Friday, November 26, 2010

It's A Wonderful Life

James Stewart wonders if he has wasted his life. An angel shows him otherwise. Also starring Donna Reed and Thomas Mitchell, directed by Frank Capra.

A lot of the Capra films have dated. This film also, but at the same time it has a timeless quality. It's like a fairytale or a fable. The bad guy, Potter, is taken right out of Dickens. The film famously flopped when it came out, only later to be rediscovered on tv. What can I say about it? It's an incredibly emotional experience. For some films it must be allowed for even a grown man to cry. This film tops that list. Other films on that list in my case is ET and The Searchers (the moment when John Wayne picks up Natalie Wood in his arms and says, Let's go home Debbie.) Hell, I've even cried during episodes of The Simpsons (the one where Bart is caught shoplifting and the one where he sells his soul.) It must be part of growing older, I guess. The twelve year old me would be so disgusted.

Anyway, even if there is a cynical part of you that says it's not that simple, there are no angels, and life in a small town can't possibly be that idyllic (just watch Twin Peaks for chrissake!), it's difficult not to be affected by the film. Try.


  1. Oh yes, the cryingtime Simpsons are why I love Bart the most.

  2. I watch this damn film every year and always sob when Stewart runs through the town shouting Merry Christmas at the end. Welling up just thinking about it.