Friday, December 25, 2009

Welcome back and Merry Christmas cont'd

Welcome back to Sam's Posts from the now defunct Dualing Personalities blog (my prediction came true). Eli will remain as a guest blogger.

On with Christmas-themed things while I wait for the family to come together to open presents (late start this year). Every Christmas Eve my family and I watch "It's a Wonderful Life." Widely considered one of the best movies ever made, it makes for a great holiday tradition, and it's one of my favorites; otherwise, watching it once a year for the last 20 would get a little annoying. The movie's central message never gets old and never fails to move; I mean, we can tell ourselves not to take life for granted, but it's so much more effective to see the joy on George's face when he gets his erstwhile unwanted life back.

Still, I'd say much of the movie's everlasting charm and entertainment comes from its continuous supply of quirky and hilarious moments.

Often when I tell people it's a real knee-slapper of a movie they look at me like I'm crazy. Most of the funny stuff doesn't kick in until the 4th, 5th, or 15th viewing. (After a while you may also come to realize that the whole story is kind of flawed--every man's life touches so many others, but not always in such a blatantly positive way--but that's another issue altogether.) Anyway, here are some of the ridiculous moments to watch for that we've noticed over the years:

Mr. Gower almost poisons a child by making drugs with poison when he's drunk. Umm, why does he keep the giant vat of poison so close to his other, presumably more frequently used drugs? George finally tells him, but only after trying to run off to ask his father's advice on the situation. Does he really have to ask his Dad whether he should let the druggist poison children?

"[Harry's] a genius at research."--Harry's new wife Ruth, to George.

Clarence introduces himself with the suffix "AS2" which he explains stands for "angel second class." Notice how that just doesn't make sense.

Something's really off about Clarence, actually (George was right to be suspicious!). Later, when asked how old he is, he immediately remembers that he's 292 years old, but struggles to remember the month of his birth. Umm, shouldn't it be the other way around?

"No I didn't have a drink!"--Clarence, after leaving Nick's bar, to Joseph-up-in-the-sky, even though he did try to have a drink, he was just tossed out before he could get it.

Things sure did turn out differently in Bedford Falls (or Pottersville) without George around! The bar is packed with people and the whole town is filled with unsavory establishments, all hopping on Christmas eve no less! Oh, but to balance that out we learn that the library is open til late because we see Mary closing it up. And I guess her glasses mean that without George in her life her vision didn't turn out as well? After George chases her down, Bert, who was such a good guy in the George-exists universe, tries to shoot him in a crowded street for resisting arrest! Serves him right for trying not to exist, right?!

It goes on, but I should save some for next year! It would make a great mystery science theater 3000....


  1. The quote really is "Harry's a genius at research" -- no brackets required.

    Happy New Year to you -- in jail!

  2. Think of how much time will be saved on typing the URL alone.

    I've gotta watch that movie about 15 times more to catch up. But what bothered me was that George is a pretty bona-fide ass leading up to the suicide attempt (abusive to wife, kids, & uncle), pretty unpardonable behavior even under circumstances of extreme stress, and everyone is just thrilled to forget that. I feel like the moral or message gets a little twisted up by that.

  3. yeah i would file that complaint under the heading of more crucial to the entire success of the movie, along with the whole story being kind of flawed. but yes george is kind of an ass, from putting coconuts on her sundae to being a jerk when she makes her little lasso art to skipping the honeymoon...he just doesn't really listen very well

  4. Nah, I disagree. "Abusive" seems a little strong to me -- he just yells at everyone. Give the guy a break, he's going to jail! (Bankruptcy, scandal, prison! Can't you see what it means to my family? Etc)

    It is a little odd that Mary is just as happy to see George when he gets back from his adventure as he is to see her. Is she a pushover or just the best wife ever?

    Why must you torture the children!