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4.6 out of 5 stars
Holiday Inn
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 11, 2009
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 includes Virginia Dale as Lila.Bing has become disillusioned with show biz and wants to retire to a farm in Connecticut and take Lila along.But Lila still has the show bug and seems to prefer Ted anyways,forcing Jim to "retire" alone.
Things don't go well for Jim who ends up in a sanitarium(!).After his recuperation he returns to his farm with the show biz bug back.He wants to turn it into a venue open only on holidays(thus the title).Ted and his agent wish him well during a visit Jim takes to New York.A little his agent,while ordering flowers for Lila from Ted,is pressed by the flower girl Marjorie Reynolds(Linda) for a chance to sing.The agent refers him to Jim's Inn and is invited next night to see Ted's act.Jim sits at the same table as Linda and they both pretend to be of a higher station than they are.Just before Ted and Lila come to join Jim Linda takes off.
The next day Linda arrives at the Inn and the ruse both played the night before is revealed.They strike up a friendship and Jim it seems has a new partner.Meanwhile Lila has left Ted for a millionaire and New years Eve Ted arrives at the Inn three sheets to the wind.He ends up doing a drunken dance with Linda.
However next day Ted's dance becomes the talk of the town and Ted,not recalling exactly what Linda looks like,is on a hunt for Linda.Jim however doesn't want another repeat like that of Lila,so a game of cat and mouse ensues with many near misses.Ted doesn't get his girl until Valentine's Day when he happens to walk in on Jim singing a song to Linda and she is dancing solo.Ted instinctively joins her and a new partnership is born,much to Jim's chagrin.
When some film studio types come to the Inn to see Ted and Linda for a possible film deal,Jim tries to sabotage the works by having Lila(she has now returned after dumping her millionaire!) delay her.In the end it is a delay of the inevitable as Linda and Ted fly to Hollywood and the producers want to do a picture about the Inn.While Linda and Ted fly out west,disgruntled Jim stays behind to sulk.
After a good talking to by his housekeeper Jim musters up the courage to fly out west and get back his girl.After the final shooting of the film Ted and Linda had planned to elope.But Jim's pipe on a set piano brings Linda's "real" feelings back and she and Jim are reunited for good.Ted is also reunited with Lila.Fade out.
Not only is the plot overly long,complicated and at times just too coincidental and improbable,it leaves you scratching your head at the enormous reserve Jim constantly shows at getting his girls taken right out from under his nose by Ted.Normally there would be some fisticuffs involved somewhere,but not here.And in typical Hollywood fashion there can't be any losers,especially between Bing and Fred,so both get a girl in the end.Not only couldn't the talent in front of the screen overcome the plot but Astaires' old RKO producer Mark Sandrich,couldn't help either.Also on hand was legendary Irving Berlin on the music front.On paper the film was a dream-teaming but in execution a sad let down.
The film DID however have two saving graces.First of all the music performed is great.The classic"White Christmas","Be Careful It's My Heart","Easter Parade" and "Happy Holidays".Secondly both stars were at the top of their game.Bing showed why he was one of the greatest vocalists of the 20th century.And of course Astaire once again proved why he was the best at what he did.
On the techinical side this movie has been remastered and done quite well.The picture is wonderfully crisp and alive.Included on the disc is a nice featurette with Ken Barnes(who produced Crosbys' last recordings) and Astaire's daughter Ava.Another short is on the making of the dance numbers in the movie.Also audio commentary is included along with the original trailer.
In conclusion as a holiday movie it is just a so so entry.The best thing are the stars which display their stellar talents as usual and the wonderful music.However even the heavy duty talent on hand in this pictures' production could not overcome the burdensome plot which leaves you wondering two things:"What happened?" and "If only...".
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2014
It's a classic, but I forgot how politically incorrect could be the films of the day!
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on December 23, 2014
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