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Bing Crosby, On Phone, "White Christmas" (1954)

Bing Crosby, On Phone,

"White Christmas" synopsis, via Wikipedia:
A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.

The cast of this 1954 classic Christmas film included Bing Crosby (May 2, 1903 - October 14, 1977), Danny Kaye (January 18, 1911 - March 3, 1987), Rosemary Clooney (May 23, 1928 - June 29, 2002), Vera-Ellen (February 16, 1921 - August 30, 1981), Dean Jagger (November 7, 1903 - February 5, 1991), Mary Wickes (June 13, 1910 - October 22, 1995), and Anne Whitfield (b. August 27, 1938). Costumes were designed by the legendary Edith Head (October 28, 1897 - October 24, 1981). "White Christmas" received an Oscar nomination for Best Music, Original Song, for Irving Berlin's "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep."

A bit of film trivia, via Wikipedia:
According to Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye's "Sisters" performance was not originally in the script. They were clowning around on the set, and director Michael Curtiz thought it was so funny that he decided to film it. In the scene, Crosby's laughs are genuine and unscripted, as he was unable to hold a straight face due to Kaye's comedic dancing. Clooney said the filmmakers had a better take where Crosby didn't laugh, but when they ran them both, people liked the laughing version better.
 
Although the movie stars Bing Crosby and features songs by Irving Berlin, it is not a sequel to the earlier film, "Holiday Inn" (1942), as Crosby plays different characters in each movie (Jim Hardy in the first film; Bob Wallace in this one). Originally, the plan was to reunite Crosby with his "Holiday Inn" co-star, Fred Astaire, but Astaire turned it down, as he had temporarily "retired" at the time. Donald O'Connor was cast as Crosby's co-star, in what was hoped to be a reprise of his successful dance partnership with Vera-Ellen from "Call Me Madam" (1953). But while filming "Francis Joins the WACs" (1954), O'Connor contracted a severe bout of Q-Fever from his co-star, Francis the Talking Mule, and had to pull out. Danny Kaye was cast as a last minute replacement.
 
Vera-Ellen's singing voice was dubbed. Numerous sources mistakenly assume Rosemary Clooney sang Vera-Ellen' s part in "Sisters" thus duet-ing with herself, but Trudy Stevens (who was Trudy Stabile at the time) was Vera-Ellen's voice double in all of her songs, namely "Sisters", "Snow" and the "White Christmas" finale. Some Gloria Wood articles and album liner notes have mentioned through the years that she was the one who sang for Vera-Ellen, but although she was the initial choice for the job, Rosemary Clooney intervened to have her friend, Trudy Stevens, sing the role instead. Vera's own singing voice is heard ever very briefly singing in the "arrival in Pine Tree" scene at the railroad station where the quartet reprises - live - the opening lines of "Snow." The song "Snow" was written by Irving Berlin many years before the film. It was originally called "Free," and included a different subject and lyrics. Berlin rewrote the song with a winter theme for "White Christmas."
 
One of the dancers accompanying Rosemary Clooney is George Chakiris. He went on to earn the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, as Bernardo in "West Side Story" (1961).
 
This was 1954's most successful film. The second most successful was "The Caine Mutiny" (1954), which featured Rosemary Clooney's husband, José Ferrer.
 
The song, "What Can You Do with a General?", which Leonard Maltin calls Irving Berlin's least memorable tune, was originally written for an unproduced project called "Stars on My Shoulders."
 
The first film produced in Paramount's wide screen process "VistaVision".
 
The "Ed Harrison TV Show" that Bob appears on is a reference to "The Ed Sullivan Show" (1948), which featured known stars, new talent, and vaudeville acts. Ed Harrison was played by Johnny Grant, who did not have a long acting career in the movies, but was the honorary Mayor of Hollywood, California who officiated over the unveilings of Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame from the early 1960s until his death in 2008.
 
According to Rosemary Clooney, the "midnight snack" scene in which Bob Wallace expounds on his theory of what foods cause what dreams was almost entirely improvised.
 
The Vermont inn is the remodeled Connecticut inn set from Bing Crosby's earlier movie "Holiday Inn" (1942). In "White Christmas," the recycled hotel set is very gray, and appears not to have been repainted in new colors. Since Holiday Inn was a black & white film, the sets were probably originally painted in grayscale, as color palette schemes would have been a waste of resources in 1942.
 
In supplemental information on the DVD, Rosemary Clooney revealed that 1. She took the role mostly so that she could perform with Bing Crosby. 2. Danny Kaye caused many retakes when his antics made everyone laugh when they weren't supposed to. 3. She considered "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me" as "her" song since it was her only solo. 4. After the final shot, they were informed that they would be redoing the finale because the King and Queen of Greece would be visiting the set and the producer wanted to "give them something to remember". They "reshot" the sequence with no film in the camera and without Bing Crosby who had skipped out to play golf. In later years, she and Bing recorded several record albums together.

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Photo taken on 24 December 2016 (© classic_film / Flickr)

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 white christmas, film, movie, 1954, fifties, 1950s, classic, clásico, vintage, christmas, xmas, holiday, hollywood, nostalgic, nostalgia, celebrity, época, ephemeral, old, retro
 

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