White Christmas

White Christmas

****

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

There have been few song and dance stars in cinematic history more universally loved that Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, so to see them come together in this Christmas classic is a real treat. If you like this kind of thing, you'll probably have seen the film before, but that's no reason to miss out on its spectacular reappearance on the big screen.

In case you haven't seen the film before, let's peel back the wrapping paper just a little way to give you a glimpse. It's the early 1950s. Crosby and Kaye's characters, Bob and Phil, have come out of the army in the aftermath of World War II and have reinvented themselves as entertainers.

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At one of their shows they become enchanted by the two young women in one of the other acts, and decide to follow them. But in doing so, they take on a Christmas booking that inadvertently places them in a lodge owned by their former commander, the good-natured but difficult-to-impress Major General Thomas F Waverly (Dean Jagger). Now it will take all their talents to impress they objects of desire without making fools of themselves in front of the Major General.

All this is fairly formulaic stuff, but it's delivered with real charm and verve, and in a curiously relaxed way, as if its stars had forgotten they were on a film set and decided just to have fun. There are some strong musical numbers and there's a real atmosphere of romance which many viewers find they can lose themselves in over and over again. Sometimes the old ones really are the best, and White Christmas is likely to be brightening up fans' Christmasses for many years to come.

Reviewed on: 11 Dec 2008
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White Christmas packshot
Two former soldiers turned performers accidentally find themselves shacked up for Christmas in a lodge owned by their former commander.
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Director: Michael Curtiz

Writer: Norman Krasna, Norman Panama

Starring: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes, John Brascia, Anne Whitfield

Year: 1954

Runtime: 120 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US

Festivals:

Bradford 2014

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