- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 15, 2005

‘Inn’ touch with Bing

Amid all the seasonal cheer, a persistent question arises each year over the popular song “White Christmas” and the film in which it appears.

Is it “White Christmas” or “Holiday Inn”?

Movie buffs already know, so we’ll let everyone else off the hook. The classic Irving Berlin tune actually appeared in both — performed first by Bing Crosby in 1942’s “Holiday Inn” and reprised by Der Bingle when the film was recycled 12 years later as “White Christmas.”

Though no TV showings have been scheduled to date for the latter film, American Movie Classics plans three showings of “Holiday Inn” — on Tuesday at 8 p.m. and midnight and the following day at 5:45 p.m. “Inn,” winner of the 1942 Oscar for best original song (Mr. Berlin’s “White Christmas”), features Bing as crooner Jim Hardy and the great Fred Astaire as hoofer Ted Hanover — both rivals for the attention of the beautiful Linda Mason (Marjorie Reynolds).

Jim has romance in mind, but Ted envisions Linda as his new dance partner. All, of course, ends well, but the fun lies in getting there, thanks to Mr. Astaire’s fleet feet and some snappy musical numbers featuring both stars.

Also of note on AMC: Tonight’s overnight broadcast (12:45 a.m.) of the 1976 remake of “King Kong” certainly rates a second look, if only for comparison, as Peter Jackson’s mammoth production arrives in movie theaters this week.

Return engagement

Speaking of second looks, ABC will repeat its earlier broadcast of the enduring holiday feature “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at 8 tonight — no doubt persuaded by the big numbers it drew with the Dec. 6 presentation. The Charles Schulz animated tale of Charlie Brown learning the true meaning of Christmas was the nation’s eighth-most-watched program last week, according to data released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

Meanwhile, the network’s seasonal cheer continues through tomorrow with another family favorite, 1965’s “The Sound of Music,” starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, at 8 p.m.

A slice of real life

Not in the mood for warm and fuzzy holiday favorites?

A&E will serve up grittier fare with its annual “Biography of the Year” (at 8 tonight), a look back at a year filled with news that often was difficult to watch, along with the celebrities, politicians and ordinary people who made a lasting impact on world events.

Included among the headlines revisited in the two-hour special are the tsunami that ravaged Southeast Asia; the devastating Hurricane Katrina, which left hundreds of thousands homeless; and the mounting casualties from the war in Iraq.

Big news for small-fry

Children may watch a lot of television, Associated Press notes, but they are hardly uncritical observers.

Neither is TV news veteran Linda Ellerbee.

Her “Ten Things Wrong with TV!” special edition of Nickelodeon’s “Nick News” (airing Sunday at 8:30 p.m.) takes a critical look at the medium, which plays an important role in how youngsters see the world as well as themselves.

Miss Ellerbee also addresses the impact of advertising on television and its viewers. In researching the show, she asked youngsters across the country what bothers them most about TV. Their responses included too much sex, violence and bad language, and having a multitude of channels but nothing to watch.

Some said TV shows don’t reflect real life and that TV makes them feel bad about themselves.

These and other shrewd complaints are also part of the show, AP says, which will try to answer what TV is; how and why it’s made; and what it can do to society (not just to children).

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff and wire reports.



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