Holiday Inn

8 ratings (8 Epinions reviews)
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The Original Music Videos

Aug 23, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Very Good

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Pros:Singing, dancing, classic songs, some laughs

Cons:No story to speak of.

The Bottom Line: As music video it's great, but as a movie there's not much to see.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire may well be the world’s first music video. In Korea, old movies are commonly available for about $3. I regularly find myself clutching something excitedly because I’ve always wanted to see it and never managed to catch it. Holiday Inn is one of those films. Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire? How can you not want to see this movie?

Well …

The story, such as it is, follows Jim Hardy (Crosby) who is a singer fed up with the hectic life of a night club performer. He has this grand plan to settle down for the easy life with his true love and singing partner, Lila Dixon (Virginia Dale), on a farm in Connecticut. His plan is to have one last show Christmas Eve before whisking Lila away to be married so they can start their new life on the farm. Her plan however, involves tapping away with the third member of their show, Ted Hanover (Astaire) to bigger and better shows. When he finds out, Jim throws up his hands, plays the good guy and goes away to the farm where he learns that farming is a bit harder than performing in night clubs. After a stint in a sanitarium, he visits his friends in New York with a new idea. He’s going to start a supper club at his farm with elaborate stage shows, but it’s only open on holidays!

Linda Mason (Marjorie Reynolds) is referred to him by his former agent and it’s love at first sight. And when Lila ditches Ted for somebody else and he meets Linda, it’s love at first sight for him too. Unfortunately he was smashed at the time and can’t remember what she looked like. Then the chase is on as Jim tries to keep Linda away from his dear friend as his dear friend searches for her fantically intending to make her a star as his dance partner.

Plotwise, this movie is a little lean. Really, if your best friend stole your girl the night before you were supposed to get married, would you still be friends with him? If you had stolen your best friend’s girl the night before they were supposed to get married and then she dumped you for greener pastures would you go to him to consolation? If you pull that little thread the whole movie unravels. Given, it is supposed to be an all-singing, all-dancing screwball comedy, but there isn’t really enough story to stick the songs together. But then you know that it’s mostly about the songs right from the credits. It says first thing in the credits that the movie was based on songs by Irving Berlin. Not exactly some nobody jerk, but not a scriptwriter.

The songs are pretty marvelous. "White Christmas" is well known. So is "Easter Parade." You probably already know most of the words to both those songs. Less remembered is "Say It With Firecrackers" the 4th of July song. It’s a fairly cheesy song, but one must remember that this movie came out right on the heels of the US entry into World War 2. Most the songs are catchy and singable, though "Be Careful It’s My Heart" probably deserved to be forgotten.

I wouldn’t recommend trying to do the dances unless you’re a professional. If you are a professional I would precede with caution. According to legend, Astaire rehearsed so diligently that he was down to 85 lbs when he filmed the Firecracker dance. It is marvelous to watch Astaire solo or with either Reynolds or Dare. His movements are so crisp and elegant.

The part of Linda Mason was originally written for Mary Martin and some have said that Marjorie Reynolds wasn’t quite up to filling it, but I didn’t see that at all. For my money she was just fine in the role. For the weak script she was given, she did manage to get some communicate emotion and her teary climactic scene could draw an 'aw' from a stone.

It’s a fine movie if you’re looking for music videos. If you were looking for a movie then you’re not going to be happy, but I was perfectly happy with a collection of song and dance numbers loosely strung together with a thin plot. Besides, it’s Bing and Fred.

Recommend this product? Yes

Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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