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The Scroll

No. 95: White Christmas

The melancholy beauty of sacred-secular America

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1954, dir. Michael Curtiz. Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” was introduced in a different film, the charming 1942 musical Holiday Inn. But it’s this 1954 remake that has stuck around. The plot is dopey, the dance sequences awkward, the palate garishly Technicolor. In other words: It’s a tinsel-swathed vision of Christmas at the affluent height of the Eisenhower era, with Bing Crosby presiding beneficently over the proceedings in a retina-scalding bright red Santa suit. The centerpiece, of course, is a Russian-Jewish immigrant’s hymn to the sacred-secular All-American festival: Berlin’s timeless title song, with melancholic beauty that cuts through all the glitz.

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Shalom Freedman says:

This list may be fun but it’s also ridiculous.’White Christmas’is the very opposite of a ‘Jewish film’ as it centers on and celebrates the holiday which reminds American Jews that the American culture is not so completely theirs as they think the other three- hundred and sixty- four days of the year.
The inclusion of certain high- quality and important films ( ‘Top Hat’ is another example here) as ‘Jewish films’ makes the whole list ridiculous.
Why not include every film made by Warner Bros. , Metro-Goldwyn Mayer, Fox and other major studios since the owners and many of the major players were Jewish.
I suspect the problem is had the list been confined to films with true Jewish content it would have been far more obscure, and certainly less glamorous.
Oh what a world we live in in which each and every thing is made into every other thing including its very opposite.


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No. 95: White Christmas

The melancholy beauty of sacred-secular America

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