Each Christmas look at a return to the screen of the 1954 holiday classic, White Christmas. The film takes its title from the ever-popular Irving Berlin Christmas classic, very first performed by Bing crossby in holiday Inn (1942). The song instantly became an top tune during the war. Featuring few of the greatest stars in ~ the time—Bing Crosby, Danny Kay, Vera-Ellen, and also Rosemary Clooney—and brought to life v Berlin classics, White Christmas to be the most successful movie of 1954. However looking previous the iconic music, dazzling run scenes, and comedic genius, the film provides intriguing comment on the life the veterans after civilization War II. 

The film starts in Europe on Christmas night in 1944, wherein we meet Bob Wallace (Crosby) and Phil Davis (Kaye) together they carry out a Christmas show for their fictitious 151st Division. Together the men resolve disheartening news that not only are castle being relocated up to the front, but major General thomas Waverly (Dean Jagger) is gift relieved, they offer Waverly a sendoff through the track “The Old Man.” after the performance, the team comes under one aerial attack, and also Davis, a private, pushes Wallace come safety, injuring his own arm in the process. Wallace access time Davis in the ar hospital, whereby he uses to pay the debt he feel he owes to Davis for saving his life. The result is the wildly effective postwar musical duo that Wallace and Davis. 

As the film transitions come the postwar era, the glitz and glamor the the costumes and also the existing story take facility stage, however beneath that all, over there is a template of camaraderie and also obligation the Wallace and also Davis have actually not just to each other, but to the males with who they served. Throughout the film, Wallace and also Davis use the forgive “It’s because that a pal in the army” together they execute something out of the ordinary:

Davis: give me one reason, one great reason, why we have to spend our last two hrs in Florida looking in ~ the sisters of Freckle-Face Haynes, the dog-faced boy.

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Wallace: Let"s simply say we"re act it because that a pal in the army, huh?

Davis: Well, it’s no good, however it’s a reason.

Their attraction to the Haynes sisters outcomes in Wallace and Davis cancelling their plans for brand-new York and also traveling come Vermont where Betty (Clooney) and also Judy (Vera-Ellen) are scheduled to entertain in ~ a ski lodge end the Christmas holiday. Getting here in an unseasonably warmth Vermont, the sisters discover out that their solutions won’t be needed. No snow way no guests. Meanwhile, a startling surprised awaits Wallace and Davis. The owner of the inn is none various other than general Waverly. Wallace and also Davis snap to attention, shocked to find out their former general currently runs one inn. Waverly insists on maintaining his agreement through the Haynes sisters, and Wallace hatches a plan to aid Waverly: his and Davis’ whole show will do at the inn ~ above Christmas Eve.

After learning Waverly’s request to return to active duty has been denied, Wallace decides come take things one step further and puts out a plea via the Ed Harrison television program to the men of the 151st division to concerned the inn for the show. The response is overwhelming, and also as Waverly start the dining room (in his dress uniform, thanks to his scheming housekeeper and also granddaughter), he is met with an excellent applause and also men that his former department perform “The Old Man,” together they had actually on Christmas night ten years before. As the present goes on, it starts to snow, developing a perfect backdrop for the show and also film’s finale—“White Christmas.”

Throughout the film, Wallace and Davis carry out things they would certainly really favor not to—including because that one another—out of a sense of commitment they feeling to fellow veterans. The lengths Wallace and also Davis go the end of their way to assist the Haynes sisters is driven by their sense of loyalty to the women’s brother they served with. Veterans felt a sense of camaraderie and understanding with one another, regardless of branch or ar of service. They had actually a mutual experience the civilians can not understand. 

However, the is with Berlin’s songs that the postwar experience of the veteran comes through strongest. Songs such together “What deserve to You execute With A General?” and “Gee, ns Wish ns Was ago in the Army” reflect a postwar endure that goes against the rose sense most Americans have of what return to civilian life was choose for veterans. “What have the right to You carry out with a General?” highlights the issue of finding meaningful postwar occupational for men who had actually held an excellent responsibility in the military. What civilian work can compare to top men throughout war? This is the exact situation that Waverly faces. A man loved, admired, and also willingly adhered to by hundreds of men, the finds self running a ski lodge in Vermont. When Wallace and also Davis first see Waverly in ~ the lodge, Davis can’t believe Waverly is functioning as a janitor, come which Waverly responds, that worse—he owns the place. Clearly, it wasn’t what he had envisioned for himself at the end of the war. ~ above the Ed Harrison show, Wallace performs the “General” track as part of his plea to acquire men the the 151st division together to repeat Waverly castle haven’t forget him.

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They fill his chest through medals while he"s throughout the foamAnd they spread the crimson carpet once he come marching homeThe next day someone hollers once he comes into view‘Here come the general’ and also they every say ‘General who?’They"re delighted the he cameBut castle can"t recall his name

The film additionally touches on the experience of countless enlisted men returning home. The tune “Gee, i Wish ns Was back in the Army” highlights the blended feelings of many war veterans—I believed it was the worst time of mine life, however maybe it wasn’t. After getting out that the military, countless young men and women struggled to discover their place in the civilian world. Despite the id of many today the the postwar world was a golden e for America, plenty of veterans struggled to shift back into civilian life. Veterans of many wars would likely affix with Berlin’s lyrics, sung cheerfully and humorously by the film’s stars: 

When ns was mustered outI thought without a doubtThat ns was with with every my care and also strifeI thought that ns was thenThe the happiest of menBut after months of difficult civilian lifeGee, ns wish ns was earlier in the ArmyThe army wasn"t really bad at all

Despite the glitz, glamour, and humor that the film, White Christmas has surprising depth. Released almost a te after the war, it to be an immediate hit. Highlighting the battles of some veterans in the postwar people would have been much less surprising to audiences than it is today. The idea that the battle years together a high point in the lives of plenty of was likely very real come veterans who saw the movie in 1954. As the years wore on and also the war came to be a distant memory for filmmakers, the concept that men struggled through life after ~ the battle was replaced by big action sequences and also heroics. To lid the emotional ride for veterans the town hall the film in 1954, it ends with a magnificent performance of “White Christmas.” The movie no doubt brought back memories the Christmases aboard pearls or in foxholes because that veterans, and also of quiet Christmases top top the residence Front, wait for a organization member’s return. Because that others, such together Donna beam Moore, the tune evoked cherished memories through loved persons who never returned from war.