15 December 2008

White Christmas

It's time. Tonight we had our base Christmas party, so I got out my "Santa's helper" hat and will be wearing it until Christmas night. Yeah, I look like a goober in it but it often brings a smile to faces, and looking like a goober is no big deal... I've certainly been called worse! But there is no denying... it's finally Christmas season.

Retail outlets have been playing Christmas music since Halloween. Right now I'm listening to Jose Feliciano sing "Feliz Navidad" on the Sirius music channel on DishTV. Sara Jean and I try to watch all the old classic Christmas movies this time of year- "The Bishop's Wife", "It's A Wonderful Life", and "Miracle On 34th Street" to name a few.
I have to watch "The Christmas Story" solo... she either doesn't understand or refuses to try to understand the humor there...
(At ten years my junior, maybe there's a generational disconnect?)

I can't say why I had never watched "White Christmas"... maybe it was because it was a musical, but Sara Jean and I had been together several years when we just happened to have it on the TV while we were doing other things, not really paying attention. Close to the end of the movie there is a dance scene, and I can only say when I glanced at the screen I was dumbstruck... stopped dead in my tracks watching the dancer's performance. At some point I noticed the dancer was having the same effect on my wife. When the scene was over we both noticeably exhaled and said "Wow, that gal has got some legs!" At that point I mistakenly thought it was
Mitzi Gaynor.
But this dancer/actress's name is Vera-Ellen. Look at the pictures and see if you agree the two actresses resemble one another.
Here's the video clip that had me and my wife thunderstruck:




Like the Glenn Miller post below, Vera's life doesn't have a "storybook ending". In the clip you can see she is wearing a high neck... that's to disguise the fact that she was anorexic and her neck looked older than her years. In 1963 her infant daughter died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and she apparently never fully recovered from that blow. She died of Cancer at the age of 60.

It's bittersweet to watch this scene from the movie and take such pleasure in it, knowing she had so many troubles in her personal life. She danced with the best-
Astaire, Kelly, and in this movie, Danny Kaye.
Before she died I hope she was aware of how many of us love to watch her do what she did best.
Watching this clip, I'm still in awe.

1 comment:

cj said...

Oh! White Christmas is an all around gem but the music and dance numbers are amazing. The only place I've seen it on this year is Lifetime and they cut the "Mandy" number and several other songs which ruins the movie completely.

My favorite is "The Bishop's Wife" and I managed to watch that one the other night.

cjh