White Christmas is one of the most popular and loved Christmas movies of all times. It was shot in 1954 and starred Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye in leading roles. The movie also featured Irving Berlin’s song of the same name. And ever since White Christmas, both the song and the movie, have become immortalized as Christmas classics. Filming took place between September and November 1953. The movie was the first to be filmed in the new Vista Vision process and its lush Technicolor cinematography has ensured that it has had a long shelf life on TV, video and DVD. Released in 1954, it became the top grossing film of that year.
The movie was supposed to reunite Crosby and Fred Astaire for their third Irving Berlin extravaganza of song and dance—the first two being Holiday Inn (1942) and Blue Skies (1946). However, Astaire bowed out after reading the script. Donald O'Connor was selected to replace Astaire, but he, too, had to pass because of a back injury. O'Connor was replaced by Danny Kaye. Bob Fosse did the choreography, although he was not mentioned in the credits.
White Christmas Movie Plot
The movie revolves around two World War II army friends, one a former Broadway entertainer, Bob Wallace, and the other a would-be entertainer, Phil Davis (Crosby and Kaye). As chance would have it their first meeting is a lot like serendipity and after the war, they make it big in nightclubs and then on Broadway. They become the hottest act around and eventually become producers. Yet another chance leads them to a fateful meeting with Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and her sister, Judy (Vera-Ellen).
What follows next is a remarkable series of events which never fail to bring a smile to your face as the lovable duo tries to help their former commander with his ailing business. In a memorable finale, Bob and Betty fall in love, as do Phil and Judy. The background of the set is removed to show the snow falling in Pine Tree. Everyone raises a glass, toasting, "May your days be merry and bright; and may all your Christmases be white."
Rosemary Clooney was not allowed to record her voice for the soundtrack album because a record company other than hers was releasing it. Peggy Lee replaced her on the soundtrack. The title song was first used in Holiday Inn, released in 1942, when it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. The song Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep garnered this film an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. Trudy Stevens dubbed Vera-Ellen’s singing.