120 minutes, U.S.A., 1954, Colour, D-Cinema

Bob (Bing Crosby) and Phil (Danny Kaye) meet during the Second World War, where the latter persuades the former, a Broadway performer, that they should become an entertainment duo. Following the War, the two become a huge hit, eventually becoming musical producers. When the pair audition sisters Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera-Ellen), they are smitten, though Bob needs some persuading before he will let Betty know how he feels.

When the foursome end up at a Vermont inn owned by the men’s former commanding officer, now fallen on hard times, Bob puts out a call on national television for their former division to come to the inn on Christmas Eve. With a treasury of songs by Irving Berlin, including, of course, White Christmas (first heard in 1942’s Holiday Inn), enjoying this on the big screen is a must for any fan of musicals. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)

This is screening as part of IFI Christmas Crackers, a season of family favourites, classics and archive films in December.

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