4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday Inn...A CLASSIC!!
Fred Astaire once was asked who his favorite dance partner was in all his films, and half jokingly stated...Bing Crosby! HOLIDAY INN was one of two movies the two stars made together and the chemistry between the two is evident in this film. A basic Hollywood story (based on a concept by song writer extraordinaire Irving Berlin) of boy finds girl,boy loses girl, and boy...
Published on July 2 2002
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly as good as "White Christmas"
I wish I had read all the reviews for this movie, and not just seen the first four. Holiday Inn is OFFENSIVE, and I can't believe anyone can watch this movie without feeling totally uncomfortable with the portrayal of African-American people. If I had known more about this aspect of the movie, I would not have bought it. "White Christmas" is definitely the...
Published on Jan. 16 2000 by E. Binek
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday Inn...A CLASSIC!!,
By A Customer
Fred Astaire once was asked who his favorite dance partner was in all his films, and half jokingly stated...Bing Crosby! HOLIDAY INN was one of two movies the two stars made together and the chemistry between the two is evident in this film. A basic Hollywood story (based on a concept by song writer extraordinaire Irving Berlin) of boy finds girl,boy loses girl, and boy wins back girl. Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire are two-thirds of a night club act trio in which their act is a song and dance routine of two guys vying for the affection of a girl. This night club routine is hilarious in which Bing Crosby croons that he could win a girl through his singing, and then Fred Astaire counteracts that he can win a girl through his dancing. This is a clever device because it sets up the whole basic premise of the film. Bing Crosby quits the act hoping to be a farmer. However, it doesn't work out and then renovates the farm into a nightclub only opened on holidays. Hence, the title of the film and nightclub HOLIDAY INN. Bing Crosby hires a girl to help him with his act (Marjorie Reynolds), then Fred Astaire steals her away...and Bing Crosby must find a way to win her back..etc. Great Irving Berlin songs, great dance numbers (i.e. Fred Astaire's solo dance routine with firecrackers) and excellent comedic moments. One of the best musicals of the 40's.
Note: One downside scene in the film when one of the holidays being celebrated at the Inn is Abraham Lincoln's birthday. There is a "blackface" routine reminicient of the minstral shows of vaudeville. Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds participate in blackface also. Some may find this part of the film offensive. During a revival of the film at a college a few years back, a friend of mine stated that some audience members booed the scene. At the time this film was made, there was no harm intended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film NOT just for Christmas,
This is one of the better musicals from the 1940s. This is not MGM (luckily) so you don't get that 'songs coming from places for no reason' problem. In this, like a lot of the musicals from, lets say, the 1930s, the songs have reason to be there.
I think both Bing and Fred are great, but I have kind of a hate for Fred in this one. Really I guess, because his character is, well, kinda horrible. He is always stealing the women away from Bing, and he does it so easily. The film is mixed with a lot of the usual 'double-crossing' scenes, with some amazing songs by Irving Berlin, mostly sung by Bing, including 'White Christmas', 'Easter Parade' and a number of others, and not forgetting the wonderful dancing by Fred Astaire. Its Bing opening up his own inn, the 'Holiday Inn', which is open only during holidays. This is where the 'music being there for a reason' comes in, and there's lots of it too. Watch out for George Washington's birthday, I mean look out for the dance, which is, lets say amusingly funny.
The following part of this review, refers to a UK Region 2 release on DVD from Laureate/Universal.
The thing I love most about this DVD though is the print of the film, which looks great, and the extra features that go with it. The best being the 'A Couple of Song and Dance Men' featurette, with Ava Astaire MacKenzie and Ken Barnes, lasting around 40 odd minutes I think, which contains some interesting stories. Particularly the one about a certain dance which Fred does in the movie, while 'playing' drunk. Along with this, you get an audio commentary, filmographies, and a few other little things too.
Great movie, with a great DVD presentation. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy Holidays with Bing and Fred!,
My dad was always making sure I knew that the song "White Christmas" originated in this film, and not the Crosby/Kaye movie named "White Christmas", so that's the first trivia question answer about "Holiday Inn". The other interesting tidbit is that the hotel chain "Holiday Inn" was named for this movie! Seems the owner saw the movie and thought it was a good name for the new hotels he was opening up, and presto! There you go.
It's an easy enough plot line: Bing and Fred used to be partnered with a gal engaged to Bing, but she throws him over to be with Fred. Bing, a performer fed up with working so hard, retreats to a farm and eventually dreams up the idea of an inn which is ONLY open on holidays, giving him the rest of the year to loaf around. Aspiring entertainer Marjorie Reynolds shows up on Christmas just on cue to be serenaded with "White Christmas", and things look pretty cozy for them pretty fast. But complications arise when the now-jilted Fred turns up at the inn on New Year's, and the gal chase is on again, but now after Bing's new star/girlfriend. Jealousy plays a few tricks on everyone before every Jack gets the proper Jill by movie's end.
A few of the other reviewers say that the film is marred by the Lincoln's birthday number Bing leads in blackface. While I agree that the segment unfortunately makes the movie one with a limited audience in today's more racially charged atmosphere, I think a bigger problem with the movie is...Bing himself! Yep, I don't think Bing is a very nice fellow in the movie, even though Fred is supposed to be the cad, as one reviewer put it. When Bing gets wind of Fred's interest in the new gal as a dancing partner (before any protestations of love, mind you), Bing immediately begins to dissemble and lie to prevent Marjorie Reynolds from having her big break. His proposal to her on Lincoln's Birthday is somewhat lackluster, and then when Fred asks him about the engagement, Bing backpedals and says basically that he's not engaged. Uhm, that kind of behavior would make Bing a bum, not a hero. Let's face it: he deserves to have his girlfriend walk out on him! Even when he finally goes to Hollywood to win Marjorie back, it's only to cramp her style and make her give up her burgeoning movie career to return to his lazy lifestyle at the inn. There should be recriminations for the Bing character, and there are not.
Lest you think that I hate "Holiday Inn", let me assure you that that's not the case. Bing always is a good performer, and Fred makes even the most difficult numbers seem effortless--check out the firecracker dance on July 4th! It was a bit wild to see the superpatriotic song of the Freedom Man, done by Bing with his big ole Uncle Sam hat because of the sudden interpolation of the armed forces footage, culminating in images of MacArthur and FDR. Just in case anyone was doubting whether the film came from the war years, y'know! All of us watching the movie thought it a shame that Marjorie Reynolds didn't really catch on, because she's quite cute in many shots and she is more graceful with Fred than the other lady who earlier jettisoned Bing.
Final verdict? "Holiday Inn" is pretty good still, though the blackface number may offend some viewers and Bing's character is not exactly a white hat himself. Have a happy holiday with Bing and Fred down at the inn!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Musicals,
By A Customer
How could reviewers say this film has no plot? Actually it's a classic plot. The scene in which Marjorie Reynolds first falls in love with Bing - by the fireside at Holiday Inn - has a lovely wisdom to it. She realizes that he's the simple type, just like her father was! But, because he can't express himself well enough to her, she's stolen away by the fancier Astaire and the Hollywood biz. The final scene is an irresistable tearjerker as Bing recreates that fireside scene on the set of her latest film, winning her heart and taking her back to Holiday Inn. Reviewers writing that the film is "offensive" show little perspective on the times. African Americans are not represented in a demeaning way. It's just that characters like Mamie and blackface numbers now SYMBOLIZE racism to us! This is a timeless gem.
5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday Inn (in defense of the blackface performance),
By A Customer
The movie begins with the song and dance team of
Bing Crosby (Jim), Fred Astaire (Ted)and their female singing
and dance partner (Lila?). Bing and her are engaged and he's
planning to break the news to her and Ted that he's planning on
leaving show business to retreat to the country and take it
easy for awhile. But before he can announce it he gets some news of his own. Ted and Lila decide to get married and she
dumps Bing. Bing finds out otherwise that life on a farm is not so relaxing getting up at daylight each morning and decides instead to make the farm an Inn open only on Holidays, hence the name Holiday Inn. A new girl enters into Bings life when she auditions for him at the Inn. They sing "White Christmas" together. Ted shows up on New Years eve drunk and dances with Bing's new girl. Seems Lila dumped him for a Texan supposed to have millions. They are great dancing together. His agent sees her too (from behind). The next morning Ted can't remember much of anything. Ted said he would recognize her though if he ever danced with her again. He and the agent vow to return to the Inn for the next Holiday to find the mystery woman. Jim tries to keep them from running into each other. That is part of the reason for the blackface routine for Lincoln's birthday. Ted and the agent showed up but didn't recognize her with her face blacked and her hair in pigtails.
Bing's girl discovers his plan to keep her from being discovered by Hollywood producers and she leaves with Ted to make a movie based on the Inn.
If you're interested to find out if Bing gets the girl you should see this movie. I enjoyed the Irving Berlin songs and the costumes by Edith Head. My favorite part of the movie is Fred Astaire's firecracker dance for July 4th. This is a nice movie for Holiday viewing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Year round holiday classic!,
For us, this movie is far superior to WHITE CHRISTMAS. It stars Fred Astaire and Bing Cosby as competive entertainers. Fred is the dancer (great scenes in this) , BING is the singer. (Bum, bum, bum, bum - - Bing adopted his "style" because he sometimes forgot the words. but, he maintained the music of the melody with his bum, bum, bum, bum s'-- a little trivia) Anyway, Bing grows tired of the cut-throat entertainment biz after his fiance' decides to marry someone else. He moves out of the city and up to a wintry zone, taking over an old motel. Since he is set to become a lazy owner, he vows only to open the motel for HOLIDAYS, hence HOLIDAY INN.
Every holiday is represented, including CHRISTMAS with age-old hit, WHITE CHRISTMAS. Performances with Marjorie Reynolds ( who plays Linda Mason, an upstart want-to-be ) and Virginia Dale ( Lila Dixon, Bing's here today, gone for stardom ex-fiance') are excellent. If you are looking for this movie for Christmas, get it now. Last year, it sold out early, pretty much like every year.
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Musical of all time,
I love this Movie.I first saw this film when I was ten,and still look forward to playing this video every Christmas. This is the first time the song,"White Christmas"was in a movie.Irving Berlin wrote all the music,and the movie was his idea. Fred Astaire was first picked for the film,but they also wanted Bing Crosby.This was unheard of in the 40's,to have two superstars in one movie.Fred Astaire took a percentage of the profit instead of his One hundred thousand dollar fee. He became rich after this movie. The music and dance numbers are fantastic,and the idea of having a place that's only open on holidays is so cool.However, this movie doesn't show the African American's in a good way,but that was the 40's.Thank God things have changed alittle.The two female leads,Marjorie Reynolds and Virgina Dale,are not well know Actresses.The producers couldn't afford two well know female stars. I think they did a great job.To keep up with Fred Astair had to be the hardest work for any dancer. Also,I happen to think Fred Astair is a fantastic singer.I just love his voice,even though Bing Crosby was the greatest singer at this time. Everyone looked up to him. My favorite part of the film is when they open the Hotel on NewYears Eve.Everyone is dressed up,and Bing and Marjorie welcome the guest,singing,"Come to Holiday Inn." It had to be a wonderfull time in the 40's.Every holiday has a number.I also enjoy the part when Fred Astair does the 4th of July dance dropping firecrackers at his feet. There will never be a dancer like him again.I play this movie every Christmas,even though this movie is about all the holidays.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lighthearted Classic - with a Caveat,
Holiday Inn is a great movie for holidays, especially Christmas, and quite fun and cheerful. It's also a movie with a lot of internal contrasts.
Portions of Holiday are quite sophisticated and surprisingly modern; the self-referential movie subplot is nicely tongue-in-cheek and wouldn't look at all out of place in a modern film.
Quite a lot of it is naive and highly sentimental, particularly the love triangle and the traditional holidays. Astaire and Crosby almost make you believe in chivalry. And Bing Crosby singing White Christmas is enough to give anyone a memory transfusion - you'll find yourself remembering idyllic Christmases past. Even if they didn't actually happen. Even if you don't actually celebrate Christmas.
And, of course, one part of is totally enmeshed in the nasty political and moral sensibilities of its time. That would be the treatment of the blacks in this movie, with a special emphasis on the song for Lincoln's Birthday. This is the part of the film that requires a step back and a very deep breath. Yes, it's horribly insulting and rather degrading; there are lines that will make anyone born after 1950 squirm with discomfort. It's also very typical of the time in which the movie was made. If you aren't capable of accepting that, you will hate this movie. Don't bother with it.
On the other hand, if you're willing to forgive the past its faults, this is a really sweet movie - with just enough wit to guard against total sugar overdose.
5.0 out of 5 stars Kick your troubles down the stairs and come to Holiday Inn!,
This is one of the finest holiday films ever made.
Inspired by a story by Irving Berlin, the film features many wonderful Berlin holiday tunes, from "White Christmas" to "Easter Parade". This is the film that introduced "White Christmas", Bing Crosby's signature song (which was almost cut from the final version!).
Holiday hijinks ensue when Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby), decides that he's had enough of show business and chooses to retire to a farm in Connecticut. His pal and partner Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire) steals his gal Lyla at the last minute, so Jim takes up the life of a farmer on his own. Unfortunately for Jim, the farm life drives him nuts. He decides to turn the farm into an inn, where he can do entertainment shows for every holiday. The result is Holiday Inn, "open holidays only".
Jim meets and falls in love with Linda Mason (Marjorie Reynolds), a fellow entertainer, and she helps out with the shows.
Things are looking up for Jim, but about this time, Ted's girl Lyla leaves him. Heartbroken (and crocked), Ted shows up at Holiday Inn on New Year's Eve and does a new dance number with Linda. It looks like he's found himself a new dance partner. Trouble is, he was so drunk, he can't remember who she is! Jim knows if Ted hooks up with Linda, he'll take her away from the Inn (and him!), so Jim begins some comedic conniving to keep Ted and Linda from meeting up. But poor Jim isn't out of the stewpot yet!
Walter Abel turns in a wonderful supporting perfomance as a scheming talent agent, and Irving Bacon is the quintissential New Englander as Gus the handyman. Fred does an inspired July Fourth dance routine, and Bing is in fine voice.
Holiday Inn has it all. Romance, laughter, crooning, catchy Irving Berlin tunes, and Bing and Fred at their best! We also get a sneak peek at the soundstage and set for Holiday Inn, as a Hollywood crew make a movie within the movie! A Christmas classic you're sure to love, not only at Christmastime, but at any time of the year.
If you need a lift, then come to Holiday Inn!
5.0 out of 5 stars A HOLIDAY DELIGHT.,
Most likely the best film ever to be inspired by a song. For many years, Crosby's 1942 recording of Irving Berlin's perennial WHITE CHRISTMAS held the record as the best-selling single of all-time. Astaire and Crosby are rival song and dance men who decide to work together to turn a Connecticut farm into an inn which is open only on National Holidays......The seemingly self-defeating idea makes for instantaneous success in this delightful fluff-fest! In the subplot, the boys are in conflict over the affections of the same girl (Marjorie Reynolds). Re-made as the lacklustre WHITE CHRISTMAS, this little film is entertaining and good fun; the appearance of the lovely and charming Marjorie Reynolds (she is dubbed here by Martha Mears) is definitely a plus............Incidentally, the music here was supplied by Der Bingle's little brother -- Bob Crosby and His Bobcats! A thoroughly enjoyable nostalgia - flavoured flick from a bygone era.
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Holiday Inn by Mark Sandrich (DVD - 2006)
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