|Directed by||Michael Curtiz|
|Produced by||Robert Emmett Dolan|
|Edited by||Frank Bracht|
|Music by|| Gus Levene |
Joseph J. Lilley
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|120 minutes |
|Budget||$2 million |
|Box office||$30 million |
White Christmas is a 1954 American musical film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen. Filmed in Technicolor, it features the songs of Irving Berlin, including a new version of the title song, "White Christmas", introduced by Crosby in the 1942 film Holiday Inn .
Produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures, the film is notable for being the first to be released in VistaVision, a widescreen process developed by Paramount that entailed using twice the surface area of standard 35mm film; this large-area negative was also used to yield finer-grained standard-sized 35mm prints. 
On Christmas Eve in Europe in 1944, at the height of World War II, former Broadway star Captain Bob Wallace and aspiring performer Private Phil Davis entertain the 151st division with a soldier's show. The men have just received word their beloved Major General Thomas F. Waverly has been relieved of his command. Waverly arrives and delivers an emotional farewell. The men send him off with a rousing chorus of "The Old Man". After Waverly departs, enemy bombers attack the area and everyone takes cover. Phil pulls Bob away from a collapsing wall and is wounded by debris. Bob asks how he can pay back Phil for saving his life, and Phil suggests they become a duo act. Bob is not fond of the idea, but feels obliged to agree.
After the war, the two make it big, first as performers, then as producers, launching a hit musical, Playing Around. They receive a letter supposedly from their old Mess Sergeant, Ben "Freckle Face" Haynes, asking them to view his sisters' act. They watch Betty and Judy sing at Novello's, a Florida nightclub. Phil, who likes to play matchmaker, notices Bob is interested in Betty. After the performance, the four meet, and Phil and Judy immediately hit it off. Betty and Bob, however, argue about Bob's cynicism, and the fact it was actually Judy who wrote the letter instead of Ben.
Finding out from Judy that the girls' landlord is falsely suing them for a damaged rug, and has even gone so far as to call the police to get his money, Phil gives them tickets he and Bob had purchased to spend Christmas in New York City. Bob and Phil improvise a performance to buy the girls time, then flee to the train, where they now have to sit up in the Club Car, much to Bob's chagrin.
The girls convince Phil and Bob to forgo New York and spend Christmas with them in Pine Tree, Vermont, where they are booked as performers. Upon arriving in Vermont, they find all the tourists have left due to no snow and unseasonably warm weather. They arrive at the empty Columbia Inn and are aghast to discover that General Waverly is the landlord of the hotel, has sunk his life savings into it, and is on the verge of bankruptcy. Phil and Bob decide to invite some of the cast of Playing Around to Pine Tree to stage a show to draw in the guests, and include Betty and Judy in the show. Betty and Bob's romance starts to bloom.
Later, Bob discovers Waverly received a humiliating rejection letter to his request to rejoin the army. Bob determines to prove to the General he is not forgotten, and calls up Ed Harrison, another old Army buddy who now has his own variety show, for help. Ed suggests they put the general on the show and make a big scene of his misfortune and Bob's kindness, which would be free advertising for Bob and Phil. Bob strongly rejects the idea. Unfortunately, the housekeeper Emma eavesdrops on the other phone for the first half of the conversation. She relays Ed's idea to Betty, who becomes suddenly cold towards a baffled Bob.
Phil and Judy stage a phony engagement, thinking Betty is trying to avoid romance because she does not want to leave Judy unprotected. However, this backfires when Betty accepts a gig in New York and leaves. Phil and Judy admit the truth to Bob, who becomes enraged and hurries to New York to tell Betty. They partially reconcile, but Bob meets up with Harrison before he has a chance to find out what really was bothering her. Betty sees Bob go on Harrison's show and invite the entire 151st division to secretly join him at Pine Tree to surprise General Waverly, at Bob and Phil's expense. Realizing she was mistaken, Betty returns to Vermont just in time to be in the show.
Once again on Christmas Eve, the soldiers surprise General Waverly with another rousing chorus of "The Old Man" when he arrives at the show, bringing him to tears. During the performance, Betty and Bob become engaged, and Judy and Phil decide to go through with their own engagement. As everyone sings "White Christmas", a thick snowfall at last blankets Vermont.
Irving Berlin suggested a movie based on his song in 1948. Paramount put up the $2 million budget and only took 30% of the proceeds. 
Mel Frank and Norman Panama were hired to add material for Danny Kaye. They felt the whole script needed rewriting, and Curtiz agreed. "It was a torturous eight weeks of rewriting", said Panama. Frank said "writing that movie was the worst experience of my life. Norman Krasna was a talented man but... it was the lousiest story I'd ever heard. It needed a brand new story, one that made sense." They did the job at $5,000 a week. 
Principal photography took place between September and December 1953. The film was the first to be shot using Paramount's new VistaVision process, with color by Technicolor, and was one of the first to feature the Perspecta directional sound system at limited engagements.
White Christmas was intended to reunite Crosby and Fred Astaire for their third Irving Berlin showcase musical. Crosby and Astaire had previously co-starred in Holiday Inn (1942) – where the song "White Christmas" first appeared – and Blue Skies (1946). Astaire declined the project after reading the script  and asked to be released from his contract with Paramount.  Crosby also left the project shortly thereafter, to spend more time with his sons after the death of his wife, Dixie Lee.  Near the end of January 1953, Crosby returned to the project, and Donald O'Connor was signed to replace Astaire.  Just before shooting was to begin, O'Connor had to drop out due to illness and was replaced by Danny Kaye, who asked for and received a salary of $200,000 and 10% of the gross.  Financially, the film was a partnership between Crosby and Irving Berlin, who shared half the profits, and Paramount, which got the other half. 
Within the film, a number of soon-to-be famous performers appear. Dancer Barrie Chase appears unbilled, as the character Doris Lenz ("Mutual, I'm sure!"). Future Oscar winner George Chakiris also appears  as one of the stone-faced black-clad dancers surrounding Rosemary Clooney in "Love, You Didn't Do Right by Me". John Brascia leads the dance troupe and appears opposite Vera-Ellen throughout much of the movie, particularly in the "Mandy, “Choreography" and “Abraham” numbers. The photo Vera-Ellen shows of her brother Benny (the one Phil refers to as "Freckle-faced Haynes, the dog-faced boy") is actually a photo of Carl Switzer, who played Alfalfa in the Our Gang film series, in an army field jacket and helmet liner.
A scene from the film featuring Crosby and Kaye was broadcast the year after the film's release, on Christmas Day 1955, in the final episode of the NBC TV show Colgate Comedy Hour (1950–1955).
All songs were written by Irving Berlin. The centerpiece of the film is the title song, first used in Holiday Inn , which won that film an Oscar for Best Original Song in 1942. In addition, "Count Your Blessings" earned the picture its own Oscar nomination in the same category.
The song "Snow" was originally written for Call Me Madam with the title "Free", but was dropped in out-of-town tryouts. The melody and some of the words were kept, but the lyrics were changed to be more appropriate for a Christmas movie. For example, one of the lines of the original song is:
Free – the only thing worth fighting for is to be free.
Free – a different world you'd see if it were left to me.
A composer's demo of the original song can be found on the CD Irving Sings Berlin.
The song "What Can You Do with a General?" was originally written for an un-produced project called Stars on My Shoulders.
Trudy Stevens provided the singing voice for Vera-Ellen, including in "Sisters". (The first edition of Vera-Ellen's biography by David Soren made the mistake of suggesting that "perhaps" Clooney sang for Vera in "Sisters". The second edition of the biography corrected that error by adding this: "Appropriately, they sing "Sisters" with Rosemary Clooney actually dueting with Trudy Stabile (wife of popular bandleader Dick Stabile), who sang under the stage name Trudy Stevens and who had been personally recommended for the dubbing part by Clooney. Originally, Gloria Wood was going to do Vera-Ellen's singing until Clooney intervened on behalf of her friend."  ) It was not possible to issue an "original soundtrack album" of the film, because Decca Records controlled the soundtrack rights, but Clooney was under exclusive contract with Columbia Records. Consequently, each company issued a separate "soundtrack recording": Decca issuing Selections from Irving Berlin's White Christmas , while Columbia issued Irving Berlin's White Christmas . On the former, the song "Sisters" (as well as all of Clooney's vocal parts) was recorded by Peggy Lee, while on the latter, the song was sung by Clooney and her own sister, Betty. 
Berlin wrote "A Singer, A Dancer" for Crosby and his planned co-star Fred Astaire; when Astaire became unavailable, Berlin re-wrote it as "A Crooner – A Comic" for Crosby and Donald O'Connor, but when O'Connor left the project, so did the song. Another song written by Berlin for the film was "Sittin' in the Sun (Countin' My Money)" but because of delays in production Berlin decided to publish it independently.  Crosby and Kaye also recorded another Berlin song ("Santa Claus") for the opening WWII Christmas Eve show scene, but it was not used in the final film. Their recording of the song survives, however, and can be found on the Bear Family Records 7-CD set titled Come On-A My House. 
White Christmas earned $12 million in theatrical rentals – equal to $121 million in 2021 – making it the highest-grossing film of 1954.  It was also the highest-grossing musical film at the time,  and ranks among the top 100 popular movies of all time at the domestic box office when adjusted for inflation and the size of the population in its release year of 1954.  Overall, the film grossed $30 million at the domestic box office. 
Bosley Crowther of The New York Times was not impressed: "...the use of VistaVision, which is another process of projecting on a wide, flat screen, has made it possible to endow White Christmas with a fine pictorial quality. The colors on the big screen are rich and luminous, the images are clear and sharp, and rapid movements are got without blurring—or very little—such as sometimes is seen on other large screens. Director Michael Curtiz has made his picture look good. It is too bad that it doesn't hit the eardrums and the funnybone with equal force."  William Brogdon of Variety wrote: "White Christmas should be a natural at the boxoffice, introducing as it does Paramount's new VistaVision system with such a hot combination as Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and an Irving Berlin score...Crosby and Kaye, along with VV, keep the entertainment going in this fancifully staged Robert Emmett Dolan production, clicking so well the teaming should call for a repeat ... Certainly he [Crosby] has never had a more facile partner than Kaye against whom to bounce his misleading nonchalance." 
Harrison's Reports wrote: "Although not sensational, White Christmas is a pleasing entertainment. There are, however, spots where it becomes quite slow and boresome, the slowness in the action being caused by the many rehearsals in preparation of the big show. On the whole the action is pleasing and it puts the spectator in a happy frame of mind. The Irving Berlin songs are, of course, an important part of the attraction, and all are tuneful."  Philip K. Scheuer of the Los Angeles Times positively reviewed the film as a "great, big, physically glittering, two-hour Technicolor musical that sounds like a dream production with a dream cast."  A review in Time magazine described the film as "a big fat yam of a picture richly candied with VistaVision (Paramount's answer to CinemaScope), Technicolor, tunes by Irving Berlin, massive production numbers, and big stars. Unfortunately, the yam is still a yam."  On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a "Certified Fresh" 77% critical approval rating based on 43 reviews, with an average rating of 6.6/10. The website's consensus reads "It may be too sweet for some, but this unabashedly sentimental holiday favorite is too cheerful to resist." 
White Christmas was released on VHS in 1986 and again in 1997. The first US DVD release was in 2000. It was subsequently re-released in 2009, with a commensurate Blu-ray in 2010. The film was reissued in a 4-disc "Diamond Anniversary Edition" on October 14, 2014. This collection contains a Blu-ray with supplemental features, two DVDs with the film and an audio commentary by Clooney, and a fourth disc of Christmas songs on CD. These songs are performed individually by Crosby, Clooney, and Kaye. 
A stage adaptation of the musical, titled Irving Berlin's White Christmas premiered in San Francisco in 2004  and has played in various venues in the United States, such as Boston, Buffalo, Los Angeles, Detroit and Louisville.       The musical played a limited engagement on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre, from November 14, 2008, until January 4, 2009. The musical also toured the United Kingdom from 2006 to 2008. It then headed to the Sunderland Empire in Sunderland from November 2010 to January 2011 after a successful earlier run in Manchester, and continued in various cities with a London West End run at the end of 2014.
Rosemary Clooney was an American singer and actress. She came to prominence in the early 1950s with the song "Come On-a My House", which was followed by other pop numbers such as "Botch-a-Me", "Mambo Italiano", "Tenderly", "Half as Much", "Hey There", "This Ole House", and "Sway". She also had success as a jazz vocalist. Clooney's career languished in the 1960s, partly because of problems related to depression and drug addiction, but revived in 1977, when her White Christmas co-star Bing Crosby asked her to appear with him at a show marking his 50th anniversary in show business. She continued recording until her death in 2002.
Holiday Inn is a 1942 American musical film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, with Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Dale, and Walter Abel. It was directed by Mark Sandrich with music by Irving Berlin. The composer wrote twelve songs specifically for the film, the best known being "White Christmas". The film features a complete reuse of the song "Easter Parade", written by Berlin for the 1933 Broadway revue As Thousands Cheer and used as a highlight of the 1948 film Easter Parade, starring Astaire and Judy Garland. The film's choreography was by Danny Dare.
Vera-Ellen was an American dancer and actress. She is remembered for her solo performances as well as her work with partners Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Danny Kaye, and Donald O'Connor. She is best known for her starring roles in On the Town (1949) with Gene Kelly and White Christmas (1954) with Danny Kaye.
That's Entertainment! III is a 1994 American documentary film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to celebrate the studio's 70th anniversary. It was the third in a series of retrospectives that began with the first That's Entertainment! (1974) and That's Entertainment, Part II (1976). Although posters and home video packaging use the title without an exclamation mark, the actual on-screen title of the film uses it.
Blue Skies is a 1946 American musical comedy film directed by Stuart Heisler and starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Joan Caulfield. Based on a story by Irving Berlin, the film is about a dancer who loves a showgirl who loves a compulsive nightclub-opener who can't stay committed to anything in life for very long. Produced by Sol C. Siegel, Blue Skies was filmed in Technicolor and released by Paramount Pictures. The music, lyrics, and story were written by Irving Berlin, with most of the songs recycled from earlier works.
"Blue Skies" is a popular song, written by Irving Berlin in 1926.
"Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)" is a popular song written by Irving Berlin and used in the 1954 film White Christmas. It is commonly performed as a Christmas song, although the lyrics make no reference to the December holiday.
Sisters is a popular song written by Irving Berlin in 1954, best known from the 1954 film White Christmas.
"Carolina in the Morning" is a popular song with words by Gus Kahn and music by Walter Donaldson, first published in 1922 by Jerome H. Remick & Co.
"White Christmas" is an Irving Berlin song reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting. The song was written by Berlin for the 1942 musical film Holiday Inn. The composition won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 15th Academy Awards.
"Heat Wave" is a popular song written by Irving Berlin for the 1933 musical As Thousands Cheer, and introduced in the show by Ethel Waters.
White Christmas most commonly refers to:
"Easter Parade" is a popular song, written by Irving Berlin and published in 1933. Berlin originally wrote the melody in 1917, under the title "Smile and Show Your Dimple", as a "cheer up" song for a girl whose man has gone off to fight in World War I. A recording of "Smile and Show Your Dimple" by Sam Ash enjoyed modest success in 1918.
Robert Alton was an American dancer and choreographer, a major figure in dance choreography of Broadway and Hollywood musicals from the 1930s through to the early 1950s. He is principally remembered today as the discoverer of Gene Kelly, for his collaborations with Fred Astaire, and for choreographic sequences he designed for Hollywood musicals such as The Harvey Girls (1946), Till the Clouds Roll By (1946), Show Boat (1951), and White Christmas (1954).
Irving Berlin's White Christmas was an LP album of songs by Rosemary Clooney from the movie White Christmas, released by Columbia Records in 1954. The album was also released as a set of four 78-rpm records at the same time.
"Mandy" is a popular song by Irving Berlin, published in 1919.
Selections from Irving Berlin's White Christmas is an album with songs from the 1954 movie, White Christmas. Among the featured artists are Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Trudy Stevens, with Peggy Lee, who was not in the movie, singing some parts. It is one of the last 78 rpm albums Decca produced.
The musical short can be traced back to the earliest days of sound films.
White Christmas is a musical based on the Paramount Pictures 1954 film of the same name. The book is by David Ives and Paul Blake, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. The original St. Louis production starred Lara Teeter, Karen Mason, Lauren Kennedy, and Lee Roy Reams, and the 2004 San Francisco production starred Brian D'Arcy James, Anastasia Barzee, Meredith Patterson, and Jeffry Denman.
Song Hits from Holiday Inn is a studio album of phonograph records by Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire released in July 1942 featuring songs presented in the American musical film Holiday Inn. These are the longer studio recorded versions of the songs presented in the film. For the songs that were actually in the film, see Holiday Inn (soundtrack). This album is not only notable because it is one of the greatest works of the highly regarded songwriter Irving Berlin, but it is only Crosby's third studio album. This was also the first release of Crosby's signature song "White Christmas" on shellac disc record. The 1942 version would be released only one more time, in 1945's compilation album, Merry Christmas, before the song was re-recorded in 1947. The later version became the standard.