Sunday, December 25, 2016

Remembering "White Christmas", Paramount's first film in VistaVision


Remember the 1954 musical “White Christmas” (directed Michael Curtiz).  I saw the film downtown Washington at the old RKO Keith’s.  It was Paramount’s first film in “VistaVision”, motion picture high fidelity.  The intended ratio was 1.66:1, modified later to 1.85:1 and finally 2.35:1 for an anamorphic release.  But for some years. Paramount did not have access to Fox’s widescreen Cineamscope introduced in 1953 (“The Robe”).



The plot contains  Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as ex-Army buddies who try to help a floundering B-and-B in Vermont save itself (long before the days of AirBNB), only to find their former commander (Dean Jagger) in charge. The “Sister Act” (I’ve seen the play but have yet to see the film of that name) by Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen, and a Christmas noreaster save the place.


The music and story all seem rather "Ozzie and Harriet"-like today.

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