Movie review: Holiday Inn musical stars Crosby and Astaire (1942)
By Belle Ayer, The Rock Island Argus (East Moline, Illinois) September 5, 1942
Irving Berlin’s “Holiday Inn,” co-starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire which opened yesterday at the Fort Theater, offers movie fans a real entertainment holiday from cares and worries.
There’s not a wartime jitter in the carload of songs, dances and merriment which make up its gay sequences.
The story, based on an idea that has long been a pet of Berlin’s, merely provides a thread upon which to hang some of that talented composer’s merriest melodies.
There are old favorites, “Easter Parade” and “Lazy,” and new hits, “Be Careful, It’s My Heart” and “White Christmas,” as well as a score of other numbers for Bing to sing and Astaire to dance to each in his inimitable style.
Marjorie Reynolds, pretty, blonde horse opera graduate, is a real find in the leading feminine role. She sings charmingly with Crosby, dances beautifully with Astaire, and all in all, proves herself captivating and versatile entertainers. Virginia Dale likewise gives a good account of herself as a vocalist and dancer in a slightly less-sympathetic role.
MORE: See inside Bing Crosby’s house from 1950 for some classic celebrity style
Jim Hardy, night club crooner, determines to leave the world of entertainment for the simple life on a Connecticut farm. His dreams of sharing this idyllic existence with Lila Dixon, Ted Hanover’s dancing partner, are shattered when Lila and Ted confess their love and plans to continue their dancing career.
When Jim finds country life isn’t the bed of roses he had imagined, he opens a rural night club called “Holiday Inn,” which caters to its patrons only on the holidays. He takes into partnership pretty Linda Mason, only to find Ted immediately up to his old tricks trying to cut in.
The film’s subsequent action revolves around thy holiday programs at the inn, giving super-entertainers Astaire and Crosby excellent opportunity to made their talents.
Vintage “Holiday Inn” movie lobby cards from 1942
Screen legends Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire sing and dance their way into your heart in one of the most timeless holiday classics of all time: Holiday Inn.
Featuring the Academy Award-winning song, “White Christmas,” Crosby plays a song and dance man who leaves showbiz to run an inn that is open only on holidays. Astaire plays his former partner and rival in love.
Follow the two talented pals as they find themselves competing for the affections of the same lovely lady (Marjorie Reynolds). ‘Tis the season for one of the most sensational musical comedies of all time!
The film is best remembered today for introducing the world to “White Christmas,” which became the best-selling Christmas song of all time.
Holiday Inn has been digitally remastered, and includes a full-length audio commentary with Film Historian Ken Barnes, including Archive Audio Comments from Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and John Scott Trotter.
Cast: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds
Written by: Claude Binyon
Directed by: Mark Sandrich
Produced by: Mark Sandrich
Music by: Irving Berlin
Holiday Inn movie trailer from 1942