Saturday, December 24, 2016

I’m dreaming of a liverwurst sandwich

Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) explains his theory of dreams to Betty Haynes (Rosemary Clooney). From White Christmas (dir. Michael Curtiz, 1954):

“I got a whole big theory about it, you know — different kinds of food make for different kinds of dreams. Now if I have a ham and cheese on rye like that, I dream about a tall cool blonde, sort of a first-sack attack, you know. Turkey, I dream about a brunette, a little on the scatback side, but oh, sexy, sexy.”

“What about liverwurst?”

“I dream about liverwurst.”
A truly weird moment, whose weirdness is compounded by the Crosby affect, a fleeting German accent, and a pitcher of buttermilk, which Crosby calls “the cow.” (And why buttermilk and not just milk?) That Vera-Ellen and Danny Kaye are in the film doesn’t help. I don’t get Bing Crosby. I don’t get Vera-Ellen. And I don’t get Danny Kaye. But Rosemary Clooney, boy, could she sing.

You can relive this strange scene, as often as you like, at YouTube.

[Scatback: “an offensive back in football who is an especially fast and elusive ballcarrier.” So the brunette is hard to get? And the blonde is easily tackled? Bob, why are you talking so rudely to Betty?]

comments: 2

Diane Schirf said...

I love this movie and Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen. The part that amuses me is the "old man," the general, Dean Jagger, was about Crosby's age. And no one questioned why old Crosby was paired up with 20something Clooney, who was younger than Vera-Ellen but was supposed to be the older sister. What I don't get is how so many movie and TV makeup people could think that spray-on blue-white paint could look realistic on hair.

I think things like the "cow" was supposed to make Crosby sound young and with it. BTW, my mother was a fan of buttermilk. I thought it might be a generational thing.

Michael Leddy said...

I do like Holiday Inn, in which Astaire offsets Crosby. And On the Town, in which Betty Garrett and Sinatra offset Vera-Ellen. Yes, Crosby’s character is supposed to be hip and witty. I do like the snow st the end, though fake as the hair. :)