I saw "It's a Wonderful Life"

Ok…hmmm…I give it a C. Ok, a C+. Not on content. The moral of the story was good. It was just so slow…almost agonizing at times.:o I’m not one to watch action films, but this nearly put me to sleep. It was too quiet or something…and over rehearsed. Like the acting was overdone or something.

The plot took so long to unravel, too…I was surprised at the end, that the ghost (Clarence) and all that he wanted to reveal, happened so quickly. It was like the producers/writers got tired themselves, and decided to end it already. lol

I like old movies however, because it’s like going back into a time machine. I will never understand or experience those times…so it’s very eye opening to see how thoughtful men were of women…how there were no immoral sex scenes strewn about…and how men and women dressed up for each other when dating. They went to dances. They were polite. Kids were VERY polite. Women and men definitely filled certain ‘roles’ in the household. So, I like watching old movies at times, because it shows me how my parents lived. (I’m 40, my parents had me late in life)

Other than that, I didn’t think it was ‘all that.’ Had a great ending…of course, I teared up at the end, but I guess I’m not seeing what all the hype is about. :popcorn:

Anyways–just my two cents worth!:stuck_out_tongue: I’m no longer one of those who has not seen this film. Frankly, I wasn’t missing much. hahaha No offense if you love this movie, of course! My dh loves this movie…maybe I need to watch it a few times. :smiley:

This is a character driven film made in an era when films didn’t have to have explosions every 5 minutes and people weren’t emoting/chewing up the scenery in order to tell the story. It’s experiencing one man’s life and the people around him, and why he thinks himself a failure when he actually had a greater influence on the lives of others than he believed. Watch it again with a bit of patience and I think you’ll come away with a different feeling about it. And Clarence wasn’t a ghost–he was an angel, second class who got his wings by helping George Bailey. “Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”

I like old movies however, because it’s like going back into a time machine. I will never understand or experience those times…so it’s very eye opening to see how thoughtful men were of women…how there were no immoral sex scenes strewn about…and how men and women dressed up for each other when dating. They went to dances. They were polite. Kids were VERY polite. Women and men definitely filled certain ‘roles’ in the household. So, I like watching old movies at times, because it shows me how my parents lived. (I’m 40, my parents had me late in life)

Of course, part of the film was showing how bad the town would have degenerated if George Bailey hadn’t been there to curb old Mr. Potter’s greed and lust for power. People were coarser and society had become crass and mean because the kindly but firm influence of George Bailey hadn’t reshaped the town. If only people had taken the message to heart that real compassion means drawing a line in the sand and saying “No farther will we allow this to go,” we would be living in a culture that values family life and morals.

Other than that, I didn’t think it was ‘all that.’ Had a great ending…of course, I teared up at the end, but I guess I’m not seeing what all the hype is about. :popcorn:

Anyways–just my two cents worth!:stuck_out_tongue: I’m no longer one of those who has not seen this film. Frankly, I wasn’t missing much. hahaha No offense if you love this movie, of course! My dh loves this movie…maybe I need to watch it a few times. :smiley:

It’s not my very best favorite movie in the world, either, but it’s still a great film and a classic, and for good reason. I think you’ll like it more if you watch attentively and patiently, letting the story unwind, drawing you into the lives of the people of Bedford Falls.

Ditto here!!

Sorry you didn’t get the true value of the movie, WG. I think the problem might be in critiquing the technical aspects, rather than flowing with the theme of the movie. I find a lot of movies these days to be ‘entertainment’ value only. I know my own kids growing up during this era see it this way. Strangely enough, ds2 couldn’t help being distracted from his computer whilst we were watching this - he was really getting into it, ended up shutting off his computer!! Maybe because we often watch such a varse assortment of ‘good’ dvd’s, they’re becoming quite accustomed to keeping an open mind to the messages that they bring - it really brings a lot of fruitful discussions up when they can see the visuals. The theme that came up trumps, as Della said, was

It’s experiencing one man’s life and the people around him, and why he thinks himself a failure when he actually had a greater influence on the lives of others than he believed

(Maybe it’s just cause your’re a spring chicken still, :smiley: lol!!)

You should have come to visit me weekend before last. Our historic downtown theatre showed it on Saturday, big screen, popcorn and goodies and special hot chocolate.

THAT is the way to see it for the first, or the fifteenth, time.

Did you see it in black and white or the new “colorized” version?

If the later, go back and watch it in black and white. The technical artistry is amazing.

(And, if you saw it in black and white . . . well, go back and watch it again! That’s when directors were true artists with a camera. :slight_smile: )

I’m quite well read, and do not like action films, this movie was just a bit boring to me. Um, and I understood the meaning…it really wasn’t that deep, to be honest. I suppose I was expecting the mega movie of the century or something, and it just didn’t quite make the grade for me. Good movie, yes–not great. Acting not great. Moral of course very good, and I liked the innocence of that era. My kids and I have watched such classics as Papillion, Cool Hand Luke, Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc…this movie just doesn’t match up to those, in MY opinion

I wouldn’t make someone feel like they didn’t ‘get’ it, or have shallow tastes, just because they don’t like this movie. I think it’s a “classic,” but not all classics are good, sorry. lol

Ok. Maybe I’ll give it another try. I have it for another week out from Blockbuster. :stuck_out_tongue: I did cry at the end of the movie though…so it couldn’t have been all bad. My cry-o-meter went up…so, that means a movie isn’t all that bad if I cry at some point during or at the end. :smiley:

You, my dear, are quite simply,… a philistine! :slight_smile:

:shamrock2:

black & white version…is there a color version?

I honor values. I saw the value in the movie, but that doesn’t mean the movie itself was all that great. Some of you are taking my dislike of this movie a little personally. lol Are you related to the actors or something? The producers? The directors? :ehh: :bluelite:

I am very fond of art…to call me a philistine is a bit harsh.

aw, that seems like such a nice time. :o

Ok…I admit, I was baking Christmas cookies…going back and forth…but I was paying attention. Maybe I’ll give it another try. I watched it with my dd…she seemed to like it. I didn’t dislike it, but I thought that what led to the end (when everything tied together) seemed to be a bit drawn out. I also thought it was very extreme that he wanted to commit suicide at the end. The film didn’t build up his stress and anxiety enough, to make that seem like GB had reached his wits end.

Maybe I’m over analyzing. lol But, I would like to see this remade…I think that the movie’s plot and message would be very welcoming in this day and age, but perhaps the tweaks that I’m thinking would make the movie better, would be added in.

I wonder why this has never been remade?:confused:

I think that many older films do tend to move the plots along at a slower pace. It’s just a different style. (So do older novels, like Dickens, or Henry James.) But, for me at least, I also agree that the movie has never quite seemed all that great.

Hi Jim;

Yes, I agree. I love a lot of classics…I am a Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn, and Shirley Temple fan…and like many other classic actors, I guess this movie just seemed a little stagnant. But, I did find it humerous in parts…an innocent kind of humor. I much enjoyed the humor. It wasn’t corny or anything.

To each’s own. I’m glad I can say I at least watched it…finally.:slight_smile:

Wow, I find it interesting that you thought it was slow! For older movies, it keeps my interest the whole time. My husband saw it for the first time all the way through (and he’s the type to like explosions every 5 minutes) and he absolutely loved it.

It’s a Wonderful Life is probably my favorite movie. I can quote the entire thing. I watch it about 5-6 times every Christmas season.

On a side note…did you guys know that when a drunk Uncle Billy walks off screen after leaving Harry’s party, falls into the trash cans and says “I’m alright, I’m allllright!” that it was really a stage hand that accidentally knocked over some stage props? Being the good actor he was, he improvised and Frank Capra left it in the film. :smiley:

HA! I did not know that…

I will say that when I was sitting and actually viewing the movie, I was interested…but there have been classics that have captivated me, even foreign films with subtitles that have captivated me. It didn’t captivate me, I should say. I was definitely interested, and I wish there were more parts like when GB tells Potter off in front of the Board…and so forth. I liked the dance when everyone jumped into the pool…lol That was funny. But, I think what bothered me about the movie, was that there the ending seemed rushed. It took a very long while for Clarence to come into play, and I was hopeful that that part would be a bit more drawn out. The other parts could have been shortened…and GB’s thought to suicide just seemed so extreme…like he was that distrought? I didn’t feel that the movie built it up to the point where you felt what he was feeling…I understood that he was deeply troubled, etc…but pushed to suicide? But, I liked that he jumped in to “save” Clarence, and Clarence claimed that was to save him. lol I will say my fave character was Clarence. I just felt that by the time he appeared in the film, time was rushing by…

See? I watched it…I was attentive. lol I just thought there was room for improvement. :wink:

Oh, WG…I thought you would have liked it. Try it again. :slight_smile:

What about the scene when George visits Mary, and they are not really getting along…and then Sam Wainright (sp?) calls and offers George the position…makes me cry all the time.:bighanky:

I will say my fave character was Clarence.

***For you, WG…


smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_22_26.gif smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/12/12_1_212.gif

Have a peaceful and holy Christmas! smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_15_62.gif

Well, WG, I’m not surprised you were a little let down. On first veiwing, most movie classics, especially ones that have been really, really talked about are likely to let you down. They simply can’t live up the the expectations heaped on them.

Part of it with Wonderful Life is that a lot of people watch it year after year with their families, and are reacting to those happy memories more than what’s actually on the screen.

But I also have a feeling you were wishing they’d just hurry up and resolve things, to a point that you may not have settled into the finer nuances of pacing and performance-- Stewart was one of the very best…

[whispering secret aside: It’s not his best work, though, and I’ve only seen it a couple times. Just a little too much corn pone for me.

The Sheldon web comic [[URL=“http://www.sheldoncomcs.com]”]www.sheldoncomcs.com] just did a Wonderful Life series, including this one:
http://www.sheldoncomics.com/strips/sd081210.gif

I find that if I don’t sit down on the couch and put my full attention on a movie that I miss a great deal of detail. Give it another try and don’t bake cookies or anything. Pretend like you are in a theater and maybe even turn your lights off and get popcorn and soda. Just wait until you find the time to relax. I think, too, that this is the kind of movie that someone might have to see a few times before they get it. The more I have seen it, the more I get it.

I think you were expecting (and maybe because of what you have heard/read) to see a movie that could have just as well been called George Bailey Meets an Angel Named Clarence. It’s a Wonderful Life is about George Bailey’s wonderful life, it’s about getting to know George and his reasons for doing things and what happens because of him.

George is like the guy in your hometown that has worked at the same job for 40 years and is a member of Kiwanas or Lions or Knights of Columbus. Just an ordinary guy, without whom our communities would fall apart. Maybe your local fireman/paramedic, maybe just a businessman. Well, if you look into the mind of those small town heros (who may never be called heros), there may be dreams in their hearts that they never got a chance to fulfill. Yet, they patiently do what they know they need to do for family and for community. Oh, they get fulfillment out of it. But, there is a little part of them that may feel like they are missing out. (Goodness knows, many a woman feels that way.)

Here is my take on the movie. The movie is about George, not about his suicide attempt, or meeting an angel, or his relationship with the angel. The point is to get to know George, what he wants, what he longs for, and what gets in his was of having it. George is a dreamer who has every intention of traveling and not settling down. He’s got plans and, in his heart of hearts, he doesn’t want anything to stand between him and his plans. (He admits that in the scene that was mentioned with Sam on the phone.) The plot, as it unfolds is perfect. It shows how George from childhood possess that wonderlust and yet possesses a heart of gold. We see that he has a weakness for love, compassion, and duty, that leads him away from all he longs for and builds for him a life so different that that he imagined. And how many of us have had that happen to us?! George seems happy in his life and almost seems to have put his dreams away.

Why would he consider suicide so quickly? Was is that sudden? Could it be that he realizes that the life he built was ruined and the one he dreamed of could no longer be? Many of us carry that hope that someday those ancient dreams we put away can be resurrected. Suppose George believed that one day he would “see the world” with Mary after the kids had grown. (Of course, knowing George he would put the kids through college instead!) I think that knowing that your business is about to be audited by a bank examiner, thousands of dollars are missing, and a beautiful woman was seen leaving your office around the same time is enough to shock anyone into doing something desparate. First he grovels to Potter, before he considers suicide. The thought of as he puts it, “bankruptcy and ruin” was enough to make him grovel to a man he hated to see his father grovel too (who he may have blamed for his father’s death). George is a man who knows that the entire community looks up to him, although he doesn’t think himself a big man, and what will that do to him and his family if he is found to be accused of stealing the money the folks in the community entrusted to him. His life has turned out so different than what he expected. He expected to travel, not be involved with the town, the people, a wife and kids. He expected to go to New York and build skyscapers. All that stuff was still down deep in the heart of him. Now the life he built is gone (he thinks) and he will go to prision. I don’t need to have anything other than the character of George Bailey tell me the reason for this plot twist of suddenly feeling like suicide. And watching the entire movie is what shows me his character (I mean the spirit of the man, not the role.)

Personally, I’m not much into the end of the movie anymore. In fact, I wouldn’t really say it “ties it all together”. Yes, it is a good plot twist to end the movie with and show the moral of the story. But I much prefer watching George live his life and make the choices he makes. So, actually, I don’t get why you would think the end is the best part. But, that’s just me. Oh, the very end is great, of course.

A few notes I want to mention. The financial state of the nation at that time was worse than now. We were coming out of the depresssion, but still bad. Another thought. There were no credit cards to rely on and bankruptcy was not as common or acceptable. And the morals of the time may seem innocent, but there are always corrupt or immoral people. I am 50 something and I’ve discussed this with my mother over the years. She is now 86. It may seem like a more innocent time, but the fact is that not everyone had morals. Movies did have stricter codes, and movies often had a moral to their stories. But, pretty much people are the same. It seems there more of a prevelance of moral attitudes and behavior and immorality and corruption tended to be hidden. But, people were still people.

That’s a funny cartoon, Sam.

I’d say that was a much, much better Stewart movie than some of those later ones in the 50’s. (Dear Bridgette, for example.)

P.S. I just visited that website you listed and find the following funny…

*An Unwed Librarian! Oh, the Horror!
in News by DaveKellett

Monday, December 15, 2008 - 03:16 PM

Sheldonista Marisa V. wrote in with a hilarious addendum to the “It’s a Wonderful Life” toons from last week. I had to share this with you guys:
I am a long time reader and have been enjoying your “Questionable Moments from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’” series, as this beloved Christmas movie has some problems.

But this segment seems now to be over, and I am wondering how it is you missed the most hilarious moment in that movie, where we discover what happened to Mary?

Towards the end of George’s lesson, when he’s realizing how truly awful everything would be if he’d never been born, he has a horrible thought. Mary! What’s happened to Mary?! He demands to know from Clarence, who doesn’t want to tell him. “You’re-you’re not going to like it George!”

And the suspense is killing us. What could have happened? I mean, we’ve already seen the entire town go to hell. His brother is dead, so are all the people his brother saved in WWII. The pharmacist he worked for is a criminal and a drunk, and Clarence doesn’t want to say what happened to Mary? Why? Is she dead? A destitute alcoholic? Married to a horrible abusive man?

But no! It is a fate much worse than all of those put together! Because George was never born, Mary never married! She-she became a librarian! The horror!!!

screams and faints

And that, that is the most questionable moment from “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Marisa, you are awesome. That’s very funny. *

I get a kick out of that part of the movie, having worked for a library and being a never-wed woman myself. Believe me, library ladies are more like Vi than Mary sometimes!

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