The 1954 holiday classic White Christmas is one of the most recognizable movies of its genre, and the film contains several iconic quotes. White Christmas is a follow-up to the black-and-white Christmas movie classic Holiday Inn, featuring an incredible soundtrack from Irving Berlin. Starring the likes of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen, and Rosemary Clooney, White Christmas saw success for its wholesome family atmosphere. It’s still one of the most notable holiday-themed films to date.
Filmed in Technicolor, White Christmas was also the first film to be recorded using Paramount’s VistaVision, which put the movie in a brand-new resolution. Because of this, White Christmas helped establish a new type of holiday movies, setting up several tropes for the best Christmas movies that followed. The movie follows two pairs of musical acts just after World War II. Its leads — Phil, Bob, and the Hynes sisters — find themselves on a journey to reignite the Christmas spirit in a community of service members and romantic partners. With White Christmas being such an iconic holiday movie, there are plenty of memorable quotes, many of which highlight the characters’ charm.
Although White Christmas ends with the two couples entering into their respective engagements, Phil and Bob’s first interactions with Betty and Judy don’t suggest this outcome. Bob makes multiple comments about the type of women Phil has introduced to him over the years, and this particular one sets up the kind of relationship he has with Betty throughout the film. In one specific scene, Bob and Betty argue over Bob’s cynicism, and this quote doesn’t help Bob’s case.
Although primarily a romance-driven story, White Christmas does have a strong subplot that focuses on the importance of friendship. Bob and Phil’s reunification with their old general, Thomas Waverly (Dean Jagger), sees the two men determined to try and help their old commander. The last time the three men crossed paths was when Waverly was relieved of his command. Despite this quote showing Waverly’s attitude toward the other men, they still go out of their way to bring an audience to his hotel.
Bob and Phil’s friendship throughout White Christmas provides several laughs, especially with Bob’s begrudging need to help Phil after he saves his life. Despite this, the two form a musical duo, pushing the plot of White Christmas as their bond cements the film’s comedy. Bob’s comments about Phil aren’t just hilarious though; they speak to his character. This quote indicates that he’s dry, but deep down, he’s also loving. The two men’s relationship continues to be strong throughout the film, and refreshingly, they don’t wind up fighting over one woman.
Describing his fall down the stairs, Phil is held up by his old commander and unable to put any weight on one leg. This hilarious exchange is also observed by the women, whom Phil already struggles to make a good impression on. Despite White Christmas’ romantic themes, this quote is one of the reasons the movie is so funny. It allows for all manner of sarcastic quips, and it is an excellent example of physical comedy from Danny Kaye.
Although White Christmas finds Betty more unimpressed with Bob than anything else, Judy’s approach to Phil differs significantly. While sitting together and chatting, Judy quickly takes charge and puts the moves on Phil. She’s simultaneously hilarious and brutally honest with him. The difference between the two couples is one of the reasons White Christmas remains such a relatable film. Its bold female characters weren’t as common when it came out, but they hold up well today.
Doris is a supporting character in White Christmas, and she’s frequently seen dressed in showgirl attire and performing alongside the main cast. Doris’ quips provide some of the funniest quotes from the film. It helps that she’s played by the fabulous dancer Barrie Chase, who previously worked a lot with classic Hollywood actor Fred Astaire (Astaire was originally supposed to take on the role of Phil). Although Doris’ quips are seemingly random, these phrases come from the time period and capture her frustration at Bob’s rejection.
Despite his confident demeanor, Phil spends a lot of White Christmas stunned by Judy’s forwardness. This is especially noticeable in this particular scene, as he tries to explain why he has pushed Bob to pursue her sister, Betty. Clearly more interested in Bob’s love life than his own, Phil is baffled by the way Judy carries herself, which allows for some of the film’s funniest moments. By the end, Phil and Judy decide to pursue their previously fictional engagement. After a wholesome performance, the two share a kiss behind the Christmas tree.