Welcome to the next article in our Nerds Gets Cheery series! Each day of this month leading up to Christmas, we will be recommending some of our favorite holiday movies to get you in the spirit.
We all have that one Christmas movie that brings joy and nostalgia to our hearts. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is that movie for me. This classic musical combines the beautiful, and catchy, music of Irving Berlin with the amazing dance numbers performed by Danny Kaye, the incomparable Vera Ellen, Rosemary Clooney, and Bing Crosby.
White Christmas follows Army buddies Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) as they begin their post-military journey as business partners, writing and singing songs and performing for audiences in New York. Along the way, they run into a blossoming sister act played perfectly by Rosemary Clooney (Betty Haynes) and Vera Ellen (Judy Haynes). Betty and Judy’s performance of “Sisters” is a toe-tapping number that I still remember all the words to every time I hear it. Bob and Phil soon become enamored with the sisters and join them in traveling to an inn in Vermont where the ladies are supposed to perform. The train ride to Vermont provides another fun song with “Snow,” performed by the talented foursome.
As they arrive in Vermont, Bob and Phil run into General Waverly, their former general from the Army. Soon discovering General Waverly owns the inn and has stumbled on hard times, Bob and Phil decide they want to help their old friend and bring their New York show to the inn to draw a big crowd.
As in most musicals, there are singing and dancing montages a plenty, and at the heart of the story is the blossoming love between Bob and Betty, and Phil and Judy. The sub-plot is the immense friendship, loyalty, and respect between Bob, Phil, General Waverly, and the other troops from their outfit. After Bob goes on television asking for the other troops to come to the inn to support the General, General Waverly is surprised, and more importantly moved to tears by the outpouring of love and support he has received from his former soldiers. In a scene that always makes me cry, we see the General inspecting his soldiers one last time, as he used to do, and thanking his friends for their help and love.
This brings us to the big finale, and to the part that most people think of when they think of the movie White Christmas. Bob, Betty, Phil and Judy begin singing “White Christmas” in full costume regalia, in front of a beautifully lit Christmas tree, with the back drop of snow falling in Vermont. In my opinion, there isn’t much that reminds me more of Christmas than this scene, in this movie, as “White Christmas” is being sung by Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen. If you like old musicals and amazing dancing, you need to experience White Christmas. You won’t be disappointed!