Tuesday, December 6, 2011

white christmas (with quiz & lyrics)

Cover of

I've mentioned previously that when I was young, the Bing Crosby movie White Christmas was broadcast every December 24th. My older sister and I watched it together every year; so much so that once we had both left home for other countries, one of the pangs I would get around Christmastime was that I couldn't watch this movie with her. No one else in the world can make me laugh simply by saying, "Mutual, I'm sure" in a nasal voice. And no one else can exclaim, "That waist!" or "That dress!" and instantly convey a history of conversation—because as predictably as a sequence of scenes, we would often have the same comments at the same points in the movie.

I have since introduced White Christmas to my own family. C got it immediately, while D and S have merely tolerated it; but everyone knows we'll be watching it come December. We have crowded friends into the living room to view it together, and we have gone to the theatre to watch it on the big screen. (If you ever get a chance to see it like that, do: there is nothing like a roomful people laughing at the same silly gags and singing White Christmas in unison. It was like sitting with my sister...times three or four hundred.)

Last year I ran the dvd with Rosemary Clooney's commentary while making Christmas dinner. That inspired me to jot down some trivia questions, which I planned to share at a White Christmas screening this year. But this cough has persisted, and I am laying low trying to shake it.

I had become resigned to shelving the quiz until Karen suggested a group viewing over twitter. This is why I like her! She chose a date and time:

Saturday, December 10th
6pm Pacific Standard Time

—and suggested we hashtag our tweets (#whitechristmas) as we watch the movie. We may be a minute or two out of sync, but it'll be close enough. For me, I'm planning to hit the "play movie" button as soon as the clock turns. Please consider joining us—the more, the merrier.

The quiz is below, and here it is in printable .pdf format, in case you want to host a White Christmas screening of your own. You could also print lyric sheets of the songs for a singalong…and drat, because I'm such a dork and found that there is no site with all the song lyrics compiled together, I've gone and done that, too—just click here.

May your days be merry and bright.

White Christmas Trivia Quiz

1. The song White Christmas originally appeared in a 1942 movie which also starred Bing Crosby. Name the film.

2. The opening bars of the song are not heard in this film. Complete the verse with five words:

The sun is shining, the grass is green,
The orange and palm trees sway.
There's never been such a day
in Beverly Hills, LA
But it's December the twenty-forth,
And I am ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

(Extra points if you can sing it!)

3. Danny Kaye was the third choice to play Phil Davis. Name one of the other two stars originally tapped for the role. 

4. White Christmas opened in 1954. Which landmark 1954 Supreme Court case ended school segregation that same year? 

5. Also in the same year, what tradition did George Balanchine begin in New York City?

6. In what year does the first scene take place?

7. What is the name of the Broadway musical that Wallace & Davis are performing in Florida?

8. Wallace & Davis meet the Haynes sisters purportedly via a letter from their army buddy Benny Haynes, "the dog-faced boy." Which former child star's photo was used for Benny?

9. One of the Haynes sisters was played by Rosemary Clooney, a singer. The other was played by Vera-Ellen, a dancer. Which famous singer dubbed Vera-Ellen's voice in the duet Sisters?

10. My sister could never get over Vera Ellen's tiny waist. How big around (in inches) was it?

11. What is the 2-word name of the fictional Vermont town to which Wallace and Davis follow the two Haynes sisters?

12. When Betty and Bob meet at the lodge late one night, what advice does Bob give her for her insomnia?

13. One of the male dancers in the film went on to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1961 (also a musical). Name either the actor or the film for which he won.

14. The director of White Christmas was a Hungarian-American named Michael Curtiz. Which 1942 Academy Award-winning drama did he also direct?

15. In addition to the four leads, White Christmas features several standout supporting performances. One of these is Mary Wickes' housekeeper, Emma. In the days before rotoscoping and motion capture, Wickes served as the live-action reference model for which Disney villain?


  1. Is it too much to say "I love you" in the comments section? Bummer, I thought so ; ) I have a soft spot for dorks.

  2. Thank you, Jen. <3 We dorks must stick together!


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