Did You Know? White Christmas (1954)

When I think of Christmas I always think of 1954's White Christmas. I have a small handful of favorite Christmas films that I have to watch every year and this is one of them. There are so many things I love about this film. The comedy, the romance, the dance numbers, Danny Kaye, and the costumes just to name a few wonderful things about this movie.

If you want to get into the holiday spirit, this film with put you straight in the mood. But have you ever wondered about the background stories of the making of this film? Here are some facts about White Christmas (1954) that you may or may not know but hopefully will find it as interesting as I do.

When the character Judy Haynes sings, you're actually hearing Rosemary Clooney or singer Trudy Stevens. The only time Vera's real singing voice is heard is when they disembark the train in Vermont and the quartet sing the opening lines of "Snow.

When the film came out, Rosemary was 26, and Vera-Ellen, 33. Even more striking? Bing, who plays her love interest, was 51 when the movie debuted.

The film was the highest-grossing movie of 1954 with a box office take of $12 million. 

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye's comedy act wasn't originally in the story. They were goofing around, though, and director Michael Curtiz found it so hilarious that he wrote it in. Apparently, the actors found it comical, too: The laughing during the number is real.

Although Dean Jagger was made out to be the "old man", Bing Crosby was actually six months older than Dean in real life.

When Bob looks at a picture of Benny Haynes, "The Dog-Faced Boy," it's actually an image of a grown-up Carl Switzer. He's best remembered for playing Alfalfa in the original Our Gang, also known as the The Little Rascals.

According to Rosemary Clooney, the "midnight snack" scene in which Bob Wallace expounds on his theory of what foods cause what dreams was almost entirely improvised.

Percy Helton, who plays the railroad conductor, also appears in another holiday movie, playing the drunk Santa Claus at the beginning of Miracle on 34th Street (1947).

At 18, Vera-Ellen was one of the youngest Radio City Rockettes.

During the "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing" sequence Danny Kaye is wearing gray and Vera-Ellen is wearing pink. Pink and gray was the hot color combination in 1954.

"Judy" was shorter than "Betty" so in an effort to make them even heights for their song numbers, although their shoes were matching, Judy's heels were higher.

Bob Fosse was the uncredited choreographer.

Throughout the film, dancer George Chakiris accompanies the Haynes sisters in an uncredited role. But soon after, he received the credit he was due: He later won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as Bernardo in West Side Story. 

The Vermont inn is the remodeled Connecticut inn set from Bing Crosby's earlier movie Holiday Inn (1942).

After Fred and Bing's success in Holiday Inn, this film was intended to reunite them. But Fred had "retired" by the time White Christmas was shot 12 years later and he declined. Then, the part was offered to Donald O'Connor (known for Singin' in the Rain) but he pulled out after an illness. Then, the part was reworked for Danny Kaye.

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