Holiday Films Prince Should Watch: "Holiday Inn" [Alan's Sunday Recommendations]

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Now I know Christmas is over, but New Year's Day is less than a week away and Holiday Inn isn't really a Christmas movie. Sure, it debuted the song "White Christmas" to the world in 1942 and as a result is forever associated with Christmas. Then they went and made that movie White Christmas in 1954, which looks like it was filmed on the same set just in color and with Danny Kaye instead of Fred Astaire.

But at its heart, Holiday Inn is not just a Christmas movie, a fact my parents discovered much to their chagrin. You see they made my sisters and me watch that movie one year during the holidays as sort of a family bonding thing. Only it worked too well. We loved the movie so much that my sisters and I watched it on every holiday featured in the film.

The premise is this. New York entertainer Jim Hardy decides to leave the rat race and set up an Inn in Connecticut where he does shows on every major holiday. That way he gets about "350 days a year to kick around in." There's more to it, of course. His sometimes partner Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire) steals a couple women away from him and a couple cars get driven into a lake, but really the whole movie was just an excuse for Irving Berlin to write songs about every major holiday, making Holiday Inn suitable for viewing on:

New Year's Day: "Happy Holidays" (the link is to a remixed version)
Lincoln's Birthday: (I'll link to this one in a minute)
Washington's Birthday: "I Can't Tell a Lie" (poor quality copy)
Valentine's Day: "Be Careful, It's My Heart"
Easter: "Easter Parade"
Independence Day: "Say It With Firecrackers"
Thanksgiving: "I've Got Plenty to be Thankful For"
Christmas: "White Christmas"

Now, why should Prince watch it? For two reasons: Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. But specifically, for two numbers, one by each.

First, the bad-ass: Fred Astaire. Not only is he the pinnacle of elegance and grace, but he's able to pull it off shitfaced drunk. After his character loses his fiancee, he drinks a bottle of Scotch and then goes to Holiday Inn, where he does a dance number with actress Marjorie Reynolds. Fred, being the method actor that he was, did a shot before each take. The one in the film was the last one:



And now for Bing Crosby. How could Prince pass up the opportunity to see Bing perform one of the most racially insensitive musical numbers off all time? Here he is in black face performing Abraham!, the Lincoln's Birthday number:



[Alan Goy also blogs at Experiment Farm.]

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BAMBOO NATION: Holiday Films Prince Should Watch: "Holiday Inn" [Alan's Sunday Recommendations]
Holiday Films Prince Should Watch: "Holiday Inn" [Alan's Sunday Recommendations]
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