Say it with Firecrackers. Say it! Fred Astaire does, to my everlasting delight in this amusingly dysfunctional, imperfect movie, Holiday Inn, in which Fred throws down those firecrackers and lets 'em go, go, go. Now, everyone loves the yuletide classic White Christmas, but I prefer this 1942 picture, the movie where that famous tune is first heard (though Bing Crosby only sexily hums “White Christmas”).
Here, that blue-eyed bewitcher Crosby plays a retired singer whose idyllic existence (managing a Connecticut Inn) becomes tangled up in a very light drama when his ex-partner (the elfin Astaire) drops on by. It's a thin movie but, well, not really. Peppered with festive songs like “Happy Holidays” and “Let’s Start the New Year Right” it fills out almost as nicely as Robert Mitchum's chest (almost -- nothing's that nice). But key to the movie is Astaire’s dancing, chiefly, his brilliant don’t-try-this-at-home “Say It With Firecrackers” number during which the magical genius throws lit firecrackers on stage and tap dances to and around their sparkly pops. The moment is absolutely sublime and it's perfect for today and if you're home you should watch and (never) learn. This is the only fireworks display I ever want to see. And boy does he make me want a cigarette.
Fred Astaire in Holiday Inn by diaperbiscuits