You have heard of Bing Crosby even if you haven't heard of him. He's the crooner who sang the infamous tune "White Christmas" written by Irving Berlin. Bing's version of the song is the best-selling single of all time. No matter the decade, people dust off the track for a timeless Christmas singalong.
And while Bing is pretty much a part of everyone's Christmas tradition, he holds a special place in my mind whenever I think of the holidays. Not because of his roles in the Christmas films Holiday Inn and White Christmas; nor due to his wonderful rendition of the Hawaiian Christmas song "Mele Kalikimaka" (below).
You see, when I think Christmas, I think of the Road films.
The Road films, you ask? The Road films were a series of zany, off-ball comedy films that starred Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour. Despite being made over 50 years ago, they can still have you laughing in the aisles. The films often broke with tradition by having the actor's address the audience directly - like Bob Hope's line "[Crosby]'s gonna sing, folks. Now's the time to go out and get the popcorn." Heh! They are brilliant films if you haven't seen any of them, I'd start with Road to Morocco.
Alas, these films have nothing really to do with Christmas. In fact, except for Road to Utopia, all the films are set in rather hot, tropical climates! But these films are attached to a rather special Christmas memory of mine. When I was about 12, my mother and I spent a Christmas together. Er, that sounds weird. What I mean is we spent a Christmas together without any other friends/family/annoying strangers! It was just us and the dogs. And that Christmas we sat down and watched the Road movies.
That was the first time I'd ever seen the films, and I loved every second of them. Moreover, I loved watching them with my mother, the dogs, and the Christmas tree as company. Even though it was a very simple Christmas, it was probably one of my favourites. And now, whenever I think "Happy Holidays" I also think about being off on the road to Morocco...
So, there you have it! For me, it isn't Christmas without Bing or Bob. If you're looking for a new movie for your Christmas line-up, try the Road films! Who knows, it might start a whole new tradition...
Happy Christmas everyone!