Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life

Originally uploaded by Pikturz
Though I know it will be on a major television network at least once before Christmas Day I could not resist the opportunity to see It’s a Wonderful Life at a flashback screening. I am glad I did. Having only ever seen the film on television I was reminded how often I don’t truly pay attention to movies on TV. Though I have seen It’s a Wonderful Life at least once a year I cannot recall the last time I sat and watched the film from start to finish.

As usual with any Jimmy Stewart movie I was struck by how fabulous he really is. There is just something about that man that is utterly relatable, the everyman, all while being the perfect embodiment of his characters. This man truly is one of my favorite actors of all time and I believe will deservedly be idolized by actors and cinemaphiles for years to come.

What I never truly appreciated about It’s A Wonderful Life is how truly funny it is. I always appreciated the dramatic elements of the film, the story structure, the tragedy, etc. but I never really paid attention to the great humor. While the movie isn’t a comedy the warmth and natural delivery brought to the script makes the gentle one liners and witticisms standout as endearing and memorable.

I did sit and wonder last night why It’s a Wonderful Life has not been remade. The answer is pretty obvious, other films have been based around the same concept, but if you were to actually remake It’s a Wonderful Life and update the film any studio would have a full fledged outrage on their hands. This movie is truly placed in the very scant “perfect movie” category in Hollywood and I don’t think anyone would risk touching it. The only person I can even think of that I would trust to remake this film is probably Steven Speilberg who is essentially the modern day Capra.

While I know that It’s a Wonderful Life is not a perfect film, it has been caught up in such an idealistic cloud over the past decades that I cannot find any real flaws in the film – every aspect about it just seems to make the movie that much more endearing and timeless.

Director: Frank Capra
Writers: Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett & Frank Capra
George Bailey: James Stewart
Mary Bailey: Donna Reed
Potter: Lionel Barrymore
Uncle Billy: Thomas Mitchell
Clarence: Henry Travers

George Bailey: Now, come on, get your clothes on, and we'll stroll up to my car and get... Oh, I'm sorry. I'll stroll. You fly.
Clarence: I can't fly. I haven't got my wings.
George Bailey: You haven't got your wings. Yeah, that's right.

1 comment:

Stefanie said...

I loved seeing this movie in the theater! It was the first time I had ever seen it all the way through, in one sitting, without commercials interrupting the story. It is a good movie and I agree that moments are quite funny. The whole cast did a great job and I gained a new appreciation for Jimmy Stewart.