Stay a while in Holiday Inn

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Stay a while in Holiday Inn

A holiday classic, Holiday Inn takes you around the year with catchy songs and wonderful dances.

A holiday classic, Holiday Inn takes you around the year with catchy songs and wonderful dances.

Photo Credit: Kelly Branco

A holiday classic, Holiday Inn takes you around the year with catchy songs and wonderful dances.

Photo Credit: Kelly Branco

Photo Credit: Kelly Branco

A holiday classic, Holiday Inn takes you around the year with catchy songs and wonderful dances.

By: Kelly Branco, Reporter and Book Nook Editor

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Holiday Inn (1942) is a movie musical written by Irving Berlin. It stars Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, and Majorie Reynolds. It follows the story of an inn open only on holidays and a love triangle.

Summary

Jim Hardy (Crosby) and Lila Dixon (Virginia Dale) start the movie off by talking about how it was their last night in show business. They plan to marry the next day and live on a farm. After Jim leaves, his partner Ted Hanover (Astaire) comes in and asks Lila if she told Jim the news about how in love they are. She says she hasn’t, only complicating the situation. Jim learns of the affair and goes to the farm by himself, completely heartbroken. A year later Jim decides to see how his former fiancee and partner are doing by attending their show.

At a local flower shop, Linda Mason (Reynolds), notices Ted’s agent and after much pestering he gives

Photo Credit: Photo via normaltheater.com under Creative Commons License
Considered a classic Christmas song today, “White Christmas” was first introduced in this scene. This song even created another movie titled White Christmas starring Bing Crosby (left).

her a ticket to the show and tells her about an inn that his friend (Jim Hardy) is opening up if she wants to start performing somewhere. She meets Jim at the table while watching Lila and Ted on the stage. Later in the month, she decides to visit the inn that Jim owns and finds out that it isn’t open yet and asks to perform for him. He agrees saying that this inn will be the hottest spot during the holidays and he samples a song with Linda which is “White Christmas” .

Fast forward to New Year’s Eve and Ted wakes up to a letter from his fiance, Lila, that she has left to go get married to a millionaire. He drinks until hes super drunk and travels to the inn. Jim’s feelings for Linda are ever growing at this point. Fred dances with Linda on the dance floor while drunk and passes out. He wakes up the next morning wondering about her and wanting her as a partner for his act, although he doesn’t remember her face, only her back. Jim tries to avoid them from meeting because he doesn’t want Fred to steal another lady he likes. But, Fred and Linda meet and perform at the inn, much to Jim’s dismay.

The movie goes throughout some of the holidays like presidents day and Valentines Day. On Independence Day, Fred’s agent tells him that big Hollywood people are there to see him and Linda dance. Jim overhears and tries to stop Linda from attending the performance. When she finds out she is angry that he made a decision for her so she leaves with Fred for Hollywood.

Fast forward months later to Thanksgiving, Jim sees an article that Linda and Fred are engaged. He writes her a letter to her saying that he still loves her. He decides to visit them for Christmas, before their wedding. Linda seems so sad without Jim, she is filming a movie and sings White Christmas without knowing that Jim was watching her. He joins in and she leaps into his arms. The movie ends on New Year’s day at the inn. Jim, Fred, Linda, and Lila perform a number while Jim and Linda gaze lovingly at each other.

Review

Many people wonder whether this movie is a Christmas movie. In my opinion, it is. The movie starts out on Christmas and ends on New Year’s eve. It does go through many other holidays throughout the year.

Photo Credit: Photo via allposters.com under Creative Commons License
Astaire (right) is known for his tap dancing. He was known for dancing with his partner, Ginger Rogers (left) in the early 1940’s.

A fair warning: this movie is in black and white. I watched the color version too, but in my opinion the black and white version was better. You can focus on the plot line and the music better. Also the color version is a bit saturated and weird looking.

One thing that might be a bit unsettling to the viewers is that they do perform a number in black-face. I was uncomfortable watching this scene. It is an important plot point of the movie, Jim makes Linda perform in black face in order to hide her from Fred. But this is the 1940’s, minstrel shows were popular and it was a part of American culture back then. We can’t hide it. Aside from this, the movie was really good.

Fred Astaire’s dancing stood out to me the most. He’s a fabulous dancer. During the Independence Day scene he had a

solo tap dance and it’s amazing. Fred was a well-known dancer in the 1940’s so I wasn’t disappointed with his performance. Bing Crosby’s singing was phenomenal as well. His voice was like honey, sweet and rich and his singing brought this movie to life. His acting was amazing as well. In the scene where he writes the letter to Linda about his love made me tear up. He doesn’t speak much in this scene, just writes the letter, but his face showed his devastation.

Another thing I enjoyed was how timeless this movie was. I feel like people now can relate to the struggles of liking someone only to find out another person likes them too, and you know that they have a better shot than you do. This movie doesn’t have any references to things people might not catch. Which is good, because people can enjoy the movie.

This movie also has some slapstick which I thought was pretty funny. The scene where Jim falls off the roof at the sight of Linda into the snow had me laughing for a good minute.

Final Thoughts

I give this movie a 4.5 out of 5 presents. It’s an amazing movie but there were some moments where it dragged on. Even if you’re not into musicals I recommend you watch this classic.

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