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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
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Differing with what some others have said, I regard "Holiday Inn" to have a fairly complicated plot for a light musical comedy. There are at least four twists on the romances in the story, and Bing's attempts to keep Fred away from his new girl are convoluted and funny.
The movie introduced the song "White Christmas", which would be the top selling song in the world for decades thereafter. It is one of the most covered songs of all Christmas songs, and Bing's version is still the best performance.
There are a couple of other fairly memorable songs, and outside of Rogers and Hammerstein or Lerner and Lowe, that's a pretty good number. The rest of the songs are entertaining in their context, and that's all that's required. After all, there is only so much any songwriter can do in producing songs about Washington or Lincoln's birthdays! LOL
At Thanksgiving in the movie, there is a little joke that most people these days won't get. You see a cartoon turkey confused and staggering back and forth between November 20th and November 27th on a calendar. Before 1942 the President declared the date of the official Thanksgiving holiday each year, but they always proclaimed it to occur on the last Thursday in November. In 1939 President Roosevelt, under pressure from merchants, proclaimed it as the 4th Thursday in a year where November had five. This break with tradition was not universally popular, and for three years the United States was approximately evenly divided, with some states celebrating the holiday on the next to last Thursday of the month, and some on the last Thursday. The turkey cartoon is spoofing that situation. In December of 1941 Congress stepped in and set the holiday in law as the 4th Thursday of the month, as we have known it since. That gives merchants a few more shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas in years where November has five Thursdays.
You'll come to like all the characters, even Astaire's somewhat scurrilous character who for some reason is always falling for his friend's girls.
The plot has been well documented in myriad reviews and synopses, so I won't go through it again here. If you're familiar with romantic comedies, you've seen all the bases touched here many times.
If you can't stand classic older films, you may disagree, but I give this film a great recommendation as a fine holiday film for the family to watch together. Of course, the movie isn't particularly about Christmas, but gets credit as a Christmas movie because of the flagship song. You could just as well watch it as a 4th of July movie! LOL
'Holiday Inn' is a combination of all the above: a well made classic movie musical with heart, charm, and definitely makes me feel good every time I watch it. Between Bing Crosby's honey sweet, buttery smooth voice, and Fred Astaire's fast-twinkling, sexily gliding dance moves, I consistently smile throughout the entire film. The watching experience is made even more special because it is brought to us by the legendary Irving Berlin's brilliant and masterful song lyrics and music compositions.
And the pièce de résistance: 'Holiday Inn' marks the first time we hear Bing's rendition of my absolute favorite Christmas song, 'White Christmas.' I tell you, this song and Bing singing it is worth the price of admission alone. I swoon. Beyond the song, the movie is also wonderful because not only has it maintained its classic film sensibility, it has a sweet holiday love triangle backstory. Both attributes are made funnier and heartwarming because of the high-jinks that Bing and Astaire get into while putting on 15 musical shows at the eponymous Inn.
As much as I love the film, I must also acknowledge that there is one musical sequence that has unfortunately not stood the test of time. Having watched this film many times over the years, I can honestly say that I personally don't get offended by the aforementioned scene or the song in it. The reason being that I look at both within the context of the film's story. From today's standpoint, yes, the images are jarring and insensitive in hindsight. However for me personally, I look at the scene from the lens of what the intent of the scene was as it relates to the film's story. In this view, the scene doesn't offend me.
Nonetheless, I realize and understand that for other individuals, this sequence may cause offence and dismay. For individuals who have never seen 'Holiday Inn' , I am intentionally not mentioning what content the scene contains so as not to incite anyone. I think it is best that you watch the film with an open mind without someone else tainting what ever genuine reaction (good or bad) you may have while seeing this sequence of the film in particular.
All in all, 'Holiday Inn' is a holiday staple for me and just this 2017 holiday season alone, I've watched it three times because it makes my heart happy. I love it and I highly recommend it.