December Reflection on White Christmas

One of our family traditions after Thanksgiving is to watch the excellent 1954 film White Christmas. The superb cast was led by Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen and the great Dean Jagger.

White Christmas
White Christmas

In fact we watched this on Friday after Thanksgiving. After all these years it still holds that magic which made it the number one film of the year.

The story is a simple one: “boy-girl girl-boy” with December romance and a heart-felt story of two former World War II army guys who find their beloved former commanding general in desperate need of the Christmas spirit as he struggles with operating an inn in Vermont with the help of a busybody housekeeper and his granddaughter.

Of course, there is misunderstanding between two of the romantic characters which adds the necessary catalyst for a lovely solution at the end of the film. To top it off you have the unseasonable warmth giving way to a closing scene of falling snow as the song White Christmas is sung by the cast.

Unfortunately, musicals of this nature gradually faded from the theatre as the 1950s turned into the turbulent 1960s. The singing of the 60s was songs of protest as the children born after World War II faced a world of unbelievable conflicts, political intrigue and racial injustice.

White Christmas is a far cry from the Age of Aquarius; Hair; Turn, Turn, Turn; Blowin’ In the Wind; Where Have All the Flowers Gone; etc. These songs defined a generation.

Going back to the film, Vera-Ellen was probably one of the most talented dancers of the era. Her life story is not like the fairytale closing to White Christmas.

In the links below she was a graceful, talented lady who was not really appreciated as she should have been. Her life took many tragic turns, and ended with a courageous battle against cancer at the age of 60.

In closing here are the lyrics to White Christmas:

Irwin Berlin’s White Christmas

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmas’ be white

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

May your Christmas season be merry and bright. Embrace the love and magic which this season holds.

Remember to search the night heavens for a star that beckons all of earth’s denizens toward peace and good will. Bathe in the silent night of starlight which holds a mystery as exquisite as each snowflake which glistens in its mystical light.

G. D. Williams © 2015

POST 641

White Christmas

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047673/

Photo by Silver Screen Collection - © 2011 Silver Screen Collection - Image courtesygettyimages.com
Photo by Silver Screen Collection – © 2011 Silver Screen Collection – Image courtesygettyimages.com

Vera-Ellen (February 16, 1921 – August 30, 1981)

I’m a dancer and I can never really get away from my career. On the days when I don’t dance at the studio, I have to practice for at least an hour in the evening to keep in shape. Dancing is like breathing—missing a day doing either is very bad.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0893584/bio?ref_=nm_dyk_qt_sm#quotes

Although Vera-Ellen could act as well as dance, MGM didn’t take her talents seriously enough to give her many non-dancing parts. She made appearances on TV and in Las Vegas for a few years before finally retiring.

http://greatentertainersarchives.blogspot.com/2012/12/vera-ellen-later-years.html