‘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