Thursday, 1 December 2011

Christmas Countdown: Film #2 - It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

So the second film in our Christmas Film Countdown (which is in place of an advent calendar in our house at the moment) is It's a Wonderful Life (made in 1946).

I'll admit, I normally avoid this film. It was never one which I felt I had to watch in the run up to Christmas, so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed watching it this year.

Pictured above is a DVD cover that looks nothing like our copy. Ours was picked up cheap and features a wonderfully wobbly music track at the beginning and a definitely not digitally remastered copy of the film. But it was watchable, and considering that we only watch it once a year I can't really complain.

I'm not entirely sure what it was that used to make me avoid this film. I suppose I didn't really appreciate the story. Watching it now I realise that I do actually like most of this film, it's just the bit where Clarence shows George what the town would be like had he not been born - I just don't particularly enjoy that bit of the film. I do love seeing how George sacrifices his chances at college for his brother and his relationship with Mary.

My main problem with the film has also been with Uncle Billy. It's very nice that the town pulls together to give the money back to George that Billy lost, but I do wonder if they would be quite so generous if he did the same thing in January. Yes, I'm a terrible cynic, but I can't help it. I did once read of an alternative ending where Uncle Billy got the money back, and I think that might have just saved the film for me.
All the same, it does have that feel good factor that you kind of need in a Christmas film, if you ignore the bit where George yells at his family, leaves and almost commits suicide. At the end everything is alright again, George has realised where he belongs and Clarence has got his wings.
Next up is Miracle on 34th Street (the original one) and also our very last black and white film in the Christmas Countdown collection.

In other news, today is the first of December:
And yesterday we got our very first Christmas card. Clearly I'm behind this year, I'll have to get organised!

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Let me know what you think. :-)