14842 Holiday Inn
Directed by Mark Sandrich
Released on August 4, 1942
1942 Academy Award Nominee: Writing/Original Motion Picture Story,
Song* & Musical Score (*winner)
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14842 cover
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A classic song-and-dance film starring the cuckold (Bing Crosby), the cad (Fred Astaire), the gold digger (Virginia Dale) and the pretty flower girl (Marjorie Reynolds) in a quartet of romantic confusion. Holiday Inn broke box office records for a musical and garnered three Academy Award nominations, winning for best song (“White Christmas”). Today, it lives on as one of those lesser-loved holiday movies like The Bishop’s Wife. The movie plot is credible enough to support more than half a dozen holiday-themed songs from Irving Berlin (including “Happy Holidays”) and plenty of dancing from Astaire and his partners Reynolds and Dale. While Crosby eventually gets the girl, Astaire wins the battle for the spotlight with several dazzling dance routines, including an “intoxicating” turn with Marjorie Reynolds and a fiery Fourth of July number. Despite its present association with Christmas, Holiday Inn is not a Christmas movie. There’s no spiritual epiphany, no warm embrace of what Christmas stands for in the hearts and minds of man; Crosby simply learns that dancing around the object of your desire is less effective than saying what you really mean. The choreography, the sets and the songs are the real stars, while the characters are almost incidental. Neither Crosby nor Astaire hands in a particularly convincing performance and little chemistry develops between the two in the acrimonious air of rivals. The supporting actors are strictly two-dimensional caricatures as well, from Walter Abel’s overzealous agent to Irvin Bacon’s taciturn taximan. While I wouldn’t make this Exhibit A in a showcase for Crosby’s acting ability, Holiday Inn remains a perennial favorite for a reason: its assemblage of talent and sumptuous sets are always in season. Of interest, director Mark Sandrich provides an interesting “film within a film” perspective by showing the Inn as an actual set toward the end of the movie.

TRACK LISTING

    1979 UK LP track listing (STK-112)
  1. OVERTURE
  2. I'LL CAPTURE YOUR HEART
  3. LAZY (MEDLEY)
  4. YOU'RE EASY TO DANCE WITH
  5. WHITE CHRISTMAS
  6. HAPPY HOLIDAYS
  7. LET'S START THE NEW YEAR RIGHT
  8. BE CAREFUL, IT'S MY HEART
  9. WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY MARCH
  10. EASTER PARADE
  11. FIRECRACKER DANCE & SONG OF FREEDOM
  12. (I'VE GOT) PLENTY TO BE THANKFUL FOR
  13. WHITE CHRISTMAS (FINALE)

    Words and music by Irving Berlin

CREDITS

return to BING CROSBY discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1950 Decca EP DL-5092  
US 1962 Decca LP DL-4256  
UK 1979 Sountrak LP STK-112  
US October 10, 2006 Universal DVD 4842 special edition w. bonus features

 

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