Like one of the telephone call scenes from Brothers and Sisters, emails have been flying back and forth among family members this morning about who wants to attend our local cinema’s showing tomorrow of the black and white holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life.
We’ve all seen the movie before on the small screen – in black and white and in colour, too, but this is a family holiday staple, a part of our must-do holiday traditions, something we watch annually just as we annually exchange presents.
As I understand it, initially the movie flopped at the box office. I was first introduced to it when I started dating my husband and PBS aired it before the holidays as part of their fundraising appeal. I can still remember one of the women who pushed for donations. I think her name was Goldie and I suspect they had her lead the charge because her voice was so annoying, it made you want to throw money at her just to get her to stop talking! But even Goldie couldn’t dissuade viewers from watching It’s a Wonderful Life and I think PBS knew it!
I think the movie has endeared itself to so many because it explores so many themes that most of us can identify with:
- Having unrealized hopes and dreams
- Working hard and not managing to get ahead
- Being tempted to compromise our beliefs for an easier path in life
- Having to do the right thing even when it’s difficult
- Looking out for those less fortunate than ourselves
- Making sacrifices because it’s the right thing to do
- Remembering to treasure our blessings
I’ve got a to-do list a mile long for things I need to get done this weekend. I was sick this week with a nasty flu virus that’s making the rounds and it’s put me behind on my holiday preparations as I’ve struggled to stay on top of my work commitments, with minimum energy, so that I could have a break from my desk over the holidays, but I’m really hoping to go to see this movie on the big screen tomorrow.
No matter how many times I watch this movie, and it must be 30+ times by now, I still get a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye when the bell rings (7:38 minutes into the video clip below) at the end. But, shhh! Don’t tell anyone!
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Photo credit: By National Telefilm Associates (Screenshot of the movie) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons