Starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, Holiday Inn is best known as the film that started the popularity of the song “White Christmas”. That song was the all-time best-selling music single for several decades and won Irving Berlin a 1942 Oscar in the Best Music-Original Song category. With music by Irving Berlin, gowns by Edith Head, and crooning and tapping by Crosby and Astaire, the movie was an absolute hit.
The movie begins on Christmas Eve with boys dancing on the sidewalk to raise money. Of course that catches the eye of Fred Astaire who dances with the boys and rings the bell with the Santa before going inside to see if his girlfriend has broken up with her fiancé (Crosby). Of course, the first song Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby perform on stage reveals their true life problem - and the movie’s plot.
Bing Crosby retires to the life of a lonely farmer while the girl dances in big shows with Fred Astaire. After a year, Bing’s love of farm life gets the best of him, and he meets up with the other two to promote his idea of turning his farm into an inn that’s only open during holidays.
Fred Astaire did a bang up job and really brought on the fireworks with his dancing. Especially during his solo performance while his partner was still trying to get to the inn. That dance was filmed over two days, according to Imdb.com, and Astaire’s shoes for the fireworks dance were auctioned for $116,000 worth of war bonds. His “drunk” dance with his new partner is unparalleled. According to Imdb.com, Fred Astaire had eight drinks of bourbon during the filming of that dance.
Marjorie Reynolds’ acting was smooth and believable, but Martha Mears provided her singing voice. Louise Beavers is a treasure and had a small role in which she offered wisdom to those who would listen.
With lots of twists and turnabouts to keep us guessing, this film hops with rhythm and woos with graceful songs.