On Wednesday and Thursday, we’re presenting two Christmas classics at the Paramount to get you in the singing, dancing holiday mood, both of which share one thing in common: Irving Berlin’s classic tune “White Christmas.”
Many people mistakenly believe that “White Christmas” originated in the 1954 musical WHITE CHRISTMAS (I wonder what would give them that idea…). Irving Berlin actually wrote the song for HOLIDAY INN, another holiday musical starring Bing Crosby. In fact, after both the song and the film became huge hits in 1942, Berlin’s “White Christmas” went on to win Best Original Song at the 1943 Academy Awards, a full 11 years before it was featured in WHITE CHRISTMAS.
Though the films share the song and Crosby, there are many things to distinguish the two, making them a perfect double feature. In HOLIDAY INN, Crosby is joined by the incomparable Fred Astaire and Virginia Dale as a musical trio turned love triangle, with Crosby as the odd man out. Heartbroken, Crosby retires to a farm in Connecticut, which he ultimately turns into Holiday Inn, a resort/entertainment venue that is only open on holidays.
A fanciful concept, to be sure, which makes HOLIDAY INN the perfect fantasy for the Christmas season, full of romance, comedy, and, of course, music. In addition to “White Christmas,” the film features nearly a dozen other Irving Berlin tunes, which will have you singing about Thanksgiving, Easter, and even George Washington’s birthday. Why just celebrate Christmas when you can celebrate all the holidays at once? Don’t miss it, Wednesday December 12 at 7:00pm and Thursday December 13 at 9:30pm.
And don’t worry, we’ve got WHITE CHRISTMAS, too. The Paramount holiday favorite returns for another celebration of sister acts, sing-alongs, and ski lodge romances. In case your memory is a little hazy, here are some titles to clear things up: “Blue Skies,” “Sisters,” “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing,” “What Can You Do with a General,” and of course, “White Christmas” itself.
The story that contains all these wonderful songs features two WWII buddies, played by Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, who become a successful song-and-dance duo after the war. When they arrive at the Pine Tree Ski Lodge with a sister act, played by Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen, to put on a show, they discover the lodge is owned and operated by their beloved former General, who has fallen on hard times. The four entertainers decide to rejuvenate the lodge’s failing finances by putting on a really big show, but will it work?
Time and time again, WHITE CHRISTMAS sends audiences out into the winter weather with a huge smile on their face. With Irving Berlin’s songs, Bing Crosby’s legendary croon, and a heartwarming climax that never leaves a dry eye in the house, you might say that this is the perfect Christmas film. If you’ve never seen it before, the Paramount is the perfect place to make WHITE CHRISTMAS part of your holiday tradition. Join us Wednesday December 12 at 9:10pm and Thursday December 13 at 7:00pm!