Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Did You Know Tuesday: White Christmas (1954 Movie)

White Christmas is a classic Christmas movie.  It was directed in 1954 by Michael Curtiz, and it starred Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera Ellen.  It features wonderful songs by Irving Berlin.

When I was a little girl, this was broadcast regularly on tv channels that showed old movies, and I saw White Christmas many times with my family.  It has always been my favorite Christmas movie.

The movie tells the story of two former WWII soldiers who become entertainers.  They meet a sister act and romantic sparks fly between the two couples.  They end up all going to a picturesque inn in Vermont to put on a show.  When they arrive at the inn they discover it is owned by their former commanding officer ... and in big financial trouble.  The soldiers and the sister act decide to put on a big Christmas show to raise money to save the inn.

This is a lovely movie with great singing (Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney!), fun production numbers, and a beautiful Mid-Century Technicolor look.

I found some fun facts about the movie:

This was the most successful movie of 1954.

Danny Kaye's role was first offered to Fred Astaire, who turned it down.

The "Sisters" act, as performed by Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, was not in the script.  The actors were cutting up on set, and the director kept it in the movie.

The scene where Bing Crosby tells Rosemary Clooney about foods that cause dreams was also improvised.

Bing Crosby also sang "White Christmas" in Holiday Inn and Blue Skies.

The song "Snow" (one of my favorite numbers in the musical) was originally called "Free" and had nothing to do with snow or winter. 

Rosemary Clooney played the older sister in this movie, but she was actually seven years younger than Vera Ellen.

In real life, Rosemary Clooney started out in a sister act with her sister Betty Clooney.  She was also the aunt of George Clooney!

Vera Ellen's singing voice in the movie was dubbed by Rosemary Clooney and Trudy Stevens.

At one point Vera Ellen shows the boys a picture of her brother.  It is actually a picture of Carl Switzer, who played Alfalfa in Our Gang.

Rosemary Clooney was contractually not allowed to record the songs for the soundtrack album, so she was replaced by Peggy Lee on the album.  (I have never heard the album and this trivia surprised me!)

The Vermont inn set was renovated from the set of Holiday Inn

George Chakiris, who later found fame in West Side Story, appeared in  the "Abraham" and "Mandy" dance scenes.

Bob Fosse (uncredited) did choreography for this movie.  He also danced in three numbers.

Edith Head designed all the beautiful 1950's fashions.

One of my favorite scenes is "Count Your Blessings" with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney.  You can enjoy it below:

Have you seen this movie? What are your favorite scenes?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories

Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories
Megan Hart, KK Hendin, Stacey Agdern and Jennifer Gracen
Releasing December 1st, 2015 
Avon Impulse

This December, take a break from dreidel spinning, gelt winning, and latke eating to experience the joy of Chanukah. When you fall in love during the Festival of Lights, the world burns a whole lot brighter.

It’s definitely not love at first sight for Amanda and her cute but mysterious new neighbor, Ben. Can a Chanukah miracle show them that getting off on the wrong foot doesn’t mean they can’t walk the same road?

Lawyers in love, Shari Cohen and Evan Sonntag are happy together. But in a moment of doubt, he pushes her away-then soon realizes he made a huge mistake. To win her back, it might take something like a Chanukah miracle.

When impulsive interior designer Molly Baker-Stein barges into Jon Adelman’s apartment and his life intent on planning the best Chanukah party their building has ever seen, neither expects that together, they just might discover a Home for Hannukah.

All Tamar Jacobs expected from her Israel vacation was time to hang out with one of her besties and to act like a tourist, cheesy t-shirt and all, in her two favorite cities. She definitely was not expecting to fall for Avi Levinson, a handsome soldier who’s more than she ever dreamed. 


About the Authors:

Megan Hart is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than thirty novels, novellas and short stories. Her work has been published in almost every genre, including contemporary women’s fiction, historical romance, paranormal. Learn more at www.meganhart.com

Jennifer Gracen hails from Long Island, New York, where she lives with her two young sons. After spending her youth writing in private and singing in public, she now only sings in her car and has fully embraced her lifelong passion for writing. She loves to write contemporary romance and romantic women’s fiction for readers who yearn for better days, authentic characters, and satisfying endings. When she isn’t taking care of her kids, doing freelance copy editing/proofreading, reading, or talking to friends on Twitter and Facebook, Jennifer writes. She’s shocked her family hasn’t yet staged an intervention for her addiction to social media. But the concerts she gives in her car and the dance parties she has in her kitchen are rumored to be fabulous.

Stacey Agdern is an award winning former bookseller who has reviewed romance novels in multiple formats and given talks about various aspects of the romance genre. She also a romance writer. You can find her on twitter at @nystacey. She’s a proud member of both LIRW and RWA NYC. She lives in New York, not far from her favorite hockey team’s practice facility.

KK Hendin writes books where people flirt awkwardly, make out, dish out a whole lot of sass and ridiculousness, and live happily ever after. She’s the author of many books, including the TWELVE BEATS IN A BAR series and the upcoming UNDERCOVER series. She also writes books as K. Hendin, where people aren’t as nice and Happily Ever After isn’t a guarantee. KK is currently writing way too many books, and is still waiting for the subway to run on a regular schedule. When she’s not playing book Tetris in an attempt to fit everything onto the bookshelves in her tiny NYC apartment, she’s probably wandering her neighborhood with her camera or drinking yet another cup of coffee.

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