Run time: 120 mins
The BFI’s meticulously restored White Christmas is a treasure trove of Irving Berlin classics: ‘Sisters’, ‘Blue Skies’, and of course… Two song-and-dance men (Crosby and Kaye, actually only one, Bing can’t dance) team up after the war to become one of the hottest acts in show-biz. One winter, after joining forces with a sister act (Gorgeous George’s aunt, Rosemary Clooney and stunning Vera Ellen) they hit the road. The real ‘adventure’ starts at a gig in Vermont. The run-down Inn belongs to their old army General. The result is unabashed sentimental slush, an immortal, perennial Christmas favourite unlikely to fade. 1950s: America’s boom decade. Was it a fabulous time there? Bogart, Brando and Doris Day; the cars, the romance, the Technicolor, with Ella and Sinatra in their prime. At the Pictures every home had a piano and a fridge while we were still rationing carrots and living in forty shades of grey (without a trace of smut) enjoying scrubbed necks, goose grease, darned everything, nits and the unforgiving one-pair of shoes worn too long for growing toes. But somehow Christmas always brought the annuals: Beano and Dandy and that single precious Mars bar. No television! There-there now… ‘The Past is another Country’. White Christmas remains a borderless fantasy passport.