You Can’t Please Everyone – It’s a Wonderful Life

One star Amazon reviews of classic movies, music and literature. Today we take a look at It’s a Wonderful Life:

This movie never won any awards. It was so bad that the studio could hardly give it away when they first puit it on tape, then they let it be colorized just so they could sell SOME copies of it, and suddenly the big war cry from the Hollywood liberals was — “OOH! Save a classic black and white film!” Baloney! No one liked this movie when it was made. No one liked it the 1950s. No one liked it in the 1960s. No one liked it in the 1970s. No one liked it in the 1980s, then SUDDENLY! — it’s an American classic. NOT! It’s Communist propaganda about the “evils” of American free enterprise from a guy who made a lot of pinko films but never thought HE should have to live like this “common man” he kept making pictures about.

I am a big fan of Frank Capra movies. But for some reason I waited 20 years since it’s video release to watch this movie. Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s it flooded the tv channels at Christmas time. All my friends watched it and said it was great. As a Christmas treat I decided this was the year to see it. What a let down. First of all it was about a half hour too long. Jimmy Stewart’s character was a born loser. Everything bad happened to him from the beginning. He also passed up opportunities to better himself. He ignored the prettiest gal in the movie (Gloria Graham) for a plain Jane (Donna Reed). To me, Lionel Barrymore’s was the best character in the movie and he certainly gave the best acting performance. This was a big Frank Capra disappointment. With the length of the movie and the failings of the George Bailey character, when he was on the bridge near the end I was yellinh “JUMP JUMP JUMP”.

I bought this as a birthday present for my mom because she used to have the It’s A wonderful Life in color on VHS.I recored over this VHS about 5 years ago, and i have felt terrible ever since. AMazon said that this edition was in color, so i decided that this was a perfect gift for my mom. I received the DVD today, and i am so dissapointed that it is not color? Why did they tell us it wasn’t~

This is the story of an ambitious young man with dreams of leaving his small town, but due to circumstances beyond his control, has to stay there the rest of his life. His savings and loan has to constantly help out the poor inhabitants, who seem incapable of either earning or saving money. At the first sign of financial trouble, all the dear friends that George has helped out demand their money back. George is such a poor businessman that at the prospect of missing ONE payment to Potter his business will go backrupt and he is prepared to kill himself. Then a angel shows up and convinces George that his miserable life has at least made OTHERS happy.

In a cruel irony, George is forced to accept hand-outs from the townsfolk he helped out. If they had this money, why did they need the loans in the first place?

No wonder people cry at the end of this ridiculous stinker — they’re so grateful it’s over! Jimmy Stewart, who was a returning war hero when he made this thing, is, as a result, totally miscast as a naive small-towner who never goes anywhere. Donna Reed is gorgeous but she was wasted making films in an era when she couldn’t show off her body. Clarence the Angel is OK for the Teletubby crowd, but a movie intended for grownups as well? Yikes. All Lionel Barrymore’s bad guy needs is a mustache to twirl and he’d be the perfect cartoon villain. The ending is a cheat — not only would the whole table-full-of-money thing never happen in real life, but what about all the poor saps watching the movie who have to think, “Well, maybe George Bailey could believe his life is worth living, but he’s a movie character, and the script is built that way — what about me?” I can see this movie being responsible for more suicides than anything excluding Ingmar Bergman. Oh, and that line — “She’s an old maid — she’s just about to close the library” made me spit out my drink the first time I heard it. Give me A Christmas Story any day.

This is an extremely poor movie. It is a shameless enterprise in sentimentality, constantly bordering on bathos. Typical of many American films both of that period and contemporary times. Very boring to boot.

It gets all its mileage out of holiday sentiments, and the hazy glow of the holidays colors too many people’s view of the film.

  • err

    i don’t like this movie either but i’m not about to accuse it of being a bad movie.

    good story and the story is told well, good acting, etc, i only dont like it because i’ve seen it too many times.

  • To be fair, I always thought the nightlife in Potterville rocked that shit out. Jazz clubs, speakeasies — or a walk in the grass with George Bailey? Come on, now….

  • Was that first review cross-posted at WorldNutDaily?

  • Damo

    Yikes!!!

  • Jim Buck

    Technically it’s ok; but also far too sugary sentimental for my taste. My favourite Capra movie is The Bitter Tea of General Yen.

  • McGee

    I think it’s a good movie, yet I hate it. I just do. I can’t stand it. It annoys the hell out of me.

  • AmandaNZ

    Damn that movie bathos.

  • aaaah. I like it 🙂

  • parclair

    Oh good. I thought I was the only person in the world who hated the movie. After 50 years, I can come out of the closet.

  • Angry Sam

    The entire premise of the movie is horrid. The only reason the main character keeps on living is for reasons that are at once pathetic and incredibly egotistical. Horrible, cheesy flick.

  • albaby

    I love this movie. It’s cheesy and maudlin and I love it. Zuzu’s petals!!!!!!

  • Dan

    I love this movie. An era when Hollywood was in it’s element, now they just seem to make tripe.

  • Kelly

    Sure, sure, the nightlife in Pottersville looks nice and fancy, but fuck, would you like that shit to be booming under your window all year round? Yeah, and Violet Bick is a trampy whore, and the Depression sucked, and that’s why my grandparents horde jars of food from 1966, and well, criminy, why the hell is that damn Grinch making his wiener dog Max lug around that friggin’ sleigh? He too small!

  • Good to see that Old Man Potter is still around to write Amazon reviews.

  • @ AmandaNZ : I’m bordering on taking a bathos.