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This song, like other racially icky songs, is actually used in White Christmas in a non-racist way. The same goes for Irving Berlin himself, who was part of a larger American cultural tradition that was suffused with racism, and he did his part both to perpetuate and subvert it. Minstrel shows and blackface arose first among white performers in the 1830s and involved those white performers painting their faces in caricatures of black slaves. A song where white people in blackface and a black family that’s kept in the kitchen praise a white man for freeing the “darkies?” It’s appalling to watch now. See more ideas about white christmas, vintage dance, 1950s dance. He only made it about five minutes in, but that’s five minutes longer than he’s ever watched anything before. 2020 Was the Year of Everyone Thirsting Online, A Trans/Non-binary Person’s Perspective on the Grogu vs. Baby Yoda Debate, Science Fiction and Fantasy Books to Gift Every Member of Your Weird and Cranky Family, Stop What You're Doing & Come Watch Meg From, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” Hits Different This Year, Let’s Settle This: A Unified Theory to Define “Christmas Movies”, Guillermo del Toro, Rian Johnson, and Edgar Wright Want You to Help Save FilmStruck, Classic Film Scenes as Ottoman Miniatures Fuse Cultures. Read the original review. Bosley Crowther reviewed “White Christmas” for The New York Times on Oct. 15, 1954. http://youtu.be/zS_kWttptS4 The touring production at the Benedum Center wraps popular songs and big dance numbers in a shiny holiday package. When I watched on Netflix, there was no blackface during the minstrel number. First, a detour. Required fields are marked *. White Christmas (1954) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. White Christmas is a musical based on the Paramount Pictures 1954 film of the same name.The book is by David Ives and Paul Blake, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. The “Abraham” number in White Christmas is purely a dance break. The movie on its face has the same problems as most films of its era: it was made by white people for a white audience and carried with it the inherent racism of Hollywood and its time. Dec 23, 2016 - Director Michael Curtiz (left) walks through a dance number with Bing Crosby (center) and Danny Kaye (right) on the set of "White Christmas", 1954. I read somewhere that Danny Kaye smoked like 5 packs of cigarettes a day yet could still shake his ass like that (not saying it’s *great* dancing but that it’s very active). Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye sing “Blue Skies”. I was searching all over to find the name of the type of the dance or what it was called and stumbled on to this post. tips@themarysue.com. White Christmas (1954) was the first film photographed in Paramount's widescreen VistaVision process. This action, dance & camp song is a hit with kids of all ages! The shapes and costume, are pulled right from Graham’s choreography. Remember a few paragraphs back when I told you about Irving Berlin’s time in the army in WWI? It was covered by Bill Perry [1], Blue Seven, Tim McKee, The Overtones [GB] and other artists. Dance to your hearts content !! Huh? I wasn’t expecting, when Clementine and I set out to watch White Christmas this evening, that I’d find myself delivering an impromptu, barely comprehensible lecture on modern dance… I know that I’d seen the movie before, but I had absolutely no memory whatsoever of this incredibly out-of-place little scene featuring Danny Kaye and half a dozen painfully serious young women in drab, utilitarian dresses, who look as though they were plucked right off the streets of Leningrad. The thing that struck me was the fact that the filmmakers had decided to critique modern dance here, in this way… by showing the “beautiful” woman in hot pink descending from above into this pit of drab, expressionless women. ... dances and musical numbers Joseph J. Lilley ... music director / vocal arranger ... Christmas Movies Ranked a list of 40 titles Much of what was problematic has been removed from these songs – except their history. Sorry you almost lost your dinner over it, old friend. And, for what it’s worth, I wasn’t critiquing the modern dance itself, which I found interesting. I suspect that I’m right, but I don’t know. Thanks for the great stories and “go Clementine ” display: none !important; We just watched I just introduced Alro to him for the first time a few days ago. Check out White Christmas by D.J. I’ll check it out. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author. But there was a snag: Fred Astaire didn’t like the script and refused to participate. I’ve never smoked and would have an asthma attack after about 10 seconds of hopping around like him. I would have preferred to have shown her Holiday Inn, which is what I went to Netflix looking for, but this knock off was the closest thing that I could find. Did they remove it with CGI? Download sheet music for White Christmas. And dance to a song like this: The lyrics to "Mandy" are as follows: I was strolling out one evening by the silv'ry moon I could hear somebody singing a familiar tune So I stopped a while to listen Not a word I wanted to miss It was just somebody serenading something like this Mandy There's a minister handy And it sure would be dandy The Ypsilanti Public Library has Holiday Inn, though at this time of year you’ll be waiting a while for it. No one likes a bragger, Peter “I’m Mostly White” Larson. But, I made something up, and we paused the movie for a few minutes, so that Clementine could try out a few moves. That this is still talked about in and of itself speaks to her talent and versatility. Learn how your comment data is processed. Through one number after another in "White Christmas", Vera Ellen astonishes in her ability to dance through a number of choreographic styles with grace and authority. White Christmas has endured recordings by various artists — there are over 500 known versions! The racist parts of it aren’t there.  =  A radical departure from the other widescreen formats of the era, VistaVision did not extend the width of the screen as much as it raised the height, which produced a significantly clearer image. One of many army-centric numbers repurposed for White Christmas. “White Christmas ” I just laugh so hard at the choreography Dance. They had their own tropes, stock characters, jokes, and musical language. The set on the Paramount lot was refurbished for the next Christmas classic. I don’t think there’s an answer here, only a conversation. The fading of these shows from the scene led some to be nostalgic for them, including a younger Irving Berlin. on to this post. Why show children this crap? With Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen. the type of the dance or what it was called and stumbled one I’m sure they’d love to have you join them on their side of the police barricade. The same is true of the minstrel number, which has only the slightest hint of minstrel or blackface imagery in the caricatures we see on some of the backdrops. While it is performed each holiday season, it seems to get an unusual amount of attention from the military. Company on Amazon Music. In “Holiday Inn,” the song and dance numbers were performed in the dining room: For “White Christmas,” the stage was moved into an attached barn: In real life, Rosemary was originally part of an act with her sister Betty: Every movie and song and piece of art has a story, it’s not always merry and bright. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. We actually hear “Abraham” only in an instrumental version as Vera Ellen dances her tail off. Dinner is always endangered by Danny Kaye. White Christmas was supposed to reunite Bing Crosby with Fred Astaire, who’d appeared together in both Holiday Inn and Blue Skies (1946). Holiday Inn is a 1942 American musical film directed by Mark Sandrich and starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, with Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Dale, and Walter Abel. The three leads singing so fondly about shows that were just so funny seems quaint…until you realize they’re lamenting the loss of a racist, harmful artform that went out of style half a century before. −  A check of the Google says yes: And it also became the first music ever used in a movie when it was sung by a Jewish character in blackface in The Jazz Singer. Now, back to White Christmas. And that’s what brings us back to White Christmas where this song and so many other are scrubbed of their racial and formerly racist context. starring Bing Crosby, … Thanks for the great stories and “go Clementine ” Dance to your hearts content !! I can’t dance at all and I’m mostly white. “The only thing is,” she said, “I don’t know if I could keep my face like Wednesday Addams for that long.” I told her that, during practice, you were probably allowed to smile, and that it was just during performances that you were required to look suicidal. I’m not going to mine for outrage and call White Christmas a racist movie. Holiday Inn stars Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire and is about a hotel that’s only open on Holidays (which seems dumb) and they start scraping the barrel for holiday songs really fast. Robert Alton is actually credited with being the choreographer (Dance Director) for White Christmas. http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=543803. Dance. Sep 6, 2014 - Explore Robin Stelly's board "White Christmas Dancers" on Pinterest. Many of the army related songs we hear in the show are from the same revue – called Yip Yip Yaphank – that “Mandy” comes from while others are repurposed from the 1943 movie Holiday Inn, where the song “White Christmas” was first heard on screen. We still live with minstrel relics in our culture – White Christmas being just one of them. The song White Christmas was written by Irving Berlin and was first recorded and released by Bing Crosby with Ken Darby Singers and John Scott Trotter and His Orchestra in 1942. Check out White Christmas by Ballet Dance Jazz J. White Christmas is just a fun movie, and I highly recommend it for holiday viewing. If you ask me what movie I put on first thing in December to get in the holiday spirit I’ll tell you right away that it’s White Christmas. Or to keep it anonymous, click here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOTWN8apuA8. The script and refused to participate told Clementine that I love holiday Inn too ( although the black scene. 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