Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Christmas Countdown: Film #1 - Holiday Inn (1942)

Bad weather and a day off work meant that we decided to kickstart our Christmas Film Advent Calendar a little earlier than planned (that and the sudden realisation that we actually had more films to watch than available days to watch them in!)

As planned, we started with Holiday Inn the earliest Christmas film in our collection (which dates as 1942). Traditionally I watch this one as part of my run up to Christmas films in November (along with Love Actually and The Holiday). It's a Christmas film but it's not just about Christmas, so you can justify getting it out a little bit early.
This year we picked up a copy of the two-disc DVD version of the film which includes a colour version as well. We watched the black and white version earlier in the month (to check that the discs were working properly, of course) so decided to go for it in colour this time around.

Normally I'm not a fan of colourised versions of films, then again, I do struggle with some black and white films as well (mainly with focusing on what's going on though I find them easier to watch now than I did when I was younger). The problem with colourised films is that they sometimes take on a cartoony quality, normally the clothes and backgrounds look okay but the people look too pink or peachy coloured to be normal.

So I was pleasantly surprised by this version. Having watched the black and white version so recently it was easy to see the differences between the two. Both Mr Click and I felt as though we were watching an entirely new film! The fact that everything was in colour meant that we were noticing things that in the black and white version would just fade into the background. And the colours seemed right as well, there were a couple of times that we mentioned that we had expected someone's outfit to be a different colour, but other than that it was all perfect.
Of course the main thing you have to love about this film are the songs. It was this film that later spawned <b>White Christmas</b> and I think that the first performance of the song White Christmas in this film is easily comparable to the final performance of the film of the same name. There's something magical about two people sitting around in their dressing gowns singing, rather than a big performance in front of a big Christmas tree.

The dance routines are interesting (especially for someone who took about two years of adult tap dancing lessons) but it's the singing I prefer. The songs have a way of getting into your head so you find yourself humming them days later. And while some TV showings cut the 'Abraham' song from showings, it's good to see it on the DVD version (so viewers can decide for themselves whether or not to watch it); it is a part of both our own and cinema's history.

Next up we're planning on watching It's a Wonderful Life. Which isn't one of my favourite Christmas films, but it's a classic and I do love the Muppet version.

1 comment:

  1. I loved seeing Bing sing White Christmas, but his "playing" of the piano rankles. Just let the man use that great voice of his. Fred's dancing is jaw dropping. How about that firecracker scene?


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