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Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire sing and dance their way into your heart in the sensational musical comedy Holiday Inn. Nominated for 3 Academy Awards, this special edition features 13 holiday songs by famed composer Irving Berlin, including "White Christmas" - one of the biggest-selling recordings in music history! Crosby plays a song and dance man who leaves showbiz to run an inn that is open only on holidays. Astaire plays his former partner and rival in love. Follow the two talented pals as they find themselves competing for the affections of the same lovely lady (Marjorie Reynolds). This classic features an all-new digitally remastered picture and never-before-seen bonus material. 'Tis the season for one of the most enjoyable films of all time!
In 1942, Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby teamed up at Der Bingle's Paramount Pictures for Holiday Inn, a black-and-white musical that proves more entertaining than Crosby's color semi-remake White Christmas in 1954. Astaire and Crosby play partner/rival song-and-dance men who compete for the hand of their performing partner, played by Virginia Dale. After Crosby loses, he moves to the Connecticut countryside where he creates a resort that is only open on holidays and puts on the shows with the help of Marjorie Reynolds. Dumped by Dale, Astaire makes a drunken arrival at the inn on New Year's Eve and dances with Reynolds. He decides she'll be his new partner, but doesn't remember what she looks like, setting off a frenzied search at every subsequent show while the once-bitten Crosby does his best to steer him off track. The theme gives Irving Berlin an excuse to craft or recycle a number of holiday-themed songs, such as (in the former category) "Washington's Birthday" or (in the latter) "Easter Parade." The most famous of the new material, of course, is "White Christmas," which became one of the bestselling songs of all time and the title song of Crosby's 1954 film. Astaire and Crosby also team up for "I'll Capture Her Heart," which playfully contrasts the stars' specialties, and Astaire's "It's So Easy to Dance with You" became one of the signature songs of his post-Ginger Rogers career. Astaire and Crosby teamed up again for Blue Skies in 1946. --David Horiuchi
On the DVD
"A Couple of Song and Dance Men" is a 45-minute conversation between author-historian Ken Barnes and Ava Astaire McKenzie, Fred's daughter, recapping the careers of Astaire and Crosby. It's a bit wooden, but not without charm, and has some interesting early footage, chiefly of Crosby (presumably because of studio rights issues). There's also a seven-minute discussion of how sound has been recorded for movie musicals, and specifically how it was done for Holiday Inn's "I'll Capture Her Heart." Barnes's commentary track offers bits of trivia (they had originally wanted Ginger Rogers for one of the roles, and yes, the title inspired the hotel chain) and incorporates some archival quotes by Astaire and Crosby. The remastered picture is a noticeable improvement over the earlier double-feature DVD, which paired Holiday Inn with Crosby's Going My Way. --David Horiuchi
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Great movie but I haven't tried to watch it yet. I bought it after Xmas.Published 5 months ago by Shauntel Janzen
Fun movie that includes two great icons - Crosby and Astaire. Still interesting to watch even if it was made 50+ years ago.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Christmas classic reuniting performers that set the standard.Published 6 months ago by Tim Beaudoin
I have had this on VHS for years but a couple of years ago the VCR retired LOL, so I had no options but to find the classic I loved so much. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Runners Eye
Although it is in black and white it has a lovely story and a great musical also.Published 8 months ago by ECOSSE
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