by Ken B.
Holiday Inn is loose, light entertainment – almost too light, when it begins to float away without really establishing itself. Yes, I will admit, the musical numbers are, of course, well choreographed and performed, yes, I will admit that the main point of the movie was not the story, it was the fact Bing Crosby sings and Fred Astaire dances, but still…
The movie starts with the introduction of Jim (Crosby), Ted (Astaire), and Lila (VIRGINIA DALE), the members of a very popular New York nightclub act. The group is about to formally disband – Jim has planned to marry Lila and move up to rural Connecticut. Before he can explain this, Lila informs him that she is in love with Ted, and will remain in the act as Ted’s dancing partner.
Jim leaves and move up to Connecticut, opening a place called Holiday Inn, a sort of small performance center that is only open 15 days out of the year – holidays. When he meets an airport shop employee named Linda (MAJORIE REYNOLDS), who aspires to be a singer and dancer, Holiday Inn officially opens and becomes enormously successful, as Ted meets up with him again and potentially jeopardizes the current balance of things.
It’s obvious that the main point of this movie was to show off the multiple musical numbers – why else would you have Crosby & Astaire in this? Irving Berlin was responsible for the music here, with “White Christmas”, going on to win an Academy Award as the most well known song in the movie.
The 101 minute runtime ensures that the film’s pacing is good – never rushing or dragging. However, it all circles back to whether you have deep interest in the subject matter or the music. If 1940s Broadway-style music fails to interest you, this will be the longest hour and forty minutes in your life, so in the end making pacing more subjective than usual.
It should be worth noting that this movie works on multiple holidays; after all, songs for multiple holidays are featured throughout it, all equally unique and entertaining, with the lavish set design to match.
Holiday Inn is recommendable, but only under a few circumstances. You must have no problem with constant Broadway style music, be able to take the pacing, and not mind about a weak story, but I really don’t know what you were expecting in the first place. Run down the checklist, and Holiday Inn is good to go.