White Christmas (1954)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Holiday Film, Musical Comedy, Romantic Comedy, Showbiz Comedy  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Considering the amount of talent involved, it's surprising -- and rather a shame -- that White Christmas is only an enjoyable little trifle rather than a truly classic movie musical. The talent involved -- Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, Irving Berlin, Michael Curtiz -- is a perfect embarrassment of riches. And yet they're all in service to a screenplay that is, at best, derivative and very rarely inspired. There's simply too little script, and what there is doesn't try hard enough. Still, the screenplay does provide excuses for a number of marvelous Berlin tunes, performed to a fare-thee-well by the quartet of stars, and these are well worth watching under any circumstances. Beyond the legendary title song (written for an earlier film), there's also the delightful "Sisters," which in both its original and reprised forms is considered a classic. But pay special attention to Clooney's creamy, entrancing rendition of the beautiful "Love, You Didn't Do Right by Me"; this is a genuinely superior musical performance. Throw in such other treats as "Blue Skies" and "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep," as well as the amusing antics of Kaye, the laid-back playing of Crosby, and the effervescent dancing of Vera-Ellen, and most people will be more than willing to sit through the corny script.