Holiday Inn – Blu-ray B&W and Colorized

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's

holidayinnThe newest edition of the classic movie Holiday Inn is something film lovers will cherish. Besides the wonderful movie, starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, there are plenty of bonus features that give viewers a lot of insight about the actors, movie, and the new technology that was used to colorize this famous film.


Both the original black and white version of this 1942 classic and a new colorized version come on the same Blu-ray disc. Some hard-core movie buffs do not want to see their films colorized, but other viewers do. With this edition you get your choice. I truly enjoyed watching this movie in color. Having grown up seeing it in black and white every year at the holiday season, seeing it in color is a new experience. And it’s a pleasant one at that.


The story features Crosby and Astaire as Jim and Ted, song and dance men who split up when Jim (Crosby) decides to leave the entertainment business and retire to a farm in Connecticut. What he discovers is that life is boring on the farm so he turns it into an Inn, which is only open on holidays. That way he can work a few days a year and rest the remainder of the time. It’s a win-win situation for him.


He hires Linda Mason (Marjorie Reynolds) to co-star with him in the holiday shows. What he gets is more than just a co-star. There are plenty of laughs, sentimental moments, and a lot of singing and dancing throughout the film.


The movie is from an idea by Irving Berlin who wrote the songs. Every holiday has a different song, and the Christmas song is “White Christmas,” of course. If you thought the song came from the show White Christmas, you were wrong. It was penned for Holiday Inn. The filmmakers believed the Valentine’s Day song, “Be Careful, It’s My Heart,” would be the breakout song from the film, according to the PBS documentary Bing Crosby: Rediscovered. But it was “White Christmas” that stole the hearts of viewers and has become a beloved song worldwide.


Anytime while watching the movie, press the Pop-Up Menu button on your remote control to see some bonus features. These are all interesting. In “A Couple of Song and Dance Men,” Fred Astaire’s daughter Ava and film historian Ken Barnes discuss the relationship between Crosby and Astaire, and the two men’s backgrounds and careers.


Another bonus, “All-Singing All-Dancing” looks at the history of song and dance in film.


“Colorizing a Classic” shows how the film was colorized using the latest technology. This was a very intricate process and took six weeks to complete. It’s amazing to see how they went frame by frame, colorized the foreground characters first then used a different technique to automatically colorize the background. This is something tech buffs will enjoy watching. It’s creative and interesting to see. And the research they did to get the colors perfect as well as hunting down any information about the actual wardrobe is astounding. For instance, the Christmas dress worn by Reynolds was thought to be red, but on further investigation they discovered it was gold, so they changed it to gold to make it reflect the actual dress worn when the film was produced. Viewers see the gold beaded dress in all its gorgeous glitz on the screen.


Besides the two versions of the film and all the bonus features, this edition comes with a Digital HD download code.


Holiday Inn is the quintessential holiday film. It’s warm and fuzzy, with a lot of great music and now, with the colorized version, plenty of sparkles and colors.


About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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