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Throwback Thursday - Christmas Movie Special - White Christmas

Throwback Thursday is a weekly article in which we look back at our favorite TV episodes from the past. However, to celebrate the holidays, we will be spotlighting a Christmas movie instead of our usual TV shows throughout December.

Throwback Thursday articles were originally created to tell readers about some of the SpoilerTV staff’s favorite iconic television episodes and why people should watch them. It was a fun surprise when the decision was made to focus on favorite Christmas movies during the month of December. There was no doubt that the movie I would chose and request to write about and publish specificially on the Thursday before Christmas would be the movie that has become my family tradition to watch every Christmas Eve for over the last twenty years. That movie is what many consider to be one of the very top five of classic Christmas movies – Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.
Originally released in 1954, White Christmas quickly became a fan and family holiday favorite with required viewing every holiday season. There are so many reasons why it has endured for over 65 years and remains perhaps the almost perfect movie that embodies the Christmas spirit. It is a good buddy movie, a good sisters’ movie, a great Christmas story all wrapped up in a vibrant musical anchored by composer Irving Berlin’s most beloved music.
Why should you give White Christmas a try? It’s the straightforward story of a pair of unlikely song and dance men, Bob Wallace, and Phil Davis, (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye), who team up with the singing sisters of an old Army comrade, the Haynes sisters- Betty and Judy (Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen), to save the failing inn of their former commanding officer, General Waverly (Dean Jagger). And in true Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney spirit they do it by staging a Broadway style show in the barn of the inn. You come for the charismatic cast, mind boggling choreography, the classic music, and the vibrant color as it was one of the first movies filmed in technicolor and was the first released in wide-screened VistaVision by Paramount.
Each of the cast gets their moments to shine in the film with Crosby and Clooney carrying most of the vocal weight with such great numbers as “Count Your Blessings,” “Love, You Didn’t Do Right by Me” which features future Oscar® winner George Chakiris as a black clad back-up dancer, “Snow,” and of course the title song, “White Christmas.”
Kaye and Ellen shine in several elaborately staged dance numbers which highlight not only their amazing dancing skills, but also incredible choreography of credited choreographer Robert Alton. It is also noted that a young Bob Fosse also contributed some of the choreography. Among the most outstanding of these numbers include, “Mandy,” “Choreography,” and the intricately complicated and exquisitely performed, “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing.”
The movie gets a good portion of its heart and humor from the light hearted flirting between the two couples, Bob and Betty; Phil and Judy. Once again Kaye and Ellen standout out as they become co-conspirators in a plan to pair Bob and Betty up. They hatch their plan shortly after they all meet, and the immediate result ends up with Wallace and Davis following the Haynes Sisters to Vermont which brings them to General Waverly’s Inn. Each has their own motives; Phil wanting Bob to meet someone and get married so he becomes less of a workaholic creating work for the team and Judy wants big sister Betty to fly instead of sticking around taking care of her younger chick sister. The fun is watching not only Bob and Betty fall for each other, but Phil and Judy slowly realizing they are meant for each other.
A personal favorite musical number from the film is the iconic, “Sisters” performed by Clooney and Ellen where we first meet the Haynes sisters. The number is set in an outdoor night club in Palm Beach and explains exactly what these two sisters are all about. The costumes are standouts of the film with lacy blue dresses matching shoes, gloves, and of course those giant feather fans. It’s a little know film fact that later in the film when Crosby and Kaye lip-sync their version while dressed up in scarves and feathers was actually just the two actors goofing around on set one day. As the story goes director Michael Curtiz loved it so much, he wrote it into the movie.
The best part of White Christmas is the heart and warmth of the Christmas season it exudes. It will remain one of the best classic Christmas stories of going out of the way to help someone else in need during the holidays. As I have every Christmas Eve for nearly 25 years, this Christmas Eve I will be curled up in front of the TV with my favorite snacks and settle in to relive the warm feeling the movie gave me the first time I watched it with my mom. I feel her with me every year I watch. One of the best ways to spend Christmas Eve is with family memories and good times with good friends like Bing, Rosemary, Danny, and Vera.
What are your thoughts about White Christmas? Leave your thoughts and comments below.

White Christmas is available on Netflix. You are able to stream White Christmas by renting or purchasing on Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, and iTunes. It can also be purchased in DVD or blu ray format.

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