‘Aww, can’t you convince him to let us work for half salary?’ Such drippy and frankly wrong-headed sentiments can only mean one thing: Christmas is upon us. Paramount’s first film in (lavender-hued) VistaVision was this pornographically soppy but, nonetheless, hearty and humorous 1954 festive romp in which Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye take their astonishingly popular two-man lounge-comedy-dance revue to rural Vermont. It’s a standard putting-on-a-show movie with swinging tunes (courtesy of Irving Berlin), harmless misogyny, and a nice line in bitching at Rogers and Hammerstein’s expense. It’s as sickly-sweet as an eggnog tsunami, but Bing’s brandy-butter baritone and Kaye’s incessant, proto-Jim Carrey clowning always manage to raise a smile. Eagle-eyed viewers might also be able to spot a US army recruitment video spliced into the final song and dance routine.
Wednesday December 17 2008
Cast and crew
Norman Krasna, Melvin Frank, Norman Panama
Bing Crosby Danny Kaye Rosemary Clooney Vera Ellen Dean Jagger Mary Wickes John Brascia Anne Whitfield