EVERYONE knows that this first appeared, not in the movie of the same name, but in the 1942 film, Holiday Inn. A gap of 12 years separates the two. Truth be told, neither film is particularly festive. White Christmas has a great beginning and an okay ending with huge amounts of tedious padding in between. Holiday Inn is the better film, although it has some truly remarkable songs, including one with Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds blacked up as former slaves singing about Abraham Lincoln! It also has a fascinating “call to arms” montage where a jingoistic Crosby and Reynolds encourage their audience to fight for their country. “Of its time” is probably the most appropriate description.
Anyway, forget the movie – just enjoy what is arguably the most popular and recognisable Christmas classic of all time. This clip, incidentally, is from Holiday Inn: