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White Christmas (1954) Poster

Trivia

The "Sisters" comedy act that Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye perform was not originally in the script. They were clowning around on the set and the director thought it was so funny that it was written in.
In supplemental information on the DVD Rosemary Clooney revealed that 1. She took the role mostly so that she could perform with Bing Crosby. 2. Danny Kaye caused many retakes when his antics made everyone laugh when they weren't supposed to. 3. She considered "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me" as "her" song since it was her only solo. 4. After the final shot they were informed that they would be redoing the finale because the King and Queen of Greece would be visiting the set and the producer wanted to "give them something to remember". They "reshot" the sequence with no film in the camera and without Bing Crosby who had skipped out to play golf. In later years she and Bing recorded several record albums together.
According to Rosemary Clooney, in Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye's "Sisters" performance, Crosby's laughs are genuine (and unscripted). Many takes were attempted, but Crosby was unable to hold a straight face due to Kaye's comedic dancing. The scene shown in the film was the best take they could get (which includes some laughter from Kaye as well).
The original concept was to reunite Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby, as they had been successful in Holiday Inn (1942). Astaire refused, as he had "retired" at the time, so the part was reworked for Donald O'Connor. O'Connor pulled out due to a protracted bout with Q-Fever (contracted from Francis the Mule), and the part was reworked at the last minute for Danny Kaye.
Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney all died at the same age: 74.
According to Rosemary Clooney, the "midnight snack" scene in which Bob Wallace expounds on his theory of what foods cause what dreams was almost entirely improvised.
Rosemary Clooney was not allowed to record her voice for the soundtrack album because it was being released by a record company (Decca) other than hers (Columbia). She was replaced on the soundtrack album by Peggy Lee.
While preparing to go on stage for the Sisters routine, Betty and Judy mention their brother being out of the country working in Alaska. This movie was released in 1954 and Alaska wasn't admitted as a state until 1959, so he was in fact out of the country.
Third of three films to feature Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas". The other two are Holiday Inn (1942) and Blue Skies (1946).
Vera-Ellen did not actually sing any of the songs for the movie. Rosemary Clooney sang both parts for "Sisters," while Trudy Stevens sang the rest. Vera's own voice is heard singing only in the "arrival in Pine Tree" scene at the railroad station where the quartet reprises the opening lines of "Snow".
The Vermont inn is the remodeled Connecticut inn set from the movie Holiday Inn (1942) which Bing Crosby also starred in singing songs written by Irving Berlin.
Cast members Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney both have descendants in the Star Trek series. Bing's granddaughter, Denise Crosby appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), while Clooney's son, Miguel Ferrer appeared in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984).
The photo that Vera-Ellen shows to Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye of her brother, Bennie, is actually a photo of Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer.
One of the dancers accompanying Rosemary Clooney is George Chakiris. He went on to earn the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, as "Bernardo", in West Side Story (1961).
A myth persists that all of Vera-Ellen's costumes, down to her robe and sleepwear, were designed to cover her neck, which had been damaged by anorexia. This is untrue. Seeing her in the premiere footage for A Star Is Born (1954), she is wearing a low cut gown and her neck is clearly visible.
For the song "Gee, I Wish I Was Back In The Army", there is the lyric, "Jolson, Hope And Benny all for free". This is a reference to three wartime entertainers: Al Jolson, Bob Hope and Jack Benny. The original words were "Crosby, Hope and Jolson all for free", but the lyric was changed because with Bing Crosby in the cast the original lyric would break the fourth wall.
During the "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing" sequence Danny Kaye is wearing gray and Vera-Ellen is wearing pink. Pink and gray was the hot color combination in 1954.
This was 1954's most successful film. The second most successful was The Caine Mutiny (1954), which featured Rosemary Clooney's husband, José Ferrer.
Although this movie musical has been a beloved favorite for decades - especially at Christmastime - there has never been an official "original soundtrack" album released in any form. Decca controlled the soundtrack rights, but Rosemary Clooney was under exclusive contract to Columbia, who would not allow her to appear on a competing label. As a result, Decca and Columbia each released their own White Christmas albums in 1954, although neither is an official soundtrack. Decca's album featured the movie cast minus Rosemary Clooney, with Peggy Lee taking over Clooney's part. Columbia's album had Rosemary Clooney singing 8 songs from the film. Both albums have been issued on CD in recent years.
The first film produced in Paramount's wide screen process "VistaVision".
Even though Betty was the elder of the Haynes sisters, Rosemary Clooney was actually seven years younger than Vera-Ellen in real life.
Many of Bob Wallace's more unusual turns of phrase were lifted straight from Bing Crosby's own speech patterns.
The song "Snow" was written by Irving Berlin a while before the film was made but with a different lyric and title and indeed subject (it had nothing to do whatsoever with snow): it was called "Free" and it was recorded by the composer.
The TV camera in the Ed Harrison Show scene is a real one (a classic RCA monochrome) the call sign atop it was real as well - it was that of Channel 4, NBC's (and thus RCA's) flagship station in New York, which changed its call sign to WRCA-TV the year of the film's release. (They adopted their current WNBC-TV calls in 1960.)
The song, "What Can You Do with a General?", which Leonard Maltin calls Irving Berlin's least memorable tune, was originally written for an unproduced project called "Stars on My Shoulders".
The train scene had to be shot at Fox, the only studio to house a standing train set.
Though Rosemary Clooney couldn't be on the original album due to contractual conflicts, she recorded the song "Sisters" with her real-life sister, Betty Clooney. On the official album, Peggy Lee recorded the song and sang both parts via overdubbing, a new technology in 1954.
The "Ed Harrison TV Show" that Bing Crosby appears on is a reference to The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) better known as The Ed Sullivan Show, that featured known stars, new talent and vaudeville acts. Ed Harrison was played by Johnny Grant who did not have a long acting career in the movies, but was the honorary Mayor of Hollywood, California who officiated over the unveilings of Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame from the early 1960s until his death in 2008.
Premiered at the famed Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Released in 1954, it became the top grossing film of that year.
When Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) appears on the Ed Harrison TV show, he is briefly shown - as if the audience is watching him at home - on a 1950s television set. The brand of the television is DuMont, one of the first manufacturers of TVs in America and the name of TV network from the 1950s. Jackie Gleason, Morey Amsterdam and Bishop Fulton J. Sheen were some of the notables that began on the DuMont Network, which ceased operations in 1956.
Tne musical stage adaptation premiered in San Francisco in 2004 followed by productions in Boston, Buffalo, Los Angeles, Detroit, Louisville and the United Kingdom. The Broadway production opened on November 23, 2008 at the Marquis Theater and ran for 53 performances earning two Tony Award nominations. The musical was revived at the Marquis Theater for the 2009 Christmas season.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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