Every holiday season for decades, families have gathered to watch the 1954 film "White Christmas" but — unbeknownst to most Americans — one song from the musical has gradually become an internet cult phenomenon. "Sisters," written by Irving Berlin, has inspired countless other real-life siblings, and even Japanese anime fans, to recreate the song on video. In the original clip, The Haynes Sisters — two struggling nightclub singers played by George Clooney's aunt, Rosemary Clooney (left) and Vera-Ellen (right) — perform the song in an attempt to interest two theatrical producers (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye). As they croon lyrics about the tension between sisterly devotion and sexual rivalry, they wield blue ostrich-feather fans in a playful, mildly threatening way. Here is the original clip — and nine notable attempts to recapture its curious magic:
1. THE EXTREMELY LISTLESS SISTERS (2008)
In this impressively lackadaisical 2008 rendition, three siblings drain the song of all its intrinsic perkiness — though the trio manages an indignant "No sir!" at 00:22. They are accompanied, sleepily, by piano.
2. THE JAZZ-HAND SISTERS (2007)
These "pretty much awesome" lip-synchers dispense with the need to buy expensive ostrich-feather fans by fluttering their fingers Bob-Fosse-style.
3. THE BLOOPER SISTERS (2009)
In this "blooper reel," a pair of real-life sisters interrupt their rendition to accuse each other of "booze" imbibing, the theft of a "Skymall" catalog, and shoddy taste in men. Features an off-camera cameo by the sisters' mother, who demands to know what they're up to (Inaccurate response: "We're filming...a porn!").
4. THE DEVOUT SISTERS (2009)
To the wheezy strains of an accordion, three nuns offer a rendition of the "White Christmas" lounge act that begins somberly, but soon picks up speed and ends on a rip-roarin' note. Of interest: The papal twist on the lyric, "a certain gentleman from Rome" and the wedding ring on the left hand of one "nun."
5. THE PILLOW-FIGHT SISTERS (2009)
Who needs a feathery fan when you can awkwardly brandish a large couch cushion? Seductively bundled up in winter clothes, these fans combine "Three Stooges" antics with Hitchcockian suspense: Will their cushion-based choreography devolve into a wild pillow fight — or not?
6. THE PLUS-SIZE SISTERS (2009)
On her wedding day, a large bride and her equally curvy sister deliver a tongue-in-cheek rendition that gives new meaning to lyrics such as "In tight places, we think and we act as one."
7. THE "REDWOOD COVENANT CHURCH" SISTERS (2009)
There is no shortage of video tributes in which men pay homage to the movie's Haynes Sisters. These two performers are identified as "a children’s pastor and a fourth and fifth grade teacher" at Redwood Covenant Church, a Santa Rosa, CA, house of prayer whose mission statement reads, in part: "We believe that we live in a war zone where the world, the flesh and the devil work against all that is good. We believe we overcome the darkness with light…to actively bring forward that love and light in every place and to everyone."
8. THE UNFOCUSED SISTERS (2008)
An indifferent lip-syncer at best, the younger of these performers decides instead to showcase her ability to "Walk like an Egyptian" and perform "Robot" dance moves around 1:30.
9. THE SPOOKY "SISTERS" MASHUP VIDEO (2009)
The anonymous creator of this David-Lynch-esque version spliced the original clip and a subsequent scene in which Crosby and Kaye perform the same song — underlining what some viewers might consider the segment's darker themes (shrewd careerism and covetousness) and other viewers happily ignore.
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