White Christmas (1954)

(On Cable TV, April 2018) While I liked watching White Christmas, parts of the film don’t resonate given a different social context. I live in Canada. I’ve never been part of the military. There wasn’t a World War less than a decade ago. So when much of the film’s plot hinges on WW2 veterans making extraordinary sacrifices to save an inn managed by their former commanding officer, there’s a basic difference in worldview that takes a while to understand. Fortunately, much of the rest of the film works much better. Bing Crosby is a likable performer, Danny Kaye makes for a capable foil, and then there’s Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen to round off the main cast. The romantic repartee isn’t too bad, with the songs and dance number filling in the rest of the movie. It’s all quite amiable, especially once the film’s second half moves into the “let’s put on a show!” mode that allows full-scale musical numbers to be “rehearsed.”  Fortunately, White Christmas does still work quite well as a Christmas movie, no matter where and when we come from.

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