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Tag Archives: It’s A Wonderful Life

70th Anniversary of It’s a Wonderful Life

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.)
Attaboy, Clarence.

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Christmas Villains Who Give Us the Creeps

Christmas movies always begin nicely. The tree is trimmed, the gifts are wrapped, the turkey is in the oven, the quirky family has arrived, and the magic of the holidays is in the air – but there is one Christmas villain who must turn this wonderful season into a problem!

This December there will be a new film released that focuses on the ultimate Christmas villain – Krampus.

Krampus, starring Adam Scott from Parks and Recreation, Allison Tolman from Fargo, and Toni Collett from United States of Tara, is a live action horror/dark comedy about a modern dysfunctional family at Christmas, and a visit from the horned, ancient monster of European folklore, who punishes naughty children.

In honour of Krampus‘ arrival, we have compiled a list of Christmas villains who give us the creeps!

Scut Farkus – A Christmas Story
Scut Farkus staring out at us with his yellow eyes. He had yellow eyes! So, help me, God! Yellow eyes!”

Christmas villain

Scut Farkus, played by Canadian Zack Ward, was the local bully for Ralphie Parker and the gang in A Christmas Story, but in real life he raises money for anti-bullying programs.

 

The Grinch – Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Your soul is an appalling dump-heap, overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of rubbish imaginable, mangled up in tangled up knots!”

Christmas villain

 

 

 

 

 

 

They wrote a whole song describing how bad this guy was. But the power of a Christmas song also made his heart grow three sizes!

 

Scrooge – A Christmas Carol
Christmas is a very busy time for us, Mr. Cratchit. People preparing feasts, giving parties, spending the mortgage money on frivolities. One might say that December is the foreclosure season. Harvest time for the money-lenders.”

Christmas villain

Since his creation in 1843 by Charles Dickens, the cruel stinginess of Ebenezer Scrooge has been portrayed by Michael Caine, Tim Curry, Alastair Sim, Patrick Stewart, and Scrooge McDuck in countless plays, TV shows and movies. Why has this story been told so many times, in so many ways? Perhaps we all hope to redeem ourselves for past mistakes, just as Scrooge does after seeing the error of his ways.

 

Heat Miser and Snow Miser – Year Without a Santa Claus
“Friends call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch turns to snow in my clutch. I’m too much.”
“They call me Heat Miser. Whatever I touch starts to melt in my clutch. I’m too much.”

Christmas villains

The Miser Brothers are not the worst of the Christmas villains, but their refusal to get along and work together really slows Mrs Claus down on her mission to save Christmas.

 

Harry F. Potter – It’s a Wonderful Life
George, I am an old man, and most people hate me. But I don’t like them either so that makes it all even.”

Christmas villain

Mr Potter might be the most frustrating Christmas villain. He is pure evil and treats people terribly, but he never gets what is coming to him. He makes no attempt to become a better person, and George Bailey receives no chance at revenge!

Thankfully the cast of Saturday Night Live found the alternative ending of It’s a Wonderful Life, which seals Potter’s fate!

 

Professor Hinkle – Frosty the Snowman
We evil magicians have to make a living, too!

Christmas villains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professor Hinkle was just about the worst magician in the world, and he was pretty bad at being a villain too. He did try to ruin some pretty fantastic Christmas magic by stealing his hat from Frosty the Snowman and the children, but he was easily thwarted with the help of the Hocus the rabbit. I wonder how long it took him to write “I am very sorry for what I did to Frosty” a hundred zillion times.

 

Wet Bandits – Home Alone
I think we’re getting scammed by a kindergartener.

Christmas villains

Marv and Harry were small time thieves who thought they would get a big payoff scamming houses during the holidays. Eight year-old Kevin McCallister prevented that with a painful obstacle course. Just when you thought The Wet Bandits couldn’t get any worse, they try to rob a toy store of their charitable work during Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Thankfully Kevin is there to once again show them what’s what at Christmas!

If you have a Christmas villain in your life, you know what to get them:
Christmas villains

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Peanutize Me This Christmas!

Whether it was the comic strip or TV specials, you’d have to be a blockhead not to love the Peanuts. When we heard the gang would be together again for The Peanuts Movie this November, we immediately started counting the days!

Thankfully we have the highly addictive Peanutize Me app to help pass the time. By selecting from dozens of hairstyles, outfits, and smile sizes, Peanuts fans can create a free personalized Peanuts avatar – as if Charles Schulz drew it himself!

In honour of The Peanuts Movie, we decided to “Peanutize” some of our favourite Christmas movie characters. We hope you enjoy the results as much as we do!

Clark Griswold – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Peanutize me griswold
The “Peanutize Me” app doesn’t quite capture the crazed look of Clark Griswold, but pretty close!

Mary Bailey – It’s a Wonderful Life

Peanutize Me Mary Bailey
Did you know It’s a Wonderful Life came out when they still made wooden Christmas trees?

 

Ralphie Parker – A Christmas Story

Peanutize Me Ralphie
Good grief! Ralphie really wants that Red Ryder B.B. gun this Christmas.

 

The Grinch – How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Peanutize Me Grinch
The Grinch is one of the only Grinches who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem.

 

Susan Walker – Miracle on 34th Street

Peanutize Me Mara Wilson
If Lucy van Pelt is the Christmas Queen, then Susan Walker is the Christmas princess!

 

Kevin McCallister – Home Alone

Peanutize Me Home Alone
Of all the McCallister’s in the world, Kevin is the Charlie Browniest.

Get Peanutized here: www.peanutizeme.com, or create your own Peanutize your favourite Christmas character and share it with us on twitter!

 

 

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I HEART XMAS! WITH CHRISTINA WALKINSHAW

Welcome to the I Heart XMAS Q&A, where Retro Festive asks notable Canadians about their own Christmas traditions and what they would like to find under the tree!

Christina Walkinshaw, Stand-up Comedian                        @walkinsauce                                                                     http://resistingmarriage.tumblr.com/

Christina Walkinshaw
The very funny Christina Walkinshaw

 

What is your favourite Christmas movie or TV special?                                                         Well, I just watched An En Vogue Christmas but it wasn’t all I thought it would be, so I guess I’ll have to say It’s a Wonderful Life.

Does your family have a special or quirky Christmas tradition?                                      Not really. Just the usual Christmas stuff. A mandarin orange in the toe of every stocking, a bunch of stuff that is clearly from Ardene, and a general exchange of stuff nobody wants even though we all asked for cash.

Which do you prefer: to give or receive?                                                                                    Are we still talking about Christmas? Giving. Definitely giving.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters: Not a Chance – or – The Uglier the Better?
I’m more of a tacky Christmas earrings kind of girl.

What do you want Santa to bring you this year?                                                                      A smaller ass.

Christina Walkinshaw is a stand up comic living in Toronto. She was nominated for Best Female Stand-up Comic in the 2012 Canadian Comedy Awards. Read her very funny blogs about her adventures on Tinder and generally resisting marriage.

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It’s A Wonderful Life Mulled Wine Recipe

Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life is the most heartwarming Christmas movie ever made. One of the most humorous scenes in the film is when George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) brings his endearing guardian angel, Clarence Oddbody (Henry Travers), to “Nick’s” seedy bar where Clarence orders “mulled wine, heavy on the cinnamon and light on the cloves. Off with you, me lad, and be lively!

Although Nick was not amused with the drink order, the idea of mulled wine makes mouths water!

Mulled Wine Recipe
Clarence orders his Mulled Wine recipe from Nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

To make mulled wine at home, follow this recipe from It’s a Wonderful Life: Memory Book by Stephen Cox.

Clarence’s Mulled Wine Recipe

2 1/4 cups of water

2 tablespoons of sugar

3 whole cinnamon sticks

2 bottles of red wine

1 clove

1/2 cup of cognac

Lemon wedge (optional)

Bring the water, cinnamon sticks, clove and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the wine, then heat slowly until hot again. Stir in the cognac, and remove from heat. Pour into festive mugs, moose or otherwise, and add a twist of lemon.

For a Canadian twist on this Christmas recipe, replace the wine with apple cider – and a dollop of maple syrup – from your local farmer’s market!

Transfer your mulled wine or cider to a punch bowl at your annual Christmas party, or a slow cooker on a low setting to keep it warm.

Every time a bell rings . . . drink!

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