White Christmas

  • Directors: Michael Curtiz
  • Producers: Robert Emmett Dolan
  • Writers: Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, Melvin Frank
  • Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes

The story is about two World War II U.S. Army buddies, one a former Broadway entertainer, Bob Wallace (Crosby), and a would-be entertainer, Phil Davis (Kaye). It begins on Christmas Eve, 1944, somewhere in Europe. In a forward area, Captain Wallace is giving a show to the men with the help of Private Davis, (“White Christmas”). Major General Thomas F. Waverly (Dean Jagger) arrives for the end of the show and has a field inspection prior to being relieved of command by General Harold G. Coughlan (Gavin Gordon) The men give him a rousing send-off, (“The Old Man”). During an enemy artillery barrage, Davis saves Wallace’s life from a toppling wall, wounding his arm slightly in the process. Using his “wounded” arm and telling Bob he doesn’t expect any “special obligation,” Phil convinces Bob to join forces when the war is over. Phil using his arm wound as a way to get Bob to do what he wants becomes a running gag throughout the movie.

After the war, they make it big in nightclubs, radio, and then on Broadway. They become the hottest act around and eventually become producers. They subsequently have a big hit with their New York musical, Playing Around. In mid-December, after 2 years on Broadway, the show is in Florida. While at the Florida Theatre, they receive a letter from “Freckle-Faced Haynes, the dog-faced boy”, a mess sergeant they knew in the war, asking them to audition his two sisters. When they go to the club to audition the act (“Sisters”), Betty (Rosemary Clooney) reveals that her sister, Judy (Vera-Ellen), sent the letter. Bob and Phil help Betty and Judy escape their landlord and the local sheriff (the landlord claimed that the sisters had burned a $200 rug). The boys do the song “Sisters” to a record as the girls escape to the train. Phil gives Betty and Judy the train tickets that he and Bob were intending to use. When Bob and Phil arrive on the train, they have no tickets. Using “his arm” again, Phil gets Bob to agree to travel with the girls to Vermont for the holidays (“Snow”). They discover that the Columbia Inn in Pine Tree, Vermont, is run by their former commanding officer, Major General Tom Waverly, and it’s about to go bankrupt because of the lack of snow and consequent lack of patrons. The general has invested all his savings and pension into the lodge.

In a memorable finale, Bob and Betty declare their 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.”

Going My Way

  • Directors: Leo McCarey
  • Producers: Leo McCarey
  • Writers: Frank Butler, Frank Cavett
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music
  • Actors: Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh, James Brown

Parish life at Saint Dominic’s his first “assignment” includes gossip, youth mischief, and a rather shady landlord, but young Father Charles “Chuck” O’Malley (Crosby) seems to land on his feet. As older Father Fitzgibbon (Fitzgerald) watches Father O’Malley in action, he feels his days as pastor of his flock may be numbered.The two priests must find “modern” ways to deal with an age-old problem — ministering to the people in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood. O’Malley, for his part, must deal with an interrupted romantic relationship from his past with opera star, Genevieve Linden (Stevens) and Carol James (Heather), a “wayward” aspiring singer. Father O’ Malley and his friend, Father Timothy O’Dowd (Mc Hugh) take the elderly Fitzgibbon to play golf. The old priest calls a golf course, “a pool room outdoors.” Father Fitzgibbon goes to ask the bishop, if he is being replaced. He becomes ill and speaks to Chuck of the 60 years since he was in the “old country.” Father Fitzgibbon says his mother in Ireland is over 90. O’Malley makes the neighborhood boys into a choir. He gives the youth leader, Tony Scaponi (Clements) his St. Louis Browns baseball jacket. Just as all the pieces of the plot seem to have fallen into place, the parish church is damaged in a massive fire. On Christmas Eve the people gather in a temporary church. Father O’Malley transferred to a new assignment, the new assistant is Father O’Dowd. Prior to the Mass, Mrs. Fitzgibbon totters in the embrace her beloved son. Father O’Malley quietly slips away.