Can’t Start the Christmas Season Without Fred & Bing

Over the years we’ve arrived at one unbreakable holiday tradition. Well, we have others, but I’m only  going to talk about one today! To signal the mental switch between Thanksgiving and Christmas, my daughters and I gather in the living room and watch the old Bing Crosby-Fred Astaire original version of “Holiday Inn.”  Not sure why we started doing this but now it’s one of those “must do” activities after the big turkey dinner.

Before I say anything else, let me acknowledge that this is very much a film of its era (1942) and there are some parts which are objectionable and unacceptable to a modern day audience. We “watch around” those segments.

Some lovely Irving Berlin tunes in the movie, including “White Christmas”, “Be Careful It’s My Heart” and “You’re So Easy to Dance With.”  Always a joy to watch Fred Astaire dance (and make his partners look as if they can dance, no Ginger Rogers here sadly!) and Bing Crosby is at his most genial, whistling self.

Being a family with a snarky sense of humor, we do ponder how an inn that was only open fifteen days a year could make money…how did they afford the full orchestra and all the staff…if Bing and Linda have to be serving the food in the kitchen how do they find time to sing and dance…we’ve seen it enough times to know when they used a stunt double for Bing…

I’m afraid we’re always unkind to the actress playing the second female lead. If you watch her dance numbers with Fred closely, it’s amazing how little she actually moves. Our household has a bet on that she was the director’s girl friend. Probably a very nice lady, she was Miss California 1937 and all, but NOT  a twinkletoes.

The movie starts and ends with Christmas and leaves us humming the songs and in a happy mood, ready to move on to the next holiday. Best Wishes to you and yours!



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