Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

HOLIDAY INN vs. WHITE CHRISTMAS


audreyforever
 Share

Recommended Posts

This has always bugged me, so many people say White Christmas but I wholeheartedly like Holiday Inn better. I prefer Fred over Danny, Bings acting, plot, and the fact that (correct me if I'm wrong, seriously) it has more Christmas to it.

 

Is it just me or could White Christmas be 1000X better if it had more of a Christmas focus?!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love both of these movies, but I'd have to go with "White Christmas" as the one I prefer. I enjoy the musical numbers more, and being in color, it's much more fun to watch. Plus,---and this is a big plus---it's got Vera-Ellen in it. Toward the end, when she dances to the song Mandy, it's pure magic.

 

Terrence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

{font:Arial}Well, from an historical basis, Paramount Pictures had originally planned to have Bing and Fred together again for this big 1954, VistaVision production of “White Christmas.” Some film buffs tend to feel that the movie was sort of jinxed! It was during a rehearsal that Fred had a freak accident, hurting his ankle. It was decided to ask Gene Kelly to fill in, but he was involved in another project and {font}{font:Arial}Paramount{font}{font:Arial} didn’t want to place the production on hold, even to wait for Fred to possibly heal. This led to the studio hiring Donald O’Connor, but he also took ill and had to bow out! The studio was under a desperate situation, in need of launching as soon as possible, the new widescreen process of VistaVision. This was the main reason for most everything associated to “White Christmas” as being rushed. So, Danny Kaye was brought in and he saved the produciton.{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

{font:Arial}It was so obvious from the start of the idea to make the film that {font}{font:Arial}Paramount{font}{font:Arial} was looking at something of a sequel to their big success with “Holiday Inn.” Naturally, the whole idea of having Irving Berlin’s songs (and a few new ones) once again showcased led all back to the previous block-buster of “Holiday Inn” that even by 1954 was still being released successfully in theaters at around the holiday season. This new entry of “White Christmas” was looked upon as an updated version of everything associated to “Holiday Inn.” Perhaps one of the biggest of all new changes, besides the widescreen process was the beautiful Technicolor. A lot of money was poured onto the production, as {font}{font:Arial}Paramount{font}{font:Arial} was trying to get back into the major leagues of movie musicals.{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

{font:Arial}The film opened at {font}{font:Arial}New York{font}{font:Arial}’s {font}{font:Arial}Radio{font}{font:Arial} {font}{font:Arial}City{font}{font:Arial} {font}{font:Arial}Music Hall{font}{font:Arial} to sell out showings. The lines outside the Music Hall were long and endless! Despite mixed, if not, lukewarm reviews, the film became the biggest box office hit of 1954! {font}{font:Arial}Paramount{font}{font:Arial}’s big gamble paid off better than anyone at the studio could have imagined. Yet, for all the popularity and success of the film, it has never entered the annals of a classic movie musical. The big question is whether or not Fred would have made the difference. All said and done, the film was never in the same league of “Holiday Inn!” Once Danny came on board, I have it on the best authority that the content or script was changed or had to be altered.{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

{font:Arial}I wouldn’t say “White Christmas” is a bad movie. It’s just not as lively and uplifting as was “Holiday Inn.” Even the second film Bing and Fred made, “Blue Skies” is a superior work of movie musical know-how and once again they had a great musical score by Irving Berlin! The only thing “White Christmas” has going for it, from any historical record is one of the biggest of all movie rentals for a film during the entire decade, until the movie was given over to NBC for its first television showing in 1965. And, the ratings were very high! But then, a lot of the hype probably all falls back to the whole aura of that famous, classic, holiday song . . . Doesn’t it? {font}

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would love to have seen Donald O'Connor in the film. Not only would he have reunited with Crosby but also with Vera-Ellen. O'Connor and Vera-Ellen were aply teamed in CALL ME MADAM. O'Connor eventually got to work again with Crosby in the mediocre remake of ANYTHING GOES. I never heard the story of Astaire hurting his foot and having Kelly as a replacement. I know Kelly hurt his leg during the making of EASTER PARADE and Astaire replaced him in that film. What I read was Astaire turned the film down since he had recently completed THE BAND WAGON and was in no rush to make another film, and hence O'Connor was hired instead. Astaire later opted to star in 1955's DADDY LONG LEGS opposite Leslie Caron. Incidently, The Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood is reviving WHITE CHRISTMAS for one showing on 12/21. I believe this is the first theatrical showing the film has had in years.

 

Edited by: Edgecliff on Dec 14, 2011 8:54 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To give more clarification on Fred's original association to "White Christmas," from day one, both Bing and Paramount had always planned to have him in the film. Although it was actually never official, he began to work out dance routines. Along the way to this possibility, there was the impending problem of his beloved wife Phyillis, who was suffering from an incurable bout of lung cancer. This situation placed a lot of stress on Fred, while he attempted to sort out the details with Paramount to undertake his role for "White Christmas." As this trauma emotionally deteriorated Fred, he was smoking heavily, not getting much sleep and perhaps drinking a little too much. He then caught a bit of what was later believed to be a mild flu, injured himself during a rehearsal and couldn't continue on with the plans of appearing with Bing in the movie. By the end of 1954, Phyillis died and Fred was indeed devastated to the point that he might not return to motion pictures. However, by the following year, he managed to conjure up enough courage to keep his career going, only because Phyillis would have wanted him to and the rest is history.

 

There is however, a very, very intruging point to "White Christmas" that in later years would be so closely connected to Fred's career that many fans don't catch or know about. In the eventual film, a young, beautiful starlet makes an appearance in a small role as one of the chours girls. This lovely lady turns out to be none other than the enticing dancer Barrie Chase! She would in the coming years be Fred's dance partner on all his famous and popular television specials.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Astaire had no problem working with Crosby. Most books state as I said Astaire had just completed THE BAND WAGON and was not in a hurry to jump right back into another film and maybe the with the illness of his wife he decided to pass on WHITE CHRISTMAS. I thought I read somewhere that he was also not exactly happy with the script, but I cannot confirm this.

 

Edited by: Edgecliff on Dec 15, 2011 2:38 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=Edgecliff you mentioned: }{quote}Astaire had no problem working with Crosby.

Absolutley correct! Bing and Fred would remain, good close friends, until Bing's death. One of their other best parings was for a television special and a record album they recorded during the late 1970's.

 

> {quote:title=Edgecliff, you also go on to mention: }{quote}I thought I read somewhere that he was also not exactly happy with the script, but I cannot confirm this.

I believe that it was all due to a combination of everything previously mentioned. Bing had for a short period of time, hounded Fred to consider the idea. The issue of the script could have been worked out in Fred's favor; Bing could have used his tremendous influence at Paramount to remedy the situation. Yet, always lurking in the shadows was that Fred did not like to *repeat himself* for any film he appeared in. So, it stands to reason that the idea of basically, recreating a hybrid version of an already proven successful film (and a classic!) wasn't exactly a project that appealed to Fred. He certainly didn't need the huge deal or salary Paramount was offering. What he did in order to please Bing was briefly toy with the idea that he might do it. In the process, came other issues (especially those personal ones) that in the end halted any chance he would have had in getting on board. Today, the information concering this issue of "White Christmas" and Fred has been mixed up in different directions, appearing as if to not wantonly tarnish Fred's highly respected reputation. Anyway, it was probably meant all along to be Bing's movie and keep his association to that classic Christmas song.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I often cut over to AMC when they have a good movie on but then when the commercials comes (within a few minutes!), I switch to something else and often forget to go back.

 

Hey, I don't mind a few breaks. e.g. if TCM had to show some commercials as a way to increase revenues I would understand, but for movies only have a few (say 4), longer breaks, placed in the right places instead of how AMC does it (often right in the middle of a scene).

 

But I really hope TCM never has to have any breaks. TCM is great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=finance you asked: }{quote}Did Fred's wish not to repeat himself extend to not repeating anything on screen that he had done on stage? Don't FUNNY FACE and THE BANDWAGON both include songs from the stage productions of the same name?

In technical terms, the answer would be uneqivocally NO . . . He did not repeat himself a second time with "The Bandwagon" and then "Funny Face." This is because when Fred appeared on stage or Broadway, the musicals were very different from their eventual film versions that came many years later. Everything about the so called film versions of first "The Bandwagon" and then later on "Funny Face," had changes in the characters, songs, dance routines, in as much as the main storyline was altered to suit the current time frame. In this case, Fred never really felt he had repeated what he had performed on stage, despite how famous both musical shows had been to his career. Both film versions did have a few songs from the stage show, but overall, new or other noted tunes were added that had no original connection to the productions.

 

Of course, just about every Broadway musical, turned motion picture will have differences, when compared to its staged counterpart. Even though "White Christmas" was an original movie musical, it was dealing with what appeared to be a legacy created from "Holiday Inn." The problem for "White Christmas" was utilizing the same formula of two "show business buddies" that had already been tried twice with Bing and Fred. Add the whole holiday spirit element and now "White Christmas" is in many ways a shadowy reflection of "Holidy Inn!" Just the main idea in "White Christmas" of heading up to Vermont and a ski-lodge that bares a striking resemblance to the tavern in "Holiday Inn," it becomes very evident the film is preying upon a previous success. I would have to feel that Fred must have felt uninspired about the idea of another "holiday musical." It was probalby the whole subject matter that wasn't so new to Fred and while he might have dallied with the idea, his heart wasn't in it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Each one has it's charm for me.

 

But I still give the edge to Holiday Inn. Maybe it's the beautiful setting with black and white photography (I think the snow just glistens in the shots). Also, the premise of the story is perfect..

 

White Christmas does have some wonderful numbers in it too. The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZXYYfHICSc and Count Your Blessings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTQrNQm3yZQ&feature=related are very sweet. I do like the subplot of the retired General Waverly, for Dean Jagger is a favorite actor of mine.

post.gif

 

 

I am in the mood to see both now...

 

Edited by: casablancalover on Dec 21, 2011 11:44 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Notice that, in the photo below, Danny Kaye is wearing gray shoes with a gray suit.

 

Who wears gray shoes?

 

There's actually a good reason for such an unusual choice of footwear: just as Fred Astaire so often wore contrasting saddle shoes to draw attention to his feet as he danced, Michael Curtiz and the producers of WHITE CHRISTMAS put Kaye in the neutral-colored shoes that matched his clothing and blended in with the tone of the floor so that audiences wouldn't watch his feet. As talented a man as Danny Kaye was, he wasn't a professional dancer, and was sorely outclassed by Vera Ellen, whom they wanted to dominate the scene.

 

Dancing movies have evolved since Astaire and Gene Kelly's days. Their dance routines were usually in long shot, and in long takes, to make it very clear it was all done by them, and how well. A recent musical like, say, CHICAGO was just the opposite: short takes, often shot from the waist-up (with close-ups of legs and feet that could be anybody's) to give the illusion (and it is an illusion) that Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellwegger can dance.

 

Much, much worse than a pair of gray shoes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While *White Christmas* does have its moments and charm of its own, I do prefer *Holiday Inn* as well. But the music is the best thing about *White Christmas:* Rosemary's "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me" is a particular highlight. And of course there's "Count Your Blessings" and "Sisters." But it doesn't have the pep that *Holiday Inn* has.

 

Edited by: allaboutlana on Dec 22, 2011 11:33 AM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like both movies, but I prefer "White Christmas". I love Fred Astaire, but I don't really like his character in "Holiday Inn" because of the way he treats Crosby's character(almost stealing his fiance and the show put on at the Holiday Inn). This may seem like a minor thing, but it kind of bothers me. I also love the ending of "White Christmas" and always tear up. I love how the general is honored. Another great thing about "White Christmas" is the number "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing" which in my opinion is one of the best, or at least the most fun, dance numbers on film.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...