The Twelve Flicks of Christmas

A ben’s TEN Holiday Series

Get the Scoop You Won’t Find Anywhere Else on 12 Christmas Movies Old and New
[See complete list of reviews]

White Christmas (1954)
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Unrated
Starring: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney

Review by Ben Koch

Conventional Synopsis:

A couple of army buddies with musical inclinations return from WWII and form a successful and lucrative duo. As romantic sparks begin to fly between them and a couple of up-and-coming singing sisters, they all head to the “country” for a holiday in Connecticut.

When serendipity lands them at the country inn run by their old army commander, they find their charismatic general feels alone and forgotten. Determined to cheer him up, the loyal pair use some of their celebrity pull to secretly plan a Christmas Eve concert in honor of the general. All the while, romantic tensions and confusions make for a comedy of errors and a musical panoply.

Beneath the Surface 

There’s no denying the light-hearted class that permeates this one. It helps its cause, as well, that the soundtrack includes the mother of all modern Christmas songs, sung by Bing Crosby himself. Yet there is also a reason that when we list the top 5 or so most powerful and touching Christmas movies of all time, White Christmas doesn’t make the list.

There is no lack of fun, romance and entertainment, that it true. But beneath these features that make it a GOOD film, is there a deeper message or energy that makes it a GREAT film? There may be some positive messages about loyalty, patriotism and human decency, but none of those special, transcendent themes we’ve come to expect from the best movies in this series: compassion, selfless generosity, universal love, etc.

Watch this one to appreciate some of the greatest performers of an era, and a classic song, but don’t expect to hear bells and footsteps on the roof.

Ratings

Cocoa Factor = 8 out of 10
How good is this one for cozying up with a fire burning, a hot beverage of your choice, and your new Snuggy?

Magicality = 6 out of 10
How well does this one transport you back to the timeless wonderment beyond rationality when Christmas enveloped you in magic? AKA “The Santa Clause factor.”

A Date with Grandma and Aunt Bernice = 10 out of 10
How appropriate/awkward is this one to watch with relatives of all ages? Will hot kissing scenes or male rear nudity spoil the mood?

Tiny Tim’s Big Truths = 7 out of 10
From the mouths of babes come life’s most profound lessons. At the heart of this flick, how authentic, heartfelt and lasting is the message? Does it transcend Xmas clichés and ring bells?

Overall = 7 out of 10

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About bensten

Teacher, writer, blogger and spiritual practitioner. Managing editor of bensten.wordpress.com.

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