Casting a Remake of It’s a Wonderful Life

Casting a Remake of It’s a Wonderful Life

Back in 2013 Hollywood announced a sequel to It’s a Wonderful Life. Thankfully the project never happened and hopefully it never will. It’s a Wonderful Life is a classic American film that is best honored by leaving it completely alone. In 1977 the film was remade as a made-for-TV movie. It was horrible. But you’ll have to recall that in 1977 It’s a Wonderful Life was not the Christmas classic it is today, even though it was 30-years old by that point. The strange path that It’s a Wonderful Life took to nearly untouchable status as THE film of Christmas came about because of television in the 1970s. It was played over and over right around the time the made-for-TVRead more

If I Were George Bailey

If I Were George Bailey

Shortly before Christmas last year I dropped by my parents’ house and caught my Dad watching the last half hour of It’s a Wonderful Life. As we watched the peak of George’s crisis we got into a conversation about what we would do if either one of us were George Bailey. What a great question! After all, who doesn’t want to live in Bedford Falls and be married to Donna Reed? George Bailey had a wonderful life but he did some screwy things. Start right at the beginning of the movie, when he notices Mr. Gower made a mistake with the medicine. Not knowing what to do he seeks out his father and ends up walking in on an argumentRead more

What Should Have Happened to Potter?

What Should Have Happened to Potter?

The most underrated performance in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” is the role played by Lionel Barrymore — the nasty Henry F. Potter. There are many stories about this now legendary movie but one of the more obscure is that folks back then were really upset that Potter is never shown facing consequences for his evil deeds and nasty nature in It’s a Wonderful Life. He just gets away with it. What should have happened to Potter? The Christmas purist in me would have taken a Dickens approach and stabbed him in the heart with a stake of holly. Alas, this was a family picture and that would have changed everything. But it is an assault on ChristianRead more

Merry Podcast #45 — Classic Christmas Movie Trivia

Merry Podcast #45 — Classic Christmas Movie Trivia

We’re pleased to release Episode #45 of the Merry Podcast Titled Classic Christmas Movie Trivia. In the absence of any new Christmas movies on the horizon that have any hope of becoming another treasured classic we felt this episode looking back at the Christmas movies we love was appropriate and timely. Three great movies were made without about 18 months of each other in 1946-47 that we still enjoy every year: It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and The Bishop’s Wife. We explore these three movies in detail and they take us on some unexpected journeys: — Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, John Phillips Sousa and the Academy Awards. We muse a little in this episode as well asRead more

Jimmy Stewart Talks About It’s a Wonderful Life

Jimmy Stewart Talks About It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s A Wonderful Life has reached such a point of saturation in American Christmas culture we can practically quote it line by line. But even still we cannot get enough of it. Even though Jimmy Stewart has been gone now for many years we can read of his memories and share in interviews he did about the film long after it was produced. In this clip, Mr. Stewart chats with Johnny Carson and we hear from Richard Dreyfus as well as Carol Burnett as they talk about the power of It’s A Wonderful Life:

Jimmy Stewart Remembers It’s a Wonderful Life

Jimmy Stewart Remembers It’s a Wonderful Life

By Jimmy Stewart (1977) A friend told me recently that seeing a movie I made in 1946 is a holiday tradition in his family, “like putting up the Christmas tree”. That movie is It’s a Wonderful Life, and out of all the 80 films I’ve made, it’s my favorite. But it has an odd history. When the war was over in 1945, I came back home to California from three years’ service in the Air Force. I had been away from the film business, my MGM contract had run out, and frankly, not knowing how to get started again. I was just a little bit scared. Hank Fonda was in the same boat, and we sort of wandered around together,Read more