Saturday, December 20, 2008

Is it really a Wonderful Life?

Today I read the news story Wonderful? Sorry, George, It's a Pitiful, Dreadful Life from the New York Times. A very interesting read. The author points out how terrible life really is really is. Here is a quote:

“'It’s a Wonderful Life' is a terrifying, asphyxiating story about growing up
and relinquishing your dreams, of seeing your father driven to the grave before
his time, of living among bitter, small-minded people. It is a story of being
trapped, of compromising, of watching others move ahead and away, of becoming so
filled with rage that you verbally abuse your children, their teacher and your
oppressively perfect wife. It is also a nightmare account of an endless home
The author draws parallels from the greedy banker (Mr. Potter) to the greedy executives of today. He even points out that though George's friends come up with the money that had been lost by his not so bright uncle, George still would have gone to jail for theft.

But in the end, the author concludes that he still likes watching It's a Wonderful Life. Here is a click from the movie that I think shows us why this is still a well-loved, timeless movie.

What do you think of the article and the movie?


Donny - MarketingTwin #2 said...

Well I'm a "scrooge" when it comes to "It's a Wonderful Life". I'm 40 years old and had never watched the FULL movie until about 2 years ago when I decided that I would watch it so it could become part of our family's holiday traditions.

Well, besides being bored and depressed watching the movie, I kept thinking "Why is this a holiday movie" except for the last 20 minutes where they are standing by the Christmas tree talking about angel wings.

That's like saying "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" (John Candy and Steve Martin - talk about a classic!!) is a good Thanksgiving movie b/c the movie chronicles their travel back to Chicago and Dell ends up spending Thanksgiving with Neil and his family. I don't think they show PT&A on Thanksgiving weekend - do they?? No, of course not.

People I've told this thought to think I'm crazy. So thanks for letting me rant on your site! HA

Merry Christmas.

James said...

Donny, rant away! This is a good place for it. It is, as you say, a pretty depressing movie until the end. I suppose that makes the ending all that much better.

The NY Times writer concludes that he still likes to watch the movie . . .

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Listen online, beginning at the 49:10 mark of the Dec. 21/08 radio broadcast:



It's the Christmas movie you either love, or love to hate. Of all the chestnuts that get roasted at this time of year, It's a Wonderful Life may rank number one. Mostly ignored by audiences and condemned by the FBI as communist propaganda upon its release, It's a Wonderful Life might have faded into oblivion had it not been resurrected by television and later video. It is now on any number of critics' "best of" lists, including the American Film Institute's top 100 American films ever made.

This morning we investigate the allure of "It's a Wonderful Life" and why opinions of it, one way or the other, are so strong.