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Movie Mom

Happy December! ‘Snow’ from ‘White Christmas’

posted by Nell Minow

I love this song from White Christmas with Rosemary Clooney (George Clooney’s aunt), Bing Crosby, and Danny Kaye. Vera-Ellen was dubbed by Trudy Stevens.

 

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    It’s a fun number, but watching them perform, I can’t help but marvel at what an odd collection of neuroses and weird social conventions come together to sing that song about supposedly healthy nature. Note that, while they sing about the purity and beauty and freedom of whiteness, we see the hands of the coal black porter making them drinks and serving them. Everyone (except perhaps the black porter) is blind to the irony. And singing about beautiful, robust nature we have an odd collection of damaged eccentrics: anorexic Vera Ellen with her fixation on her neck, Rosemary Clooney shortly before her nervous breakdown, Bing Crosby whose easygoing demeanor masked one of the real rigid SOBs in Hollywood who spat on the floor between takes… and then in the middle of the song they spontaneously make that odd little tableau of a landscape out of a white napkin and a blue scarf– scarcely more artificial than what’s going on with the live actors. You can look at this scene and see happy, carefree Hollywood or you can see Fellini.

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