A White Christmas at Holiday Inn: Part 1
Simple, traditional films like these make Christmastime enchanting for me!
Holiday Inn came first in 1942, and White Christmas was released in 1954. Musical guru, Irving Berlin, composed the music for both of these classics. I think it is interesting to note that Berlin's song "White Christmas" was first debuted in Holiday Inn, not White Christmas. Isn't that funny? And there's more history behind the well-known Christmas films--originally, the song "Be Careful, It's My Heart" was foreseen to be a much bigger hit than the infamous "White Christmas"--The trailer for Holiday Inn actually featured the former instead of the latter. Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds created a dazzling, intimate delivery of the tune in Holiday Inn before White Christmas was even a thought. (This is one of my absolute favorite scenes!) Both films have a way of making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Whimsical qualities like the musical numbers, the festive productions, the timeless comedy, and the numerous times Bing Crosby is swoon-worthy are what keep me coming back for more every holiday season.
First Off, LOCATION:
Connecticut vs. Vermont
I have watched both films numerous times, and one Christmas my family and I cozied up by the fire and watched a little more intently than we normally would. We noticed tiny little similarities between the two farmhouses from both movies! We just knew they must have been the same house! At least, we really hoped they were...After the movie we did our research and found out that the warm and inviting homestead that becomes Jim Hardy"s (Bing) brain-child, and the movie's namesake, "Holiday Inn", was, in fact, reused and slightly revamped, as the lovely Columbia Inn nestled in Pinetree, Vermont in the movie, White Christmas.
*Click the slideshow to see comparison photos.
*Click the slideshow to see comparison photos.
Parts of the house that give it character, such as the elongated, elegant wall of windows, are what gave it away for me. Also, that front check-in desk in White Christmas is seen in Holiday Inn when Ted Hanover (Fred) shows up drunk after his fiance, Lila, runs off with a millionaire.
Remember this little Ted episode? How could you forget!? Fun fact, Fred Astaire was really drunk in this scene! It took 8 shots of bourbon to make Fred's dance moves look bad.
This movie, without a doubt, reflects the old days in which it was created. Quite a movie of its time, it includes an Abraham Lincoln number featuring Bing and Marjorie Reynolds in black face...but we won't get into that here...All I'll say is thank you to Turner Classic Movies for broadcasting the original version. It's a super catchy "ear-worm" of a song, too!
Happy Feet Fred
This is the only musical where Fred Astaire's character, Ted Hanover, makes me want to sock him in the nose every time I set eyes on him. He makes me cringe. Go find your own dance partner and stop claiming to "fall in love" with every talented woman you lay your eyes on! Don't get me started!
That smug smile! Ted is always showing up where he doesn't belong!
Me too, Jim, me too.
Needless to say, I am Team Jim all the way.
But I can't deny the absolutely intoxicating firecracker performance by Fred for the 4th of July show! This dance can't be given enough recognition for the high-spirited, spontaneous, shuffle-step-fallapin' of Fred Astaire's feet. I am totally in a different place when I watch this part of the movie. Absolutely iconic!
Mamie Gives the Best Advice
Mamie and her two cute kids live at the Inn with Jim. She cooks Jim an entire Thanksgiving dinner for one, and cooks for all of the guests! Mamie is the one who gives Jim the kick in the butt he needs! I love Mamie and her spit-fire advice.
"But you've gotta eat! The trouble ain't with the turkey, it's you!"
"...sit around like some jellyfish with the misery."
"'Cause some slicker stole your gal and you ain't got fight enough to get her back!"
"You could melt her heart right down to butter, if you'd only turn on the heat!"
*the kitchen love moments between Jim and Linda are some of my favorites
You Should Have Seen it in Color
My greatest wish is to see Holiday Inn in color! Just think of how vibrant Jim's productions would look! And the gowns! Oh My!
"Let's Start the New Year Right" in this striking gown!
I love her booties! Isn't it funny how these are back in style nowadays?
Now let's talk about my favorite scene!
Click here to feel like you are at Holiday Inn: The Scene
After you watch:
Didn't you love how I added Bing's last White Christmas performance in there? See what I did there? Love him! The chemistry between them is amazing! And the way he subtly adds to the song with his own little counter-melody!? To die for! The moment is all tied together with the crackling fire behind them and that fat, tinsel-trimmed, 40's Christmas tree covered in bells and AUTHENTICALLY LIT CANDLES.
When Bing rings the bells with that old pipe along with the beat of the music I just about lose my logic. It's too perfect with his rhythmic whistling, humming harmonies and crooning vocals. I could just die and be so happy. He is the ultimate songbird!
Tune in next week for Part 2 where we discuss the other Irving Berlin classic, White Christmas!
Few Little Sources: