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Everyone Missed the Moment Vera-Ellen Almost Trips in the Iconic ‘White Christmas’ Scene

It may not have been a huge blockbuster like How the Grinch stole Christmas, and it may not have made you scream like love actuallybut white Christmas It is still considered one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time, and for good reason.

This 1954 musical film centers on a group of performers during World War II eager to spread the Christmas spirit to save a dilapidated Vermont inn. The star-studded cast is packed with several favorites of the time, such as Bing Crosby, danny kaye, rosemary clooney, Vera-EllanorthY dean jagger. Additionally, the film introduced the world to a number of catchy sing-along tunes, such as “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing” and “What Can You Do With a General?” Not to mention, the movie is also known for helping make the song “White Christmas” as iconic as it is today.

Behind this Christmas movie is a ton of super cool facts about the cast, setting, and story that’s sure to make you love the classic even more than you already do. So go ahead and scroll through this list of white Christmas facts Instantly, you will be a total trivia genius.


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This wasn’t the first time Bing Crosby sang ‘White Christmas’ on screen.

Many people assume that the title song “White Christmas” originally came from the movie of the same name. However, in reality, Bing Crosby first performed the tune 13 years earlier. white Christmas came out, on the radio show The Kraft Variety Theater. Later, he sang it in the 1942 Irving Berlin classic, holiday innas much as Blue skies in 1946. Still, most will agree that the white Christmas The film version is the best.

Irving Berlin opened his own Oscar for ‘White Christmas’.

There are some huge age differences.

As Betty Haynes, Rosemary Clooney plays Vera-Ellen’s older sister in the film, but she was actually seven years younger. When the movie came out, Rosemary was 26 and Vera-Ellen was 33. Even more surprising? Bing, who plays her love interest, was 51 when the film was released. That’s a 25-year age difference! (It’s also amusing to note that Dean Jagger, who played the elderly retired general, was actually born a few months after Crosby.)

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Because Vera-Ellen was two inches shorter than Rosemary Clooney, the wardrobe allowed her to wear higher heels. That way, the two women would appear to be of similar heights during their performances.

He was praised for being at VistaVision.

The film instantly gained notoriety and buzz the year it was released for being on VistaVision, Paramount’s then-new projection process on a wide, flat screen. The result was better pictorial quality and better colors on screen.

‘Sisters’ was not part of the script.

The Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye comedy act was not originally in the story. The actors were joking, and director Michael Curtiz found it so funny that he wrote the scene. Apparently the actors found it funny too – the laughter during the number is real. The film take was the best they could get from the two of them, who kept making each other laugh out loud.

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The Vermont inn also became a ‘Holiday Inn’.

Vera-Ellen didn’t actually sing any of the songs.

When Judy Haynes’ character sings, you’re actually listening to singer Trudy Stevens. The only time Vera-Ellen’s true voice is heard is when they disembark from the train in Vermont and the foursome sing the opening lines of “Snow”.

But he sure did all his own dancing!

Vera-Ellen started dancing at the age of 10. And at 18, she became one of the youngest Radio City Rockettes, performing in several Broadway shows before heading to Hollywood. Fun fact: growing up in Norwood, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, she shared her dance class with Doris Day!

Speaking of dancing, Rosemary Clooney wasn’t proud of her moves.

This dancer went on to great things.

Throughout the film, dancer George Chakiris accompanies the Haynes sisters in an uncredited role. But soon after, he got his due credit: he later won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as Bernardo in West Side Story.

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Fred Astaire was supposed to play Phil Davis.

After the success of Fred and Bing in holiday inn, this film intended to bring them together. But Fred had “retired” at the time white Christmas he was shot 12 years later and refused. The role was then offered to Donald O’Connor (known for Singing in the rain), but withdrew after illness. Ultimately, the role went to Danny Kaye.

Originally it was not about the snow.

In the club car of the train, the four leads sing “Snow” about their icy dreams. Originally, Irving Berlin’s tune was called “Free”, after the musical call me ma’am — and it had nothing to do with winter.

The TV camera in the ‘Ed Harrison Show’ scene is real.

Rumor has it, anyway. As stated on IMDb, the camera belonged to NBC’s Channel 4 station in New York (which changed its name to WRCA-TV in 1954).

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Bing Crosby made up most of the sandwiches with liverwurst and a little buttermilk.

The iconic scene when Bob tells Betty his theory of which foods cause which dreams was almost completely improvised. (She then launched into “Count Your Blessings” and stopped caring that liverwurst buttermilk sandwiches sound absolutely disgusting.) In fact, much of Bob’s dialogue was based on Bing’s own conversation. So he thanks jewelry like “weirdmobile”.

One line in the sandwich scene had a special meaning.

In a blink-and-miss-it moment, Bing’s character says the menu isn’t the same as “Toots Shor’s.” As it turned out, that was a very real restaurant on 51st Street in Manhattan, a favorite celebrity hangout at the time.

Rosemary Clooney took the role for a specific reason.

Danny Kaye was the class clown on the set.

Apparently, the actor caused a lot of iterations by making everyone break character with his humor. His on-screen pranks and antics made everyone laugh during filming.

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Bob Fosse was the uncredited choreographer.

You’ve seen Benny Haynes before.

When Bob looks at a picture of Benny Haynes, “The Dog-Faced Boy”, it’s actually a picture of an adult Carl Switzer. He is best remembered for playing Alfalfa in the original. our gangalso known as the the little rascals.

There is a huge mistake during one of the most iconic scenes.

Danny Kaye, a decent dancer but nowhere near Vera-Ellen’s ability, accidentally trips her near the end of “The Best Things Happen While You Dance”. As Vera-Ellen spins behind a kneeling Danny, she catches her foot in his, but recovers gracefully and imperceptibly (around 3:30 in this clip).

The costumes were created by an icon.

Designer Edith Head was already an Oscar winner when she worked on white Christmas. Over his lifetime, he’s won eight Academy Awards for costume design, more than any other individual in that category, for such classics as The sting, SabrinaY roman holidays.

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The train scenes were shot at a separate location.

At the time, MGM only had one train station set, not the interior of a train carriage. That’s why those specific shots were filmed at 20th Century Fox.

Vera-Ellen’s name is misspelled in the opening credits.

Irving Berlin changed the lyrics only for Bing Crosby.

The song “Gee, I Wish I Was Back in the Army” has lyrics about watching “Jolson, Hope and Benny for free”, a reference to war artists Al Jolson, Bob Hope and Jack Benny. The original words were “Crosby, Hope and Jolson all free”, but when Bing Crosby was cast, leaving it as is would break the fourth wall.

One of the most famous songs was not intended for the film.

“What can you do with a general?” it was actually first written for an unreleased project called stars on my shoulders.

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There is no “official” soundtrack.

The rights to the film’s soundtrack were controlled by Decca, but Rosemary Clooney was under an exclusive contract with Columbia, a competing record label. So, in 1954, Decca recorded and released an album featuring the film’s cast minus Rosemary (her part of her was sung by Peggy Lee). And Columbia released an album with Rosemary singing eight songs from the movie, which means the only way to hear her sing with Bing is on screen.

Yes, Rosemary Clooney is related to George Clooney.

The cast of ‘White Christmas’ have two relatives in ‘Star Trek’.

Benny wasn’t technically out of the country.

It’s confusing, but bear with us. It seems strange that as they prepare to go onstage for the “Sisters” routine, Betty and Judy mention that her brother is out of the country working in Alaska. But the movie was released in 1954 and Alaska wasn’t admitted as a state until 1959. That being said, it was a US territory at the time, so no technically out of the country

You can detect a certain accessory in various scenes.

Eagle-eyed viewers noticed that this red drum appears Many times throughout the movie. It can be seen in the opening number, then in Haynes’ dressing room, the Inn, and during one of the rehearsals.

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They reshot the ending, no film.

After finishing the final take, the actors were told that they needed to redo the ending, because the King and Queen of Greece were visiting the set and the producer hoped to “give them something to remember.” So the entire scene was “reshot” but with no film on the camera and no Bing Crosby, who had already left to play golf.

The snow in the final scene was actually asbestos.

The film premiered at a famous location.

On October 14, 1954, white Christmas held its grand premiere at Radio City Music Hall. “Irving Berlin’s words and music have never failed to win a warm and secure place in the affections of the American public,” reads the original. hollywood reporter review said that same year.

It was a box office success.

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