Thursday, December 7, 2023

Thursday Film Picks: Christmas Musicals


I’m really late today. I’ve been off my game for the last bit, maybe it’s all the Christmas stuff happening or I’m just screwed up with time. I have decided to write about Christmas musicals because I can.  Here we go…


This is the film that introduced “White Christmas” to the world and it’s still the #1 song in terms of sales and being played. I have no clue how many versions there are but Bing is still the best. This film stars Crosby and Fred Astaire as partners who separate when Crosby, finding out the gal he loves, has been two timing with Astaire. She was the other part of their act. Crosby buys a farm and realizes that farming is not relaxing so he makes the farm into a nightclub that is open only on holidays. The girl he hires is a big hit especially with Astaire who danced with her one drunken New Year’s. Yeah, the other chick dumped Astaire and now Astaire is after this blonde….its funny( love the canned peaches part), charming and the dancing and singing are excellent.

2. GOING MY WAY- 1944

This is more dramedy with musical interludes but it’s still quite musical starring Bing Crosby as a priest sent to a New York Church to help out the elderly priest, played by Barry Fitzgerald, who is not very happy with this new priest. He has no idea that Bing actually runs the show to try and get the church out from near bankruptcy. Along the way, Bing helps out delinquents become a choir and meets up with an old friend, also a priest and his old girlfriend, now an opera star played by the great Rise Stevens. To me she epitomizes Carmen!


We know this musical well that stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as war buddies who become hit entertainers. They meet up with Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen as sisters who are trying to hit it big. They all end up on a train heading to an inn and find out their old war commander owns the Inn and is in financial trouble. What does one do but put on a show! Misunderstandings screw up a potential love but there is a lot of dancing and singing. Today, I can’t help but see how rail thin Vera-Ellen is and that she only wears outfits that hide her neck. Regardless, she was a superb dancer

My mom and her brother, Uncle Harry, called one another on this date no matter where they were in memory of their brother, Uncle Kurt, whose birthday is today. He would be 97 years old if he were alive but he died June 30th at 19 in his hospital bed by the Russians who murdered 178 wounded German soldiers that day. So, in honour of his birthday, I am showcasing his favourite Christmas Carol called, “Leise Rieselt Der Schnee” which means “Softly falls the snow”

Happy Birthday Uncle Kurt!


  1. "The Bells of St. Mary's" also had kind of a Christmas theme. Remember when the first graders put on the Nativity play? At the end Fr. Chuck (Bing) says "Oh, their simplicity is beautiful. I wouldn't change a word of it." And Sister Mary Benedict (Ingrid Bergman) says "Oh, but THEY will."

  2. A wonderful music trip down Memory Lane. I remember my Mom enjoying Going My Way on a New York City TV station that would run movies of the era at 4:30 pm on weekdays, or maybe it was a local station that had a feature called Million Dollar Movie where they would run the same movie periodically for several days. Or maybe both! I know I saw Going My Way and probably both White Christmas and Holiday Inn, among other classics, including a number of Shirley Temple movies.

  3. I'm so sorry about your Uncle Kurt. Terrible.

    When I talked to my sister-in-law a couple weeks ago, she was watching Holiday Inn in the background. She was lamenting that Astaire was in blackface. It's sad how some elements of these great classic movies didn't age well.

  4. Hi Birgit!

    Love, love LOVE!! All three of your choices and especially White Christmas which is the ne plus ultra of Christmas musicals. It's sentimental and silly and all those other things it's been tagged with through the years but it is endlessly entertaining and eye-poppingly beautiful to look at. Vera-Ellen was a goddess amongst dancers.

    If only Holiday Inn had been in color! Still a charmer of a film with a nice easy tone.

    I remember when I finally sat down to watch Going My Way, which I had avoided because I was sure it was going to be a schmaltzy glugfest, and was so pleased to find it delightful and touching. An Oscar for Bing was perhaps a bridge too far but I loved the film.

    Okay you've made this tough since you used my top pick but the three others that come to mind are:
    The Lemon Drop Kid from 1951 with Bob Hope as a conman and Marilyn Maxwell as his girl. It was the film that introduced one of my favorite Christmas songs "Silver Bells"!
    Next would be Meet in St. Louis with Judy bringing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" to the world
    And finally be the Debbie Reynolds/Eddie Fisher costarrer Bundle of Joy which isn't strictly a Christmas musical but has a holiday sequence I think. It's a stretch but it's a tough theme!!

    That's a lovely tribute to your Uncle.

  5. Hi Birgit - lovely memory to Uncle Kurt - so young ... cheers to you - Hilary

  6. You picked the biggies I guess and I've seen all three. Others mentioned some good ones too. Guess I'll get a bit weird.

    While not exactly a musical in the traditional sense, it's a film about a TV Christmas special with lots of music: Federico Fellini's Ginger and Fred from 1986. It's pretty strange at times, but also wistful and touching. I'm calling that one a sort of Christmas musical film.


  7. I just saw White Christmas for the first time yesterday! I really liked the dancing sequences.

  8. 'SCROOGE' (1970) starring Albert Finney.
    How good is this Holiday musical? It's so good that I can't decide which Christmas movie I like better, this or 'IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE'. It pretty much depends on which one of the two I am watching at the moment.

    Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year, BIRGIT!

    ~ D-FensDogG