Today! Because when the ghosts have a midnight jamboree/They break it up with fiendish glee –
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
Directed by James Algar (x2), Clyde Geronimi (x3), Jack Kinney
Starring Bing Crosby (x2), Basil Rathbone (x4), Eric Blore, J. Pat O’Malley (x2), Oliver Wallace
The only movie I’m guaranteed to watch every Halloween (which is kinda awkward, as The Wind in the Willows isn’t scary in the least), The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, I’ll admit, is not the way I’ve always seen it. Growing up, I had no idea it existed in this combo fashion, only having a copy of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow portion recorded off TV, I want to say. And that is primarily why this movie made the list still – but that’s not necessarily to shortchange the opening half of the film.
Ah, that classic tale of a playboy amphibian
Today! Because let’s just say we’re doing it for an old pal from the Army –
White Christmas (1954)
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes, John Brascia, Anne Whitfield, George Chakiris, Barrie Chase, Sig Ruman, Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer
My relationship with White Christmas has evolved quite a bit over the years. It went from a movie I barely noticed – that let’s put on a show musical was never my jam – to something periodically airing in the household, to a movie I watch every year in theaters because it is on a double bill with It’s a Wonderful Life, culminating with its place as (apparently) my favorite film from 1954.
Due to a one-off viewing of the George Bailey extravaganza in Tunkhannock, PA well predating the Music Box’s Christmas Spectacular, White Christmas will likely never jump into even a tie for the movie I’ve seen in a theater the most – but it is solidly in second. And this whole process has also proven it to be #1 in my heart from that calendar year, with only Seven Samurai to beat in ’54. Hell, it could be worse – 1955 and 1958 field no movies whatsoever (spoiler for years to come!). This is the first time we’ve had a movie on this list that can be awarded favorite of a particular year, and so –