Holiday Inn is a Christmas classic that is just about white bread as a movie can possibly be. The people, the sets, the landscape, the language and politics are all blanched, bleached and hoary white. The only thing darker than the unfettered and ubiquitous snow was the token “Mammie” (Louise Beavers) and her two little pickaninnies.
There was one musical scene that was even done in black-face, an excruciatingly painful and cringe-worthy routine that seemed to last forever. But hey, this was 1942, right in the middle of a raging WW2, so there was no room for racial political correctness.
Anyway, all of that hilarity aside, let’s move ahead to the review of this Christmas movie. As you might imagine, with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, there was singing and dancing galore. The plot was consumed by a love triangle involving Ted, Jim and whatever dancing eye-candy that was on the set at the time. Again, there was not a hint of political correctness in this movie, as the women were blond and fickle, unable to choose between the singer or the dancer.
Jim got tired of being dumped, so he hatched the brilliant idea of converting a Connecticut estate into a spectacular holiday-only night club where he would perform with his newly acquired woman of the day, Linda (Marjorie Reynolds). Meanwhile, Ted had been dumped by Lila (Virginia Dale) for a rich Texas oilman (those wummins!) and showed up for a drunken dance and to lust after Jim’s Linda.
There is as much lying, back-stabbing and other shenanigans as there is singing and dancing in this film, but that is O.K. Most of the run-time is consumed by the inevitable defiance of gravity by the dazzling footwork of Astaire and crooning of Crosby. Again, this movie was so white that I had to put on my sunglasses to properly appreciate it.
Instead of the two jilted lovers duking it out, or slitting each other’s throats, there was just a lot of dark humor and good-natured verbal jousting between these two talented bests of buddies. The movie was thin on plot, but predictably gorgeous, with all the humans scrubbed up and dressed to the nines.
If you enjoy singing, dancing, dazzling white snow and Christmas movie classics, Holiday Inn is the film for you.