Directed by: Frank Capra / 1946
Two of my choice Christmas movies growing up (and kinda still are) were “Gremlins” and “Christmas Vacation”. If I remember right, my first glimpses of “It’s A Wonderful Life” were broadcasted via the T.V. stations in the Peltzer and Griswold homes in these lovably-wacky Christmas classics. Movie lines within movie lines such as, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.”, I’ve memorized for years, thinking that someday when I was bigger I would let this “grown up” movie “get” to me while chopping up onions like it does to the adults in these lovably wacky Christmas classics. Sadly, it took me many more years to get “grown” and finally watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” scene-for-scene, but it didn't take onions to help me cry. I must say that it is now one of my favorite Christmas movies and easily in my top 50 of all-time favorite movies. Christmas on the first day of Fall, I say why not!? Most importantly, why has it taken me so long to see it? I have no answer other than I don’t get much time with Christmas cable television and if I do it comes in twenty-four hours of “A Christmas Story”! Actually with “It’s A Wonderful Life”, the Christmas cheer is meant to extend beyond December 25th. I found out this morning that it’s a national treasure of a heartwarming gem that oozes goodness beyond the screen perimeter. I can find a lot of relation and kin to Jimmy Stewart’s “George Bailey”, as all I too wanted to do was experience more than Small Town U.S.A. had to offer and at times felt like I was was the biggest failure. But, as I’ve grown older I’ve realized that your roots will always be planted in the same place and can grow far and wide no matter the initial foundation size. Getting “grown” can teach a man that it is important to never forget where he comes from and that sometimes you've got to scrape your knees to grow or even to see your growth. And that it’s okay to search for and believe in a little slice of goodness, soul and peace in a classic film of yesteryear, especially in a today that can get pretty bleak. Oh, and It’s certainly okay to watch Christmas films, wacky or serious, all the year round.