TechnoFILE is copyright and a registered trademark © ® of
Pandemonium Productions.
All rights reserved.
E-mail us Here!
White Christmas

"White Christmas" on DVD

Timeless Musical Classic

Paramount's 1954 movie "White Christmas" is a wonderful holiday classic that gets better with successive viewings.

Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen, and with great music by Irving Berlin, it's a song and dance extravaganza that warms the heart - and on DVD it looks and sounds better than ever.

After saving singing star Bob Wallace's (Crosby) life during a World War II attack, Phil Davis (Kaye) wriggles his way into Wallace's act and his life as the crooner is embarrassed into showing his gratitude for Davis' selfless act.

After the war, Davis' solo act becomes the hugely successful duo "Wallace and Davis," who take the US by storm and eventually turn to producing their own lavish shows. One winter, shortly before the Christmas break, they audition a sister act Betty and Judy Haynes (Clooney and Vera-Ellen) as a favor to an old army friend, and the sparks immediately fly.

The sisters are booked for a gig at a ski lodge in Vermont for the holidays and Davis connives a way to get his partner and him there to advance the romance he so dearly wants miserable old Bob to have with Betty Haynes (Clooney). As it turns out, the ski lodge is owned by Wallace and Davis' old army boss General Waverly (retired), played to puppy-eyed perfection by Dean Jagger. The lodge is in serious financial trouble, though, because while it's December, there's no snow and therefore no customers - so Wallace and Davis combine forces with the Haynes Sisters to mount a big-time production to get bums in the seats to keep General Waverly in business.

The songs, including "White Christmas," "Sisters," "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing," and many more, are classic Irving Berlin. The choreography is outstanding (Vera-Ellen and Danny Kaye light up the screen with their steps), and the performances are simply wonderful, though we thought Dean Jagger's characterization bordered on the pathetic - but that's undoubtedly what the director intended.

That director was Michael Curtiz, the man behind such legendary screen classics as "Casablanca," "The Adventures of Robin Hood," and "The Charge of the Light Brigade." His shots are masterful, to say the least.

Even the sets are spectacular. The movie was shot on sound stages and if you look closely you can tell, but even the outdoor locations of the ski lodge, the WWII camp, and others, are beautifully crafted and look natural.

The DVD definitely does the glorious widescreen VistaVision picture and colors justice (the disc is also enhanced for 16x9 TV's) and the audio is, for the most part, very good considering the source material. The beautiful costumes look particularly good in the DVD release, especially the rich and vivid reds.

Paramount offers a "newly restored" English mono version or a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround version. The latter track doesn't have a lot of surround, but it's kind of neat during the opening air raid to hear the noises fill the home theater. Extras include a retrospective interview with Rosemary Clooney, who also does a running commentary on a second audio track. There are also two trailers included.

White Christmas, from Paramount Home Video
120 minutes, Widescreen (1.85:1), Dolby Digital
Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen
Produced by Robert Emmett Dolan
Written by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama and Melvin Frank, Directed by Michael Curtiz


Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think













Support TechnoFile
via Paypal

TechnoFILE's E-letter
We're pleased to offer
our FREE private,
private E-mail service.
It's the "no brainer"
way to keep informed.

Our Privacy Policy

Updated May 13, 2006