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Still shot from the movie: White Christmas.

White Christmas

Without skipping a beat, former army buddies (played by Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) join musical forces to rescue dames, win hearts, and spread Christmas cheer in this 1954 family classic. Their attempt to help a former commander provides plenty of singing and dancing opportunities.

Overall Grade: B+
Violence: B+
Sexual Content: B+
Language: A-
Drugs/Alcohol: C+
Release Date: 14 Oct 1954
Run Time: 120
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

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In-Depth Review

On Christmas Eve 1944, soldiers assemble amidst war torn ruins to hear songs and recall the more peaceful holidays of home. But their Yuletide clam-dig is interrupted when bombs drop from overhead, throwing debris and scattering the men. Captain Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) is unaware a wall is about to collapse on him until Private Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) throws him out of the way. Because the rescuer is injured in the act, Bob stops by the infirmary to thank the hero for saving his life and to express his indebtedness. Knowing the Captain is a talented entertainer; Phil grasps the opportunity to use his big cow eyes and wounded arm to persuade Bob to team up with him after the war.

The newly formed song-and-dance duo of "Wallace and Davis" hits post-war America by storm and before long is enjoying fame and fortune. The fellas soon meet sister act Betty and Judy Haynes (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen), who are pursuing an entertainment career of their own. Eager for advice from the pros, these voluptuous dames have a plan, and plenty of angles (not to mention legs). It's hard to keep track of who is manipulating whom when they all end up together at a ski lodge in Vermont, run by none other than the boys' much loved former commanding officer General Thomas F. Waverly (Dean Jagger). As the story marches on, those familiar with Danny Kaye will delight in watching his quick and fluid physical style of comedy and that other guy, Bing somebody--he sings just swell.

Desiring to help their old army buddy, Bob and Phil scheme together to put on a little showbiz-style Christmas cheer. With buttermilk and sandwiches on standby, and enough singing and dancing to satisfy just about everybody, our happy throng prepares for a star-studded performance as well as some sugar-frosted romance.

Containing few content concerns, and brimming with Irving Berlin classics like "White Christmas," "Sisters," and "Blues Skies," it's a safe bet White Christmas will have all family members feeling warm and cozy this holiday season.

Content Details: Beyond the Movie Ratings...

Overall: B
Former army buddies turned successful song-and-dance men team up with two beautiful aspiring entertainers at a ski lodge in Vermont. Romance, comedy, and Christmas cheer are on the ticket of this family friendly holiday musical classic.

Violence: B+
Bombed-out ruins shown with background explosions. Men armed with rifles. Army troops come under attack, debris sails through air, and wall collapses—injuring character.

Sexual Content: B+
Men strip to undershirts and shorts while changing clothes. Many female characters wear leg-revealing dance costumes. Men cross-dress to perform musical number. Kissing shown between unmarried couples.

Language: A-
At least: A few minor insults, and 8 terms of Deity used in lyrics of song.

Alcohol / Drug Use: C+
Characters occasionally smoke cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. Alcohol served at meals and during party.

Discussion Ideas: Talk About the Movie...

Some of the characters in this film go out of their way to help others in need. Does your family have any traditions that better your community during the Christmas season? Are there any you could start?

The talents of Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye transcend the decades, but alas, buttermilk as a beverage does not. Some tastes and traditions seem to die out between generations, for example my mother used to drink buttermilk but I never have. When did your family quit drinking this “refreshment”? (Did they ever? Do you still?)

Video alternatives

For other movies to help you feel the holiday spirit, try our list of classic Christmas Cinema.

Home Video Notes

Home Video Notes:White Christmas

Release Date: 14 October, 2014

White Christmas release in a Diamond Anniversary Edition on October 14, 2014.

Home Video Notes:White Christmas

Release Date: November 2, 2010

The 1954 classic White Christmas releases in a Blu-ray Anniversary Edition. Bonus extras include:

- Commentary by Rosemary Clooney

- Backstage Stories from White Christmas

- Rosemary’s Old Kentucky Home

- Bing Crosby: Christmas Crooner

- Danny Kaye: Joy to the World

- Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

- White Christmas: From Page to Stage

- White Christmas: A Look Back with Rosemary Clooney

- Theatrical Trailers

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About the Reviewer: Melanie Law

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