All right, all right. It's well established that White Christmas (1954) wasn't nearly as good as its model, Holiday Inn, and never will be. Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen were more energetic and appealing in other musicals, where the plots weren't so thin and the dancing was better. And, yes, it's true: Irving Berlin was not at his best. Clinkers like "What Can You Do With a General" certainly never dented the Hit Parade.
Still, why not just embrace the spirit of the season, let snow fall once more on Dean Jagger's new resort hotel and let tune-crazy army buddies Bing and Danny do their best to improve business? On the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary, White Christmas returns in sparkling restored prints, courtesy of the good people at Paramount. Only Ebenezer Scrooge, pre-conversion, would be so heartless as to resist. Casablancadirector Michael Curtiz does a pretty nice job behind the camera (although he terrorized his actors), the first-ever movie shot in VistaVision still has that early widescreen sweep, and the talented cast includes Rosemary Clooney at the top of her form.
White Christmasopens Friday, December 10, for a one-week revival at the Starz FilmCenter, 900 Auraria Parkway. For information, call 303-820-FILM.