"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Movie Review: Holiday Inn (1942)

Greetings, folks!

I hope that you are all going to have a lovely occasion. Did I say occasion? I meant day. Whoops, slip of the tong--er--hand. If you’ve been around my blog for awhile, you know that I love reviewing things for special occasions. It isn’t likely that I would randomly review a Christmas movie in July (my sister insists that it would work because “Christmas in July”...but no.) Today I’ll be talking about a movie that has so many holidays that I could chose to review it on, but I think I finally found the right one. Why? Read on!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. The main review is spoiler free, but later on there will be some spoilers. I will warn you in time, though!

Holiday Inn (1942):
Stage performer Jim Hardy is tired of having no breaks. He never has a day off and even has big shows on holidays! He decides to quit it all and buy up a farm, thinking that he’ll have free time whenever he wants it. Turns out he was wrong and it is a lot of work. His new brilliant idea is to only work on the holidays and have everyday off! He forms plans to open an inn that is only open on special occasions. Things are going well until he and his friend Ted Hanover both become attached to the same girl. The catch is that he knows who she is and Ted doesn’t. How long will he be able to keep his secrets and what will happen if they are known?
Musical, Comedy, Romance.
Length: approx. 100 minutes
Script: 10, absolutely clean as there are no bad words.
“Oh boy, do I go for those! Why they're great on... on ... or even plain!” 
(My whole opinion on food.)
Crew: Directed by: Mark Sandrich. Written by: Irving Berlin, Claude Binyon, & Elmer Rice.
Bing Crosby as Jim Hardy.
Fred Astaire as Ted Hanover.
Marjorie Reynolds as Linda Mason.
Virginia Dale as Lila Dixon.
Walter Abel as Danny Reed.
Irving Bacon as Gus.
Louise Beavers as Mamie.
Shelby Bacon as Vanderbilt.
Joan Arnold as Daphne.
Marek Windheim as François.
John Gallaudet as Parker.
James Bell as Dunbar.
Leon Belasco as the Flower Shop Proprietor.
Bob Crosby's Band as Orchestra.
9, nothing indecent, and they are quite fashionable, all of them. I mean, I wouldn’t mind wearing one of them...
Costumes by: Edith Head.
Have you ever seen Fred were something so crazy? No, you haven't.
Cinematography: 8, it was classic cute old movie, but nothing too big. I had a bit of a dilemma when I started typing this review, as I didn’t remember if it was black and white or color. I watched it back near Easter so it was a long time ago, okay! I pretty distinctly remember color, but my older sister helped remind me. After that, I remembered how long it took me to coax my little sister into watching it, then once we started she yelled out, “Oh no! Not black and white!” because she rarely likes black and white. This one was approved by her, though.
Cinematography by: David Abel.
Music: 9, good songs, as expected from Irving Berlin! My favorite was probably, “I Can’t Tell a Lie”.
Music by: Irving Berlin & Robert Emmett Dolan.
Quotability: 6, I haven’t quoted it since seeing it, but after multiple rewatches I can image myself doing it.
“Dance yourselves into beautiful nervous breakdowns.” (Paraphrase)
Oscars won:
1: Best Original Song (“White Christmas”). We always associate the song “White Christmas” with the musical, again starring Bing Crosby, titled White Christmas (1954), but the song was actually released with the movie, 12 years before that! This is also the start of the famous song “Easter Parade”, which also got a film all to itself, but only 6 years later.
7, there is some smoking and some drinking where one character got highly drunk. There are some war scenes in a slideshow, but it is very brief. There is also a very controversial scene with the song “Abraham”, which might be offensive to some, as it has some “incorporating images and behaviors” (Source), that could be called racist. Sometimes this scene is completely cut when stations play the film. Personally, it was my least favorite.
‘“Then I had a drink.”
“A drink? Boy, you were fractured!”’
Originality: 9, this was a bucket of fun! You have some classic Hollywood set ups in there, but it just adds to the fun. An Inn that only specializes in holidays? Never heard of it before!
Good For: Fans of the actors, watching on any of the mentioned holidays.
Age Range:
This is acceptable for any and all ages. Little kids will love the dancing, as will older people, I’m sure!
Overall Score: 8!
Worth watching?: Yes! Ever since I’ve learned that this was the origin for “White Christmas”, I’ve wanted to see it and it didn’t disappoint! The numbers were fun, and the actors worked so well together. I'd never seen anything with Marjorie Reynolds before, so I liked that. My sisters and I keep talking about how strange it was to have a movie where we don’t like Fred Astaire’s character. Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t unlikeable, we just like Bing Crosby’s character so much better! The dancing and singing were top notch, as per usual!
Will I watch again?:
I now want to make it a tradition where I watch this every year, on one of the many holidays. The fun thing about this movie is that it’s not necessarily Christmas, so there are many chances to watch it.
“You sound sweet, but you don’t make sense.”

For the blogathon:
This movie features the holidays: Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Lincoln’s birthday, Washington’s birthday (those two are now combined into President’s Day), Easter, Independence Day, and...


This is my entry in Sally of 18 Cinema Lane’s A Blogathon To Be Thankful For!
There are four categories in this blogathon, and this is the one that I am participating with: Write about a movie or television show episode that either revolves around Thanksgiving or features, at least, one scene taking place on Thanksgiving.

I really love the idea of Sally hosting this because Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! It is all about being grateful, so how awesome is that? And food, it also involves food. I like this because so many people jump to Christmas after Halloween and tend to forget about it, which is really sad! I celebrate Christmas for a long time afterwards, and not so much beforehand. I know all holidays this year have been different, but it’s good to remember what we’re thankful for.

Alright, time for me to talk about the Thanksgiving scene in here!

Each holiday is proceeded by a short (30 seconds max.) animated feature on a calendar. For Thanksgiving, it has a turkey jumping back and forth between two dates, Thursday the 20th and Thursday the 27th, showing that this was supposed to take place in 1941. This is a fun detail because in all three years of 1939, 1940, and 1941 there was a lot of controversy going on about what date Thanksgiving should be on. From 1863-1938 it had always been the last Thursday of the month, but in 1939 there were five Thursdays instead of four, and President Roosevelt changed it to the week before the last. This stirred up a lot of trouble with people being dismayed over the “breaking of tradition” until finally in 1941 FDR signed a law that it would be the fourth Thursday in November.

(Credit to Cricket magazine and my sister for my expertise on this.)

Okay, from now on SPOILER ALERT. I’m going to be talking about near the end of this movie, so if you haven’t seen it, read no further!

This isn’t the most cheerful part of the movie. Unlike all of the other holidays, Jim is alone for this one. Except for loyal Mamie, of course! He has closed down the inn and let Hollywood start making a movie about it. He has lost Linda as she is off making movies and is overall feeling sorry for himself. He is working on writing the song, “Plenty to be Thankful For”, which is quite the opposite of his current mood, and he keeps making pessimistic comments in reply to the lyrics.

Also, these two kids were adorable.

Mamie brings him a Thanksgiving feast, but he doesn’t really eat, just pushes his food around. Mamie gets tired of his moping and finally tells him to go after Linda, saying:
“You could melt her heart right down to butter, if you'd only turn on the heat!”

There you have it! A huge thank you to Sally Silverscreen for hosting this! Make sure to check out the other entries HERE.

Tell me, what is your favorite holiday movie (for any holiday)? What is your favorite Bing Crosby movie? What about Fred Astaire? Thanks for reading, and happy Thanksgiving in advance!



  1. Great review! Because I've never seen 'Holiday Inn', I skipped the spoiler section of the article. But I will add it to my blog's Pinterest board for movie recommendations! I will also add your review to the participant post of the blogathon. Thanks for joining!

    1. Oh good, I'm glad that you skipped that part! Sometimes I put up the warnings, but they are ignored. I look forward to your review of it when you see it! I'm so happy that I could participate, so thank you for hosting!

  2. I love Holiday Inn! I watched it for the first time a few years ago and it was lovely. I think it was my first Fred Astair film too.

    1. It is perfectly lovely! Oh, and a good one to introduce you to Fred. I think the first full movie that I saw with him was Royal Wedding (1951).

  3. My family actually went to a stage musical production of Holiday Inn a couple of years ago, which was really, really fun. Somehow, I never put together that there was a movie, too? (with Bing Crosby, for pete's sake) so I think we may have to watch the movie this Christmas!

    1. That sounds like it was a blast! I've done that once, where I saw a live stage performance of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, but I didn't know about the famous movie. Still haven't seen it, in fact... Au, Bing is a family favorite around here. I hope that you get to enjoy this film soon!

  4. Need more festive movies in my life.
    Sounds good!

    1. Same! I make myself wait until December to watch Christmas movies, but from there on I see as many as I can!

  5. Great review. Ooh, this sounds so good! I should really see it.
    There really aren't many Thanksgiving movies----which is a travesty. It's such a good holiday (though, not gonna lie, I do sometimes listen to Christmas music before Christmas). The only one I can think of is The Addams Family Values, which I honestly need to rewatch sometime soon.

    1. Thanks, McKayla! If you're ever in a old movie mood, this is perfect, especially around this time of year.
      That's right! There need to be more of them. I had forgotten that Addams Family Values had that Thanksgiving scene! I've only seen it once, but it was funny. The only other movie that I can think of is By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953).

  6. Oh, this movie! It's very fun, although I always liked White Christmas better. It's really weird to have Fred Astaire as an unlikable character, I agree! (I do think he's unlikable. He's really not very nice to his friend. xD) The Thanksgiving part is pretty depressing, but hey, it ends happily at least! xD

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. I pretty sure that I've watched White Christmas every year for my whole life, so that's the standing favorite, but if I see this so more times I might like it better. XD Exactly! They're "friends", but oh boy. My sisters and I were finally yelling at his character, "Stop stealing Bing's girl!" XD Happy endings are quite my favorite kind. ;)

      Thank you, Sarah! I hope that yours was wonderful!

  7. I recently watched White Christmas, but it's been a very long time since I saw Holiday Inn. Your charming review has moved it to the top of my Must See list. Thanks!

    1. Why thank you! That makes me so happy to hear! Thanks for your compliment! I hope that you get a chance to relive this one soon.

  8. My wife who historically disdains old movies loves this one...which means there's hope for her yet :)

    1. Aha, there's still a chance that you'll show her more great ones! Good luck! :)

  9. I love this movie <3 I know lots of people who've seen White Christmas but not Holiday Inn and it's just too bad! I still prefer White Christmas haha but Holiday Inn is such a great movie! And this was an excellent review. I'm sending this post to anyone who wants to learn more about it!!

    1. Right? White Christmas is one of those movies that everyone has heard of, but it's strange that this one is so neglected. It's so fun! Aw, thank you Fawnabelle! Your comment made my day! <3


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"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles