Community Bank is presenting its annual gift to the community – the 1954 classic, White Christmas at the Lake Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. Free tickets can be picked up at either Community Bank location. Although you have probably seen White Christmas on television several times, here are some things you might not know about this holiday favorite.
1. Danny Kaye’s role as Phil Davis was originally offered to Fred Astaire, who declined the part after reading the script. Surprisingly though, Danny Kaye was only the third choice after Donald O’Connor had to pull out due to an illness.
2. Though synonymous with the movie, Irving Berlin’s classic song “White Christmas” was first performed in the film Holiday Inn, which premiered in 1942. Both Holiday Inn and White Christmas star the legendary Bing Crosby.
3. The Vermont inn used as the set for White Christmas is a refurbished version of the inn used in Holiday Inn.
4. White Christmas was the biggest box office draw of 1954, bringing in over $12 million.
5. Rosemary Clooney plays Vera-Ellen’s older sister in the movie, but in real life Ellen is seven years older than Clooney.
6. Even if you haven’t seen White Christmas and aren’t familiar with Rosemary Clooney, you’re probably familiar with her famous nephew, George. The two of them appeared together in a 1994 episode of ER when Rosemary Clooney made a cameo appearance.
7. Vera-Ellen, who played the part of Judy Haynes, did not actually sing any of the songs in White Christmas. Her parts where sung by costar Rosemary Clooney and Trudy Stevens. Vera-Ellen however did all of her own dancing, as she was a highly skilled dancer. In fact, she became one of the youngest ever Rockettes when she was just 18 years old.
8. The famous number “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing” features a small trip at the end. It occurs when as Vera-Ellen is twirling behind a kneeling Danny Kaye, she trips over his left foot. She’s able to recover though, thanks to her dancing skills.
9. In the movie, Judy Haynes shows Wallace & Davis a picture of her brother, Bennie. The actor used in the picture is Carl Switzer, famously know as Alfalfa from The Little Rascals. Carl Switzer also had a small but integral role in It’s a Wonderful Life.
10. During the scene in which Wallace & Davis perform “Sisters”, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye can be seen laughing throughout the act. Supposedly this was the best take they could get.
Seating is limited, but free tickets can be picked up at either Community Bank location. We’re at 1001 Lake Street in Oak Park, or 7777 Lake Street in River Forest. Prior to the movie, we will be accepting donated gifts on behalf of Bethel New Life, and attendees are encouraged to bring a gift. Gifts should be new and should not be wrapped. The donations will then go to families in need on the West Side of Chicago. Visit our website at www.cboprf.com/bethel for a list of preferred items.