on the night their troop surprises the general, and the barn door is lifted to expose a white Christmas.

The film is based on songs by Irving Berlin. Berlin actually suggested a movie based on the song in 1948.

White Christmas was originally intended to reunite Crosby and Fred Astair from Holiday Inn and Blue Skies {both Irving Berlin productions}. Astair declined and crosby left on the death of his wife. Crosby later returned and Donald O’Connor replaced Astaire, but dropped out as filming began due to illness. He was replaced by Danny Kaye. The script then had to be re-written to suit Danny Kaye and his skills.

The film was enormously popular with audiences and earned $12 million making it a top moneymaker for 1954. The film is also the highest-grossing musical film of all time.

In 2004, a stage adaptation of the musical debuted and has performed throughout the world.

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