A White Christmas at Holiday Inn: Part 2
Columbia Inn Pinetree, Vermont
Notice the wall of windows from Holiday Inn! This house is the ultimate New England farmhouse. I even recognize the grand staircase in the open concept living space in Holiday Inn. The changes they made to the White Christmas set were to make the house more divided and chopped into more rooms. Also, it was fully refurbished to fit the time period.
Favorite room of all Columbia Inn! I could set up camp right there on that window couch.
This will be displayed in my house one day.
For the seasoned White Christmas Veterans, you have probably noticed how all of Vera Ellen's shirts and dresses have a high neck to completely cover her neck. The actress was known for her extremely petite figure, and there came about rumors that she suffered from anorexia or bulimia. Although neither were confirmed, some say she wore turtle necks and ruffly necklines to mask skin problems caused by an illness.
"Vermont should be beautiful this time of year, all that snow." This may be an unpopular opinion, but I absolutely love Danny Kaye's character, Phil. He provides little sprinkles of comical fun.
This dance number featuring Vera Ellen and her partner, John Brascia, is to an upbeat, jazzy tune. It's short and sweet, and I think that the song is a direct reflection of the song "Abraham" in Holiday Inn. I think Irving Berlin pulled a fast one on us and restyled the dramatic ode into an uptempo, big-band type song. Easy to dance to, and easy to write.
Rosemary Clooney plays the older sister, Betty, to Vera Ellen's character, Judy. But in real life, Vera was 33 and Rosemary, 26. And get this, Bing Crosby was 51 during the filming! Talk about an age gap! We can let it slide, It is Bing Crosby after all...
It makes my life to know that this was not originally scripted. It was Bing and Danny goofing off, which the director loved, and added in! You can tell that the two dashing dames are giggling at each other through the whole performance.
My thoughts on White Christmas just couldn't be complete without me mentioning my feelings toward the housekeeper at Columbia Inn, Emma Allen. She stirs up so much unnecessary drama for Bob and Betty, and to be honest, EVERYBODY. Actually, there would be no real conflict in the plot without her nosiness, so I guess this is a thank you to Emma the housekeeper. She had a few funny lines.
Betty's (Rosemary) dress in this scene is so simple, yet sophisticated. It caught my eye the last time I watched the movie because the neckline is in style now. I love to watch old films and see how clothing styles have changed and what has always remained the same.
Phil Davis: Let's face it, Bob. You're a lonely, miserable man.
Bob Wallace: What?
Phil Davis: And you're unhappy, too. And when you're unhappy, I'm unhappy.
Linda Mason: I asked you once not to interfere, Ted.
Ted Hanover: Please believe me, I'm a tired, lonely, and unhappy man, but I could be happy here helping the two people I like the best.
I found this interesting this year as I watched the two movies. This part of the script is very similar. The roles are reversed in what would have been Fred Astaire's role as Phil Davis (he turned it down). Bing played very different characters in these movies, and it makes it easy to see how talented an actor he was.
One of the more overlooked songs from White Christmas, "I Wish I Was Back in the Army."
A similarity between these two blockbusters that surpasses all others is the inclusion of patriotism. Songs like "Freedom" from Holiday Inn and "What Can You Do With a General" from White Christmas make these films live on in the hearts of listening audiences everywhere. They are pieces of history, and their legacies deserve to be recognized forever.
May All You're Christmases Be White, and Let's Start the New Year Right!
Do me a favor and add these to your annual Christmas movie-watching list! Keep the legacy alive! Honestly, I would watch Holiday Inn on every holiday if I could! How nice would that be? Holiday Inn about 15 days a year! "That gives me 350 days to kick around in!" -Jim Hardy (See, if you watched it, you would get that reference)
Few Little Sources: