We’re all stuck in the house, right? There’s never been a better time to dig into those retro movies that you’ve always wanted to watch, but never had the time for. Personally, I’m a bit of a retrophile and tend to watch more older flicks than newer ones. On Fangirlish, you can now look forward to a retro review from me each Wednesday in this column. I’ll be highlighting one throwback movie a week, offering a spoiler-free review of the film, any throwback thoughts from my childhood, and where you can watch the movie yourself. Sit back, relax, and enjoy #WayBackWednesday.
White Christmas is a film that I missed growing up. My parents aren’t really into musicals. Truthfully, it wasn’t even on my radar until a few years ago when one of my best friends was aghast that I’d barely heard of the film, let alone not seen it. So we have to review it in this #WayBackWednesday.
Fortunately for me, Netflix had White Christmas streaming that year so I was able to rectify this gap in my classic Christmas viewing and it now gets repeat viewings from me every year (up to 3 so far this year). Have you seen this Bing Crosby classic? Check out the trailer for White Christmas and let’s get started with #WayBackWednesday.
White Christmas stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen. The film features the music of Irving Berlin, who is widely considered to be one of America’s greatest composers.
While I suspect that this is a film that gets repeat play by readers of Fangirlish, I think it’s worth digging a little deeper into the film’s history and pulling out a few highlights. I’d like to offer a few of my own thoughts about the film as well. Here’s a bullet list of fun facts and reasons why I think you should add White Christmas to your holiday viewing this time of year.
- Fantastic music abounds in this film. Many of these songs are common this time of year, and several were popularized through this film, notably the film’s namesake, “White Christmas” and “Counting My Blessings.” While I enjoy all of those songs, my personal favorite is “Sisters” and I have a deep desire to perform that one with a buddy at karaoke sometime.
- VistaVision! As I’ve mentioned in several #WayBackWednesday reviews, I’m an avowed cinematography nerd. While there aren’t many fancy or technical shots in this film, the VistaVision cameras produced a finer shot, which still holds up today. The format was only used for a short period of time, but it paved the way for further high-quality film formats such as IMAX in the 1970s.
- I’m just going to put it out there—I think Danny Kaye is better than Bing Crosby and his performance is one of the main draws for the film for me. I love his humor and the man can move!
- Speaking of dance moves, Vera Ellen’s dance performances are incredible in this film. The numbers where she taps absolutely blow my mind with her precision. They’re note-perfect, and with those legs, let’s just say I’d never want her to have reason to kick me.
- If Rosemary Clooney has a familiar look about her, you might better know her nephew, George Clooney.
If you’re looking for a gentle comedy with great visuals, music, dance numbers, and all the schmaltz you expect from a holiday musical, look no further than the prototype for those films—White Christmas. It’s a great film to have on while you’re wrapping presents, sipping cocoa, or just enjoying the warm glow of the Christmas tree.