Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Danny Kaye and Fred Astaire are DIFFERENT PEOPLE

So in the past 6 hours I've experienced a very strange phenomenon -
People mistaking the movie "White Christmas" for the movie "Holiday Inn".
Now both movies star Bing Crosby; and "White Christmas" is based loosely on "Holiday Inn", but if you've seen either film it's impossible to mistake one for another.

Holiday Inn (1942) - is a black and white film that stars Fred Astaire (see: right) with Crosby and features the great music of Irving Berlin. It's basically about a famous song and dance team that breaks up when Bing's character decides to give up show business to move to a farm in Vermont and eventually comes up with an idea to open a nightclub at his farm that is only open on public holidays, hence "Holiday Inn". The movie features amazingly clever songs by Berlin for the popular holidays like Thanksgiving to the most obscure holidays like Lincoln's birthday (the performance of which in the movie, done in blackface, is considered today to be racist and un-PC).
Of course the most famous tune to come from this film is the classic, nostalgic "White Christmas" which became an enduring #1 song and propelled the film to great success. It even inspired the start of a national chain of hotels.

White Christmas (1954) - 12 years later still riding the immense success of the classic Christmas song, Paramount decided to do a full-blown technicolor musical with Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Danny Kaye. Although featuring the titular song and also featuring a Vermont inn, that's basically where the similarities end.
That's why it's so strange that twice this evening I heard people talking about "White Christmas" the movie when they were really referencing "Holiday Inn". Once was by the emcee at a charity auction, who I sort of forgave because he was telling such a boring story about something that I just chalked it up to him being drunk and confused.
Then when I got home I turned on the tv to see an ad on NBC for an upcoming special called "The Greatest Holiday Moments" where they once again described the plot of "White Christmas" while showing clips from "Holiday Inn". frustrating.
Now I know that I'm probably the only one noticing this shit, and that it's really lame of me to get so worked up about it; but that's me. I like to keep my holiday movies separate.

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