I have to watch It’s A Wonderful Life (IAWL) every year during the holidays. It’s just one of those movies like that annoying drunk uncle at the family reunion…. it never goes away. I revisited Bedford Falls yet again, and this time with my husband (Scott) because he had never seen it (I know, clutch my pearls). Every time I watch this movie, I discover something new. Hold that thought; I’ll come back to that.
IAWL is a movie that makes you laugh, cry, and think. Released in 1947…I didn’t see it until the late 70s, or early 80s. It’s about a big dreamer’s (George Bailey’s) plan to see the world, but his plan gets derailed when “life happens.” (pun intended).
Here’s the 30-second or less snippet: George saves his brother. George’s hearing is impaired. Angel Clarence saves George’s life. George discovers his leadership niche. Old Man Potter is evil. Wifey Mary is a superwoman. George learns the meaning of a meaningful life.
Now, here are a few things I discovered during this viewing: (1) Violet was a thirsty (a desperate hoochie. Always up in George’s face trying to vie for his attention); (2) The #MeToo movement started in Bedford Falls, when Harry slapped the maid Annie on the butt as she walked in the kitchen; and (3) The movie started with the big bell ringing, and ended with the same bell ringing.
Favorite line this viewing: Potter says to George, “Are you running a bank or a charity ward?”
Best love moment: When Mary leans over George, as children in the store, and says in his deaf ear, “I’ll love you until the day I die.” Love that part.
Leadership at its best: during the deposit run, when George uses logic, patience under pressure, persuasion, and interpersonal skills to calm the community members that were demanding a withdrawal of their money from the bank. He gave them a reason to trust him, to trust themselves with taking only what they needed and not what they wanted.
If you didn’t read this before, It’s a Wonderful Life is one of my favorite Christmas movies. As a child, it was the first encounter I had with hearing about a “bank examiner.” I never knew bank examining was a job or career until that movie. Then I went to college and low and behold the FDIC was recruiting when I was 18 years old for bank examiners on my college campus. Long story short — until you read it in my book — at age 21 FDIC hired me. I’ve been employed with them for over 26 years and lived in 5 states via promotions and special assignments. Interesting, uh?!?!
Enjoy the movie this year and for years to come. If you notice something different about the movie when you watched it, comment below. I’d love to hear your insight. Happy holidays!
Movie Grade: A