It’s A Wonderful Life (1947) – Frank Capra

My father, on Thanksgiving, often bemoans that turkey isn’t eaten enough and that one big turkey dinner does not satisfy him for the entire year. This is a common thing with my Dad, spending the time of his favorite thing, complaining that he doesn’t get to do his favorite thing enough. Anyway, I don’t know about turkey but I know that It’s A Wonderful Life is not a Christmas movie and to box it in to such a narrow place is a disservice to truly the most wonderful of films. I’m going to cut this short because I simply cannot be objective about what is such an emotional film experience it is for me, except to say that this brilliant tale of George Bailey packs such an emotional punch only because it is so sad and cruel for long stretches of the movie. It’s a fairy tale but told with a certain realism that creates the impact. The world is a cruel place but people are good and it’s important to remember that, not just on Christmas but always. I am not a crier, in fact, stone-hearted would not be out of line to describe me. Two years ago I asked my wife to marry me around Christmas, she said yes. The next day I watched It’s A Wonderful Life for maybe the 25th time, but this time I cried my eyes out at the end, the first time I’d ever cried at a movie. Movies are the greatest emotional art and every person brings themselves to the images on the screen. I was creating a family and it was my responsibility now to be as good a man as George Bailey. I cry every time now, and I wish we watched it more.

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