Just like I did in October, I have chosen Christmas as a time to watch movies related to this holiday that I have overlooked in some way. Each entry this week will relate to Christmas somehow, but I hope to have a nice diverse selection so that everyone will have a pick that they like and write to me aghast that I had never seen this movie before. (For Christmas, I want nothing more than for you to comment on my posts and for you to pass this blog on to other people you think might like it.) The first entry I am going to talk about is a fifties musical featuring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. If you don’t know what it is called, I would suggest you look at the title of this entry.
If you have seen a musical, even a modern one, then you know what the plot of this movie is. A couple of people pull together through song and dance to save a hotel, a town, or just their reputation. In this case, it was set against the backdrop of Christmas. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye play vaudeville performers and producers. They meet serendipitously a couple of sisters who sing and dance together as well. All four of them travel to a small hotel where the two sisters are supposed to be performing. When they get there the housekeeper/front desk person tells them that due to low attnedance (no one is coming to this small inn purely because it refuses to snow. They meet the owner of the hotel who Kaye and Crosby recognize as their former General in the second world war. These two boys hatch up a scheme to save this hotel, his General and presumably our souls by forcing us to watch a by the numbers maturation of the plot from here on out.
Can a musical that is conventional still garner interest? I think it can when you get the right people. Each actor, dancer and singer int his movie shined in their respective roles. They sung beautifully, danced with impeccable grace, and had some really funny comedic dialogue. If you were to give this same material to people who were less talented, the picture would have easily become lifeless. But their personalities were such that they overcame the rote plot conventions and the easy justifications for every action. I don’t think this would ever be the greatest musical ever made, but it is one that I will probably be able to enjoy again soon.