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It’s A Wonderful Life (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on December 23, 2013

This was a spur-of-the-moment thing.  As my girlfriend and I were driving around yesterday, we saw that this was playing at the beautiful Hollywood Theater.  We decided (okay, she talked me into it) to see this holiday classic on the big screen.  It was a delight, and of course I cried like a babe at the end.  It gets me every goddamn time.  I also cry when young George is comforting Mr. Gower, even after having just taken a beating from him.  There’s a lot to cry over, actually.  It’s Capra-corn at its finest.  A lot of it doesn’t hold up to close scrutiny — and I’ve had plenty of viewings with which to scrutinize it — but it’s so beautifully crafted (and what a great cast! you gotta love Sheldon Leonard and Gloria Grahame) that all is forgiven.

While there are some flaws in the film, this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  To answer the title of his editorial, I would respond “No, you got it wrong.”  Where Klick’s argument falls apart is here: “It seems a majority of parents teach their children to sacrifice their dreams for financial security.”  One, I don’t know if that’s true… seems like an unfounded assumption to me.  And two, that has nothing to do with what happens in this movie.  In fact, George TURNS DOWN opportunities for much greater “financial security” in order to protect the Building & Loan.  And as for Mary, she was the one encouraging him to ignore the bank run and go on the trip he’d always dreamed of.  George’s problem is that his ideals work in opposition to his heart’s desire… or rather, what he always assumed his heart’s desire was.  But Clarence shows him that the real value in his life is the work that he’s done building his family and his community.  Rating: Great (94)


One Response to “It’s A Wonderful Life (rewatch)”

  1. […] 104. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946, Frank Capra) […]

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