Every year my children and I watch the Classic Movie, Holiday Inn. Curled up with popcorn or Christmas cookies to hand, we drag out the worn copy of the movie. It’s a tradition with us, one that we satisfy every year — even now that my daughters are grown and have their own lives. It’s one of those things that doesn’t matter — for us, it wouldn’t be Christmas or New Year’s without mimicing the dances, saying the jokes again and again and laughing in all the right places with this movie.
Holiday Inn has always been one of my most favorite movies and I was not lax in rubbing my love of the movie off onto my children. In truth, I can’t even remember the first time I ever saw it. It seems to me that I have always loved it. Now, the movie stars Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Marjorie Reynolds.
Bing Crosby’s crooning is sensational — did you know that it was probably as much Bing Crosby, as anything else, that led us out of the depression in the late 30’s? Fred Astaire is in true form and Marjory Reynolds is beautiful, looking as though she might compete with Ginger Rogers as Fred’s most gorgeous partner.
My daughters and I know every line of the movie, every song, every joke and practically every dance step, and we’ll mimic the acters and actresses as they go about saying their lines. If you’ve never seen HOLIDAY INN, I do believe you have missed out on enjoying one of the best movies ever made.
Here is one of my beautiful daughters. Now for those of you who have seen the movie, let me engage you with some trivia. Marjorie Reynolds was only 18 I believe when the film was made. She went on to do other movies and garnered other fame, but Holiday Inn gave her a start. Holiday Inn is one the few filmes (I think there might be only one other) that matched Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby together — and do they both shine on the screen.
I remember well one fourth of July that my daughter and I tried to mimic Fred Astaire’s 4th of July dance routine. If you’ve never seen this routine, it is spectacular. In it, Fred’s “partner” is fire crackers. Of course here I am forgetting exactly how many takes it took to film that sequence, but it tookseveral days and at the end of it, when Fred still wasn’t satisfied with it, the director intervened. Fred had lost weight during the filming of it and had gotten down to a mere 125 pounds or so. The director was worried about Fred’s health. Below is a picture of myself with my daughters as we prepare for my daughter’s wedding (this October). I’m on the left.
The movie’s plot centers around a performer (Bing), who is tired of the business, and who longs for the quiet life of the country. He tries his hand at farming, only to discover that it’s hard work. That’s when he comes up with the idea of starting an Inn at his farm that is open holidays only — so he can have the other days in the year to “kick around in.” The movie comes alive with Irving Berlin’s songs and they’ll have you tapping your feet and humming before you know what hit you. This is the movie that the famous song, WHITE CHRISTMAS, comes from. In fact, the movie WHITE CHRISTMAS was made because of the success of HOLIDAY INN.
So take a tip from me and go rent it today or go buy it today, and maybe you, too, will fall in love with Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and the magic of Irving Berlin songs. Below is a picture of m husband and I when we were on the Blackfeet reservation last August — behind us is a mountain written about in an older title of mine, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE, Chief Mountain.
So give your honey a kiss this New Year’s and remember these words from one of Irving Berlin’s wonderful songs from this incredible movie:
“So let the old year die, with a fond good-bye and our hopes as high as a kite
How can our love go wrong if…we start the New Year right.”