White Christmas Blu-ray Review
One of the best things about the holiday season is holiday movies! Most of us have those one or two films that were on constant repeat while decorating the tree, cooking dinner or wrapping presents when we were kids. In my house, one of those films was WHITE CHRISTMAS. My mom made my sister and I watch it so often that we could both recite the lines and know all the songs (and most of the dance numbers) by heart. Although there is heated debate in my household about whether or not WHITE CHRISTMAS is truly a Christmas film (it is, for the record), it is still one of my favorites because it comes with so many good memories I don’t think I’ll ever get my two boys to fall in love with the vocal styling’s of Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, but rest assured they will be aware of this film and will be able to sing “White Christmas” with me every single season.
Two war buddies, Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye), become a sensational singing duo after they get home from overseas, but with all their success they have yet to settle down. When they catch a show featuring a pair of sisters, they fall for the ladies and follow them to a cozy inn in Vermont for the holidays. Unbeknownst to them, the inn is owned by their former commanding general from the Army, and is on the brink of bankruptcy. With the help of the sisters, Wallace and Davis put on a show that is sure to save the general’s inn.
If you like musicals, holiday films or movies from the 1950s then you have probably seen and may be a fan of WHITE CHRISTMAS. The movie isn’t flashy or very humorous, but it has a wholesome feel that most of those older films posses that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Add to that the lovely voices of Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney and it’s hard not to find the movie a little charming, unless you have a tiny heart like the Grinch.
One of the hot topics of debate in our household is that WHITE CHRISTMAS can’t be called a holiday film because there is technically only one Christmas song (“White Christmas”) and the holiday isn’t celebrated until the last 10 minutes of the movie. So what, I say. The movie is still pretty great and the songs are fantastic. Just because the film doesn’t involve Santa Claus, kids getting uptight because they don’t get a present or parents frantically fighting crowds to get a coveted toy does not mean it doesn’t envelope the spirit of the holiday season. After all, isn’t helping our fellow humans in their times of need a sentiment that trumps everything this time of year?
I’ll fully admit that WHITE CHRISTMAS isn’t for everyone, but it is one of those films that you should watch at least once in your lifetime. You don’t have to add it to your annual holiday movie list, but give it try and you may be surprised. I know he’ll never admit it, but my husband is super happy to have this gem on Blu-ray so we can watch it every year!
Video: A gorgeous transfer considering the age of the film. Paramount tends to give the best treatment to their Diamond Editions.
Audio: Great audio throughout the movie.
Commentary by Rosemary Clooney: This commentary was a little annoying due to the large chunks of silence from Ms. Clooney, but when she does talk it’s very interesting and full of fun facts. Worth a listen if you are a fan.
White Christmas Sing-Along
Classic Holiday Moments– A compilation of five televised performances from Bing Crosby or Danny Kaye through the years.
Assignment Children (18:36): A film for UNICEF featuring Danny Kaye with an introduction from Michael Buble.
Backstage Stories from White Christmas (11:58): An interesting featurette that’s full of tidbits about casting, the dancing from George Chakiris and how the film has stood the test of time.
Bing Crosby: Christmas Crooner (14:02): Crosby’s family and a biographer talk about the famous crooner and his special attachment to the song “White Christmas”, along with a few other details.
Danny Kaye: Joy to the World (13:03): A nice featurette on Danny Kaye that is definitely worth the watch if you are an admirer.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (6:57): This is the story behind one of the classic Christmas song and the man who wrote it.
Rosemary’s Old Kentucky Home (13:01): Clooney’s brother Nick (George Clooney’s father) talks about how attacked Rosemary was to her hometown and how her home became a museum after her death.
White Christmas: From Page to Stage (3:58): A short bit about the transfer from film to Broadway production.
White Christmas: A Look back with Rosemary Clooney (16:59): A feature where Clooney talks about her fellow cast members, Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby and even a set visit from the king and queen of Greece.