This study of Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn (Paramount, 1942) considers the collaboration of the film's four primary creative figures: Irving Berlin, Mark Sandrich, Bing Crosby, and Fred Astaire. Extracted from a wide array of production materials, the story of the making of Holiday Inn demonstrates how archival research can address questions of broad scholarly interest, such as large-scale form, star personas, musical style, musical-dramatic integration, the representation of blackness and African American characters, and political meaning in popular-culture products.

Examining details of the film's production history sheds particular light upon the function of songs and musical routines as quasi-autonomous parts of the whole.

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