Holiday Inn (1942)

Holiday Inn

Holiday Inn Review

Holiday Inn is a 1942 musical film directed by Mark Sandrich and starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. It is best known for introducing the classic song White Christmas and it is one of the classic Christmas movies.

First off, the story. It is incredibly flawed and the film’s biggest weakness. I know that musicals usually don’t have a strong story, but this one was not only weak, but also rushed and at times even boring and clichéd. It starts off well and the whole third act is absolutely superb with the car scenes being hilarious, but the middle parts are all so uninspired, rushed and underdeveloped.

The characters are also lacking. They are very good, but still archetypes and the love triangle at the center of the film is very clichéd. However, that love triangle still provided many humorous moments as the rivalry between Ted and Jim had many hilarious lines. Linda is definitely the finest character here as she is so charming and incredibly likable. She provided the biggest laughs near the end.

The acting is top-notch. Virginia Dale and Marjorie Reynolds are both really good, but this is of course the show between Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire and they both deliver in spades. Bing Crosby is so funny and he sings beautifully in this movie whereas Fred Astaire provides a couple of his best dance routines as they are so inventive, wonderfully entertaining and instantly recognizable.

Holiday Inn has amazing music and having in mind it is a musical, the picture then succeeds. Yes, it is overstuffed with too many songs as songs literally come in every couple of minutes at the expense of story progression and character development, but those songs are still fantastic and most are so memorable. Most are catchy and almost all of them are inherently charming and heartwarming. Happy Holiday is so good, but Easter Parade is also solid and Let’s Start the New Year Right is so fun. Abraham was annoying to me, but most of the other songs are incredible. And let’s talk about White Christmas. I honestly wasn’t such a big fan of it before, but now watching it in the actual movie, I became a fan. I loved it! It is not only catchy and so well sung by Bing Crosby, but it also has beautiful lyrics and is just so incredibly pleasant and heartwarming. It is a perfect Christmas song and it undoubtedly deserved the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

The scene in which they play the song is the movie’s highlight as it has such nice imagery and is just so cozy and instantly memorable. The highlights were also the opening of the inn, the car driving scenes and the ending is also really nice. Holiday Inn isn’t a great movie, but it surely is very good. It’s well directed and solidly paced. The story and the characters are weaker, but the acting is great and the dance routines are gorgeous with some being so innovative and vastly entertaining. I also liked how they incorporated the many holidays of the year as all of them had something going for them, whether it was the visuals or the dances and songs. I really liked the humor in the movie as it was surprisingly good and present throughout the whole running time. I laughed out loud a couple of times and that caught me off guard. And the whole flick has such a big heart and is so inherently likable. It did deserve its Oscar and although it isn’t on par with the greatest Christmas classics of the forties, it is still very good and one of the better films of 1942.

Holiday Inn has weaker characters and story, but the music is amazing with most of the songs being superb, charming and catchy. It is well acted, the dance routines are phenomenal and the film is inherently charming and heartwarming while also having a good sense of humor.

My Rating – 4

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      Interior & Exterior Stills from Holiday Inn

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Posted in 1940s, 1942, MOVIE REVIEWS, Musical and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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