White Christmas (1954)

Academy Awards

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (Irving Berlin’s “Count Your Blessings”)

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Movie Trivia

Many of those who are unfamiliar with who Danny Kaye is might recognize him from this movie. It's shown every year during the Christmas season and is a holiday classic. Originally, however, Danny wasn't even meant to star in this movie. It was originally supposed to be Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire...then Bing Crosby and Donald O'Connor. Danny was the last-minute, third choice...and I'm sure most every Danny fan is glad he agreed to do it! White Christmas is a wonderful movie with great music by Irving Berlin. Danny and Bing worked really well together on set, and I think it shows. The character of Phil Davis is a charming one, and Danny plays it perfectly. There isn't anyone else I can picture doing this role. Despite the fact that Danny was not a classically-trained dancer, his dance number with Vera-Ellen ("The Best Things Happen When You're Dancing") is brilliant; it's a joy to watch Danny move around. And of course Bing Crosby is wonderful as well. Why wouldn't he be? He was Bing Crosby! There's not much more I feel I can expand on. Most Danny fans have probably seen this movie. It's a classic. It's fun. It's perfect for any time of the year...not just Christmas. My only wish is that if this is the only--or one of the few--Danny Kaye movies you've seen...you must see more! Danny must be experienced in his true fullness. Though Danny is adorable in his role as Phil Davis, most of his other movies show his true scope, talent, and abilities!

Film Information

Filmed: Sept. 21 - Dec 10, 1954

Released: October 14, 1954
(Koenig, David.
Danny Kaye: King of Jesters, pg 166)

This movie was originally meant to reunite Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire after the success of a previous movie they had done, Holiday Inn. However, Fred Astaire and his replacement, Donald O’Connor, were both unable to do the movie so Danny Kaye was offered the role. For more info on that see: “Danny Kaye to Get Small Fortune”

Vera-Ellen had previously appeared with Danny in Wonder Man (as Buzzy Bellew’s love interest, Midge) and The Kid From Brooklyn (as Burleigh Sullivan’s sister, Suzy)

Even though Rosemary Clooney plays Vera-Ellen’s older sister, Vera-Ellen was actually older than Rosemary Clooney!

Norman Panama and Melvin Frank, two out of the three writers for this movie (Norman Krasha was the third), also worked on Danny’s films: Knock on Wood and The Court Jester.

This was Paramount’s first movie filmed in VistaVision.


“Danny Kaye to Get Small Fortune” - article regarding how Paramount got Danny on board for White Christmas, Sept. 1953

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