Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life

This was really the only possibility for Sunday Afternoon Classics here at ComedyandPolitics. It's a Wonderful Life is one of the greatest American movies of all time, and one of the few that gets better every time you watch it. It's also one of the most misunderstood movies in our culture.

Frank Capra's ode to disappointment is often thought of as a sentimental movie, when really nothing could be further from the truth. Movie Guy extraordinaire and friend of the blog Ben Sachs once told us that Jonathon Rosenbaum, the movie reviewer for the Chicago Reader, wrote that It's a Wonderful Life argues that only divine intervention can save the Idealist from himself, which is about as grim as it gets.

This scene below is amazing. The tension simmers until George (Jimmy Stewart) explodes in frustration directed at, but not towards, Mary (Donna Reed). He delivers his monologue through clenched teeth until he finally says, almost begging, "I want to do what I want to do." It's heart-wrenching. Enjoy.

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