Why The Final Scene Of White Christmas Was Reshot Without Bing Crosby…and Without Film

The “White Christmas” set was a popular one for visitors, with celebrities and even royalty stopping by to take in the musical spectacle that was taking place. However, this became a bit of an inconvenience for cast and crew, especially when it came to the finale. In the documentary short “‘White Christmas’: A Look Back with Rosemary Clooney,” she discussed how a surprise visit from royalty required director Michael Curtiz to reset and reshoot the entire sequence again. But it wouldn’t actually be filmed. Clooney recalled:

“We had finished it, you know? It was in the can. The finale was finished, and it was huge and cumbersome. And then ‘May All Your Christmases Be White’ had been said,  and that was before lunch. And so just as he – before he dismissed us for lunch, Mike Curtiz said, ‘Now the King and Queen of Greece are coming to visit the set, and I want to pretend that we’re shooting this over again.’ And we were going to pretend to shoot this whole thing over again, because it’s wonderful. It’s the end. It’ll be something wonderful for them to remember.”

Considering how visually impactful the finale scene is in “White Christmas,” who can blame Curtiz or the studio for prompting reshoots to happen. Curtiz and the crew pretending to reshoot the final scene was a smart decision. What had already been wrapped wouldn’t be compromised and money was saved by not wasting film. But not everyone was gung-ho about the reshoot. 

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