The Redford Theater brings back a holiday tradition this weekend with their annual screenings of “White Christmas”.
The 1954 musical stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as entertainers Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, who are serving their country in World War II. They are performing for their fellow soldiers on Christmas Eve 1944 when they learn their beloved commanding officer, Major General Thomas F. Waverly (Dean Jagger), is being relieved of command. He arrives for the end of the show and delivers an emotional farewell.
After the war, the duo becomes very successful with their song and dance act. One day they go to a nightclub to see a sister song and dance act at the suggestion of their former mess sergeant and become quite smitten with them; Bob with Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Phil with Judy (Vera-Ellen). When Betty and Judy travel to a Vermont lodge to perform a Christmas show, Wallace and Davis end up following them, only to discover that General Waverly is the lodge owner. Waverly has invested all of his savings into the lodge, which is in danger of failing because there’s no snow. And no snow equals no guests.
So Bob and Phil bring the entire cast of their current musical “Playing Around” to the lodge, and include Betty and Judy as well. Bob then calls a former army buddy turned TV host (Johnny Grant) to arrange a televised invitation to all the men formerly under the command of the General to come to the inn on Christmas Eve as a surprise. In response, Harrison suggests they go all out and put the show on national television to generate free advertising for Wallace and Davis.
Romantic misunderstandings occur between both couples while the surprise is being pulled off. Will Bob be successful? And will it ever start snowing at the lodge?
All the songs in the film were written by Irving Berlin. The centerpiece is the title song, first used in “Holiday Inn”, which won that film an Oscar for Best Original Song in 1942. ”Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)” earned the picture its own Oscar nomination in the same category, but lost to “Three Coins in the Fountain”. It was the most successful film of 1954.
The theatre is also sponsoring a nonperishable food drive for St. Christine’s Soup Kitchen at all shows this weekend. The soup kitchen serves over 400 meals a week. Santa Claus will be at all screenings as well, and patrons are welcome to bring cameras for pictures. The Redford Theatre also has a beautiful holiday themed model train layout set up in the orchestra pit.
Show times are Friday, December 4 at 8 P.M., and Saturday, December 5 at 2 and 8 P.M. Be sure to come a half-hour early for a musical overture on the historic Barton organ. Advanced tickets may be purchased here.