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Holiday Inn (Special Edition)

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,385 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire sing and dance their way into your heart in the sensational musical comedy Holiday Inn. Nominated for 3 Academy Awards, this special edition features 13 holiday songs by famed composer Irving Berlin, including "White Christmas" - one of the biggest-selling recordings in music history! Crosby plays a song and dance man who leaves showbiz to run an inn that is open only on holidays. Astaire plays his former partner and rival in love. Follow the two talented pals as they find themselves competing for the affections of the same lovely lady (Marjorie Reynolds). This classic features an all-new digitally remastered picture and never-before-seen bonus material. 'Tis the season for one of the most enjoyable films of all time!


In 1942, Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby teamed up at Der Bingle's Paramount Pictures for Holiday Inn, a black-and-white musical that proves more entertaining than Crosby's color semi-remake White Christmas in 1954. Astaire and Crosby play partner/rival song-and-dance men who compete for the hand of their performing partner, played by Virginia Dale. After Crosby loses, he moves to the Connecticut countryside where he creates a resort that is only open on holidays and puts on the shows with the help of Marjorie Reynolds. Dumped by Dale, Astaire makes a drunken arrival at the inn on New Year's Eve and dances with Reynolds. He decides she'll be his new partner, but doesn't remember what she looks like, setting off a frenzied search at every subsequent show while the once-bitten Crosby does his best to steer him off track. The theme gives Irving Berlin an excuse to craft or recycle a number of holiday-themed songs, such as (in the former category) "Washington's Birthday" or (in the latter) "Easter Parade." The most famous of the new material, of course, is "White Christmas," which became one of the bestselling songs of all time and the title song of Crosby's 1954 film. Astaire and Crosby also team up for "I'll Capture Her Heart," which playfully contrasts the stars' specialties, and Astaire's "It's So Easy to Dance with You" became one of the signature songs of his post-Ginger Rogers career. Astaire and Crosby teamed up again for Blue Skies in 1946. --David Horiuchi

Special Features

  • A Couple of Song and Dance Men
  • All-Singing, All Dancing
  • Audio Commentary with Film Historian Ken Barnes, including Archive Audio Comments from Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby and John Scott Trotter
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Dale, Walter Abel
    • Directors: Mark Sandrich
    • Writers: Claude Binyon
    • Producers: Mark Sandrich
    • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, Original recording remastered, Special Edition, Subtitled, NTSC
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: October 10, 2006
    • Run Time: 101 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,385 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B000I0QL82
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,512 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Holiday Inn (Special Edition)" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    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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    Format: DVD
    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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    7 Comments 155 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    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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    7 Comments 99 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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