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White Christmas (1954)

tomatometer

76

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 26 | Rotten: 8

It may be too sweet for some, but this unabashedly sentimental holiday favorite is too cheerful to resist.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 2

It may be too sweet for some, but this unabashedly sentimental holiday favorite is too cheerful to resist.

audience

89

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 49,071

My Rating

Movie Info

White Christmas, Paramount's belated follow-up to the 1942 hit Holiday Inn, was the studio's first VistaVision production. A veritable warehouse full of oldie-but-goodie Irving Berlin tunes are woven into the film's simplistic plotline, along with a handful of new songs, of which "What Can You Do With a General?" is the least memorable. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye (replacing an ailing Donald O'Connor) play nightclub entertainers Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, while Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen

Nov 21, 2000

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (8) | DVD (13)

Paramount's first film in (lavender-hued) VistaVision was this pornographically soppy but, nonetheless, hearty and humorous 1954 festive romp.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, along with VistaVision, keep the enteratinment going in this fancifully staged production, clicking well.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The whole thing is rather forced and antiseptically cheerful.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Michael Curtiz has made his picture look good. It is too bad that it doesn't hit the eardrums and the funnybone with equal force.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Great songs, gentle humour and a dose of syrup which is not to everyone's tastes, but worth buying to keep that Christmas spirit going until next year.

December 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Musical-comedy classic reprises Irving Berlin hit.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

...not a great musical, just a pleasant little piece of fluff trying to capitalize on past accomplishments.

November 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

White Christmas is the cinema equivalent of an inappropriate festive snog under the mistletoe - you know you probably shouldn't enjoy it but you just can't help yourself.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

It's a nice, if undemanding, Yuletide treat.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

This was the Mamma Mia! of its day, a nostalgic blast of popular Irving Berlin showtunes gift-wrapped in new-fangled VistaVision that danced its way to the top of the 1954 box office.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

A new score by Irving Berlin also contributed to its marzipan popularity. But it's the title song that really produced lasting gold. That and the fake snow.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

How many festive shopping experiences have been ruined by the sound of Bing Crosby gargling out White Christmas over department store tannoys worldwide?

December 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Teletext
Teletext

With a cast like this, the ensuing light-hearted mayhem and Irving Berlin's title song, there is not much cause to complain if you're looking for nothing more than mild diversion.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Though it's not as satisfying as it might have been, it still boasts great stars and catchy songs in addition to a love story, and is a perennial holiday favorite.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Hardly put me in a Merry Christmas mood.

November 25, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This slightly racy studio musical from 1954 isn't the holiday classic you might think

December 15, 2004 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Love, music, and gorgeous Technicolor mesh nicely. It snows on cue every time you see it.

October 25, 2004

Feels...like the time of night where it's almost time for bed, the fire in the fireplace is beginning to die and the house seems just a little cold.

December 3, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Views

It's a genuine classic.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Good songs, nice performers, not much movie.

November 25, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for White Christmas

Gen. Waverly: There's no Christmas in the army, captain.

White Christmas is a great Christmas classic and a fantastic musical. It has a story that's not too Christmassy but still manages to sum up the whole idea of what Christmas should be about. I'm not the biggest fan of musicals, but when I do see one I enjoy, it's always a treasure. This is a new favorite of mine when it comes to the holiday season. 

Two army friends create a song and dance act that becomes extremely successful. When they go to see a sister act, Phil decides to try to hook Bob up with one of the sisters. They end up going with the Haynes sisters to Vermont where they are to play a show at an inn. This inn ends up being owned by Bob and Phil's commanding general from their army days and things aren't looking great for the general. Since there's no snow to speak of, his inn is completely empty and it looks like he could lose it. Bob and Phil decide to do a show there in order to attract people and they end up coming up with an idea that will be a great gift for their beloved general.

White Christmas is a beautiful movie with endearing performances and some pretty good song and dance numbers. Fans of old musical will love it, as should people who don't really care for this sort of thing normally. It's easy to see why this movie is so highly regarded when it comes to the Christmas season. It's a great holiday movie to sit down with the family to.
December 14, 2013
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

White Christmas is a perennial favorite of the holidays. Of course the title for the movie is from the enduring hit, the best-selling single of all time. Originally written for the 1942 musical Holiday Inn, White Christmas was a belated follow up to that hit movie. This is another excuse to weave a lot of Irving Berlin songs into a simplistic plot. "Blue Skies", "Snow", "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me." They're all here. The song "Sisters" is particularly entertaining - in 2 different versions sung by both sexes. Bright colorful production is beautifully filmed in the widescreen format VistaVision. White Christmas also spotlights some really splashy dance numbers including "Choreography", "Abraham" and "Mandy". The latter of which features dresses and tuxes in such blazing reds and greens, the color is simply bursting from the frame. The spectacle was syrupy sweet when it came out, but feels even more corny today. A less secure critic might be embarrassed to concede that he actually delights in this sort of hokum. I freely admit I enjoy this film without one iota of shame. There's a sugar-coated artificiality to the proceedings, but that's what makes the old fashioned display so heartwarming. There's a reason why this has endured for 6 decades.

fastfilmreviews.com
December 8, 2013
hobster1

Super Reviewer

Cute, charming and funny enough to give my annual "It's a Wonderful Life" routine a break this Christmas. I recommend finding a theater around the holidays to become immersed in the stage productions and further enjoy the richness of Bing Crosby's performances.
December 21, 2012
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

Having never seen this, i figured this would be the perfect time. Made in 1954, it holds up pretty well. Not a big musical fan, but I found the songs to be catchy and entertaining. Plus, Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas" is pretty awesome, can't lie. It's the story of four entertainers trying to help a ex General who runs a hotel and has financial trouble. All the performances are solid, and the ending is both emotional and touching. Not my favorite Christmas movie, or musical(this ain't no "Singin in the Rain"), but I can see the appeal for long time fans. Go back and watch for a retro Christmas musical treat.
December 25, 2011
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

    1. Judy: [about Betty] Yesterday, she couldn't sleep. Today, she won't eat. She's in love.
    2. Bob Wallace: Well if that's love, somebody goofed.
    – Submitted by Brigita S (2 years ago)
    1. Phil Davis: When what's left of you gets around to what's left to be gotten, what's left to be gotten won't be worth getting, whatever it is you've got left.
    2. Bob Wallace: When I figure out what that means I'll come up with a crushing reply.
    – Submitted by Brigita S (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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Foreign Titles

  • Weiße Weihnachten (DE)
  • White Christmas (UK)
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