It’s a wonderful life (1946, Frank Capra)
An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.
Is it? Is life wonderful?
I love the opening credits of this movie. They are sheets of paper with the credits written on them, also with cute drawings.
George Bailey (James Stewart) needs help. The town of Bedford Falls is praying for his well-being, so an angel (Henry Travers) who has not gotten his wings yet is sent to help, and hopefully stop George from taking his life. Okay, so the angel that is being sent has been waiting for his wings for 200 years! Geez, I think this angel sucks, at whatever the hell these angels do. He is reading a book. Is there a library in heaven? I assume they are in heaven. Are there bookstores in heaven? So, heaven is capitalist? Do they have money. So far this movie is bringing up a lot of important questions, which I do not think are going to be answered.
Anyways, the movie starts with George as a young boy. He seems like a really good kid. Saved his brother from drowning, likes coconut, wants multiple wives. He helps his boss from poisoning some guy.
James Stewart is very charming. Bedford Falls reminds me of Stars Hollow from ‘Gilmore Girls’. A quaint town full of charming men.
Poor George is inflicted with the same troubles as any teenager in a small town. He wants out! His father asks him to take over the family business, a building and loan office, when he gets back from a trip and school. Of course, George informs his father that he can’t, because he doesn’t want to be stuck.
Donna Reed plays Mary Hatch, the sister of a friend of Georges. She is beautiful! Check her out!
Mary, like every young lady finds herself naked in a hydrangea bush. If I had a nickel…
George’s father, Peter Bailey (Samuel S Hinds), dies of a stroke. George gives up his trip and decides to go to just go to school. After his father’s death, Mr. Potter, played by Lionel Barrymore, puts down Peter’s business sense and wants the loan business dissolved. George gets on a soapbox and rants about the trials and tribulations of the common working man. After his rant the committee decides that George should take over. Therefore, he gives up going to college to take over the business. George gives his college money to his brother, who after college comes home married to some chick. Her father has some glass factory and wants George’s bro to work for him. Poor George is stuck, just like he tried to avoid.
The only saving grace for George is Mary Hatch. He has a hard time admitting that she is the perfect woman. Dammit, George!! Look at what she painted you, George!!
George is not very nice to Mary, who is very into him. Of course, George is truly an idiot and is into Mary, but has to be difficult. Typical.
Don’t worry, these silly kids get together. They get married. Unfortunately, on the way to start their whirlwind honeymoon they are stopped because there is trouble at the building and loan business because the bank has been closed. Once again, George has to sacrifice his own happiness to help out the business and the town of Bedford Falls.
Let’s talk about this asshole…
Mr. Potter. He is the dick that takes over the bank and is always trying to fuck George over. This guy is the worst. The literal worst. He is the Scrooge character in this movie. He has a vendetta against George because his family has always been a thorn in his proverbial paw. He is constantly trying to make the most money, even if that means screwing over the good people of Bedford Falls. He even tries to recruit George to work for him. George declines.
Mr. Potter proves what kind of snake he is when George’s poor uncle accidentally gives him the building and loans money, a whopping sum of $8000. Instead of being a good person, he keeps the money. He ends the Bailey family, once and for all. Dick.
I liked this movie, the story is the tale of a man who tries so hard to be good. He believes that the happiness of everyone is more important than his happiness. He sacrifices a lot, but does a lot of good for the people of Bedford Falls. This role is perfect for James Stewart. He plays it perfectly. He is a good man, but has difficulty with his emotions. George is conflicted. He is willing to make the biggest sacrifice of all for the town of Bedford Falls.
What I didn’t like about this movie is the lack of Christmas! It is only christmas-y at the end. Why not have more Christmas! More Christmas!! But, I do like how the angel lets George see what life would be like if he was never born. Total mindfuck.
I understand why “It’s a wonderful life” is a classic movie. I definitely think that everyone should watch this movie, and it may become a part of my “must-watch Christmas movies” list.
I have to admit that I was a blubbering mess at the end of this movie. It was very touching.
“It’s a wonderful life” receives 4 wingless angels out of a possible 5.