1. Though many tie the song “White Christmas” to the movie, the song was first performed by Bing Crosby 13 years earlier, on the radio show The Kraft Music Hall.
2. Danny Kaye’s role was originally intended for Fred Astaire, who declined.
Kaye was actually the third choice; after Astaire turned down the role, it was subsequently offered to Donald O’Connor, who had to pull out due to illness.
6. During this scene—in which Wallace & Davis perform the Haynes’ act “Sisters”—actors Crosby and Kaye can both be seen laughing through their act. This was the best take they could get.
Kaye, who was also a comedian, reportedly cracked up the cast on many occasions during filming. Additionally, this scene was not originally written into the script; it was put in after the director saw Crosby and Kaye joking around on set.
9. In the movie, Judy Haynes shows Wallace & Davis a picture of her brother, Bennie. The man pictured is Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer.
Alfalfa, of course, is the most memorable character from the short film series Our Gang, also known as The Little Rascals.
11. The incredible number “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing” features an almost-imperceptible trip at the end.
While twirling behind the kneeling Kaye, Vera-Ellen just barely trips over his left foot, but recovers like the pro she was. (Indeed her dancing was so much the stronger that producers hoped that her skills would compensate for Kaye’s own dancing ability.)
12. At 18 years old, Vera-Ellen became one of the youngest ever Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.
Unusual, too, among Rockettes, was Vera-Ellen’s small stature: she stood only 5’4” tall. In this scene from White Christmas, her highly skilled dancing is evident.
13. The costumer designer responsible for White Christmas’ many excellent outfits is the famous Edith Head.
Edith Head, in her lifetime, won 8 Academy Awards for costume design—more than any other individual in that category.
14. The film’s co-lead Rosemary Clooney is George Clooney’s aunt.