It's a Wonderful Life review

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Posted by Radishrain Radishrain
So, I watched the colorized version of It's a Wonderful Life, yesterday. I had seen the black and white version before, at least once all the way through.

You know, this movie always gets talked about around Christmas-time, and I even thought it was a Christmas movieā€”but I don't recall any mention of Christmas in it. Did I miss it? I'm guessing it was Christmas on the last day of the show. There is snow, at least. I looked it up to be sure. It was Christmas Eve on that day, which explains the festivities. I suppose at least couple miracles happened (they might be considered Christmas miracles).

The main character has two friends named Bert and Ernie. I wonder if Sesame Street's characters with the same nanes are a reference to this movie.

Anyway, it's a lot more of a romance story than was my first impression. It seemed much more interesting this time around, too. I missed a lot of stuff before, somehow. If you're not in the habit of re-watching movies, I recommend it, even if you didn't miss anything.

I saw mention of the movie called The Bells of Saint Mary('s?). I think I've seen and enjoyed that (maybe about eight years ago). I haven't seen that many really old movies (so, it's remarkable that I'm familiar with it).

Spoilers ahead.

Anyway, it's about a man who helps out a lot of people without benefitting from it himself. Some of this seems like what he wanted to do, and some seems like it was thrust upon him (unless he wanted to let a lot of people down), and that continues to happen for a while. He's constantly trying to protect the townspeople from essentially becoming enslaved by the antagonist.

Eventually someone misplaces a lot money on his account, and he's under threat of being put in jail. He gets suicidal, considering his life insurance policy. An angel without his wings (Clarence) comes and guides him to his senses by granting his wish that he had never been born. He sees what life would have been like for everyone else (pretty bad).

He repents of his wish and doesn't even bother fretting about the police come to arrest him, he's so happy. But, it turns out, a lot of people (who like him) donate money to his cause, and he doesn't have to go to jail.

Clarence gets his wings.

The angel came much later in the movie than I remembered.

A good part of the movie is the main character progressing through life from boyhood to his having a wife and some children. He met the woman who became his wife when they were children.

The actors and actresses all did good jobs. I think the one who did the main character played Mr. Krueger in Mr. Krueger's Christmas, by his voice, look, and expressions. I used to know his name: James Stewart (I looked it up). Apparently, Michael H. McLean wrote the story for Mr. Krueger's Christmas. (He's well known as a musician and composer among many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Yep, James Stewart played the main character on It's a Wonderful Life.

Here's the parents guide type material:

They kiss a fair amount (and kind of heavily). A woman is naked at one point, hiding in some flowers (but it doesn't show her nakedness), and the main character takes the opportunity to tease her about what it would take for him to give her clothes back (but some emergency happens and he just gives them back when he hears about it).

There is a small amount of violence (I remember a single punch to the head), and there is a small amount of blood from that.

There are some perilous situations (the main character saves a couple lives), and some sorrowful/depressing/stressful/disturbing things. According to Clarence, the same people he saved died (not shown) in the alternate reality (whatever you want to call it), and more people died because of it.

The main character is unkind to some people (even his family) when things are looking bad for him.

A man contemplates jumping off a bridge to commit suicide. He doesn't but he does jump off in order to save someone else's life (who turns out to be an angel).

I don't recall any foul language.

There is a fair amount of implied drinking. I don't remember if it actually pictured anyone doing it, though.

A man and an angel seem to order alcoholic drinks, but the angel seems to have been aware that they didn't have any money to pay for them anyway.

There's some cigar smoking.
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