Holiday Inn (1942) Poster



For the "drunk" dance, Fred Astaire had two drinks of bourbon before the first take and one before each succeeding take. The seventh and last take was used in the film.
The set for this film was reused by Paramount 12 years later for the musical White Christmas (1954), also starring Bing Crosby and again with songs composed by Irving Berlin.
The firecracker dance sequence was added to the movie as a patriotic number, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, which took place during filming. The dance number required three days of rehearsal and took two days to film. Fred Astaire did 38 takes of the number before he was satisfied with it. The crew members had to wear goggles during filming, because the sand from the firecrackers flew into their faces. Later, Astaire's shoes for the dance were auctioned off for $116,000 worth of war bonds.
Until 1997, "White Christmas" was the best selling music single ever. It was passed at that time by "Goodbye, England's Rose", the Elton John rework of "Candle in the Wind" done for Princess Diana's funeral. These two songs still rank #1-2.
When Irving Berlin won an Oscar for his song "White Christmas" from this movie, he became the first artist to present himself with an Academy Award.
Kemmons Wilson, who founded the "Holiday Inn" motel chain in 1952, named it after this movie.
The animated Thanksgiving sequence, in which a turkey jumps back and forth on the calendar between the third and fourth Thursday in November, is a topical reference to the "Franksgiving" controversy. In 1939 and 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt' attempted to change Thanksgiving to the third Thursday in November, instead of the fourth, in an effort to bolster holiday retail sales by starting the Christmas season one week early. This led to a joint resolution in Congress, which Roosevelt signed into law in 1941, officially designating the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.
At the end of the first time Jim (Bing Crosby) and Linda (Marjorie Reynolds) sing "White Christmas", the fireplace seems to suddenly flare up and then die down. In an interview with director Mark Sandrich, he admitted it happened when the stagehand controlling the gas flame in the fireplace turned the control valve the wrong way, up instead of down.
Marjorie Reynolds' singing was dubbed by Martha Mears.
Mary Martin stated in her autobiography that she had to turn down the role of Linda Mason in this film (which eventually led to the termination of her contract at Paramount) because she was pregnant.
Bing Crosby sang "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin, which went on to win an Academy Award for Best Song. Crosby sang four different Oscar-winning songs in his films.
The Lincoln's Birthday sequence, "Abraham", is usually cut from showing on TV since all the actors are in blackface makeup.
Some controversy surrounded the history of the song "White Christmas" when it was reported in a 1960 news item that Irving Berlin wrote the song in 1938. Had the song been published or introduced outside of the film, it would have been ineligible for an Academy Award nomination. But sources agree it was written for the film, copyrighted as unpublished in 1940 and then published along with the film's release in 1942.
The script originally called for a Labor Day dance number, "This Is a Great Country." Irving Berlin used the song 20 years later in his last Broadway musical, "Mr. President."
The proceeds from the New York City premiere went to the Navy Relief Society.
The first public performance of the song "White Christmas" was by Bing Crosby on his NBC radio show "The Kraft Music Hall" on Christmas Day, 1941, during the middle of shooting this film, which was released seven months later. The song went on to become one of the biggest selling songs in the history of music. This was the first of three films to feature Crosby singing "White Christmas" and featuring Irving Berlin's music.
Dale Evans was brought to California to audition for the part of Linda Mason. After her first cross-country flight left her sick, agent Joe Rivkin rushed her to a beauty parlor and took her to the studio. He did most of the talking, but when she finally admitted she couldn't dance she was dismissed for consideration for the role. It did lead to a screen test for other roles, though, and an eventual one-year contract at Fox, then work at Republic with Roy Rogers.
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Irving Berlin got the idea for the film after writing the song "Easter Parade" for his 1933 show "As Thousands Cheer", and planned to write a play about American holidays, but it never materialized. He later pitched the idea to Mark Sandrich, who got the ball rolling for this film.
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. It was released on DVD 14 October 2008 in both the original B&W and colorized versions, again 7 October 2014 in Blu-Ray, also in both the B&W and colorized versions; and again 11 November 2014 as one of 24 titles in Universal's Bing Crosby Silver Screen Collection; since that time, it's also enjoyed occasional airings on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies.
Bing Crosby's original The Rhythm Boys partner Harry Barris plays the orchestra leader in the nightclub scenes.
Strangely enough, "White Christmas" was not expected to be a hit song. During filming, it was thought that Bing Crosby's song, "Be Careful, It's My Heart," would be the movie's big hit. When Crosby first heard the song, he was not impressed by it. After Irving Berlin played the song on the piano during rehearsals, Crosby said in a bland voice, "I don't think we'll have any problem with that one, Irv."
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"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 11, 1943 with Bing Crosby reprising his film role. Dinah Shore appears as the female lead.
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The Connecticut inn set for "Holiday Inn" is revamped to later become the inn in Vermont in the 1954 film, "White Christmas," another Irving Berlin music vehicle.
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When Linda Mason first arrives at Holiday Inn, the scene opens with Jim nailing the Holiday Inn sign to the roof. The soundtrack is off and the sound of the hammer hitting the nail is heard on the backswing, instead of when the hammer hits the nail. The rest of the soundtrack, however, is correctly synced.
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Director Mark Sandrich originally wanted Ginger Rogers and Rita Hayworth as the female leads. However, executives at Paramount vetoed this idea, since Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, two of the studio's highest-paid stars, were already co-starring in the movie.
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A turning point in the life of Alan Sues, a regular on Laugh-In (1967), was an unauthorized visit to Paramount Pictures as a teenager when he jumped a fence and watched a scene being filmed for this movie.
Based on the color of the re-used set in "White Christmas", it appears that the hotel set was actually painted gray, which would make sense not wasting color paint on a black-and-white movie set.
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Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Marjorie Reynolds died within 10 years of each other. Crosby in 1977, Astaire in 1987 and Reynolds in 1997.
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