Monday, December 29, 2014

MY YEAR WITH CAPRA CHALLENGE #5

DECEMBER "It's a Wonderful Life"


Both James Stewart and Frank Capra have said that "It's a Wonderful Life" was their favorite film. Today it is easily a Holiday favorite, traditional to watch for some, and for other's is a top-mark contender for all-time favorite movie for fans of all ages. However, in it's 1940's release it was considered a "flop" (IMDb - Trivia). Of course in true Frank Capra tradition, and the "Capra Touch" tact, the movie pits the good morals of a rather small-town man against the greed and corruption of the institutional bank and the big-bad wolf, (Lionel Barrymore) Mr. Potter.


It's a Wonderful Life co-starred Donna Reed as Mary Hatch, George Bailey's (Stewart) love interest. One of my favorite aspects of the film is how clueless George is when it comes to Mary and her feelings for George. IMDb (Trivia) stated that the first-kiss scene between George and Mary (while she is on the phone) was almost too passionate and how Stewart was nervous about the scene. Another favorite scene of mine is the scene after the unexpected dip in the pool at the school function, when George is walking Mary home. It's just an adorable scene short-lived by the bad news of George's father's death. Through the movie George is troubled because he has exciting and hopeful plans of traveling and other things but, life gets in the way and he has to do the right thing time after time and it starts to eat away through his conscious as he starts to ask the proverbial question - what if?


When George is at his breaking point he takes off to blow off some steam and contemplates a drastic choice of suicide in an attempt for his life insurance policy, so that his loved ones do not have to go through loosing everything and suffering through the hardships. Enter Clarence, George's assigned angel who stops him from making a horrible mistake and helps him to see the light in a very dark time. In George's depressive state he comments how he wishes he was never born. Clarence grants the wish to show George just how his life has been beneficial to those around him. It is such a drastic and enigmatic experience to George. It was just the shock he needed, to shift his thought patterns, and to change for the better. 


It's a Wonderful Life is filled with life altering epiphanies and it never fails, it leaves me teary-eyed and thankful for life and the many-many blessings. It brings all the warmth and joy of humanity and the deep-routed morals of what people strive through the foundations of our lives - that through hard work, dedication, and good-will we can continue to thrive and live. George is a man that will be the first one to help his neighbor out, to lend that helping hand, and to truly care. In return, his faith is returned ten-fold as the town comes together to help George after his half-wit Uncle has quite the debacle. Again, with that "Capra Touch", the movie resonates just as much today as it did back in 1940's when it was released. People are so stressed out that we quickly lose sight of the more important things in life. How often do we feel that we are too small to battle the big-greedy Mr. Potter's of the world. George is the David and the Goliath hero of the story. Not too long ago the big-bad-banks were crushing us under their power and greed - they still do as a matter of fact... Too bad we don't have more George's in the world! If you haven't seen the movie - where have you been!? Go immediately and watch it!