Pssst, want to check out Holiday Inn in our new look?
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My second favorite movie with blackface.
While visiting my parents over the holidays, we agreed to watch this film the other night. Both parents bad to hit the hay about halfway through, though how much the movie had to do with their tiredness I do not know.
That was a pointless anecdote I only shared because I'm insecure about my writing prowess and sought to reproduce something like one of Ebert's review-opening stories. If I were him, at this point I would've tied the pointlessness of my story into my thoughts on the movie, but I'm not Ebert, and quite liked the movie.
Holiday Inn is an early Hollywood musical about a singer (Bing Crosby that, upon being severed from his stage partner (Fred Astaire), concocts the idea of a happening resort only open on holidays, thus its name, giving him ample time (350 days a year, by his calculation) to laze about. A young upstart singer/dancer (Marjorie Reynolds) somehow manages to get herself involved with Crosby after a bunch of plot crap that doesn't matter. Basically, to make a long story short, she assists Crosby in managing the inn, and the two develop largely unspoken feelings for one another, but Fred Astaire and his showbiz connections threaten to separate them. The tale's much like many I'm sure we've all heard, but it's the icing that makes this cake. Not only do you have the obviously top-notch performers involved, there are some really delightful gags sprinkled throughout. Not all of the musical numbers are great, in particular those centered on Abraham Lincoln and George Washington (the blackface was treated in a humourously casual way, from a modern perspective), but a lot of the lackluster songs are saved by great dancing, which I just cannot get enough of. Call me a nerd, but tap dancing is for me what extravagant action scenes are from so many others. I also thought Crosby and Astaire's characters' antagonistic friendship was unusually refreshing for what you'd probably expect to be a much more cookie-cutter movie.
There's really not much more to say. I'd love to write a whole review of that one joke towards the end (when they take a shortcut), but that'd spoil it. It's, and I'll say it again, refreshing. Totally worth an hour and a half of your time.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!