It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s a Wonderful Life
Directed by Frank Capra
(number 203)

I’m skipping well forward here because it’s Christmas and I wanted to watch it anyways. This movie is a huge holiday classic in the States but I can’t remember it ever being on TV when I was growing up. I first watched it a few years ago when I hired it from the library.

Of course I’d seen many versions of it, the old story where a character wishes they were never born and then they see how much worse off the people they love are. The Muppets have done it, but I mostly remember it on Family Ties (because I loved Michael J Fox so very much).

It’s a very familiar story shape, and this is where it all started. The things which lead George to want to die are very much real concerns even now, losing money, not knowing how to support your loved ones, losing your job… it’s all kind of… horribly relevant to today’s society as well.

James Stewart and Donna Reed are amazing in this, top of their games, effervescent and charismatic and endearing. Not to mention hilarious and absolutely devoted to each other.

Does it make me love the people? Oh yes. It doesn’t do much else except make me love people XD Well, except for evil Mr Henry F Potter, who is very bad indeed. Aside from him….

Bechdel test: As with many movies on this list, it’s a male POV movie, and although there are many named female characters, they only interact with George himself. Well… two little girls talk to each other but they’re talking about little boy George, so… doesn’t pass.

Best line: there are so many good ones, but this one is kind of the essence of the whole thing:

“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

[but I also love: “He’s making violent love to me, Mother.”]

State of Mind: Dawwwwwww people are awesome. *wipes away tear* Happy Christmas!

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