12/25/14

The amazing story behind the Christmas classic, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

By: Renee Nal
New Zeal

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

The beloved holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” was released in 1946. Despite it’s popularity today, it did not fare well at the box office, and it was given poor reviews by cynical movie critics at the time.

Jimmy Stewart said that out of all the movies he had made, “It’s a Wonderful Life” was his favorite. The Director, Frank Capra described the film’s theme as “the individual’s belief in himself” and that he made it “to combat a modern trend toward atheism.”

But in the case of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” something magical happened almost 30 years after the movie was released. Because of a “clerical error” in 1974, the film’s copyright was mistakenly not renewed. Television stations were able to air the film at no cost.

So they did, and Americans fell in love.

The mainstream media’s disdain for anything wholesome and family oriented is not a new phenomenon. One critic decried the “sentimentality” of the movie.

Bosley Crowther from the New York Times concluded,

“the weakness of this picture, from this reviewer’s point of view, is the sentimentality of its illusory concept of life. Mr. Capra’s nice people are charming, his small town is a quite beguiling place and his pattern for solving problems is most optimistic and facile. But somehow they all resemble theatrical attitudes rather than average realities.”

In 1947, film critic Manny Farber wrote,

“To make his points [Capra] always takes an easy, simple-minded path that doesn’t give much credit to the intelligence of the audience”, and adds that there are only a “few unsentimental moments here and there.”

In a 2010 ”Salon.com” piece, Richard Cohen described ”It’s a Wonderful Life” as “the most terrifying Hollywood film ever made“; in the “Pottersville” sequence, he wrote, George is not “seeing the world that would exist had he never been born“, but rather “the world as it does exist, in his time and also in our own.

Ah, the cynical critics have not changed. How many other potential classics were squashed?

Of the newfound success of the film, Frank Capra said,

“It’s the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen.”

This article has been cross-posted from Liberty Unyielding.

12/25/14

Merry Christmas from All of Us at NoisyRoom.net!

Hat Tip: Nelson Abdullah

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

Christmas is our season of joy, our celebration of what the gospel of John describes as a Light who came into the world to dispel darkness – Christ Jesus. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, and none come to the Father but through me.” – John 14:6

Christians mark many Biblical proofs given to us that, by our Heavenly Father’s infinite mercy and grace, the Light triumphs over darkness – Jesus surviving the slaughter of the innocents, the many miracles of His earthly ministry, and definitively His sacrificial Passion and triumphal Resurrection! We know through faith the Light of the world ultimately vanquishes all evil.

With the miraculous grace of Christ’s birth, life and sacrifice on the Cross, our eternal glory in heaven is redeemed in His blood. We need only belong to our Lord, and we share infinite victory over the bonds of death. Christmas joyously reminds us that the sacred gift of life – both human and eternal – is the priceless favor of a loving Creator, ineffably more precious than gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In Christmas rests our hope of salvation from all the woes of the world.

I pray for you and yours a blessed Christmastide that, beyond festivity, hears the angels’ song:

“for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,