The consensus of the military members MilSuccessNet asked to reflect on the perennial favorite is summed up as follows:
- Irving Berlin’s White Christmas captures the bond formed in service among soldiers and their leader.
- The “anything for an old Army Buddy” and loyalty to the “Old Man” who fought alongside them as a Muddy Boots General highlights relationships formed in those crucible moments.
- Soldiers dream of home while away and when they finally return they long for the comradery of a Family born in adverse conditions.
- These “buddy checks” continue as present day Soldiers try and forget the adverse situations while focusing on doing “anything for an Old Army buddy.”
- White Christmas is timeless in that it speaks to the soul of a Soldier and reminds us all that we are never truly alone – especially at Christmas! #buddycheck22
It happens that Hollywood got the nostalgia right and wrapped it in song, smiles, tears. loyalty and good old fashioned American romance, too! (Got something to say about this? Please share your comments for other service members in the comment box below!)
Starring the famous crooner of the time Bing Crosby, double teamed with comic-dance-singer start Danny Kaye the movie features the songs of Irving Berlin. Rounding out the talented comedy ‘troop’ front folks are Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.
Here’s a synopsis and some facts that keep the military notes and leave the boy-girl and girl-boy parts for you to discover on your next viewing:
The film stars the famous crooner of the time Bing Crosby, double teamed with comic-dance-singer start Danny Kaye and features the songs of Irving Berlin. Rounding out the talented comedy ‘troop’ front folks are Rosemary Clooney (yes, George’s aunt) and Vera-Ellen (an amazing and petite dancer).
Film fans of the day heard “White Christmas” first sung by Crosby in the movie, Holiday Inn. In fact, the same resort was refurbished for this film.
All is woven here into textures of the time.A retired General experiences a change of command and fades into transition as a background part on a civilian stage. It is clear from the scenes that there’s an attachment of the troops to their leader – a man who commanded respect, and also got love and loyalty. and
A General experiences a change of command and fades into transition as a background part on a civilian stage. It is clear from these opening scenes that there’s an attachment of the troops to their leader – a man who commanded respect, and also got love and loyalty.
The first of it’s kind, the pioneering large-area negative used yielded not only a finer grained film than the days 35mm format, but it also captured all the nuances of separation from military life and the longing for the camaraderie and support service members had for each other.
Suspend if you can, modern day mentality and embrace the spirit of song and dance as a way to bring a message to a mass audience. Then you can follow the movie, a tradition in America for decades and you’ll see the following plot unfurl:
Imagine, Christmas Eve, 1944. Somewhere in Europe, two World War II U.S. Army soldiers of the 151st Division’s entertaining their buddies at an advance camp set to move out the next morning.
They are: Cpt Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby), a Broadway entertainer and his partner in their presentation, Pvt. Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) a ‘will-be’ entertainer.
Word reaches the gathering that Major General Thomas Waverly, their beloved commanding officer, played by Dean Jagger, is being relieved of command.
The number “The Old Man” becomes his last hurrah with the men as the chorus sing him out of an emotional farewell he delivers.
Time passes and both “Bob” and “Phil” strike it big with their talent as they transition out of military service and revert to their natural occupations. They make the rounds of nightclubs, radio, and then on Broadway and even their own productions. Eventually becoming successful producers ready to mount a new musical.
As fate would have it, they’re notified by their former mess sergeant to check out an act. The sisters who perform a memorable Irving Berlin number slay the hearts of the 2 men.
The fellas spell each other off as perfect wingmen and give each duo a chance to get to know each other – one couple is on the dance floor giving space to the other at the dinner club table.
The sisters, Judy and Betty head for the Columbia Inn in Pine Tree, Vermont to help launch the new production. There’s not a snowflake in sight for their special Christmas holiday gig… hence the dreaming of a white and romance inspiring, magical time for potential patrons.
Bob and Phil discover that their former commanding officer, Gen. Waverly operates the lodge. He’s invested all of his savings and all is in danger of being lost. No snow means no guests into the lodge, which is in danger of failing because of a lack of snowbound business. To bring business to the inn, Bob and Phil bring the entire cast and crew of their musical PLUS a call is sent out to all the old wartime brothers and sisters to come, too.
Relationships, romance and critical remembrance of the army life in several ways is kindled as events unfold.
Transition’s doors swing out of the army as soldiers flow back into civilian life and inward, for those who hope to rejoin the army life they miss.
Some plot twists later to unravel and reconnect all the relationships in the civilian end of things, an incredible tribute is mounted to honor the General.
The finale has all one would hope it would have given the quality entertainment values of the day and audience expectation for fulfilling endings.
Snow falls as everyone raises a glass, and toasts, “May your days be merry and bright; and may all your Christmases be white.”