Holiday Inn (1942)
Holiday Inn is a film based on composer Irving Berlin's idea of an Inn that only opened on holidays. Berlin signed an exclusive contract with Paramount Pictures to write songs expressly for that project.
The film stars Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire with support from Marjorie Reynolds and Virginia Dale. The film tells the story of one Jim Hardy and his crazy but successful idea to run an Inn that only opened for the Holidays. After meeting and hiring Linda Mason (Reynolds), he falls in love with her only to lose her for a time to his former partner Ted Hanover (Astaire).
The film has songs for most of the major holidays including Easter, Valentine's day and even the 4th of July.
It was believed that the big number for the film would be "Be Careful, It's my Heart" but "White Christmas" became a smash hit. That became the most difficult song for Irving Berlin to compose. He had first composed the tune in 1935 on the set of the film Top Hat. He had thought he would use the music for a future Astaire/Rogers film. He hummed the tune for Fred Astaire and director Mark Sandrich but Sandrich passed on the tune.
Later, the song was used to create a psuedo-sequel, White Christmas starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.
Here is an excerpt featuring Crosby singing the perennial hit to Marjorie Reynolds.