Since the election for President in the States is over now, I figure you would be in the mood to vote for your favorite Bing Crosby holiday film - Holiday Inn (1942) or White Christmas (1954).
Rock the vote!
If you make a 3rd choice, the colorized version of Holiday Inn, I'd vote. But I can't vote for the b/w version over White Christmas but I could vote for the color version of Hol. Inn over White Christmas. So, like all polls, the right question needs to be asked to get an honest answer.
Here's an even more interesting question, which Bing Christmas movie do you like best: High Time (Bing sings a Christmas song in it at one point, which makes it as much a Christmas movie as Bells Of St. Mary) or the 2nd choice being Say One For Me. My choice is Say 1 For Me.
I agree with Lee - the colour version of Holiday Inn is stupendous and it's the one to have - and vote for!
Years ago I saw James Stewart's "It's A Wonderful Life" that had been artificially coloured and I thought it was dreadful - an experience never to be repeated, so I initially resisted getting Holiday Inn, but technology has come a long way and what has been done is unbelievable in comparison. (I see that UK Channel 5 is due to show "It's A Wonderful Life" in colour shortly. Hope it's been improved since the one that I saw).
But, Lee, "Say One For Me"? Really? I think It's among the very few in Bing's "better not done at all" category, though I agree a couple of the songs stand up on their own merits, divorced from the film.
The colour version that the late Ken Barnes did was really good. Colours nice and soft compared to other films that were converted. I was a bit apprehensive to buying HI in colour.
I think I prefer HI over WC. Maybe because of the songs.
I know they were only films and story lines but both Fred and Danny gave me the 'pip' the way they kept on white an ting Bing (Fred) and the carry on from Danny re injury.
May be I'm too sensitive.
Oh, here in Morton - 100 mile from Seattle, 50 from Mt. Rainier we've had about 6" of the white stuff with more to come on Thursday.
You're so right Richard colorization has come a very long way from it's infancy in the late '80's. Unfortunately that very first effort to colorize It's A Wonderful Life, done by Hal Roach Studios in 1988 was a very very poor example of colorization. And even more unfortunate that's the version most people judge colorization on. Since that time It's a Wonderful Life has been colorized twice more. Republic pictures put out a very very nice looking version on VHS tape but then it was re-colorized all over again a few years ago and put out on DVD. This 3rd and latest version was even better than the already nice looking Republic Pictures VHS tape version. But that first version from the late '80's looked like nothing more than shades of brown and blue. Red was the almost impossible color to do right back then, so the reds never looked good. Today (have you seen the latest I Love Lucy Christmas special broadcast by CBS a week ago?) the colors are BRIGHT BEAUTIFUL & ACCURATE!!!! The Santa suits Lucy, Fred, Ethel & Ricky wear are beautifully bright red just as they should be. As for the pale washed out color of Holiday Inn, I do not agree that this washed out version of color is realistic or something to be haled. The only way to enjoy Holiday Inn in color is to turn the color dial all the way up (and I don't exaggerate here) and then the color will look natural. After all even in real life colors are bright and distinct and not like an old b/w photo that has been colored as they used to do in the golden olden days to old photographs. This is what the pale colors of Holiday Inn look like to me, an old colored photo.
But, hey, I've waited 40 years to see Hol Inn in color so washed out or not as long as I can turn my TV color dial up I'm happy with it. Now if they were to re-do it in the newest modern accurate way (as I Love Lucy's prove) the color would be vastly improved over what we have now. But as I say, a faded color version is better than a b/w version anytime, so until it's re-colorized I'm happy.
I do like White Christmas too, I watch it every year on Christmas night, sort of my final hearing of White Christmas for the year. But Holiday Inn is more entertaining and the combination of Fred & Bing and the beautiful Marjorie Reynolds can't be beat with a Danny & Bing.. And, of course the color version of Hol Inn is tops over White Christmas. It's my dream that one day they will re-colorize Hol. Inn in the new technology of today which is even better today than it was when it was done several years ago. With the colors bright and accurate as the I Love Lucy's and Bewitched's Seasons 1 & 2 colorized versions are Holiday Inn will be an unqualified hit in color.
Last edited by Archiefit (07/12/2016 5:34 pm)
Oh, as for Say One For Me, I remember back on the old Steven Lewis Bing board we used to have the discussion of Say 1 For Me with me being just about the only one defending it as my favorite. I still really like this movie, the beautiful Secret Of Christmas, the really beautiful opening instrumental theme orchestra music is to me one of those transportive moments. I can close my eyes to that opening theme orchestra & be transported to a wonderful land. I really love it. Yes, the Bob Wagner character is venile, vile and disgusting and certainly the worst part of the movie. But I fast forward thru Bob's singing that awful You Can't Win 'Em All number and even Debbie's Succeed number is pretty horrible. Esp. the way she sings Suck seed, well, it gives one other ideas.
But aside from these shortcomings, the Ray Walston part is beautiful esp. the way he comes around thanks to Bing and I like Joe Besser here too, I wish he would have said "Not So Harrrrd" like he used to with the 3 Stooges to Robert Wagner when he roughs him up, but you can't have everything. I also really like the scene of Bing decorating the church nativity scene. I like the way Bing talks to Debbie and the way he is with all the characters in the movie. When I watch this movie I'm not bored nor do I have the thought, "Oh Brother, this is ridiculous" as I do often when I watch High Time. Yes, High Time has Bing in it and the very beautiful Yvonne Craig
and even the just as alluring Tuesday Weld,
but some of the dialogue and action in the movie I find off beat and unrealistic. But with Bing and those 2 girls I'll watch the movie again and again, if not for them though I'd never watch this movie. It's that bad.
Last edited by Archiefit (07/12/2016 6:02 pm)
It just now popped up on my Christmas computer playlist.. How could I forget another MAJOR reason for liking Say 1 For Me is "It's Christmas Time Again", listening to it now. If for no other reason this song along with Secret of Christmas would make this a no contest winner when compared to the insipid High Time.
Don't remember that song in the film.
I'm adding a post to this thread just to keep it open and on top in the expectation (or vain hope) that we might get more than just eight votes. We have many times more than that signed up to this board and quite a few casual visitors. Where are you all? Do you really have no preferences?
Go to the opening message of this thread and punch in your vote.
Action! Now 12 in total.
Fairly positive inclination to Holiday Inn.
Last edited by Richard Baker (12/12/2016 7:36 am)
I voted for White Christmas, but for purely nostalgic reasons. The family gathering around the TV at Christmas for the annual screening of the film was my first introduction to Bing - as I'm sure it was for many people.
Having said that, I think Holiday Inn is the better film. Much as I like the pairing of Bing and Danny, Bing and Fred are peerless and the whole "look" of HI has much more of the Golden Age of Hollywood about it.
The "colorisation" question is interesting. I think it's very much horses for courses. I love the colour version of HI, but looking through a list of other great films released in 1942, I certainly wouldn't want to see Casablanca in colour. Yankee Doodle Dandy would be good, though...
'The Secret of Christmas' fromSay one For Me is my favourite non- religious Christmas song.
I use the words - it's not the things you do at Christmas time, but the Christmas things you do all year through - on my Christmas greetings
Bit of an update here. Last weekend saw Say 1 For Me, you're right, no Christmas Time Again but even Ray Walston who "wrote" the song in the movie gets the title wrong he calls it "The Spirit of Christmas" instead of "Secret of...". I wonder why they didn't fix that in editing or do a retake, pretty obvious error in the line. I think the only place you actually get to see Bing sing "It's Christmas Time Again" is in the '65 (or maybe the '66) Hollywood Palace show. Bing sings it with the Fred Waring choir as they come back from a commercial, but it's an abbreviated version.
I get those 2 songs mixed up, "Secret of.." and "It's Christmas Time Again".
Last night I saw the colorized version of "Holiday Inn" and for the first time saw it on my new TV. I didn't even have to turn the color all the way up (but still almost all the way) on this TV. Great seeing it too on a 60 inch screen this is the biggest I've ever seen it. Felt like Bing was in the house. And boy, wasn't Marjorie Reynolds so cute in those days. In color her red lips and blonde hair looks fabulous. Sorry to say by the time she made the Life of Riley TV shows, playing Chester's wife, she pretty much lost all that cuteness.
If I could, I'd take both, but if I have to pick, it would have to be Holiday Inn, not only because I think it has better songs, but because the pairing of Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby is simply fantastic. White Christmas is a very good musical, possibly inspired to a certain extent by Holiday Inn, but the latter is simply a superb musical any way we look at it. From a present-day perspective, though, the blackface number on "Abraham" (not one of my favorite songs in the movie anyway) may have hurt Holiday Inn somewhat, because it's an unfortunate choice (anachronistic already in the '40s) and arguably makes it harder to sell this fantastic movie to present-day audiences.