Monday, December 24, 2012

The Twelve Days of “White Christmas”... Number 1. And a Snowstorm on the Cutting Room Floor

Okay, it’s time to wrap this series up and go unwrap some presents! So, let’s finish by looking at what was supposed to be the final shot of White Christmas:

Our heroes have rescued the general by inviting his old Army pals to fill up the empty rooms at the inn and, best of all, it’s finally started to snow, promising a steady stream of visitors well into the winter. The camera slowly pulls back and outside to show the exterior of the Vermont lodge and surrounding grounds being absolutely blanketed with flurries of white, as “The End” in distinctive Paramount Script appears in the foreground.

The exterior set was actually to be a finely detailed, handmade miniature. It was the perfect ending… except for the cost.

So producer Robert Emmett Dolan made the call to cut the scene, explaining that the studio “could not, in all honesty, spend $40,000 or $50,000 on a shot that we had no assurance the audience would still be in the theaer to see.”

Instead, we ended up Bing signaling the show crew to open the barn doors behind the stage to reveal a painted backdrop and then yelling, “Merry Christmas!” as if to assure as that there was a veritable blizzard outside.

Now go enjoy your Christmas, and thank you for spending a little bit of your holidays at The Danny Kaye Show.

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