When I was growing up I thought I would dislike all black and white movies because I assumed they were boring or about old timey things I wouldn’t understand. Eventually my mind was changed because each year CTV would play It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve.
It’s a Wonderful Life will celebrate it’s 70th Anniversary this Christmas, having been originally released on December 20, 1946. Despite being a black and white movie, it is now my #1 favourite film of all time.
After watching it year after year I can almost recite the film from memory. In honour of this anniversary, here are some of my favourite things about It’s a Wonderful Life:
1) Violet Bick
I am sure Violet Bick would be considered a real floozy in 1946, I have always considered her a real role model.
George Bailey: Hello, Violet. Hey, you look good, that’s some dress you got on there.
2) The Honeymoon
After giving away all of the money they saved in order to save Bailey Building and Loan, George and Mary are forced to have a honeymoon at home. Their friends Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver work hard to make it romantic, even singing I Love You Truly outside the window of the Old Granville House.
3) When Clarence orders a drink
As I previously wrote in this Mulled Wine recipe post, one of my favourite moments is when George Bailey brings his guardian angel, Clarence Oddbody to Nick’s. Clarence orders a flaming rum punch, but quickly changes his mind to mulled wine with very specific ingredients. This is when Nick loses his patience:
Nick: Hey look, mister. We serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast, and we don’t need any characters around to give the joint “atmosphere”.
4) George Freaks Out
This is one of the hardest scenes in the film to watch because it is when all of George Bailey’s responsibilities and stresses catch up to him. He comes home to his family, who unintentionally press his buttons until he snaps. HOWEVER, throughout this tense scene, George says something that makes me laugh every time:
Mary: George, what’s wrong?
George: Wrong? Everything. Why, you call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids?
5) Clarence Gets His Wings
After Clarence gives George a glimpse into what the world would be like if he had never been born, George sees he really does have a wonderful life. This earns Clarence his angel wings! George discovers this through an inscription Clarence leaves him in a copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. When his daughter Zuzu hears a Christmas bell ornament on the tree chime, she says:
Zuzu: Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.
George: That’s right, that’s right.
(He looks up toward the ceiling and winks.)