5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Holiday Inn (1942) ... Crosby & Astaire ... Paramount Pictures"
Paramount Pictures presents "HOLIDAY INN" (4 August 1942) (100 mins/B&W/Color) (Dolby digitally remastered) -- Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire were the stars of Holiday Inn with support from Marjorie Reynolds and Virginia Dale --- Produced and directed by Mark Sandrich, filming took place between November 1941 and February 1942. Holiday Inn had its premiere at the New York...
Published on Nov. 25 2008 by J. Lovins
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A film even this dream team could not improve on!
I have always WANTED to like this movie but I cannot give more than three stars to a film whose ponderous,plodding and overly complicated plot is to blame for its'lacklustre results.It proves the old adage "If a movie is bad...it's BAD";despite its' stars.
The story here involves Fred as Ted and Bing as Jim as,literally,a couple of song and dance men.Their act...
Published on Nov. 11 2009 by Robert Badgley
Most Helpful First | Newest First
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Holiday Inn (1942) ... Crosby & Astaire ... Paramount Pictures",
This review is from: Holiday Inn (DVD)
Paramount Pictures presents "HOLIDAY INN" (4 August 1942) (100 mins/B&W/Color) (Dolby digitally remastered) -- Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire were the stars of Holiday Inn with support from Marjorie Reynolds and Virginia Dale --- Produced and directed by Mark Sandrich, filming took place between November 1941 and February 1942. Holiday Inn had its premiere at the New York Paramount Theatre in August 1942. It was a runaway success both in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, proving to be the highest grossing film musical up to that time --- The big song had been expected to be "BE CAREFUL, IT'S MY HEART" --- While that song did very well, it was "WHITE CHRISTMAS" that topped the charts in October 1942 and stayed there for eleven weeks.
Story line and plot, In the first of two films the other being "Blue Skies" (1946), Astaire and Crosby did together the characters are remarkably the same --- Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire) is the elegant and charming show business professional who's ambitious for success --- Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby) is the talented, but lazy partner who just wants a life of ease and comfort and not to work more than he has to --- Small wonder that their double act broke up --- But now enter a complication --- They both get interested in the same girl who in this film is Linda Mason (Marjorie Reynolds) --- Plus Lila Dixon (Virginia Dale, who becomes Fred's dancing partner with some wonderful routines in fine fashion.
"BE CAREFUL IT'S MY HEART", the Valentine's Day song, sung by Crosby and danced to by Astaire and Reynolds --- Fred Astaire gave a tour de force performance, singing, and, of course, dancing his way through this delightful piece in rare form --- It is said that he worked so hard during rehearsals that he wasted away some 25 pounds by the time he filmed the firecracker number --- He might just as well have been weightless, because he defies gravity with his every move.
Under the production staff of:
Mark Sandrich - Director / Producer
Claude Binyon - Screenwriter
Elmer Rice - Screenwriter
Dave Abel - Cinematographer
Irving Berlin - Composer (Music Score)
Robert Emmett Dolan - Musical Direction/Supervision / Composer (Music Score)
Ellsworth Hoagland - Editor
Hans Dreier - Production Designer
Roland Anderson - Art Director
Edith Head - Costume Designer
Wally Westmore - Makeup
Charles C. Coleman, Jr. - First Assistant Director
Daniel Dare - Choreography
Disc One -- Irving Berlin's: Holiday Inn
1. Love Triangle (Main Titles) [4:39]
2. "I'll Capture Your Heart Singing" [5:43]
3. "Lazy" [8:26]
4. "You're Easy to Dance With" [3:40]
5. "White Christmas" [6:18]
6. "Happy Holiday/Holiday Inn" [3:09]
7. Let's Start the New Year Right" [6:19]
8. A New Partner [3:29]
9. In Disguise [3:30]
10. "Abraham" [5:46]
11. "Be Careful, It's My Heart" [6:38]
12. "I Can't Tell a Lie" [6:38]
13. "Easter Parade" [3:42]
14. "Song of Freedom" [3:11]
15. "Let's Say It With Firecrackers" [7:49]
16. "Plenty to Be Thankful For" [6:24]
17. Lights, Camera, Action [4:52]
18. Happy New Year (End Titles) [8:06]
the cast includes:
Bing Crosby ... Jim Hardy
Fred Astaire ... Ted Hanover
Marjorie Reynolds ... Linda Mason
Virginia Dale ... Lila Dixon
Walter Abel ... Danny Reed
Louise Beavers ... Mamie
Irving Bacon ... Gus
Marek Windheim ... François
James Bell ... Dunbar
John Gallaudet ... Parker
Shelby Bacon ... Vanderbilt
Bing Crosby (aka: Harry Lillis Crosby)
Date of Birth: 2 May 1903 - Tacoma, Washington
Date of Death: 14 October 1977 - Madrid, Spain
2. Fred Astaire (aka: Frederic Austerlitz Jr)
Date of Birth: 10 May 1899 - Omaha, Nebraska
Date of Death: 22 June 1987 - Los Angeles, California
1. A couple of song and dance men; An intimate retrospective of Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire
on interview with Ava Astaire-McKenzie;
2 All singing - All dancing; Experience the making of the unforgettable song and dance numbers of Holiday Inn; ;
3. Audio commentary; Feature length audio commentary by film historian Ken Barnes with archive audio comments
by Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and John Scott Trotter.
4. Original theatrical trailer
Great job by Paramount Pictures and released by Universal ---The conversion of color is done by Legend Films, which has colorized a number of Shirley Temple films --- The results are remarkable. If you'd never seen a Technicolor film, you'd think "Holiday Inn" was shot in color --- looking forward to more high quality titles from their film market --- order your copy now from Amazon where there are plenty of copies available on DVD, stay tuned once again for top notch releases --- where they are experts in releasing long forgotten films and treasures to the collector.
Total Time: 100 mins on DVD ~ Paramount Pictures ~ (10/14/2008)
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  [Blu-ray + Digital HD] [US Import],
This review is from: Holiday Inn [Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet] (Sous-titres français) (Blu-ray)
HOLIDAY INN  [Blu-ray + Digital HD] [US Import] Digitally Re-mastered And Fully Restored From 35MM Original Film Element! Also Includes Colorized Version!
Screen legends Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire sing and dance their way into your heart in one of the most timeless holiday classics ever, ‘Holiday Inn.’ Featuring the Academy Award® winning song “White Christmas.” Jim Hardy [Bing Crosby] plays a song and dance man who leaves showbiz to run an inn that is open on holidays. Ted Hanover [Fred Astaire] plays the former partner and rival in love. Follow the two talented pals as they find themselves competing for the affections of the same lovely lady Linda Mason [Marjorie Reynolds]. ‘Tis the season for one of the most sensational musical comedies of all time!
FILM FACT: With music by Irving Berlin, the film has twelve songs written expressly for the film, the most notable being "White Christmas". The film features the complete reuse of "Easter Parade" written by Irvin Berlin for the 1933 Broadway revue As Thousands Cheer. The film's choreography was by Danny Dare. In 1943, the film received an Academy Award® for Best Original Song (Irving Berlin for "White Christmas") as well as Academy Award nominations for Best Score (Robert Emmett Dolan) and Best Original Story (Irving Berlin).
Cast: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Dale, Walter Abel, Louise Beavers, Irving Bacon, Leon Belasco, Marek Windheim, James Bell, John Gallaudet, Shelby Bacon and Joan Arnold
Director: Mark Sandrich
Producer: Mark Sandrich
Screenplay: Claude Binyon and Irving Berlin (Story)
Composer: Irving Berlin
Cinematography: David Abel
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: English: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Mono and English: Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French
Running Time: 101 minutes
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Universal Studios
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: Though many rightfully regard it as a yuletide film after all, it begins and ends on Christmas Eve and introduced the most popular secular Christmas song of all time, “White Christmas.” 'Holiday Inn' is actually an all-purpose holiday movie, suitable for viewing on Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Easter, even Valentine's Day. Composer Irving Berlin cleverly salutes almost every national day of celebration in this delightfully entertaining romantic romp that's been a regular in my family's December viewing rotation as long as I can remember. The ingenious teaming of crooner Bing Crosby with terpsichorean titan Fred Astaire, a bevy of beautiful Irvin Berlin melodies, and a snappy script by Claude Binyon (adapted from an idea by Irving Berlin) all help elevate a pedestrian tale to surprisingly lofty heights. While 'Holiday Inn' stands as one of 1942's highest grossing films, its reputation has only increased over the ensuing decades, and it's unlikely its current stature as a pinnacle of seasonal entertainment will ever be diminished.
For more than a half century, the song “White Christmas” sat atop the charts as the bestselling song of all time (Elton John's special 'Candle in the Wind' tribute to Princess Diana finally eclipsed it in the late 1990s), and 'Holiday Inn' owes much of its success and longevity to this nostalgic yuletide anthem that continues to warm hearts and evoke cherished memories of home, family, and seasonal festivities. Any artist worth his or her salt has recorded it, but let's face it, no one can rival Bing Crosby's original rendition, performed simply at the piano in front of a lit tree with a roaring fire in the background. The song comes early in 'Holiday Inn' with little fanfare, and though it didn't immediately catch on (America's entry into World War II spurred its popularity, as the tune became a special favourite of soldiers fighting overseas), its performance by Bing Crosby is now considered an iconic film moment, and its reprise by Marjorie Reynolds (dubbed by Martha Mears) late in the film wields additional emotional impact.
Most of 'Holiday Inn,' however, is all about fun and the clever romantic manoeuvres of its duelling leads, which purports to be best friends, but spend most of the film as double-crossing rivals. When gold-digging tap dancer Lila Dixon [Virginia Dale] dumps crooner Jim Hardy [Bing Crosby] on the eve of their wedding for Jim Hardy's partner, the slick and manipulative Ted Hanover [Fred Astaire], Jim picks himself up, dusts himself off, and proceeds with his plan to quit the nightclub hurly-burly and relax on his Connecticut farm. Yet after a year of arduous chores and little sleep, farmer Jim Hardy (fresh from a stint in a sanatorium to calm his frazzled nerves) embarks on a new professional path better suited to his lazy personality. Almost overnight, Jim Hardy transforms his farm into an inn "but what an inn!" The gimmick is that it only opens only on holidays, so Jim only has to work about 10 days a year (although the lavish productions Jim continually mounts would quickly bankrupt such an enterprise). Jim asks his former manager, Danny Reed (Walter Abel in a memorable frenzied portrayal), to send any starving performers his way and Danny Reed complies, referring flower shop employee Linda Mason [Marjorie Reynolds] to Holiday Inn just to get her out of his hair. Jim hires the fresh-faced, bubbly Lila Dixon and quickly falls in love with her, but when Lila Dixon runs off with a Texas millionaire, leaving Ted Hanover without a dance partner (and girlfriend). Ted Hanover sets his sights on Lila Dixon to fill both roles. "Here we go again," sighs Jim, and in an effort to keep history from repeating itself, he uses all his wiles to keep Linda Mason at the inn and out of Ted Hanover's arms.
Though the backstage plot (that features more than a few screwball elements) is just a framework on which to hang more than a dozen Berlin holiday-themed songs, there's enough arch dialogue and witty repartee to fuel the clichéd story. Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire create incomparable chemistry, and watching them spar with and manipulate each other is one of the film's most enjoyable aspects. The role of Ted Hanover is the closest Fred Astaire would ever get to portray a villain in his five-decade career, and he seems to relish the character's Machiavellian traits. Yet Fred Astaire's charm always shines through, and somehow he makes the crafty cad likeable. Though both Marjorie Reynolds and Virginian Dale never achieved much renown beyond their work here, both make strong impressions, holding their own with Fred Astaire on the dance floor and providing a welcome dash of spunk when necessary.
Yet when all is said and done, 'Holiday Inn' is all about the music and the dancing, and Irvin Berlin's catchy cadre of memorable tunes makes it easy to revisit this breezy film year after year. In addition to the Oscar-winning “White Christmas” and perennial favourite “Easter Parade,” the score includes the lilting “Be Careful, It's My Heart” (exquisitely sung by Crosby and danced with ethereal grace by Fred Astaire and Marjorie Reynolds), the festive “Happy Holiday,” the soulful 'Abraham' (performed as a black-face minstrel number), the rousing “Song of Freedom” (a bit of wartime propaganda featuring clips of FDR and American troops in action that was hastily inserted after the Pearl Harbor attack, which occurred during the film's production), and the explosive “Let's Say It With Firecrackers,” one of the most intricate and exciting dance numbers of Fred Astaire's career. With astonishing precision, Fred Astaire taps his feet off while tossing various pyrotechnics across the dance floor in perfect syncopated rhythm, resulting in an electrifying routine and defining example of how seamlessly Fred Astaire weaves together invention, artistry, and flawless technique.
Another awe-inspiring display of Fred Astaire's genius occurs when an inebriated Ted Hanover takes to the floor with Linda Mason and performs a series of perfectly executed drunken moves. Reportedly, Fred Astaire took several shots of whiskey before each take (there were seven in all) so he could appear authentically soused, and the resulting bumbling and stumbling, all meticulously choreographed, but performed to look like anything but and is one of the film's many high points. Equally humorous and very impressive, the dance to “I Can't Tell a Lie” alternates between highbrow classicism and lowbrow buck-and-wings, as Jim Hardy mercilessly and continually changes the song's style and tempo, prompting Ted Hanover and Linda Mason to continually alter their rehearsed routine on the fly, and thus prevent them from locking lips.
Like the hotel chain that was named after the film, 'Holiday Inn' isn't particularly unique, dramatically or musically, but producer-director Mark Sandrich, who helmed five of the legendary Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films, knows what's he's doing, and crafts a buoyantly entertaining motion picture that continues to stand the test of time. Of course, "timeless" is the perfect adjective to describe the gifts of both Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, and their easy-going partnership helps transform the modest 'Holiday Inn' into one of the most beloved musicals of all time.
Blu-ray Video Quality – Two versions of 'Holiday Inn' are included on this Blu-ray disc - one is the original black-and-white edition, while the other has been artificially colorized by computer (and doesn't deserve the time of day). According to the packaging, the black-and-white version has been "digitally re-mastered and fully restored from 35mm original film elements," and it looks it. The crisp, clear picture sports a faint grain structure that maintains the appearance of celluloid, and nary a nick, mark, or scratch dots the pristine print. Exceptional grey level variance heightens detail, and rich, inky blacks lend the image necessary weight. Whites are well defined, too (there's a lot of snow in this film), and never bloom, and patterns remain rock solid and resist shimmering. At the 43:10 mark, the left side of the screen looks substantially softer than the right, but of course, that's where leading lady Marjorie Reynolds is positioned, and her close-ups often look a bit gauzy when compared to those of Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Otherwise, this 1080p encoded transfer from Universal Studios looks pretty spiffy, and is a noticeable step up from the previous inferior NTSC DVD release. If, like me, you give 'Holiday Inn' an annual spin, you'll certainly want to upgrade to this high definition edition.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track pumps out clear sound that's free of any age-related imperfections, such as hiss, pops, and crackle. A wide dynamic scale handles all the highs and lows without a hint of distortion, and though the orchestrations lack the lushness and depth musicals demand, the songs still sound bright and lively, and Bing's dulcet baritone possesses plenty of warmth and resonance. Accents, such as Astaire's tapping, the firecrackers in the Fourth of July number, and the popping of the peach preserve jars, are appropriately bold, but subtleties are more difficult to discern. Dialogue and song lyrics are always clear and easy to comprehend, and no noticeable defects creep into the mix. For a 72-year-old film, 'Holiday Inn' sounds darn good, and once again, the film's legion of fans will be pleased with this solid, straightforward track.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Including the Colorized Version [1080p]
Feature Audio Commentary [from an original DVD release] Film Historian Ken Barnes and including Archive Audio Comments from Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby and John Scott Trotte are courtesy of Gord Atkinson’s award-winning chronological radio series, “The Crosby Years” : Though Ken Barnes remarks often sound scripted, author, record producer, and historian Ken Barnes delivers a commentary that's both informative and enthusiastic. Ken Barnes, who worked with both Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire many years ago and shares his personal recollections of the two men, calls 'Holiday Inn' the "definitive musical of the 1940s," and talks about the films genesis, how Ginger Rogers and Rita Hayworth were originally envisioned for the roles eventually played by Marjorie Reynolds and Virginia Dale, and how the song 'White Christmas' didn't initially wow the public. He also chronicles Crosby's early life as a drunken, skirt-chasing ne'er-do-well, analyses the film's politically incorrect minstrel sequence from its proper cultural perspective, and compares 'Holiday Inn' to its Irving Berlin sister film, 'White Christmas.' Enhancing his discussion of 'Holiday Inn' is a selection of archival audio clips of Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, and Bing Crosby's long-time music director, John Scott Trotter, which shed additional light on the Astaire-Crosby relationship, their tenure as USO entertainers during World War II, and their perception of 'Holiday Inn.'
Feature: A Couple of Song and Dance Men [480i] [44:35] Ken Barnes joins Fred Astaire's daughter, Ava Astaire McKenzie, for this unsatisfying dual examination of the 'Holiday Inn' stars. With the exception of Astaire's electrifying “Puttin' on the Ritz” dance from 'Blue Skies' and a snippet of Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” from the same film, all the included clips come from trailers, and the information provided isn't very enlightening, unless you're a total Astaire-Crosby neophyte. Ava Astaire McKenzie reads from a couple of letters Fred Astaire wrote to his wife during World War II, and we learn 38 takes were required for Fred Astaire's explosive “Let's Say It With Firecrackers” number (the dancer also got himself quite tipsy for a drunken routine with Marjorie Reynolds), but otherwise this is a fairly pedestrian piece that sheds little light on the two men. Once again, the patter between Ken Barnes and Ava Astaire McKenzie feels scripted, which lends this 2002 feature an uncomfortable air of artificiality. Just thought I ought to point out that the extra in this documentary "A Couple of Song and Dance Men," features Fred Astaire's [otherwise unavailable] "Puttin' On The Ritz" routine from ‘Blue Skies,’ is complete and unedited. Seeing as it is, in my opinion, is the greatest dance number Fred Astaire ever did, which is saying a great deal and it makes purchasing this brilliant Blu-ray Special Edition well worth buying for that alone. Watch it and weep.
Feature: All-Singing All-Dancing [480i] [7:15] Also from 2002, this featurette examines the evolution of musical production and how pre-recordings and dance looping helped streamline the process and expands the art form. One number from 'Holiday Inn' is broken down to provide an example of how actors lip-synced to pre-recorded tracks and taps were often added in post-production.
Feature: Coloring A Classic [480i] [8:51] A step-by-step look at how a classic black-and-white film becomes bastardized...I mean, colorized. The technicians in this 2008 feature claim colorization makes old movies more attractive to younger contemporary audiences, but they fail to mention it sometimes alienates older and black-and-white purist viewers.
Theatrical Trailer: Original Theatrical Trailer of ‘Holiday Inn’ [480i] [2:16] This re-issue preview hits all the high points of the Irving Berlin score.
Finally, one of the most beloved and timeless holiday films at last makes its Blu-ray debut! Thanks to the incomparable Irving Berlin and impeccable talents of Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, 'Holiday Inn' is a veritable treat from start to finish, and suitable for viewing any time of the year. Packed with memorable tunes, including the iconic 'White Christmas,' and dazzling, inventive dances, this captivating musical never gets old, no matter how many times we see it. Both Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire are at the top of their respective games, and fine support from an excellent supporting cast keeps this immortal film pleasantly rolling along. Universal Studio's Blu-ray presentation is distinguished by a stellar black-and-white transfer, plus a brilliant colorized version, but of course it is entirely your choice to pick the version you would prefer to watch and I loved both versions. Plus solid audio and a comprehensive supplemental package. A host of yuletide films have attained classic status, but 'Holiday Inn' is more than seven decades after its initial release and continues to reside near the top of everyone's list, and this marvellous high definition edition, which is more than worthy of a double dip, ensures it won't lose its spot anytime soon. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Holiday Inn by Mark Sandrich (DVD - 2006)
CDN$ 14.99 CDN$ 9.87