Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Best Things

As the twenty fifth approaches, there's been an increasing amount of present wrapping, tree trimming and hot chocolate sipping. But every year watching White Christmas seems to top my list of traditions. It's one of those musicals in which every number is a favorite, and really what's not to love? Bing hamming it up with Rosemary Clooney in "Count Your Blessings"; Danny Kaye's comedic expressions and Vera Ellen's impeccable tapping in "Choreography." I suppose one of my favorite aspects of this 1954 musical is that it seems to look back to the forties and prior . There's a clear consciousness of the World War II legacy embedded in the plot and frequent incorporations of Irving Berlin's earlier compositions. "White Christmas" joins a swingy rendition of "Abraham" in the line-up, both featured over a decade earlier in Holiday Inn (1942). And "Mandy" (1919) is revived in the nostalgic Minstrel Number. Anyway, if that alone isn't compelling, there's an array of costume and color - I just love Vera Ellen's ensemble (feathered hat, dress, muff, gloves and shoes all in bright pink) and Rosemary Clooney's dramatic black gown.

Images are altered stills from White Christmas, Paramount Pictures (1954).

4 comments:

Tiffani said...

I completely agree! White Christmas, Holiday Inn, Christmas in Connecticut (though not so musical)... Tonight it will be Holiday Inn and wrapping for me!

Christine H. said...

I adore Rosemary Clooney's wardrobe in White Christmas, especially that black dress. I truly feel sorry for people who cannot appreciate movies like White Christmas & Holiday Inn. They make me so happy!

Char said...

that's one of my faves and I go to the local vintage theater to see it along with the christmas carol singalong.

Amy said...

I just discovered your blog, your post are lovely, I am really enjoying them. I am commenting here because I love these films and the times so much, my marriage is based on them, and the beauty of the songs are embedded in my relationship with my babies and my dad too. My husband and I saw White Christmas in a theatre when we were about to be married, his first screening, it brought tears to his eyes it was the sweetest thing, now viewings are a holiday staple, and Count Your Blessings is one of my go to lullabies for my babies, and for me when things aren't quite like I wish they'd be. Lastly not a Christmas movie but a my dad and my all time favorite bonding moment has always been Yankee Doodle Dandy with James Cagney. It has always been our perfect Fourth of July afternoon, if you have never seen it watch it on TCM at 2:30 on Sunday. Have a wonderful holiday weekend and keep enjoying those classic movies.

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