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Holiday Inn [VHS] (1942)

Bing Crosby , Fred Astaire , Mark Sandrich  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (635 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Holiday Inn [VHS] + White Christmas [VHS] + It's a Wonderful Life [VHS]
Price for all three: $10.08

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Dale, Walter Abel
  • Directors: Mark Sandrich
  • Writers: Ben Holmes, Bert Lawrence, Claude Binyon, Elmer Rice, Francis Swann
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • VHS Release Date: March 1, 1992
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (635 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300181553
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,834 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


This perennial, Christmas-season favorite from 1942 teamed Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire as entertainers (and rival suitors of Marjorie Reynolds) running an inn that is only open on holidays. It's a great excuse for lots of singing and dancing, seamlessly wrapped in a catchy story, and Astaire's frequent director Mark Sandrich (Top Hat, Shall We Dance?) doesn't let us down. The Irving Berlin numbers (each one connected to a different holiday) are winners. Crosby's warm performance of "White Christmas" is a movie touchstone. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

VHS Tape

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
177 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Presentation of a Holiday Classic! October 11, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I just finished watching the newly released Special Edition of Holiday Inn. I was AMAZED at the clarity of the picture. I've never seen a print of this film looking so pristine. Even on just a regular, 20" non-HDTV set, the hairs askew on top of Bing's toupee during the famous White Christmas scene are plainly visible. Now if you can see single hairs on a person's head during a medium shot on a small television set, that's a stunningly clear picture!

The audio as well is crisp and clear with rich bass and treble tones. If you watch the film with the audio commentary on, you'll hear the dulcet tones of Ken Barnes relating some fascinating tidbits about the making of the film, the songs (one particularly interesting part concerns the verse to White Christmas), the cast, etc. All is enhanced by sound bites from Bing and Fred Astaire themselves in archive audio material from the 1970's. As an example, Bing speaks of the continuing sales of his recording of White Christmas as late as 1974, how he felt it was due in part to people giving the record as a Christmas gift.

The real gems are the bonus features, particularly the 45 minute long mini feature A Couple of Song & Dance Men. Ken Barnes is joined by Fred Astaire's lovely daughter Ava sharing biographical memories of both Bing and Fred, along with trivia tidbits. Ava shows and reads some of the letters Fred Astaire wrote to his wife while on a USO tour in England with Bing in 1944, and telegrams to Fred from Bing, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin are also shown on screen. All is pieced together nicely with song excerpts from Bing's films, coming attractions trailers, and newsreel footage, including Bing opening the Stage Door Canteen in 1944.
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117 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive edition! October 19, 2008
I've watched both the spotless B&W version with commentary and the dazzling color version of the Universal 3-disc (including CD) edition of "Holiday Inn" and I am very impressed.

If you haven't seen the film for a while, the very high points are the song "White Christmas" and its reprise and two of Fred Astaire's more unforgettable numbers: a solo dance with firecrackers and a falling down drunk number that has to be seen to be believed. But to be fair, all the numbers are memorable, from the classic "You're Easy to Dance With" to the 18th Century-influenced "I Can't Tell a Lie" and the blackface hommage to Abraham Lincoln, "Abraham", one of Irving Berlin's best "unknown" songs. The two underrated female counterparts (Marjorie Reynolds and Virginia Dale) are also quite nimble and copacetic.

This edition has kept all the extras of the 2006 Special Edition: "A couple of Song and Dance Men", a 50 min double biography of Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire that has a lot of exciting footage from many of their movies not yet on DVD, hosted by record producer Ken Barnes and Ava Astaire; "All Singing - All Dancing", a 7 min demonstration of how the dance numbers were filmed and put together (dancing to a pre-recorded soundtrack + live recording of the tapping sound with hidden microphones); a very thorough multiple commentary with input from vintage Crosby and Astaire interviews; and a well-preserved theatrical trailer.

It also includes a 12-band CD collection of the film's songs with Crosby and Astaire (from Geffen Records) presented in a cute miniature cardboard 78-RPM sleeve - a genuine collector's item, and a 7 min making-of docu of the color version with Barry Sandrew.
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Presented in Glorious Black & White October 11, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I always felt this movie deserved a restoration to preserve its 1942 style B&W richness. Unfortunately this movie has NOT been restored to its original rich and pristine Black & White splendor! It HAS been remastered meaning no cuts or deletions and also includes an approximate 42 minute mini biography of both Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby and a short piece about the making of the song and dance numbers of Holiday Inn.

A holiday perennial along with Miracle on 34th St. and It's A Wonderful Life, this new release is truly a Special Edition!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Holiday film November 12, 2006
This is a wonderful 1940s musical. While the plot is thin, the music by Irving Berlin is fantastic. Fred Astair's dancing in the firecracker number is incredible. I first saw this about five years ago and it is now a holiday tradition. This special edition DVD is the clearest version I have seen.
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67 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A National Treasure Now In Glorious COLOR!! October 3, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Universal Studios Home Entertainment, in association with Legend Films, Inc., honored Bing Crosby on the 31st anniversary of his passing this October 14th by releasing the definitive DVD / CD package of one of Crosby's most beloved films, Paramount's mammoth 1942 Irving Berlin musical masterpiece, Holiday Inn.

Universal digitally remastered the classic b/w film for it's 2006 release, with pristine picture and sound quality. They augmented it with bonus features including a video interview with Fred Astaire's daughter Ava conducted by Crosby & Astaire record producer Ken Barnes, a making of documentary, and archive audio commentary featuring the stars Bing Crosby & Fred Astaire recorded in the 1970's.

Now, Universal has gone a step further and made it a 3-disc box set, featuring the original b/w version complete with the bonus features aforementioned, an audio CD housed in a nifty '40s retro-looking paper sleeve of the commercial soundtrack recordings by Crosby and Astaire, as recorded for Decca Records in 1942 (including Bing's original hard-to-find 1942 recording of White Christmas), and now, finally, a striking new COLOR version of the film! Legend Films has done justice to this perennial favorite by painstakingly colorizing the film, utilizing the help of Jan Mucklestone, who was the personal sketch artist for Paramount costume designer Edith Head. This was obviously a labor of love, and Legend's attention to detail makes for a stunning visual.

Colorization has always been a controversial subject, with those for and against it equally passionate in their beliefs. However, colorization has come a LONG way since it's inception in the early 1980's. The late 1980's colorization of another of Bing's classic films, The Bells of St.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy
I have always enjoyed this movie particularly during the winter months. Unrealistic from a business model but enjoyable to watch anyway.
Published 16 days ago by dlj
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to love it
If you love Bing and Fred you will love this movie the chemistry between the characters is great! I absolutely have to watch this movie during every holiday season!
Published 17 days ago by Ranchwife
5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday Inn
Musicals are my passion, so I decided to begin collecting my favorites. This one is wonderful has always been at the top of the list.
Published 24 days ago by torquaypam
3.0 out of 5 stars mixed review
because of the era, it does the whole black face and mammy thing and makes white America think this is somehow ok or normal.
but the story, the acting, the dancing is great.
Published 25 days ago by mom12
5.0 out of 5 stars A really great holiday film with great stars
A really great holiday film with great stars, really good script, nice, scenery, music and of course Bing Crosby singing
Published 1 month ago by Joseph M. Seda
5.0 out of 5 stars The singing and dancing of professionals. Funny, too.
The best pre-christmas movie, ever. It gets me ready for Christmas. The first time White Christmas was performed. Watch it!
Published 1 month ago by Silke M. Huntington
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Xmas Movie
OK, yes I'm an old person. I have to watch this movie every year for Xmas. It is a tradition for me! I absolutely love the story and the music in this movie! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Book Czar
5.0 out of 5 stars Been Looking for this forever!
This is a great movie from my childhood! I always wanted it, so I was glad I finally found it!
Published 1 month ago by Maoise Palmer
2.0 out of 5 stars White Christmas with Danny Kaye
Yikes. We watch White Christmas every year. LOVE IT. Holiday Inn has been hard to get hold of, so we were very excited this year when we found we could get it on Amazon Instant... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Janet Swasey
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting
Not a typical family movie. It does have some iconic Holiday songs. One big issue... Two words "black face" . Shock more than cheer with this one.
Published 1 month ago by C/T Services c/o Erik Contreraz
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