‘Tis the Season Cinema: It’s A Wonderful Life

“Look Daddy, teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”

Wow, I can’t believe we are one week from Christmas! Lisa from Boondock Ramblings and I started this in early November and it still feels like time just flew by. And I am late posting today but better late than never!

Let’s just dive in shall we?

It’s a Wonderful Life is another Christmas classic. Yet instead of showy musical numbers and lighthearted moments, this movie has its share of sadness and despair, which seems odd when paired with a Christmas classic. But it is the light that shines from the darkness in this movie that make it the classic that it is today. (Let me say classic one more time – classic)

Young George Bailey (James Stewart) has dreams. Dreams of a world tour, not running his family’s business, the Bailey Brother’s Building and Loan. Yet when his father dies, it is George who bends his knee to family duty, keeping the place running so that it doesn’t get dissolved by the mean Scrooge-like Mr. Potter. He gives his money to his brother Harry, with the understanding that when his brother comes back home from school, Harry will run the business, freeing George to pursue his put-aside plans.

However, that doesn’t happen. George’s life ends up going down roads he had never planned for himself, a life given over to doing what is expected rather than what he wants. He marries Mary, has a family, and keeps on going, being that trustworthy fellow that he has always been. Then, one Christmas Eve, all the sacrifices George has made over the years are at risk, and he feels helpless to stop the downward spiral that spells criminal charges and scandal and ruination.

These feelings of helplessness, despair, worthlessness, lead George down a very dark road, one where he feels he would be better off dead than alive. Or, that he had never been born. The prayers of the whole town reach heaven’s gates, and an angel name Clarence is dispatched to Earth to help poor George – and earn his wings. When George is about to throw himself off a bridge, Clarence instead falls in and George ends up rescuing him instead. Clarence shows George what life would have been like had he not been born, and this is when things get wild.

George learns that he has touched and changed the lives of so many people in his life – his brother would have died had George not saved him from drowning, Mr. Gower the pharmacist would have poisoned the prescription, and maybe worst of all, Mary would be a spinster LIBRARIAN!! Ok, sorry, I shouldn’t make light but that always cracks me up. Anyway, George is shown that he did so much good in his life, and that things would be terrible had he not been there to do them. That he is loved. That he has friends, and that people care, and that he is in fact, “the richest man in town”. And Clarence gets his wings!

The ending gets me every single time.

That hasn’t always been the case though. I didn’t appreciate this movie as much as I should have when I was younger. I couldn’t understand some of the feelings George had. I was young, I still had my big dreams ahead of me. And while I didn’t accomplish a lot of these dreams (looking at you, skipping college to move out west and write a book of poetry), I made new dreams. George doesn’t realize that dreams can change, you can wind up living the life you were meant. And that is ok, he had Clarence to show him, that he indeed had a wonderful life.

I think this movie hits hard this time of year. December is a tough month for some people. The holidays can make people feel more alone, stressed out. Desperate. And they may not have a community like Bedford Falls to help them through. I didn’t intend to really talk about this but, it is important. Especially in light of the news of tWitch‘s death yesterday. Seemingly happy to the world, but struggling with his own inner demons. This sounds so trite and cliche, but, let’s be nice to each other. Reach out in friendship. If you are struggling and need help, please call 988. Everyone’s life is important, everyone matters.

Ok, let’s bring the mood back up.

One of my favorite scenes:

It is so ridiculously romantic to me.

And then this, where I am 100% sobbing every time.

Next week is our last week, and we are watching Emmet Otter and Charlie Brown. I mean, I already watched them because I had the wrong movies written down mistakenly, but maybe I will watch them again!

For Lisa’s post, click on over here! To read Katja’s post, click here!


12 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season Cinema: It’s A Wonderful Life

  1. To quote the Rolling Stones – “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.”
    It took years and years and years, but it’s amazing – in the end, his life probably couldn’t have been more wonderful if he had lived for himself rather than for God and for others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. debby9972

    It is one of my favorite Christmas movies. I watch it on Christmas Eve. There is a movie with Mary Steenburgen called One Magic Christmas which is a rather sad movie too but I do love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s just not Christmas without this movie. I love Jimmy Stewart anyway, and his portrayal of George Bailey is perfection! And, when I hear a bell ring (other than handbells that is), I do think about an angel getting its wings. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all find out the impact we have had on others over our lifetimes? Maybe it would change things for some.


    Liked by 1 person

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