‘White Christmas’ (1954) Review

After the end of WWII, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis leave the army to go on to become a famous song and dance team. While on tour, they are invited to see the sister act of a buddy they knew in the army. It’s there they meet sisters Judy and Betty Haynes. Judy and Phil get along quite well right away, but Betty and Bob initially feel a bit prickly toward one another.

Thinking that perhaps Betty would be the perfect woman for Bob to settle down with, Phil manipulates events in order to follow Betty and Judy to Vermont. It’s there that they come face to face with their former army general, who is now running the inn where Betty and Judy are meant to perform. The inn is not doing so well and it looks like their former general could lose everything if things don’t turn around soon. Desperate to help, Bob, Phil, Judy, and Betty decide to put on a show at the inn.

I know White Christmas is beloved by many, but admittedly, this was my first time watching it. I have always loved Bing Crosby’s crooning rendition of Irving Berlin’s classic song, so I thought it was time to finally see what White Christmas was all about. For the most part, I really did enjoy it. The song and dance sequences were entertaining and beautifully choreographed.

The plot was a bit fantastical, but this is a Christmas movie, so I was okay with that. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye were perfectly matched, both of them bringing their own unique comedic talent to the film. Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen were also well cast as sisters, and Clooney, in particular, was just luminescent on screen.

It truly did feel as though the movie was filmed like a broadway show – had it ever been one!? – which added a bit of charm as well. There were a few moments where I felt the film dragged a bit, and Betty’s misunderstanding of Bob’s intention with the show at the inn came across as more than a little contrived. But that’s my frustration with using simple communication issues in order to create conflict and derail the blossoming romance. This movie was released in 1954, so perhaps that trope hadn’t been beaten to death just yet, but I found it a little annoying.

All in all, I can see why White Christmas is loved by so many. It’s a fun one to watch during the holiday, especially for Crosby and Kaye’s chemistry. It may not be one I’ll add to my yearly rotation but I’m glad I finally watched it!

Author: Romona Comet

"I'm probably watching a rom-com right now."