This is one of those movies I've got to watch around Christmas every year. Sure, I know that Holiday Inn contains sequences for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Fourth of July, New Year's and etc., but this film really belongs in the "Christmas movie" category for at least two reasons.
Recommend this product?
First of all, you've got Bing singing "White Christmas" in this 1942 production, and what gets a person in the holiday spirit more than that? I've been on this planet for 31 years now, and I associate Bing's manly baritone with Christmas without fail. This song is a flat-out holiday tradition in this nation, and I still maintain that this song will get me in that Christmas spirit almost as quick as a candlelight service at my big ol' Southern Baptist church on Christmas Eve or a huge choir belting out "Angels We Have Heard on High." Dig it!
Second, the Christmas season is really at the center of this thing. Sure, it's fun to watch Fred Astaire dance around and throw firecrackers like a wild man during the Fourth of July Production in the show. And, hey, it's great to hear Bing curse his look at Thanksgiving while listening to a recording of himself crooning, "I've got plenty to be thankful for." However, the film is dominated by Christmas imagery, and it's hard to pretend it's anything but a Christmas film. Snow, Christmas trees and such are all over the place, after all.
So, what's the deal with this film? Bing plays (surprisingly enough) a singer and his partner, Fred Astaire, dances (another shock). Oh, but Bing is tired of show business. He's tired of working on holidays and wants to enjoy the "simple life." He gets the idea of buying an inn in the country and enjoying that simple life. Bing plans to marry his sweetie, Virginia Dale, and retire to a peaceful life at his place.
Astaire, of course, steals Bing's girl, and The Crooner goes off to his inn all by his lonesome. He goes nuts from all the hard work of country life, goes to a "special place" to rest for awhile, and then gets the idea of turning his place into an inn that's open only on the holidays (hence, the title of the movie).
Marjorie Reynolds enters the picture, and agrees to work at Bing's inn for about nothing. She wants to break into show business, see, and the inn seems to be a good launching point for her.
So things are great between Bing and Reynolds. Dale dumps Astaire, and he winds up dejected at Bing's inn and (of course) falls in love with Reynolds. Bing has already planned to marry Reynolds, but she winds up going into a lucrative show biz career with Astaire and stars in a movie about the inn.
Bing, naturally, gets his girl back, and is able to enjoy his lazy life at Holiday Inn. The plots not too complex, see, but this film is just packed with great holiday imagery, some great humor and fantastic song and dance sequences from Bing and Astaire. Hearing Bing sing songs like "White Christmas," "Easter Parade" and "Be Careful, It's my Heart" (for Valentine's day) is a pure treat for fans of Bing. It's unique, too, in that there's plenty of Christmas imagery and this has the "feel" of a film that one would watch in November and December, but really touches on all the major holidays.
So, you've got songs, dancing, lots of humor and sympathetic characters. Are there any flaws? Sadly, yes. That whole "blackface" routine that's put on for Lincoln's Birthday is just shameful. I realize attitudes have changed since 1942, but still...
Another drawback to this film is that my Wife doesn't like it much. I'll convert her one day, though. And, I'll make sure that our children love it. Hah!
Speaking of children, you don't have any "adult situations" here that will offend the kiddies. There's no naughty language, either, so that also makes it safe for kids (if only my Wife could say that my mouth was that clean). Show it to your kids, parents. They'll love it.
So, pop this one in during the holidays. And, remember, if anyone tries to get you to watch a colorized version of this black & white classic, yell nasty, naughty things at him. Adding color to this thing is rather like painting a smile on the Mona Lisa. Some classics are better left alone.
This is part of a write-off hosted by jenni1396. Be sure to check out her review, as well as the well-written ones by the following participants:
AinsleyJo, AmyLEnsor, BedrockTime, bgoodday, bmcnichol, bpotter1, caleo, cbgresh, ChrisJarmick, CjsMommy, dandj, dreamcatcher39, erin5oaks, francesca57, frazzledspice, Grouch, gwsmith, ImAmes, janesbit1, jenninca, Josh_G, keithpruitt, kelly60, KingJFS, lucky43560, Macresarf1, Magick1, martytdx, Mike_Bracken, monical2me, mrssmoopy, onecoolcat, pacbaystat, phineaskc, Poseidon, Presleysmama, sawasdee, seracorde11, shadow8, splitsurround, SPodgorski, teskue, Viper1963