In this tinselled Technicolor spectacular, old WWII army buddies Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) are a song-and-dance team who travel to a Vermont ski resort (the Columbia Inn) to stage a mammoth Christmas benefit and save their old army boss, General Waverly (Dean Jagger,) from bankruptcy.
With romance in the air courtesy of the glamorous Haynes sisters, Betty and Judy (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen), the scene is set for marital bliss, but then in a tiresome plot that would have been solved all too easily with a simple discussion dismissing any misunderstanding, Betty walks out on the show and Bob when she thinks the occasion will be horribly commercialised by television.
The show is a hit, snow falls on Christmas Eve, Crosby revives White Christmas and the boys end up in the arms of Betty and Judy. It’s hard to ignore Vera-Ellen’s obvious anorexia no matter how accomplished her dancing was (and she was excellent, outshining her co-stars when she starts hoofing).
Inspired by the phenomenal hit status of Holiday Inn (1942) – the Bing Crosby movie that gave the world the Irving Berlin song White Christmas – Crosby and Berlin teamed up again to make this holiday sugarplum the top money-making film of 1954.
White Christmas was the first film to be filmed in Vistavision – the wide-screen process adopted by Paramount.