If you’ve ever listened to Christmas songs on the radio, there’s a better chance that you’ve heard Bing Crosby crooning White Christmas than that you’ve seen the film that shares its name. That’s one of the rare cases of a song that’s more popular than the movie it’s associated with. The White Christmas song by Irving Berlin predates the film that shares its name by 12 years. Crosby originally sang White Christmas for a movie called Holiday Inn in 1942, which in turn picked up an Oscar for Best Original Song.
Crosby also starred in the White Christmas movie, which hit theaters in 1954. Of course, Crosby also sings his signature song for the film’s climax, and the movie has become a Christmas staple ever since. And White Christmas has a home for the holidays on the world’s biggest streaming service.
Although Netflix tends to act like classic movies only extend to the 1970s and ’80s, the streaming platform is where you can find White Christmas. This movie is a musical extravaganza that’s rarely seen in Hollywood anymore outside of Disney animated films. Crosby co-headlines the movie as Bob Wallace, the sometimes reluctant partner of Danny Kaye’s Phil Davis.
After World War II, Bob and Phil are close friends and successful producers and performers when they meet the Haynes sisters, Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera-Ellen). Phil and Judy almost immediately become a couple, but Bob and Betty need more convincing before they can be a romantic pair. This quartet has some Christmas misadventures as they try to help Maj. General Tom Waverly (Dean Jagger) keep his resort in business the only way they know how: by putting on a show!
Mary Wickes also stars in the film as Emma Allen, with Johnny Grant as Ed Harrison, John Brascia as Johnny, Anne Whitfield as Susan Waverly, Percy Helton as Train conductor, Stanford Jolley as railroad stationmaster, Barrie Chase as Doris Lenz, George Chakiris as Betty Haynes’ background dancer, Sig Ruman as Landlord, and Herb Vigran as Novello.
There is some seriously impressive dance chorography in this movie, but it’s the songs of White Christmas that bring people back year after year.
Watch White Christmas on Netflix.
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