Come Spend Time At This Holiday Inn

Dec 19, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:It will put a smile on your face.

Cons:It's not really a Christmas film.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the treetops glisten,
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write.
May your days be merry and bright.
And may all your Christmases be white.

Do you remember when actors used to really work? None of this one or two movies a year crap that you see today. None of those 20 million dollar pay checks either. Actors appeared in several films a year because it was like a steady job for them, and because they were under studio contracts which they were faithful to. These were the great years of the Hollywood system, most notably during the 1940’s. Holiday Inn is a pleasant diversion for under two hours.

Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby combine their talents as Jim Hardy (Crosby) and Ted Hanover (Astaire) are a song and dance team just struggling to stay together. Hardy has had enough after Hanover steals his fiancée from him, Lila Dixon (Virginia Dale). This sends Jim leaving the dance group as Ted and Lila team up for performances. Jim heads to a Connecticut farm which he renovates into an inn, the Holiday Inn. This is no normal lodging. Jim’s plan is to have the place open only during holidays.

Jim is also not alone for long. Linda Mason (Marjorie Reynolds) comes into his life and captures his heart. The love birds live in the inn year round and she is his star attraction when it is open for business.

Fast forward a short time later and we see a drunk Ted stumbling into the Holiday Inn on New Year’s Eve. Lila has recently dumped him and he is a mess. While wandering around the inn he wanders onto the dance floor where he begins dancing with the sober Linda. Jim puts him up for the night and when daybreak sets Ted remembers nothing from the night before. His manager informs him that he and Linda were the big hit on the dance floor. They see this as the perfect opportunity to replace Lila. Only problem is that neither manager nor Ted know who this woman is. The rest of the film is a comical journey as Jim tries everything he can to prevent his former partner from finding out who his love is. He has already had one woman taken away from him because of Ted and will not have another.

There are a great number of good songs and dancing in this film. The second most popular song in history “White Christmas” was first sung by Crosby in this film. Hearing him belt out that tune today still gives me chills. No Christmas is complete without it. The only segment of the film that bothered me was the black-faced routine that the Inn puts on for Lincoln’s birthday. The intentions at the time were good but is in very bad tastes by today’s standards. It’s hard to fault a movie because of this since that was part of our history at the time. I’m sure if the stars were still alive today they would regret doing that segment also.

The film gets it’s humor from comedy of errors, lying, and some moments of great physical comedy. Astaire’s drunken dance is certainly the highlight in the film. Even when the man is supposed to look like he is dancing while sloshed, there is still no one that can come close to his foot work.

I was going to use this for the Favorite Christmas Movie write-off but then I thought that it was not appropriate. It basically deals with every holiday and not just Christmas. If it were not for Crosby’s “White Christmas” song this film would not be considered a Christmas classic at all. It’s still a great movie to check out, to watch on whatever holiday you please.

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