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Thread: The 'It's a Wonderful Life' Thread

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    The 'It's a Wonderful Life' Thread



    I think someone should tell the 'It's a Wonderful Life' tale from the perspective of Old Man Potter, that poorly understood man and undersung hero.

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I remember the SNL skit where Potter gets his come-uppance and George Bailey (Dana Carvey) beats the snot out of the old cripple for stealing the money Uncle Billy misplaced.

    Poor Mr Potter. This all could have been avoided if party-girl Violet had shown him a little attention The old coot just needed a hug.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

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    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
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    What a great American movie…. A classic in every sense of the word. There are three movies that really go with Christmas; It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, and the movie about getting a be-be gun for Christmas (“You’ll shoot your eye out kid.”) . An honorable mention goes to the Peanuts Christmas.
    What’s in a name? – Your reputation….:)

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Jimmy Stewart = overacting. Never liked this movie. Love the message; hate the movie.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    "It'a a Wonderful Life" is one of my favorite movies. I really like Frank Capra's movies and vision.

    This thread reminded me of one of my favorite lines from the movie.

    Violet is sashaying down the street in, I think, a polka-dot dress that was sexy for the time. After she has distracted the men on the street and nearly causing an accident, Bert the cop tells Ernie the cab driver "I think I'll go home and see what the wife is up to."

    For 1946 that was a pretty risque line.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  6. #6
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    I love this movie. I also love the planning connection and because of that, and many other similarities I find between myself and the movie, I always find it very inspriational. George Bailey is like many of us. He always wanted to plan cities, build bridges, build skyscrapers, and of course, see the world, but ended up running the savings & loan business. George Bailey still got his own subdivision though, Bailey Park.

    I also remember back in middle school health class we watched this movie over several class periods, because of its relation to suicide/mental health. I think it was really just an excuse for the teacher to do nothing all of December though. I appreciated it though. Hell, I probably learned more watching this movie.

    This movie, White Christmas, Holiday Inn, Christmas Vacation, and Home Alone are my faves.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

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    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Not only playing the roll of developer of a new suburban-style subdivision, Bailey fixed up an old central-city house to live and raise his own family in.

    Mike

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Jimmy Stewart = overacting. Never liked this movie. Love the message; hate the movie.
    I think Capra should share in the blame (as well as the credit). There are a lot of exaggerated elements to this movie: characters, sets, story, as well as acting that are over the top....I watched the movie last night and noticed some little things that hadn't really jumped out at me before, like how Old Man Potter has a bust of Napolean behind his desk (just who every ambitious business man aspires to emulate!)

    I wouldn't go so far as to say I hate the movie, but will readily concede it's got a lot of over-the-top stuff in it.


    and for otterpop....

    http://www.campussqueeze.com/post/SN...rful-Life.aspx

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yeah....

    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    like how Old Man Potter has a bust of Napolean behind his desk (just who every ambitious business man aspires to emulate!)
    Good catch, but these days it would be a photo of Donald Trump
    Skilled Adoxographer

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Frank Capra liked working with Lionel Barrymore and Jimmy Stewart. Contrast "You Can't Take It With You" with "It's a Wonderful Life."

    The former was an earlier Capraesque movie that was more in the screwball comedy genre. In that movie, Barrymore is a happy go-lucky man, the head of a very eccentric family, as opposed to a bitter s.o.b. Stewart was the same sort of fellow - the likeable leading man, but in the latter movie his character was darker and troubled.

    In both movie, Capra accommodated Barrymore's debilitating arthritis by putting him on crutches in one movie and a wheelchair in the other.

    Interestingly, Capra had a movie formula that was immensely popular and profitable for him and the movie studios. It really wasn't Capra's personal vision. He was kind of a s.o.b. His career as a director began to slide after "It's a Wonderful Life" because the movies he made in the 1930s no longer reflected America in the 1940s and 1950s.

    "It's a Wonderful Life" is over-the-top by modern standards. Movies have changed a lot. The movie was made just after World War Two and is an example of the movies of 1930s and 1940s. It was made on the cusp of the changes the war made in the USA, including what would soon be reflected in the movies.

    Movies following "It's a Wonderful Life" reflected how America had changed, largely because of the war. Our heroes became less pure and the anti-hero became the hero. The roles of women in movies began to reflect the changing role of women in our society. The roles of blacks in movies changed, as well.

    Of course, Jimmy Stewart's roles changed a great deal in the 1950s. He made a string of westerns (Winchester '73, The Naked Spur, The Far Country, and Bend of the River), where his characters were angry, haunted by inner demons, even revengeful. He did Hitchcock movies that were tough and dark.

    Stewart came back from the war a genuine war hero. His war experiences affected how his acting evolved. He came back from the war no longer wanting to be the Jimmy Stewart he was before the war. Capra had to talk him into doing "It's a Wonderful Life." Stewart thought he might be done with making movies.

    "It's a Wonderful Life" is maudlin and over-the-top in places. It is also 63 years old. It reflects a time that is past. An America that ceased to be not long after it was made. It was not well-recieved when it came out. It only became a Christmas classic in the last thirty or so years.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    It's A Wonderful Life is one of my favorite movies. Sure, it has its' hokey moments......but it entertains, it inspires, it creates a sense of wondering what it would be like if YOU were never born. As is the case with many of Frank Capra's movies, Jimmy Stewart morphs into a modest hero. Another good example of this was Meet John Doe, with Gary Cooper playing the modest hero. The modest (political?) hero is portrayed, with Stewart again, in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.

    Years ago I took a course related to movie-making. I remember discussing the scene where the customers were in the Building & Loan, during the "run" on the bank. When a siren sounded and the siren-vehicle roared past the Building & Loan the entire crowd moved to the window. It was a statement about crowd mentality and it reinforces the strength of George Bailey's character as he talks about his business and how it operates......and he calms the crowd.

    Of course, Donna Reed flashing a "bootlegger" wad of bills helped, too.

    Interesting also.....Sam "Hee-Haw" Wainwright is working on new technoligies for the creation of plastic. About 25 years later, in the movie The Graduate, we get another taste of poured resin.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

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    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    One of my all time favorite movies. Hokey? Yes, of course, being as it was made when that sort of thing was fairly the norm. Plus, it was Capra. Still, some great characters in the movie and some great lines, too.

    "Dang this drafty old house!"
    "My mouth's bleedin'! My mouth's bleedin'! Zuzu's petals!"
    "You want the moon, Mary? I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down for ya. Hey, that's a good idea. I'll give you the moon."
    "You're worth more dead than alive!"
    "Where's that money, you silly stupid old fool? Where's that money? Do you realize what this means? It means bankruptcy and scandal and prison. That's what it means."
    "You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money. Well, it doesn't, Mr. Potter. In the whole vast configuration of things, I'd say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider. And that goes for you, too!"
    "Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings."
    "I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I'm gonna build things. I'm gonna build airfields, I'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I'm gonna build bridges a mile long."

    That's off the top of my head. Yeah, I've seen it a few times.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  13. #13
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Let me be the first to admit that I've never seen the movie.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    While musing about the movie, it occurred to me that "It's A Wonderful Life" is a retelling of "A Christmas Carol" from the perspective of Bob Crachit. Scrooge (Potter) is not reeemed at the end. It is Bailey (Crachit) who at the end of the tale reaffirms his belief in the importance of one life well lived, sacrifice, family, friends, and doing good.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    While musing about the movie, it occurred to me that "It's A Wonderful Life" is a retelling of "A Christmas Carol" from the perspective of Bob Crachit. Scrooge (Potter) is not reeemed at the end. It is Bailey (Crachit) who at the end of the tale reaffirms his belief in the importance of one life well lived, sacrifice, family, friends, and doing good.
    The similarities don't end there, don't forget there's even a scene where George Bailey sees his brother's grave (Tiny Tim parallel)

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    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Its one of my wife's all-time favorite movies. This year she and Wee P watched it together (I was outside doing something) and I came in and bothof them were on the sofa just boo-hooing away.

    For me a good movie, but I don't have to watch it evry Christmas like she does.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Unfortunately, Drew Barrymore had to inherit the family facial structure.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    As planners, how do you feel about the film's none too subtle message 'homeowners = responsible, upstanding citizens; renters = crack addicts & prostitutes' (gotta love those scenes showing Potterville 'Jitterbugging 10 cents a dance')


    Oh, and is it just me or does anyone else wish George Bailey would put a cap in uncle Billy's *ss after he loses the 8 grand? Worthless piece of human refuse...

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    To: Broadway, Fifth, & Fisk Equity Partners
    New York, NY

    From: Bedford Falls National Bank
    Bedford Falls, NY

    Dear Sirs:

    In reference to your 12-24 communication about concerns of possible malfeasance at Bailey Brothers Building & Loan Association, I have instructed my staff to alert authorities. Coincidently, an official from the New York State Banking Affairs Department was also in Bedford Falls, performing semi-annual fiscal year examinations. He has also been alerted to the possible fraud.

    As stockholders of significance in BBB&L we have a duty to protect our interests. We were alerted by a teller at our Midtowne Banking Centre when an employee of BBB&L completed a deposit slip for $8000 and attempted to defraud the bank using "slight of hand" strings attached to his fingers. Whether this is important to the case or not, the teller also reported that the BBB&L employee carried with him an odor similar to a squirrel.

    As you know, our community has been in the national news today for reasons related to a former World War veteran. Even with the confusion around the city square, related to the national news, my staff has performed admirably on this day before Christmas. Our team has uncovered what appears to be money laundering, involving a local woman with possible criminal connections. In addition the Director of the BBB&L, George Bailey, apparently has a history of domestic abuse and reportedly has engaged in physical altercations at local night clubs and with local law enforcement officers.

    Finally, our investigation uncovered a secret meeting between George Bailey and a man known only as "Clarence". This secret meeting took place at a small riverside bridge-tender building, during a blinding snowstorm. Before the bridge tender was conversationally encouraged to leave the meeting he did overhear some of the conversation and he alerted us to what appears to be an underworld code name, "Mark Twain". The authorities were also notified of this meeting.

    Trust that your office appreciates our diligence in this affair. Quite certain that a Grand Jury will be seated by mid-January. Public perception will certainly move in a favorable direction by the time the snow on nearby Mt. Bedford starts to melt. This will fit well with the timing for our planned acquisition of BBB&L.

    Looking forward to our April 1 Managing Partners Meeting.

    Faithfully yours,
    M. Potter
    Managing Partner, Bedford Falls National Bank
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  20. #20
    I've seen it about 30 or so times...............remember when Uncle Billy was talking with George outside of his home and being drunk BIlly is shown which way to go, so he goes left and you hear "bang, rattle, boom?" Off screen was a ladder which he tripped over but they left the scene in.............watch Stewart's face, he smirks at it...........

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    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Let me be the first to admit that I've never seen the movie.
    I have never seen the whole thing. I can never get beyond the first 15-30 minutes before turning it off. I have a low tolerance level for schmaltz.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Huh?

    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    I have a low tolerance level for schmaltz.
    I'm afraid you and Brocktoon will not be compatible
    Skilled Adoxographer

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    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    While musing about the movie, it occurred to me that "It's A Wonderful Life" is a retelling of "A Christmas Carol" from the perspective of Bob Crachit. Scrooge (Potter) is not reeemed at the end. It is Bailey (Crachit) who at the end of the tale reaffirms his belief in the importance of one life well lived, sacrifice, family, friends, and doing good.
    So true - and very American, no? We love the American Dream, the possibility of becoming wealthy and all of that. But we also like to tear down those miserly, inconsiderate rich folk and see them get their just desserts. So much more gratifying (for Americans) when the underdog prevails than for the influential to acquire some humanity. Take that, Mr. Burns!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Bump. My radio theater group acquired both the performance and broadcast rights to do the radio version of "It's a Wonderful Life" on an annual basis. I have kind of mixed feelings about this. This is only the second year we did this, but I've already performed in the show seven times and it's starting to get a little old to me. On the flip side the production is showing signs of becoming something of a Christmas tradition for many locals. I guess we'll see how it goes.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  25. #25
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Bump. My radio theater group acquired both the performance and broadcast rights to do the radio version of "It's a Wonderful Life" on an annual basis. I have kind of mixed feelings about this. This is only the second year we did this, but I've already performed in the show seven times and it's starting to get a little old to me. On the flip side the production is showing signs of becoming something of a Christmas tradition for many locals. I guess we'll see how it goes.
    any way for non-locals to listen in? Radio theater is a rarity, I'd love my kids to hear a radio production like this.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

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