White Christmas (1954) Script

[musical medley plays]

[up-tempo jazz plays]

[men vocalizing]

[distant explosions]

Stop the Jeep, Sergeant.

What's this all about, Captain?

A little entertainment for the men, sir. Tonight's Christmas Eve.

These men are moving up tonight, General Waverly.

They should be lined up for full inspection.

You're absolutely right. There's no Christmas in the Army, Captain.

Yes, sir.

There's always a slip-up or two during a change in command.

The men get a little loose.

I know I'm leaving them in good hands. Thank you, General.

Sergeant, take me to headquarters immediately.

You'll have those men turned out on the double.

Sergeant, take the shortcut. Yes, sir.

That's not the way back to headquarters.

Joe, you know that and I know that, but the general doesn't know it.

At least he won't for about an hour and a half.

That sergeant will be a private in the morning.

Yes. Isn't he lucky?

[jazz continues] [men whistling]

[distant explosions]

[music ends] [cheering]

[♪ White Christmas]

♪ I'm dreaming

♪ Of a white Christmas

♪ Just like the ones I used to know

♪ Where the treetops glisten

♪ And children listen

♪ To hear sleigh bells

♪ In the snow [distant explosion]

♪ I'm dreaming

♪ Of a white Christmas

♪ With every Christmas card

♪ I write

♪ May your days be merry

♪ And bright

♪ And may all your Christmases

♪ Be white ♪

Well, that just about wraps it up, fellas.

Certainly too bad General Waverly couldn't have been here for this little Yuletide clambake, but...

'Cause we really had a slam-bang finish cooked up for him.

I guess you know by now that he's being replaced by a new commanding general fresh out of the Pentagon.

That's not a very nice Christmas present, is it, for a division like us that's moving up?

The old man's moving toward the rear.

That's a direction he's never taken in his entire life.

Well, all I can say is we owe an awful lot to General Waverly...


Captain Wallace, who's responsible for holding a show in this advanced area?

Well, sir, as a matter of fact... [voice cracks] It was me, sir.

[clears throat] Me, sir. It was my idea, sir.

Uh, I mean, when you've got an entertainer, sir, of the caliber of Captain Wallace, sir...

Uh, I mean, sir, it's Christmas Eve, sir, and...

[stammering] Well, sir, I mean that if you were in New York, sir, you'd have to pay $6.60 or even $8.80 to see or hear a great singer like Captain Wallace, sir.

I'm well aware of Captain Wallace's capabilities.

Who are you? Uh, Phillip Davis, sir.

Private first class, sir.

Well, at ease, Davis. Yes, sir.

I said, "At ease!" Oh, uh...

Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.

This division is now under the command of General Harold G. Carlton.

I don't want you to forget it, not that he'll let you.

He's tough, just what this sloppy outfit needs.

He'll have you standing inspection night and day.

You may even learn how to march.

And if you don't give him everything you've got, I may come back and... fight for the enemy.

Merry Christmas. [all] Merry Christmas.

Well, I guess all I can say is how much I...

What a fine outfit. [distant explosion]

How am I going...?

Don't just stand there. How do I get off?

Just happen to have a slam-bang finish, sir.

Yes, sir. [♪ The Old Man]

♪ We'll follow the old man wherever he wants to go

♪ Long as he wants to go opposite to the foe

♪ We'll stay with the old man wherever he wants to stay

♪ Long as he stays away from the battle's fray

♪ Because we love him We love him

♪ Especially when he keeps us on the ball

♪ And we'll tell the kiddies we answered duty's call

♪ With the grandest son of a soldier of them all

[loud explosions]

[planes roaring overhead]

[singing quietly] ♪ We'll stay with the old man wherever he wants to stay

♪ Long as he stays away from the battle's fray

[singing loudly] ♪ Because we love him We love him

♪ Especially when he keeps us on the ball

♪ And we'll tell the kiddies we answered duty's call

♪ With the grandest son of a soldier of them all ♪

[planes approaching] [explosions]

[indistinct shouting]

Look out. It's about to come down. Get down!

[shouting] Put me down!

[Wallace] You all right, Davis?

[Davis] Yeah, I'm all right, sir. It's just my arm, sir.

[Wallace] What do you...?

This looks pretty bad. [Davis] It's nothing but a scratch.

[indistinct chattering]

Hey, Davis, how you feeling? Oh, pretty good, Captain.

I just dropped by to thank you for saving my life.

Well, it was a life worth saving, sir. Well, I appreciate it.

I want you to know something, Davis.

Anytime I can do anything for you, anytime, any place, you just pick up a phone, huh? Thank you, sir.

So long, Davis. Sorry. I'll see you. That's all right, Captain.

Uh, Captain, uh, you could do one little tiny favor for me.

What's that? Well, sir, I've, uh, I've kind of written a little song, you see, and I thought, perhaps, when we get back to the States, when this is all over, you know, I thought maybe if you put this song in your act, it might be a big hit for you.

Why, sure. Just pick up the phone. Yeah. Captain, I, uh, I just happen to have it with me right here.

This it? Yeah.

[laughs] Well, this is for two people. It's a duet.

Yeah. It needs two people, two dynamite entertainers.

But I work alone. I do a single.

Who do you figure on for the other hunk of dynamite?

Well, uh, I happen to know a fellow, Captain.

He's pretty funny in living rooms, kind of has a fair voice, you know, and I...

How about me? [laughs] Well, I do a single, you see.

Yeah, well... That's all right, Captain.

I wouldn't want you to feel any special obligation in any way.

Oh, well. OK, Dynamite, we'll give it whirl.

OK, Captain. Bye. Good luck.


[♪ Heat Wave]

♪ We're having a heat wave A tropical heat wave

♪ Well, now the temperature's rising It isn't surprising

♪ She certainly can can-can ♪

[♪ Let Me Sing and I'm Happy]

♪ Let me sing a funny song

♪ With crazy words that roll along

♪ And if my song can start you laughing I'm happy, happy ♪

[inaudible dialogue]

[♪ Blue Skies]

♪ Blue skies Blue skies smiling at me

♪ Nothing but blue skies Blue skies do I see

♪ Bluebirds singing a song

♪ Nothing but bluebirds, bluebirds All day long

♪ I never saw the sun shining so bright Never saw things going so right

♪ Noticing the days hurrying by

♪ When you're in love My, my, how they fly

♪ Blue days, all of them gone Long gone

♪ Nothing but blue skies from now on ♪ Keep it bubbling now, girls.

Phil, can I see you for a minute? Yeah.

Hello, honey. Hi. Hi.

You know Doris? Yeah.

Hi. Hi. Hi. Oh, fine.

On stage, girls! On stage. Finale.

Albert, did you get the notice drawn up?

Yes, sir. Show lays off tonight. Good boy.

Cast and crew get ten days off with pay.

Gee, they'll go wild. Nicest Christmas present anybody ever had.

Well, they deserve it. You got the tickets for New York?

Well, a little rough for the holiday traffic, but I pulled a few strings, got you and Mr. Davis on the 1 :00 train.

Tickets are on the way over. Good enough.

Put that on the bulletin board. Sign this, Bob.

OK. Say, if you want us for anything in New York, we'll be at Radio City. We'll be rehearsing there for the Ed Harrison Television Show. Yes, sir.

Too bad you and Mr. Davis couldn't get a little rest.

Oh, man, I wasn't about to turn this down.

This is a great big, fat plug for the show.

Bring the tickets when they come. Yes, sir.

Edna, the light of my life! [Davis] Bob?

Can I see you a minute?

You know Doris, friend of Rita's. Another one, huh?

How do you do? Mutual, I'm sure.

I thought before train time, we'd get a bite to eat and have a few laughs or something. No, I can't make it.

I'm afraid you can't either. We got some business to take care of.

What kind of business? We got to go look at an act.

Look at an act? Some other time, I hope?

Well, I like that! Without so much as a "Kiss my foot" or "Have an apple!"

That does it. That's the last time I'm gonna dig up a date for him.

And from now on, you can do your dirty work yourself.

Yeah, well, excuse me one minute, will you, kids?

Wallace, I think it's time you and I had a little talk.

Yeah, it's a good idea, buster. If you don't mind, I'll lead off.

Now, wait a minute. You wait a minute.

You know something, for about three months now, you've been clumsily trying to entangle me with some female.

All I'm trying to do... Fat ones, tall ones, thin ones.

Doesn't make any difference, as long as they're wearing skirts, a little mascara and still breathing, you ran them at me.

Believe me, it's for your own good.

For my own good? Yeah. Let's face it, Bob, you're a lonely, miserable man. What?

And you're unhappy, too, and when you're unhappy, I'm unhappy.

After all, I feel a strong sense of responsibility to you, Bob, ever since the day I... Not again with that life-saving bit.

Well, if you'd rather forget it... How can I? You won't let me.

Since you saved my life, you decided you had the right to run it.

You've ootzed me along every step of the way.

You've hammered, drove, pushed, shoved.

And if that wasn't enough, you'd look at me with those great big cow eyes of yours, point at that phony arm, and I'd melt and go along!

I don't expect any gratitude. You're gonna get it.

We did great, and I'm grateful.

So, thank you. Thank you, Phil Davis, from the bottom of my heart.

Now, will you let the rest of my life alone?

No, I won't. Well, why not?

Because you're a miserable, lonely, unhappy man.

You're whacky. I'm a very happy man.

Well, then, you're happy for the wrong reasons.

And that's the same as being lonely and miserable, except it's worse.

You know something, you're off your nut about a mile and a half.

I've got everything in life I want.

I'm off my nut a mile and a half. At least.

You've got everything you want except the most important thing.

What's this? A girl.

Well, I'll get around to that one of these days.

My dear partner, when what's left of you gets around to what's left to be gotten, what's left to be gotten won't be worth getting whatever it is you've got left.

When I figure out what that means, I'll come up with a crushing reply.

What's back all this, anyway? Nothing. Only your happiness.

My happiness? Yeah.

You know, when you get an idea that's for my sole and ultimate happiness, there's always lurking behind it a little angle for you.

Now, what is it? Do you really want to know?

Yes, I really want to know. All right, I'll really tell you.

Then lay it on me, will you?

Ever since the day we became producers, you were a changed man.

You've gone absolutely berserk with work.

The strange thing is you liked it. You like being Rodgers & Hammerstein.

It was your idea, you know? Yeah. Well, sure it was my idea.

But I didn't think I was going to create a Frankenstein.

From that day on, I haven't had one minute I could call my own.

What do you want me to do about it?

I want you to get married. I want you to have nine children.

And if you only spend five minutes a day with each kid, that's 45 minutes, and I'd at least have time to go out and get a massage or something.

You don't expect me to get serious with the kind of characters you and Rita have been throwing at me. There've been some nice girls, too.

Yeah, yeah. Like that nuclear scientist we just met out in the hall.

All right. They didn't go to college. They didn't go to Smith.

Go to Smith? She couldn't even spell it.

That's very funny. [chuckles] The crooner is now becoming the comic.

Phil, let me tell you something.

There's a lot of sense in what you say, and I have to admit it.

But the kind of girls you and I meet in this business, they're young and they're ambitious. They're full of their own careers.

Not interested in getting married, settling down, raising a family.

That's funny, Bob. I never heard you open up like that before.

Someday, the right girl is gonna come along, and if she'll have me, we'll get married. We'll settle down.

We'll start having those nine kids for you.

Forty-five minutes going to be enough?

If I need any more, I'll tell you. [knocking on door]

Come in!

Your railroad tickets, sir. Drawing Room A, Car 207.

Thanks. Grab those, will you, Phil? Here.

We'll go right over to the station from Novello's after we audition this act. What kind of an act is it?

It's a sister act. We don't need any sister act.

What are we wasting time for?

Well, I got a letter from Benny Haynes. They're his sisters.

Do you remember Benny Haynes, the old mess sergeant?

Freckle-Face Haynes, the dog-faced boy?

That's the kid. Yeah. He's got sisters?

Claims he's got them. Come on now.

How can a guy that ugly have the nerve to have sisters?

Very brave parents, I guess.

Bob, will you do me one favor? What's that?

Give me one reason, one good reason, why we should spend our last two hours in Florida looking at the sisters of Freckle-Face Haynes, the dog-faced boy.

Let's just say we're doing it for a pal in the Army.

Well, it's not good, but it's a reason.

[indistinct chatter] [slow jazz plays]

Hey, Novello. Good evening, Mr. Wallace, Mr. Davis.

Say, have the Haynes Sisters been on yet?

No, sir, not yet. They'll be on in about 1 5 minutes.

Tell them we're here, will you? Certainly, Mr. Wallace.

Luigi, show these gentlemen to their table.

This is ridiculous. We could have been out with Doris and Rita having some laughs.

Phil, when are you gonna learn girls like that are a dime a dozen?

Please, don't quote me the price when I haven't got the time.

[woman] Who is it? It's me. Novello.

Bob Wallace and Phil Davis are out front to catch your act.

Wallace and Davis? They got a letter from your brother.

He asked them to take a look and give you some advice.

Come on now. You'd better hurry.

Isn't that fabulous? Wallace and Davis here to see us.

Yeah, fabulous.

Who'd have thought that of Benny, huh? What a brother!

What a sweet, wonderful guy! Amazing.

I wonder whatever gave him the idea.

Well, he probably knew we were here, you know, and that they were in town with the big show.

He probably figured we were too shy to take advantage of an old Army friendship to call...

Judy, did you read Mother's letter this morning?

No. Why? Benny's got a job in Alaska.

He's been out of the country for three months.

Oh? Oh...

Well, he could have written from Alaska.

But he didn't, did he?

Oh, he might have. Judy, why did you write the letter?

Oh... Well...

Because it's good business. You can't leave everything up to fate.

Just like honesty needs a little plus, fate needs a little push.

Judy, next time, will you talk to me first before you push us and plus us right out of show business?

You needn't sound so patronizing.

You sound just like a mother hen looking after a little chick.

Well, little chick needs plenty of looking after.

Until someone else comes along who can do it better, mother hen's gonna stick pretty close to the coop.

[man] All right, girls, five minutes. Thank you.

Honey, you look beautiful tonight. He'll be crazy about you.

Which one?

What does it matter? They're both famous.

[scoffs] [band plays fanfare]

Ladies and gentlemen, the Haynes Sisters.

[applause] [♪ Sisters]

Can you imagine Freckle-Face having sisters as cute as that?

It's incredible!

♪ Sisters, sisters

♪ There were never such devoted sisters

♪ Never had to have a chaperone No, sir

♪ I'm here to keep my eye on her

♪ Caring, sharing

♪ Every little thing that we are wearing

♪ When a certain gentleman arrived from Rome

♪ She wore the dress and I stayed home

♪ All kinds of weather We stick together

♪ The same in the rain or sun

♪ Two different faces But in tight places

♪ We think and we act as one Uh-huh

♪ Those who've seen us

♪ Know that not a thing could come between us

♪ Many men have tried to split us up But no one can

♪ Lord help the mister

♪ Who comes between me and my sister

♪ And Lord help the sister

♪ Who comes between me and my man ♪

How about those big brown eyes? No, they're blue.


Uh... Blue.

Oh. Yeah, deep blue.


Hello. Hello.

Won't you sit down? Thank you.

Uh... Won't you sit there, and you sit right here?

There, that's cozier, isn't it? Boy, girl, boy, girl.

Well, I'm Betty, and this is my sister, Judy.

And you're Phil Davis, and you're Mr. Wallace.

Guilty on both counts, I guess. Isn't this nice?

Mr. Wallace was just saying how remarkable it was that Benny Haynes' sisters should have eyes... I mean, blue eyes.

That is, eyes... [laughs] Nice out.

That's quite an act you kids have there.

It's a funny thing Benny never told us there's so much talent in the family.

Well, to be perfectly honest...

Benny didn't want to take advantage of an old Army friendship.

You know how shy he is, so modest and retiring.

It's a family characteristic. I have a recent snapshot here.


He always was a good-looking kid.

Uh, speaking of families, uh, I read an article just the other day about citrus fruit and its effect on children's teeth.

Are you interested in families or children or things like that, Miss Haynes? Yes, I suppose so.

Oh, man, nix, nix. Isn't that amazing?

Imagine a girl in show business today, wanting to settle down and raising a family.

It's so refreshing, isn't it? Pushing, pushing.

Well, would you like a cigarette? No, thank you.

I, for one, would like a little free advice.

Mr. Wallace, do you have any suggestions for the act?

No. Just keep plugging away.

Oh. But there must be something. Should we both be blondes?

Maybe Betty's hair should go a shade darker?

Or should she maybe change the style? A little more off the face?

No. I wouldn't change a thing.

[voice cracks] Would you care to dance?

Don't you think we should discuss... Let's say it with music.

All right.

Now, promise you won't say anything important till I get back. Bye, now.

They look well together, don't they? Yes.

Say, I was sure surprised to get Benny's letter today. I didn't know...

Look, Mr. Wallace, before you go any further, I must tell you, you were brought here tonight under false pretenses.

Benny didn't write the letter, my sister did.


She figured you'd never come to see us if we asked you, and you might if Benny did. As simple as that.

[laughs] How do you like that? Even little Judy there's got an angle going.

She didn't mean anything by it... You don't have to apologize.

Everybody's got an angle.

That's a pretty cynical point of view. Come, come now, Miss Haynes.

Surely you knew that everybody's got a little larceny operating in them.

Didn't you know? Just for the record, I want you to know that my sister and I don't play angles.

Well, if that letter wasn't an angle, I'd like to know what it was.

I don't like your whole inferences. I've got no squawks, no beefs.

The kid played a percentage, it worked and we're here.

Let's not make a whole big mish-mosh out of it, huh?

They're getting along just fine. And so quickly, too.

Isn't that nice?

All I'm saying is, when you've been around show business as long as I have, you just get used to people working angles, that's all.

Mr. Wallace, as the chance of our seeing each other again is extremely remote, I don't think it's important for us to go on arguing.

[laughs] Well, I'll drink to that. Be my guest.

Hey, if this keeps up, we'll practically be in-laws before the dance is over.

Well, I don't mind, if you don't.

Yeah, it's too bad we're leaving town tonight.

That is a shame, but we're leaving tomorrow, anyway.

Where are you going? Vermont.

We're booked for the holidays. Vermont, huh?

Vermont should be beautiful this time of the year, with all that snow.

Yeah... You know something? What?

Vermont should be beautiful this time of year.

All that snow. That's what I just said.

We seem to be getting a little mixed up.

Maybe it's the music. Maybe it isn't only the music.

[♪ The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing]

♪ The best things happen while you're dancing

♪ Things that you would not do at home come naturally on the floor

♪ For dancing soon becomes romancing

♪ When you hold a girl in your arms that you've never held before

♪ Even guys with two left feet

♪ Come out all right if the girl is sweet

♪ If by chance their cheeks should meet while dancing

♪ Proving that the best things happen while you dance

♪ The best things

♪ Happen while you're dancing

♪ Things that you would not do at home

♪ Come naturally on the floor

♪ For dancing

♪ Soon becomes romancing

♪ When you hold a girl in your arms that you've never held before

♪ Even guys with two left feet

♪ Come out all right if the girl is sweet

♪ If by chance their cheeks should meet while dancing

♪ Just proving that the best things

♪ Happen while you dance ♪

What is this? The best two out of three?

I guess I got carried away. Yeah, she carried me right with her.

I don't weigh very much.

We'd better change for the last number.

Uh, see you after the show. The sheriff's here.

He's in my office with a warrant to arrest both of you.

The sheriff? What's up? What's the trouble?

The landlord claims we burnt a hole in the rug, and he's trying to hold us up for $200.

Oh, no, not that old rug routine.

And on top of that, we sneaked our bags out of our room.

Where are they? In our dressing room.

Dressing room. Look, I'll tell you what.

You girls go and pack. Bob and I'll take care of this.

No, no, no, no. We don't want to cause you any trouble.

It's no trouble, honey. I know, but Mr. Wallace already...

Will you stop worrying about Mr. Wallace?

We like to take care of our friends.

We're practically strangers. We'd like to take care of that, too.

But you might get yourself in an awful jam. Why should you?

I mean, what's in it for you? Forty-five minutes all to myself.

What? Now, come on. Will you hurry, girls?

Come on. Come on. Go on. You go back to the office and stall the sheriff.

But, Mr. Davis, how will I stall... Make up a story. Tell him anything.

Tell him the girls have to finish the show or something.

Bob. All right, Bob, the girls are in jam. We'll have to help them.

What's the beef? Come on. They're in big trouble now.

What's the picture? Somebody is trying to get... Come on.

Let me ask you something. Why don't we pay the fellow the $200?

Are you kidding? Pay off a chiseling rat like that?

Will you send a cab out back, and I'll meet you in the dressing room?

I don't know how I get mixed up in these things.

Why do I listen to you? Give me one good reason.

Let's just say we're doing it for an old pal in the Army.

It's not good, but it's a reason. Will you go on?

You kids get down to the station and hop on a train.

Here, Phil. We can't.

Our tickets aren't good until tomorrow.

But you've got to get out tonight.

Tickets. Wait a minute. Here, take these. Now, get going. Come on.

We can't take your tickets. What will Mr. Wallace think?

Well, honey, it was his idea. Now, will you please get going?

His idea? Are you sure? Yeah.

He won't think it's some kind of an angle?

I told you it was his idea. Now, come on. Upsy-daisy. Here we go!

That's right.

We'll pay you back. Where can we reach you?

Oh, don't worry. We'll be in touch. Come on.

Our trunks, our phonograph and the recording.

Honey, we'll get them to you. Would you please go? The taxi is coming.

Don't stop for anything. Bye. Bye, Phil.

Here. Here.

Open the door. Bye. Bye, now.

And I can't stall him much longer.

Hey, whatever happened to paying the $200?

Well, we've got to give the girls five or ten minutes' start.

Wait a minute, I've got an idea.

If you could just stall him for just a few minutes.

I'll try, but he's eating me out of business already.

Well, keep punching, will you? OK.

Come on, Bob, I think this will work. I got a feeling I'm not gonna like it.

I got a feeling you're gonna hate it.

What am I doing it for? Let's just say...

[both] We're doing it for a pal in the Army.

Yeah. Yeah, I know. I've heard that...

Listen, Sheriff, I haven't got all night to wait here while you eat free food.

You got your warrant, now arrest those girls.

Now, we agreed to let them finish their show first.

I didn't agree. It was his idea. I got some rights, too.

You don't get those girls till after they've done their number.

Well, how long is it going to take?

Well, it'll only be... [band playing fanfare]

Wait a minute, there's their music.

How's your coffee holding up? Yeah. Warm it up a little.

Ladies and gentlemen, an impromptu surprise for you.

The Haynes Sisters. [♪ Sisters]



[Haynes sisters singing on phonograph] ♪ Sisters, sisters

♪ There were never such devoted sisters

♪ Never had to have a chaperone No, sir

♪ I'm here to keep my eye on her

♪ Caring, sharing

♪ Every little thing that we are wearing

♪ When a certain gentleman arrived from Rome

♪ She wore the dress and I stayed home

♪ All kinds of weather We stick together

♪ The same in the rain or sun Ooh!

♪ Two different faces But in tight places

♪ We think and we act as one Uh-huh

♪ Those who've seen us

♪ Know that not a thing could come between us

♪ Many men have tried to split us up but no one can

♪ Lord help the mister

♪ Who comes between me and my sister

♪ And Lord help the sister

♪ Who comes between me and my man

♪ Sisters! [laughter]

♪ Sisters!

♪ Sister, don't come between me and my man ♪

[giggling] [applause]

Hey, we're a smash. Let's take a bow.

Are you crazy? We'll be taking a bow down at the jailhouse. Come on.

[muttering] Hey! Hey, you! The sheriff!

[sheriff] Open up! Come on. Open up. You've done it again.

It was your fault. If we get out of this...

Let's go.


Boy, girl, boy, girl. Let's get over the... Hold this.


Here we go. Oh! [train whistle blowing]

Ah! You gentlemen made it just in time.

Is this the right car... You say you have space on this train?

Show him the tickets, buster.

Tickets? The tickets.

Uh... Tickets. Yeah. Yes.

Hold this just a minute.

What's the matter with you? No. I'm looking for the tickets.

Get them up. I'll get them.

Railroad tickets... Yeah.

I have the... No, it's...

I don't seem to have them. Maybe you've got them, Bob.

Me? You crazy? I saw you put them in your pocket.

Well, they're gone. They're gone. I must have left them in my girdle.

Gentlemen, either you have tickets or you haven't tickets.

We've got a drawing room.

Every available space on this train is occupied.

However, if you care to purchase tickets, you can sit up all night in the club car.

Well, that's fine. How much are two fares to New York?

Now, let me see. $97.24.

How much more is it to Vermont? Vermont? We're going to New York.

It must be beautiful this time of year in Vermont, Bob. All that snow?

Two tickets to New York. How much more to Vermont?

Vermont? Who cares? Who's going to Vermont?

We are. I mean, we should. It'll do us a lot of good, Bob, all that snow and the fir trees and the clean fresh air and... Ooh!

Great change of pace, just what we need.

Two tickets to New York. It's still $97.24 though.

OK, buster, get it out. Come on. Uh, I don't seem to have any cash.

What did you do with that? Leave it in your snood? Here.

$97.24. OK. There you are.

Where are you going? It's for breakfast.

Breakfast! Get some peanuts. All right.

Club car's straight ahead. OK.

Excuse me, gentlemen.

I certainly don't get this. We had space in our names.

They're not allowed to give it away to somebody else.

Well, with the holiday rush and all there could have been a slip-up.

Whoop! [Judy screams]

Excuse me. The club car's in there, I think.

[train whistle blows]

Well, this is great, just great.

We've paid for our tickets twice, and now we've got to sit up all night.

What are you screaming about?

If we took a plane, we'd be sitting up all night.

We're not taking a plane. We're taking a train, a train on which we had tickets.

Tickets for a drawing room with two nice, warm, soft comfortable beds, where, at this very moment, two...

Oh, no, you wouldn't do this to me.

Wouldn't do what? After you dressed me up like a dame, you get me involved with a sheriff.

I almost lose my life trying to catch a train. I know...

I just know on top of all that, you wouldn't take away my nice warm bed and let me spend the night out here in a drafty old club car.

You wouldn't do this to old Bob, would you?

Whatever are you talking about?

I'm going down there to Drawing Room A, I'm gonna open up that door, and if I find those two Haynes sisters there, I'm gonna take them by the hair and with these two hands I'm...

Oh, Mr. Wallace, how can we ever thank you?

It was really so sweet and generous of you.

Mr. Davis told us you insisted on giving us the tickets, and, well, it was just wonderful of you.

Wasn't there something you... [clears throat] wanted to say to the girls?

Yeah. [clears throat] Won't you have a drink or a sandwich or something?

Let's sit down. Yeah, sit down.

Can we have some club sandwiches?

I'd like lemonade, please. I'll have a malt, please.

We're emceeing the joint. This is cozy, boy, girl, girl, boy.

[all chattering indistinctly]

Tell me, where are you kids going to stay in New York?

We're not staying in New York. We're booked for over the holidays.

Where? The Columbia Inn, Pine Tree, Vermont.

Oh, well, that sounds very Vermont-y.

Should be beautiful this time of the year in Vermont, all that snow and everything. Yeah, yeah, beautiful.

The fir trees, the clean pine air. Brr!

Very beautiful. Just what we need. Uh-huh.

Oh, wonderful. Could you come up for a couple of days?

Well, I don't know...

I wish you could. It would be awfully nice.

Miss Haynes, if you're ever under a falling building and somebody runs up and offers to pick you up and carry you to safety, don't think, don't pause, don't hesitate a moment, just spit in his eye.

What did that mean? It means we're going to Vermont.

Oh, boy! Oh!

Might not be bad at that, you know. The snow-covered slopes, the skiing, Christianas and the stemming and the platzing and the schussing.

Hot buttered rum, light on the butter, snow.

♪ Snow ♪ Snow

♪ It won't be long before we'll all be there with snow

♪ Snow, snow

♪ I want to wash my hands my face and hair with snow

♪ Snow, I long to clear a path

♪ And lift a spade of snow

♪ Snow, oh

♪ To see a great big man Entirely made of snow

♪ Snow

♪ Where it's snowing all winter through

♪ That's where I want to be

♪ Snowball throwing That's what I'll do

♪ How I'm longing to ski

♪ Through the snow ♪ Snow

♪ Those glistening houses that seem to be built of snow

♪ Snow, oh

♪ To see a mountain covered with a quilt of snow

♪ What is Christmas with no snow? ♪ What is Christmas with no snow?

♪ No white Christmas with no snow ♪ No snow

♪ Snow ♪ Snow

♪ I'll soon be there with snow [chittering]

♪ I'll wash my hair with snow

♪ And with a spade of snow

♪ I'll build a man that's made of snow

♪ I'd love to stay up with you but I recommend a little shuteye

♪ Go to sleep

♪ And dream

♪ Of snow ♪ Snow

♪ Snow ♪ Snow

♪ Snow ♪

[train whistle blowing]

Pine Tree. Coming in to Pine Tree.

Hi. Good morning, merry sunshine.

How did you sleep? Oh, like a baby.

I always love sleeping on trains.

Yeah? You remember Nanook of the North.

[laughing] [howls]

You wound up on the shelf? Must've lost the toss.

Let me help you down. All right.

Let's go visit the firemen. Yes.



Your strategy's a little obvious. You don't really mind, do you?

But I got a flash for you. What?

She's a real slow mover.

Honey, I got a flash right back for you. She's in there with the champ.

Looks like our work's cut out for us.

Will you leave it to me? I've got a whole plan worked out.

Shh! Come on, let's go.

Hey! Hey, Bob, Betty, Judy, come here. I think we took the wrong train.

[Judy] What? [Wallace] What's the matter?

[Davis] Well, it's all green out here.

[Judy] Oh! [Davis] We're still in Carolina.

Oh! They must have grass-covered igloos up here.

Here, honey. Let me help you with that.

Oh! This is warmer than Florida. Where's the beach?

We should have brought our bathing suits.

You all right, honey? Yeah.

Is this Vermont, New England's winter playground?

You sure this is the right Vermont? This must be southern Vermont.

I just don't understand it. Ask Cisco here.

Where's the snow? This is supposed to be America's snow playground.

We haven't had snow since Thanksgiving. Sixty-eight yesterday.

[man] Car for Columbia Inn this way.

That's us. Let's go. Yeah.

Well, must be wonderful up in Vermont this time of the year.

All that underwear! [chuckles]

Gosh, I hope I can take the electric blanket back.

Where do you got that? Under the underwear.

You'll get a nice tan.

♪ Snow ♪ Snow

♪ It won't be long before we'll all be there with...

♪ Little old snowflakes Eskimo pie

♪ Chocolate and vanilla for you and I ♪


Well... It's real nice.

Aren't you glad you came now? Very Vermont-y.

You'll be able to do all the schussing and the platzing and everything, see?

[German accent] We hope to find the snow here.

Welcome to Columbia Inn. What sort of accommodations would you like?

I can offer you a fairly wide choice. Any room in the inn, including mine.

We're not here as guests. We're the Haynes Sisters.

Oh. My friend and I are guests.

We came up for the snow.

Where are you keeping it? Well, we take it in during the day.

I'm terribly sorry, but I'm afraid we won't be able to use you.

We'll pay you the half salary for canceling.

Well, are things really that bad?

We're using the ski tow to hang the wash on.

You aren't gonna stay either, are you?

Well, if the girls are leaving, I'll just get the luggage here.

Thank you, sir.

General Waverly!

Sir. At ease.

How are you, Captain? I'm fine, General, but...

We just try to keep the "general" part quiet.

Why? Begging your pardon, sir.

Well, to put it in one sentence, people don't expect a major general to carry firewood.

Bob, I was just thinking... Hi. I was...

Private Davis, sir.

At ease, Davis.

General Waverly! A janitor!

Never thought I'd make it, huh? Oh, yes, sir. Sir.

You could do anything you put your mind to, sir.

But, uh, a janitor!

Matter of fact, it's worse than that. I own this hotel.

A landlord. He got it in a shrewd business move.

If I, uh, start the introductions, can I get to meet these young ladies? Why, sure.

My housekeeper, Miss Emma Allen. My granddaughter, Susan Waverly.

Susan. Hello.

We're the Haynes Sisters. Your floor show.

Don't worry, I've already told them we'd have to cancel.

Why? We have a floor, haven't we?

Last time I looked. But who are they gonna sing to?

Well, even if it's only to you and me, it'll be well worth it.

Besides, there'll be six inches of snow tonight. We'll be full up tomorrow.

Is that the weather forecast?

No, but if there was one thing I learned in the Army, it was to be positive, especially when you don't know what you're talking about.

General Waverly, we want you to know that you needn't feel obligated.

I mean, since there's no snow... Nonsense. We've made a contract.

Your first performance is tonight at 8:00.

Be there or I'll sue! Here.

Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, I'm on KP.

Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

[♪ Sisters]

♪ Those who've seen us

♪ Know that not a thing could come between us

♪ Many men have tried to split us up but no one can

♪ Lord help the mister

♪ Who comes between me and my sister

♪ And Lord help the sister

♪ Who comes between me and my man

We ate, and then he ate. We slept, then he slept.

Yeah, then he woke up and nobody slept for 48 hours.

♪ Sisters ♪ Sisters

♪ Sisters ♪ Sisters ♪


Hi, girls. Hi.

You know what? I think Bob and I could give you some pointers on that Sister number.

I don't like the wardrobe. But it's so purdy.

Isn't this awful? It's like taking money under false pretenses.

Emma, couldn't you talk him into letting us work for half salary?

Not Light Horse Harry. "Advance, advance, never retreat."

He's advancing into bankruptcy. How deep's he in here?

He sunk everything, his pension, his life savings, everything in remodeling this place!

It used to be a gristmill and a barn. Now, it's a Tyrolean haunted house.

Well, eat hearty!

There ought to be something we can do about it.

Well, there is. We're going to New York in the morning.

New York? But you just got here!

We got some connections there, some good ones.

We can dig him up a spot somewhere.

Yeah, but that takes too long. The problem is here, now.

We've got to stay up here and dream up some way of getting people to come into this place.

What do you suggest? I don't know.

It should be something unusual, some kind of a novelty...

Tell me, brainstorm, what do you think would be a novelty up here in Vermont?

Who knows? Maybe we can dig up a Democrat?

They'd stone him! [laughter]

Well, if you ask me, what this place really needs is a dynamite act.

Now, you're talking. If we could get something really big.

Something sock, like... Like Wallace and Davis.

No, honey, you couldn't get them. They're too big.

Wait a minute. Wallace and Davis. How about that, Bob?

We could do our old nightclub act, fit the girls in here and there.

Might be wonderful. What do you say? I think you got something.

It's a great idea. It's half a great idea, anyhow.

Will you excuse me? Young lady, get me the New York operator.

OK, Mr. Wallace. This way.

I don't know what he's up to, but he's got that Rodgers & Hammerstein look again.

Is that bad? Not bad, but always expensive.

Excuse me.

[laughs] I know it sounds crazy, Al, but you're working for crazy people.

Now, get this straight. I want the whole show up here in three days.

Yeah, the whole show. Sets, costumes and all the cast you can round up.

Hey, wait a minute. What's this gonna cost?

Everybody gets an extra week's pay and you get a bonus, Al.

What's this gonna cost? We open Christmas Eve.

The tab! How much? Al, what's this gonna set us back?

Wow! How much is "wow"?

Well, OK, Al, do the best you can. Good luck.

How much is "wow"? We got a big job, buster, a big job.

Whatever acts we can't get, we fill in with the Haynes Sisters.

How much is "wow"? Right in between "ouch" and "boing."

Wow! I'm right behind you. Come along.

I won't tell the general, you do it your own way, but I think bringing your show up here is just one of the nicest...

How did you know?

Well, like any decent, self-respecting housekeeper, I listen in on the other phone. I just don't know what to say.


He thought of it. Well, it was a lovely thought.

Wow! Let's get hold of yourself. Come on.

[blowing] [indistinct chattering]

Hurry up, kids. Check in the lobby for your room numbers.

Put your bags backstage.

Everybody grab his own suitcases. Let's not get mixed up now.

The wardrobe trunk's in the hall.

Let's go, let's go, we got to get started hanging those drapes.

All right, kids, find your rooms, get settled.

Get your rehearsal costumes on. We start rehearsals right after breakfast.

I still don't understand it. You mean you brought your whole show up here?

Well, most of it, sir. Well, it's still not clear to me. Why?

Well, we have this show. Now, we have to close down for the holidays, lay the cast off, and business is bad...

I know about business being bad. Go on.

Well, we figured since we had a chance to rehearse, we might as well do our rehearsing up here.

Why here?

Well, you've got this nice big empty ski lodge, and the minute Phil and I saw it, we decided it was ideal. Didn't we, Phil?

That's right, Bob. Ideal. That's exactly the word we used, too.

Ideal. We looked at this big ski lodge and we said, "Isn't it ideal?

Absolutely ideal." Didn't we? Ideal.

We've established the fact the lodge is ideal.

And it gives us a chance, you see, sir, to test new material.

On what? On the audience.

We use them like guinea pigs.

Pigs, we can get for you. I'm not so sure about people.

Well, uh, with all due modesty, sir, Wallace and Davis never had any trouble packing them in, sir.

People that is, not pigs. Well, go ahead, if you want to.

Apparently, there's quite a bit about show business I don't understand.

Oh, it'll come to you, sir. Just takes time.

Sure. We wouldn't be any good as generals.

You weren't any good as privates.

[Wallace] All right, kids, take it from the top once again.

Bum-de-de-bum-bum, and! [up-tempo music plays]

That's right, that's it. All right, keep it lively.

All right, let's keep it going. That's good.

Keep it up there, honey.

[man] Move that lumber over, fellas.

Take it over on the other side.

[piano continues playing]

[orchestra tuning]

[♪ Mandy]

♪ I'd rather see a minstrel show

♪ Than any other show I know

♪ Oh, those comical folks

♪ With their riddles and jokes

♪ Here is the riddle that I love the best

♪ Why does a chicken go...

♪ You know the rest ♪ Yes, sir

♪ I'd pawn my overcoat and vest

♪ To see a minstrel show

♪ Mr. Bones, Mr. Bones

♪ How do you feel, Mr. Bones?

♪ Rattling

♪ Mr. Bones feels rattling

♪ Ha, ha, that's a good one

♪ Tell a little story, Mr. Bones

♪ A funny little story, Mr. Bones

♪ How can you stop an angry dog from biting you on Monday?

♪ That joke is old the answer is to kill the dog on Sunday

♪ That's not the way to stop a dog from biting you on Monday

♪ How would you bring the thing about?

♪ Have the doggie's teeth pulled out

♪ Oh, Mr. Bones, that's terrible [moans]

♪ Yes, Mr. Bones, that's terrible [moans]

♪ Mr. Interloc'ter ♪ What is wrong with you?

♪ Well, I know of a doctor ♪ Tell about him, do

♪ Sad to say one day he fell

♪ Right into a great big well

♪ Oh, that's too bad ♪ But not at all

♪ Why speak in such a tone?

♪ He should have attended to the sick and let the well alone

♪ That's a joke Oh, ho!

♪ That was told A-ha!

♪ In the minstrel days we miss

♪ When Georgie Primrose used to sing

♪ And dance to a song like this

♪ Mandy

♪ There's a minister handy

♪ And it sure would be dandy

♪ If we let him make a fee

♪ So don't you linger

♪ Here's a ring for your finger

♪ Isn't it a humdinger?

♪ Come along and let the wedding chimes

♪ Bring happy times for Mandy and me

♪ Mandy, what a gal Oh, Mandy

♪ There's a minister handy

♪ And it sure would be dandy

♪ If we let him make a fee

♪ He's got his rent to pay so don't delay

♪ It's not a day to linger

♪ Here's a ring for your finger

♪ Isn't it a humdinger?

♪ We advise to live and love and honor and obey

♪ Before he gets away Make it Mandy and me

♪ The wedding chimes

♪ Bring happy times

♪ For Mandy and me

♪ So don't you linger

♪ Here's a ring for your finger

♪ Isn't it a humdinger?

♪ Come along and let the wedding chimes

♪ Bring happy times

♪ For Mandy and me ♪

Wonderful! This will bring business in, Grandpa.

[indistinct chatter]

Loved it! Was everything all right, really?

All right? Wait till tonight... It was sensational!

Judy, was the tempo a little slow for you right here, honey?

♪ Mandy

♪ There's a minister handy Yeah, but you got to drive it there. You've got to keep it flowing.

♪ So listen, Mandy There's a minister...

Isn't that better? Yes, I can see that's... better.

That's much better.

Much, much better.

[Wallace] ♪ Mandy

♪ There's a minister...


[Betty] ♪ Mandy

♪ There's a minister handy Anything wrong? No, I'm just restless.

Anything, um, on your mind? Uh-uh. Just restless.

Maybe you'd sleep better if you had something to eat.

No, honey, I'm not hungry.

Emma said she left some sandwiches down in the snack bar.

Judy, go to sleep. And some buttermilk.

Good night, Judy. Good night.

They say if you eat something right before you go to bed, it helps to...

Judy. No, no, it drains the blood from the head, in case you're thinking of anything or anybody or just anything.

All right. Fine, OK, swell.

I'll go and get something to eat. Not because I want something to eat, but because if I don't get something to eat, you won't go to sleep.

Good night. Good night.

[piano playing]


Well, hello. What's doing? I couldn't sleep.

You're a little young for that route, aren't you?

Well, I heard something about sandwiches and buttermilk.

Oh, sister, this is the place. [German accent] We is loaded here.

We got New England blue plate or the Vermont smorgasbord.

Not as flashy as Toots Shor's probably, but I think you'll find the price is right.

What'll you have? Anything.

Tell me what you want to dream about, I'll know what to give you.

What's that? I got a whole big theory about it.

Different kinds of food make for different kinds of dreams.

Now, if I have ham and cheese on rye like that, I dream about a tall cool blonde. Sort of a first sacker type, you know.

Turkey, I dream about a brunette. A little on the scatback side, but, oh, sexy, sexy. [laughs]

What about liverwurst? I dream about liverwurst.

A little chilly in here, isn't it? I got just the spot for you.

Here, grab the cow, and we'll gather 'round the fire. All right.

Got a nice open-hearth job here with some Vermont logs burning briskly.

Isn't this nice? Wonderful.

Glad you came? It's better than a picnic.

Why, certainly. No sand or yellow jackets buzzing around.

I can't understand what's wrong with me.

I usually don't have any trouble sleeping.

Well, you've come to the right fellow. Here, sit down.

You know, I have a theory about that, too.

Would you like to hear it? Very much.

♪ When I'm worried and I can't sleep

♪ I count my blessings

♪ Instead of sheep

♪ And I fall asleep

♪ Counting my blessings

♪ When my bankroll is getting small

♪ I think of when I had none at all

♪ And I fall asleep

♪ Counting my blessings

♪ I think about a nursery

♪ And I picture curly heads

♪ And one by one I count them

♪ As they slumber in their beds

♪ If you're worried

♪ And you can't sleep

♪ Just count your blessings

♪ Instead of sheep

♪ And you'll fall asleep

♪ Counting your blessings ♪

Do you mind if I say something just for the record?

Of course not.

I think what you're doing for the general is one of the most decent, unselfish things I've ever heard of.

No angle? No angle.

I want to apologize for the way I sounded in Florida.

I guess I've always been kind of a silly schoolgirl.

You know the bit, the lady fair and the knight on the white horse.

Let me tell you something, it's kind of dangerous putting those knights up on white horses.

They're likely to slip off, you know. I think mine's here to stay.

That's sure good to know.

Makes a fellow feel a little shaky to hold up there all alone on one of those bleached chargers.

Are you worried? Kind of.

♪ If you're worried

♪ And you can't sleep

♪ Just count your blessings

♪ Instead of sheep

♪ And you'll fall asleep ♪ And you'll fall asleep

♪ Counting your blessings ♪ Counting your blessings ♪

[clears throat] Excuse me, I'm sorry. I was just after a little something for a sweet tooth.

I, uh, see you've beaten me to it.

You'll find the Vermont smorgasbord very good, General.

It'll make you sleep like a baby. Thank you.

So you know something? You still haven't eaten anything.

I know exactly what I'm going to dream about tonight.

Good for you.

[Wallace] Hold your fire, men. I'm coming through.

Morning, Captain. Morning, General.

Looks like you're on active duty.

Yeah, Emma drafted me for a few chores.

And I picked up the handbills for the new show.

Oh? Look pretty good, huh?

Well, that ought to bring in quite a few guinea pigs.

You ever hook up with the fellows in the horseshoe game?

No. No, I'm a little too young for that sort of thing.

Figure a fellow ought to hold off on horseshoes till after the parade's passed him by.

That'll be some time, sir.

You get it? Thank you.

Look, Bob, I still don't know too much about show business and guinea pigs, but in case you and Phil are worried about the welfare of a certain Vermont innkeeper, you needn't be.

His inn-keeping days are numbered. I wouldn't say that.

The percentage is gonna catch up with the weatherman one of these days.

I've been watching those clouds, and there's snow in them.

Those are cumulus clouds, elevation 7,000 feet.

Yeah, well, I wouldn't be surprised if it snowed overnight.

I want to tell you something I haven't even told the womenfolk.

I'm going back in the Army. Really?

I've applied for active duty. Well, that's wonderful news, sir.

I got an idea they may try to palm off one of those desk jobs on me, but they'd better not.

I'm holding out for a training command or something overseas.

When will you hear, sir?

I expect a letter from Washington any day now.

Holy smoke, I'm really on the boil! I got the mail right here, and I think there's a letter for you, General.

Yeah. Here it is, from Washington, too.

It looks like the one. War Department, see?

I left my... My glasses are in my room.

I would like to read this by myself, but I'm a little anxious.

Read it, son, slowly. All right.

I'm starting to play trombone a little, too.

[chuckles] Let's see if I can get focused in here.

"Dear Tom, why you dirty old..." Skip that word.


"Certainly was a surprise hearing from you.

Your amusing letter was appreciated more than you imagine.

Of course, you've got plenty of time to be amusing, sitting on that porch, rocking away, while we put in a full day's work.

You always were a lucky stiff, and I envy you.

A few years more, I was saying to Edie the other evening, and I'll be able to take it easy like old Tom."

Old Tom.

"Oh, well. Some people have all the luck.

Everything's fine here. Carol had the mumps..."

The rest of the letter is about the family.

He's telling me that they can't use me. No place for me.

We're not fooling each other.

Bob, it wouldn't be too hard to learn this game of horseshoes. Now, would it?

It'd be a cinch. Begging your pardon, sir, but there's really a lot to be said for leisure.

Of course, you've always been active, but in time...

Never kid a kidder, son.

See you later.

That's a good one!

[piano playing up-tempo music]

Fine, fine. All right, kids, take a rest.

I'm sure it's a great... Bob? Phil?

Ready to run through the Choreography number.

I'll be with you in a minute.

It's the craziest thing I ever heard of!

How are you gonna get a whole division up here by Christmas Eve?

So we don't get a whole division.

But there must be enough guys in New England alone from the old man's outfit to fill a town this size.

At least enough guys to let him know he's not forgotten.

Don't you think putting the show on will do it?

Phil, if you'd seen the look in his eyes when he read that letter you'd know it wouldn't.

It's gonna take five days to put the show on, is it?

That's right.

How are we gonna get in touch with all the fellows?

Television. Ed Harrison. I'm gonna go put a call in to him now.

I'll go on down to New York, and if I can swing it, I'll get on his show and make a pitch to the guys myself. What do you think of it?

I think it's impossible, ridiculous and insane.

Anything else? Yeah. I wish I'd thought of it first.

You rehearse the number. I'll put the call in, Bob.

Hey, Johnny, get the kids for a dress rehearsal, will you?

Emma? Could you, uh, put in a long-distance call for me?

I want to get Ed Harrison, New York City.

The television Ed Harrison? That's the fellow, yeah.

You'll catch him at Radio City, I think.

And let's keep it quiet. This is kind of a personal thing.

Oh, sure, sure. Ed Harrison, television. Radio City, gee.

[orchestra tuning]

[man] All right, fellas. From the top.

[♪ Choreography]

♪ The theater, the theater

♪ What's happened to the theater

♪ Especially where dancing is concerned?

♪ Chaps who did taps

♪ Aren't tapping anymore They're doing choreography

♪ Chicks who did kicks

♪ Aren't kicking anymore They're doing choreography

♪ Heps who did steps

♪ That would stop the show in days that used to be

♪ Through the air they keep flying

♪ Like a duck that is dying

♪ Instead of dance it's choreography ♪

Ed, Ed, I know it's a long shot, but there's no other way to reach the men in a hurry.

How does it sound? Huh?

I love the idea of doing something for the old man.

If it weren't for him, I wouldn't know how to peel a potato! [laughs]

Look, why don't you go all out? Put the whole show on TV?

I'll come up there myself, bring the camera, the crew, the works.

Thanks, Ed, but that's not the idea. Well, it's a great idea.

Put the show on the network right from Pine Tree. Play it up big.

A real Christmas Eve show, all about how you're playing Santa Claus to the old man, you know.

Plenty of schmaltz, lots of heart.

Would be worth over $100,000 in free advertising for you and Phil.

And, yeah, we'll put the old boy on himself, you know, the forgotten-man angle. Tear their hearts out.

Here's the laundry, Emma.

I'm sorry, Ed. Sorry, but that's out.

We're not commercializing on the old man's hard luck. No chance.

All I want to do is go on your show and make a little pitch. OK?

Wonderful. Wonderful. See you Sunday night then. Bye.

Take it upstairs, Susan. All right.


Oh. Was there a telegram for me? What?

Oh, yeah! Just an offer from the Carousel Club in New York, anytime you and Judy are available.

What's your technique? Holding them up to the light?

That's for amateurs. I use steam. You're quite a pro.

I'm thinking of turning in my uniform.

Stick your nose in other people's business and eventually you find out things you wish you hadn't.

Anything specific?

Did you know the boys are planning to put this whole show on television?

Television? Right from here, on Christmas Eve.

I just heard Bob fix it with Ed Harrison. It's a big deal.

Real schmaltz, I think they called it.

They're even gonna put the general on. I just can't believe it.

That'll make him a pathetic figure from coast to coast.

What's it gonna do to his pride?

Of course, you know it means over $200,000 worth of free publicity for Davis and Wallace. Emma, that's a terrible thing to say.

I didn't say it. Bob Wallace said it. I just heard him.

No. Bob wouldn't be involved in a thing like that. I'm sure you're wrong.

Well, if I am, I'll resign as president of the New England chapter of Busybodies Anonymous. [phone buzzing]

Oh, dear, my nerves. It's the phone.

[humming] Hi, Betty. Have you seen Bob?

Do you know whether he made that phone call to New York or not, Emma?

I understand he did. Oh, good.

I hear that television's entered the picture.

Then he worked it out, huh? Beautifully.

It's a great, little angle, isn't it? Brilliant.

Listen, uh, keep this under your hat, will you?

We wouldn't want the general to know about it, because it's...

I can understand that.

Betty, that was Bob. He's waiting to rehearse in the dining room.

Anything wrong? Tell him I'm on the way.

Hi, hon. How about some lunch? I'm not hungry.

But Betty... I said I'm not hungry.

What's with her? I'm not sure, but I have an idea.

I want to think about it.

Yeah, well, let's think about it over a sandwich, kid. I'm starving to death.

Change the routine... That other rehearsal's got me crazy. I don't know...

[indistinct chatter] [man] Let's set up the next number.

[Wallace playing down-tempo piano music]

Oh, howdy. I was just going over this Blessings number.

Something we could do together. Want to try it from the release?

♪ When my bankroll is getting small

♪ I think of when I had none at all

♪ And I fall asleep counting my blessings

What's the matter? A bad key for you?

Look, I don't think I'm right for this song.

Of course you are. Lays great for you. Come on, now, let's try it.

No, I don't think I'm right for it. Don't be silly.

What I'm trying to say is I don't feel like doing this song.

I don't want to do this song. In fact, I'm not sure I want to do the show.

Well, what is this? You sleep well last night or what?

I'd rather not discuss last night, if you don't mind.

Come now, I admit I was a little carried away and everything, but there's no use getting all upset with just a simple little kiss.

Nobody signed a contract.

There's certainly nothing for you to feel guilty about.

Look who's talking about guilt. What do you mean by that?

I mean, you shouldn't mix fairytales with liverwurst and buttermilk.

What did you have for lunch today? I didn't have lunch.

Well, maybe you ought to eat something.

Why is everybody suddenly so concerned about my eating habits?

Why don't people leave me alone... Whoa, whoa! Time, time, cut!

Let's get off the merry-go-round. If you got something to say, say it.

Otherwise, let's get to work. I got a lot of details here to take care of.

Well, then, let's just skip all this. I certainly wouldn't want to interfere with the business plans of the great Wallace and Davis.

That's quite a remark. I'm sorry. It's the best I can do.

Look, Betty, I've got no time for games today.

Now, are you gonna sing this song or not?

I don't want to sing the song. Well, nobody's twisting your arm.

Is that all, Mr. Wallace? Yes, that's all, Miss Haynes.

[Davis] Yours ought to be done by now.

How do you figure that? I'm not sure, but daylight's beginning to glimmer.

Last night she couldn't sleep. Today she won't eat.

She's in love. If that's love, somebody goofed.

It's love all right, but she's deliberately putting up barriers.

I'd bet my bottom dollar on it.

Why? Because of me.

She's always felt that she's mother hen and I'm her little chick.

She'll never leave the roost until I'm taken care of.

That's funny. Are you sure? Oh, I should've known.

She'll never get involved with anyone until I'm married or engaged or something. Well, I guess that's the end of that.

Unless I get myself engaged or something real fast.

That's ridiculous. Even if it made any sense at all, you're up here in the wilderness. There's nobody around here.

Oh, I don't know.

Be realistic. Who could you find up here to get yourself engaged to?

Well, I suppose it ought to be someone that I know.

That always helps.

Of course, it's got to be a man. That's an absolute must.

No, no, no. I mean a mature man. One with talent and experience.

Talent, experience... One that's witty, gay, charming, attractive. Witty, gay, charming, sure.

Where are you gonna find such a super man?

Don't be so modest. Honey, fellas like that don't...

Me? Well, you're not exactly Superman, but you're awfully available. Yeah, now, don't get any ideas, Judy.

I'm not the marrying kind. It's just an engagement.

Yeah, well, I'm not the engaging kind, either.

Well, what kind are you?

Well, I'm more the "I don't mind pushing my best friend into it, but I'm scared stiff when I get anywhere close to it myself" kind.

How terrible could it be for a few days?

You do like me, don't you? Sure, I do.

I mean, I'm not exactly repulsive.

Of course... [clears throat] Of course not.

And you do find me gay, amusing, good company, fun to be with?

I do, but I feel the same way about my cocker spaniel.

Well, let's just skip it. I was only thinking of Betty and Bob.

Betty and Bob, yeah.

Look, uh, it would only be temporary, huh?

Well, of course. Well, you don't think I'm the kind of girl that goes around throwing myself at a man, do you?

Of course not. Nobody thinks that. Well, look, let me figure this out.

Now, it would only last two or three weeks at the worst. At the most, I mean.

Well, of course.

And, uh, we wouldn't have to announce our engagement till it was absolutely necessary. Absolutely necessary.

Well, OK, it's a deal.

But don't you think we ought to kiss or something?

Um... Not until it's absolutely necessary.

[up-tempo music plays] [indistinct chatter]

[woman laughing]

Isn't it a wonderful party?

[down-tempo music plays]

Bob, would you like to dance? Huh?

I'm game if you are. Thank you.

Hey, Betty. How about some exercise? Come on.

♪ The best things

♪ Happen while you're dancing

♪ Things that you would not do at home

♪ Come naturally on the floor

♪ For dancing Pardon me.

♪ Soon becomes romancing Hi. OK. ♪ That you never held before

♪ Even guys with two left feet

♪ Come out all right if the girl is sweet

♪ If by chance their cheeks should meet

♪ While dancing Mr. Herring, this is Miss Lennis.

How do you do? Mutual, I'm sure.

Bye. May I?

Looks like it's absolutely necessary. What... You mean, I...

Oh... Hold it a minute, fellas. Give me a little ching-a-ring, will you?

[band plays chord] Uh...

Folks, I have an announcement to make.

An announcement, and I want you all to be the first to know.

Uh, I don't know whether the best things happen while you're dancing or whether they... [chuckles] just happen in Vermont...

[crowd laughs]

...but, uh, Judy has just agreed to...

Well, I mean that she just asked me...

Uh... That is, she just said...

What I'm trying to say is that Judy and I are [voice cracks] engaged.

[all] Aw! [applause]

Congratulations. Thank you.

I sure wish it would happen to me! Yeah, I do, too!

[all chattering]

It's just wonderful, darling. I'm so happy for you.

I hoped you would be. Is everything all right?

Sure, sure, it's all right. I'm fine.

You realize you're getting the best girl in the whole wide world?

Oh... I... [voice cracks] Yeah. Sure. You take care of her.

[Emma] This calls for champagne. I'll help you, Emma.

Congratulations, kids! Thanks, Bob.

I don't know what you see in this long drink of charged water, but, honestly, after you get to know him, he's almost endurable.

You're gonna settle down, buster? Yeah.

Pipe, slippers... All the best, boy. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks, Bob.

By the way, the water's fine. Why don't you take a little plunge?

I don't know. It seemed a little icy today.

That's today. I've a feeling by tomorrow it'll warm up just fine.

Well, you sold me. I'll go.

Well, don't just stand there. Aren't you going to kiss the bride?

Uh... Kiss... Oh, yes, sir.

Yes, sir! [Waverly chuckles]

Now, that didn't hurt too much, did it?

You know, in some ways, you're far superior to my cocker spaniel.

At ease, General. Oh.

Champagne? Uh, yeah, I think I will.


Here. Let's drink to their happiness, huh?

To buttermilk and liverwurst and getting things back to where they were yesterday.

[door slams]

I know we always said we'd never break up the act, but that wasn't really very realistic.

I mean, well, we both knew that someday one of us or both of us would want to be free.

Besides, now that I'm taken care of, you don't have to feel responsible for me anymore.

I mean, well, if there's anything special you want to do, you can just feel free now to go ahead and do it.

Isn't that true? I say, isn't that true?

Betty, honey, are you asleep?

Good night.

[bell dinging]

Thanks, General.

When you get back to the inn, would you give this to Judy?

It explains everything.

I can't help feeling this is a tactical error.

I kept watching you and Bob last night.

I say what you two need is a good talking to.

No, General, this is a private war. Don't do anything.

I promise. Good luck.

Oh, sure, I know about that, but on Christmas Eve we're gonna have a lot of special trains coming in here, from Boston, Philadelphia and New York. Now, can you handle it OK?

I'll call the traffic manager.

Good, but remember, strictly off the record.

Yes, Mr. Wallace. That's great.

[man] All aboard!


What's this? Where do you think you're going?

I'm going to New York. I've got a job. You've got a job. Where?

Goodbye, Bob. Good luck. I hope you have great success with the show.

Betty, about yesterday, if I said anything, I didn't mean it.


I was so busy with other things, I must have sounded like an idiot...

Goodbye. ...but I didn't mean... Betty.

[indistinct chatter]

Judy. Hey, Judy. John. Come on up here.

Let's run through the Abraham number. Watch the tempo on the last part.

Keep it rocking, will you, fellows?

[up-tempo jazz plays]

[music ends] [applause]

That's wonderful.

That's great, Johnny.

Listen, all right, kids, come on up here. I want the boys in the back.

Excuse me, Judy. It's for you from Betty.

She gave it to Grandpa at the station. At the station?

Phil! Phil!

What's the matter? Phil, it's from Betty.

How could you be stupid enough to try a stunt like this?

Phony engagements and messing around with people's lives.

You ought to be horse-whipped.

First you, and then you, and then you again.

Gee whiz, Bob, I only did it for your own good.

Yeah, because I'm a lonely, miserable, unhappy man.

That's right, and when you're unhappy, I'm unhappy. After all, Bob, I...

Oh, no. You're not gonna start again with that life-saving bit.

Well, I told you, I don't expect any gratitude.

I'm not even sure you saved my life.

Sometimes I wish the wall had fallen on me.

Don't say that. And you, her own sister, how could you do such a thing?

It's always that she's been a kind of a mother hen...

Yeah, we wanted the mother hen to leave the roost, so that the little chick could...

Well, I guess we laid an egg. An egg?

Brother, you laid a Vermont volleyball!

I'm going to New York and try and square it with Betty.

You ought to consider yourself plenty lucky.

You might have been stuck with this weirdsmobile for life!


Oh, Judy! Leave the kid alone.

You've got her confused enough already.

Bob, you don't understand one thing.

Boy, you've mixed things up beautifully, you have.

Listen to me... No! You listen to me.

I got a job for you to do, if you think you can get one simple thing straight.

Try me. OK.

The general always listens to the Ed Harrison Show, right?

Yeah. I'm gonna be on about 9:00.

Nine o'clock. Tell Emma about it.

Maybe she can help you. But the big thing is don't let the general anywhere near that television set. You get me?

Don't worry, Bob. I'll keep him away from that television set if I have to break my arm.

Break your arm, your ankle or your neck, but don't break anything valuable.

OK, Bob. You can depend on me. Let's see, break the arm...

[jazz music plays]

Good evening, Mr. Wallace. Marcel, how are you?

Fine, thank you. I have a table all ready for you, sir.


Has Betty Haynes been on yet? Not yet. In a few minutes.

Good. I'm expecting Eddy Harrison, too. Show him to the table, huh?

Certainly, Mr. Wallace. Thanks.


Dick. Yes, honey.

Let's not do the number we rehearsed this afternoon.

Play Blue Skies. Anything.

The number sounded great in rehearsal.

I know it did, but I just...

It's a wonderful number, honey. Come on. Let's do it. Please, do it.

[♪ Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me]

♪ Love

♪ You didn't do right by me

♪ You planned a romance that just hadn't a chance

♪ And I'm through

♪ Love

♪ You didn't do right by me

♪ I'm back on the shelf And I'm blaming myself

♪ But it's you

♪ My one love affair

♪ Didn't get anywhere from the start

♪ To send me a Joe

♪ Who had winter and snow in his heart

♪ Wasn't smart

♪ Love

♪ You didn't do right by me

♪ As they say in the song

♪ You done me wrong

♪ My one love affair

♪ Didn't get anywhere

♪ From the start

♪ To send me a Joe

♪ Who had winter and snow in his heart

♪ Wasn't smart

♪ Oh, love

♪ You didn't do right by me

♪ As they say in the song

♪ You done me wrong

♪ Yes, Mr. Love

♪ You done me wrong ♪


Surprise! What brings you here?

Oh, I had a little business to take care of.

I see. Some of it concerns you.

Really? Yeah. It sort of boils down to this.

You didn't have to break up the act or run out of town, because Judy and Phil's engagement was phony.

A phony?

Seems they were trying to figure out some way to get rid of any barriers between you and the altar.

Seems like they thought you and I were serious about each other.

It just shows you how foolish people can be.


Why do people have to stick their noses in other people's business?

Well, that's Phil for you, I guess. That's Judy for you.

The two of us were having some laughs together, and they thought we were in love with each other.

Ridiculous. Sure.

They're sorry about it now, and Judy wants you to come back.

Matter of fact, I'd like to see you come back myself.

Well, I don't know... Betty.

I know that knight of yours has slipped off his charger.

Why, I don't know, but I'd like to do all I can to get him back up there again for you.

Mr. Wallace has been expecting you. Thank you very much.

Bob, come on. It's 8:30. This is Ed Harrison. Miss Haynes.

How do you do? Hi.

Boy, what I went through for you, sponsors, network, but I finally got it squared away just the way you wanted it.

That's swell, Ed. Listen... I got a cab waiting. We're late.

Just a second, Ed. I want to...

Looks like I've got to scoot. Could I see you later tonight maybe?

I'm sorry, I have a date. What about tomorrow?

No, I'll be busy all day. Come on, will you?

You'd better go. You're keeping Mr. Harrison.

What will I tell Judy? I don't know.

I have to think about it. Goodbye, Bob.

Think Phil will be able to keep the old man away from the television set?

Oh, I have complete confidence in him.

When it comes to conniving or finagling, you can't beat this boy.

Hello, girls. Hello.

You have the right station?

Yeah. Sure.

Grandpa, the battery's dead on the Jeep. It's stuck...

I'll fix it later. I don't want to miss the Ed Harrison Show.


Should be a very good show tonight.

[screams] General, come quickly. What's this?

It's a terrible thing. Fell down the stairs. I tell you it's an awful thing.

Mercy! Go see if you can help him.

What is it? What is it? Did you fall down the stairs?

Yes, sir. Are you hurt?

I'm all right, sir. Probablyjust a small compound fracture, sir.

There we are. How does it feel? Ooh! It feels pretty good, sir.

Put your weight on it. My weight. Right here, sir.

Ooh! Oh! [groans]

Susan, call a doctor. Please don't do that, sir.

It's probablyjust a small internal muscular hemorrhage, sir.

It'll be all right.

You'll feel better if we take you where you can be comfortable.

Yes, sir. Let's just go back in here and you can watch the television. Oh!

Sir. I'm going to call a doctor.

Please, sir, don't bother. If you'll just help me back to the bungalow, I'm sure I'll be all right, sir. OK.

Thank you, sir. I wouldn't want to faint in front of the women, sir.

Oh! I'll be all right!

Don't put your weight on it. No, no, no, sir. Oh, oh!

Fine, sir.

Thank you. Thank you.

And now it's a great privilege to present my special guest, an old pal from Army days, a great guy and a great entertainer, Bob Wallace!

[applause] [up-tempo music plays]

Bob's got a special message tonight for all you guys who were a part of the 1 51st Division.

It's about someone who's very close to all of us, and he's gonna tell you about it in his own special way.

Bob? Thanks, Eddy.

♪ When the war was over Why, there were jobs galore

♪ For the GI Josephs who were in the war

♪ But for generals things were not so grand

♪ And it's not so hard to understand

♪ What can you do with a general

♪ When he stops being a general?

♪ Oh, what can you do with a general who retires?

♪ Who's got a job for a general

♪ When he stops being a general?

♪ They all get a job but a general no one hires

♪ They fill his chest with medals

♪ While he's across the foam

♪ And they spread the crimson carpet

♪ When he comes marching home

♪ The next day someone hollers when he comes into view

♪ "Here comes the general"

♪ And they all say, "General who?"

♪ They're delighted that he came

♪ But they can't recall his name

♪ Nobody thinks of assigning him

♪ When they stop wining and dining him

♪ It seems this country never has enjoyed

♪ So many one and two and three

♪ And four-star generals unemployed ♪


Like Eddy told you, that song is for the 1 51st Division.

The officers and the men under the command of Major General Tom Waverly. I hope a lot of you guys were listening, because I have something I want you to do for me.

Don't you want to sit down?

No, no, sir. If you'll just walk me around the barn a few times, I think it'll be fine, sir. Yes.

It's a little too fast, sir. If we just slow down a little bit, sir.

I know it's murder asking you to leave your homes on Christmas Eve, and certainly a trip like this is no bargain.

It shouldn't be too tough for the fellows who live in the New England area, but remember this, nobody connected with the show is getting anything out of it, nothing at all. Except what we're offering you, a chance to give the nicest Christmas gift he'll ever get to the nicest guy we'll ever know.

Remember, then, your objective is Pine Tree, Vermont.

Synchronize your watches then for Operation Waverly.

[indistinct chatter]

Hey, listen, men, when I give you the signal, I want you to fall in single file on each side of the stage.

And I want you to fall in at attention like that day at Montecatini when Clark came through. You remember?

[all clamoring]

It was a big day for you. You got a lot of that stuff hung on you. Remember?

I'm gonna have you face the general. When I give you the command to march, I want you to step right out, just like you used to.

All right, Captain. OK, boys.

Captain, these things have shrunk. Your appetite hasn't shrunk.

[laughter] Who's there? Boom!

They're sure gone.

How could you have sent all my suits to the cleaners?

You've only got two.

Well, I think you'd send one at a time then, in that case.

Why can't you wear your uniform? Yes!

I won't appear in uniform.

Please, Gramps. Absolutely not.

Very well, I'll explain to Bob and Phil that you didn't care to come to the show tonight.

I'll have you court-martialed. Susan. You're not obliged to go.

They haven't done much for you, hardly anything.

Emma, I'll make my own decisions. I got along very well in the Army without you.

It took 1 5,000 men to take my place.

Susan. Fifteen thousand men.

I hope he comes down. That'd be awful if he wouldn't.

It's Betty!

Welcome home, Betty! Hello, Emma.

How are you?

Hi, Susie. Hi, Betty.

Where's Judy? She's coming.

Honey. I'm so glad you came. Hello, Judy.

You didn't say anything to Bob? Mm-mm.

Hurry up now. You haven't got much time to get ready.

If I weren't such a mean old biddy, I'd break right down and cry.


You look wonderful.

You didn't expect me to come down in my bathrobe, did you?


[man] Ten-hut! [applause]

[♪ The Old Man]

♪ We'll follow the old man wherever he wants to go

♪ Long as he wants to go opposite to the foe

♪ We'll stay with the old man wherever he wants to stay

♪ Long as he stays away from the battle's fray

♪ Because we love him We love him

♪ Especially when he keeps us on the ball

♪ And we'll tell the kiddies we answered duty's call

♪ With the grandest son of a soldier of them all

♪ Because we love him We love him

♪ Especially when he keeps us on the ball

♪ And we'll tell the kiddies we answered duty's call

♪ With the grandest son of a soldier of them all ♪ Troops are ready for inspection, sir!

Just routine, sir.

I am not satisfied with the conduct of this division.

Some of you men are under the impression having been a non-CO entitles you not to wear neckties.

Well, you're wrong. Neckties will be worn in this area.

And look at the rest of your appearance. You're a disgrace to the outfit.

You're soft. You're sloppy.

You're unruly. You're undisciplined.

And I never saw anything look so wonderful in my whole life.

Thank you all.

Thanks, Phil. General.

I'm grateful, Captain. You're welcome.

[man] Ten-hut!

[playing fanfare]

[cheering] [applause]

[indistinct chatter]

[♪ Gee, I Wish I Was Back In The Army]

♪ When I was mustered out I thought without a doubt

♪ That I was through with all my care and strife

♪ I thought that I was then the happiest of men

♪ But after months of tough civilian life

♪ Gee, I wish I was back in the Army

♪ The Army wasn't really bad at all

♪ Three meals a day, free for which you didn't pay

♪ Uniforms for winter, spring and fall

♪ There's a lot to be said for the Army

♪ The life without responsibility

♪ A soldier out of luck was really never stuck

♪ There's always someone higher up where you can pass the buck

♪ Oh, gee, I wish I was back in the Army

♪ Gee, I wish I was back in the Army

♪ The Army was the place to find romance

♪ Soldiers and WACs the WACs who dressed in slacks

♪ Dancing cheek to cheek and pants to pants

♪ There's a lot to be said for the Army

♪ A gal was never lost for company

♪ A million handsome guys with longing in their eyes

♪ And all you had to do was pick the age the weight, the size

♪ Oh, gee, I wish I was back in the Army

♪ Gee, I wish I was back in the Army

♪ The shows we got civilians couldn't see

♪ How we would yell for Dietrich and Cornell

♪ Jolson, Hope and Benny all for free

♪ There's a lot to be said for the Army

♪ The best of doctors watched you carefully

♪ A dentist and a clerk for weeks and weeks they'd work

♪ They'd make a thousand-dollarjob and give it to a jerk

♪ Oh, gee, I wish I was back in the Army

♪ Three meals a day for which you didn't pay

♪ A million handsome guys with longing in their eyes

♪ I thought that I was through with all my care and strife

♪ But after months and months of tough civilian life

♪ Oh, gee

♪ I wish I was back in the Army now ♪

Oh, ho!

Buster, lookit here! Hey, here it comes.

This is it. Isn't this great?

Come on, Phil.

Lookit here! Isn't this great?

We may get snowed in here, pal. Oh, boy, this is great!

♪ Snow, snow ♪ Snow, snow

♪ Snow ♪ Snow Hey! Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Remember, kids, hold those candles up good and high for me, aren't you?

Keep a nice straight line when you go out there.

Don't go straggling all over the stage.

How's your voice, Bobby? I'm Bobby.

Pardon me. Well, how's your voice? You all right?

Give me a nice clear tone. Let me hear it.

♪ Do Those were the days.

OK, now, turn around. We're gonna go on in a minute.

Watch your space. Don't get far apart. Everybody the same distance. That's it.

Keep the candles up. Keep them way up high.

OK, Byron.

[♪ White Christmas]

♪ I'm dreaming

♪ Of a white Christmas

♪ Just like the ones

♪ I used to know

♪ Where the treetops glisten

♪ And children listen

♪ To hear sleigh bells

♪ In the snow

♪ I'm dreaming

♪ Of a white Christmas

♪ With every Christmas card

♪ I write

♪ May your days be merry

♪ And bright

♪ And may all your Christmases

♪ Be white

♪ I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

♪ Just like the ones I used to know

♪ Where the treetops glisten

♪ And children listen Who's that? Santa Claus.

Welcome to the family, buster. Look at this. Relatives already.

Wallace and Davis are flat, you know.

We've got to get some loot. We've got to take the show to Chicago.

No, no, no, no. I can't make it. I'm gonna be very busy here.

Wait a minute, I'll join you.

[cheering] [applause]

Merry Christmas!

[all] Merry Christmas!

♪ I'm dreaming

♪ Of a white Christmas

♪ With every Christmas card

♪ I write

♪ May your days be merry

♪ And bright

♪ And may all your

♪ Christmases

♪ Be white ♪