Myersvision: A Very Portly Christmas: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

We’re wrapping up our run of Christmas movie reviews with Audre.  Perhaps I’m saving the best for last; I imagine old Pontifex Maximus would agree.

Audre considers this film a treasure, one that is meant to be admired, not picked over, lest in the picking it lose its luster.  It’s an astute assessment from a very wise woman.

I won’t say more and let Audre do the talking.

With that, here is Audre’s review of 1946’s It’s a Wonderful Life:

Some things in life are so precious. Women have a talent – a little momento from a place they visited with loved ones, the special china that belonged to her grandmother, the ring her uncle gave her when she turned sixteen. Precious things. We don’t touch them every day. We don’t often pick them up and look at them. They are just there. Like the memories kept in a heart.

That’s what It’s a Wonderful Life is; a memory kept in the heart. I can tell you the story in just a few sentences. George Bailey grew up in small town. He was a kind boy who grew into a thoughtful man. Several times in his life his dearest dreams were crushed by events beyond his control. But he’s not bitter and makes a nice life for himself with a lovely wife, a house that needs constant fixing, and four young children. Through no fault of his own, he is suddenly and unexpectedly shattered by the forgetfulness of his uncle and he faces that ‘dark night of the soul’. That’s all I’m going to say.

James (Jimmy to all his friends and fans) Stewart plays George Bailey. I can’t think of any other movie that highlights and showcases his acting talents better than this movie. When George has his deepest moment of despair, his face – all the misery of the world is in his face. It’s heart-wrenching and the tears slide down our cheeks, too. But the movie is not all doom and gloom, it has many funny scenes. It’s not a sad story; it’s George’s story.

There are fine character actors supporting Stewart and the writing is very good. But it’s Stewart’s movie.

What would the world be like if you’d never been born? Watch It’s a Wonderful Life and see what George discovered.

You can rent the movie on YouTube for $2.99.

22 thoughts on “Myersvision: A Very Portly Christmas: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

  1. It’s a grand old film and one I always enjoy, despite it being a bit lopsided and pollyanna in tone (Honestly, what I want in a Christmas movie). I think though, that what I like best about it was that it was a small tale about a small man of little consequence overall.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A belated thanks for this review, Audre, but I’m confused. Tyler said this one wraps them up. Have I missed something or has Tyler not put his own up?

    Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t think so.

        I much enjoyed reading this yesterday and would have commented but Tina and I were in a fixed battle, playing Rummikub. The ending is in sight and it’s all to play for! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, yes—I had Audre’s post scheduled in advance, and had fully intended to have my review up this past Monday. I neglected (due to a lack of time) to edit my intro to Audre’s. Oops! It’s all been a bit of a mess on my end lately, but I’m hoping to get caught up some today.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hiya Aud,
    On one snowy Christmas Eve in the mid ’50s my father, who worked nights on the Daily Mirror, had agreed to drive from our home in Hertfordshire to Bristol, to collect his brother and my aunt (my mother’s sister) and two children and drive them back to our place. This involved a round trip of about 300 miles, in deep (for England) snow, with no motorways and in an Austin A40 Somerset, the British equivalent of an AMC Rambler….
    I went with him, and the journey is worth another story, but my main recollection is of reaching home again around 6pm and my mother, clearly anxious for our return, serving mince pies and instructing my two cousins and I to sit down and watch the new-fangled telly, in front of a roaring log-fire. What was on? Jimmy Stewart (My all-time cowboy hero) in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I’m not a sentimental person but that moment has stayed with me. A great Christmas film.
    Thanks for the reminder and Happy New Year.
    johnthebridge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment, John! I would love to hear more of the story of your harrowing Christmas journey. It might make a great guest post, if you’re interested!

      It’s amazing how this one film resonates with so many people in so many different contexts. It’s certainly one of my favorites.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, John!!! Imagine my excitement to see you here!! Welcome, welcome, welcome!

      What a great memory – and story!

      He will always be that lawyer in Who Killed Liberty Valance.

      Like

      • There was something about Stewart, maybe his voice, his quiet ease in acting or even, for a young English lad in the 50s and mad on aircraft, the knowledge that he was a US bomber pilot in WW2. A REAL American hero! For me, he personified both goodness and greatness, combined in a humble package. I always imagined him to be what he usually played on screen, a gentleman in the truest possible sense.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Aside from being “mad on aircraft”, I think we all think about that man the same way – a kind, gentle man. I don’t think there’s ever been a bad story about him in Hollywood and/or the media. That’s saying something.

        Liked by 1 person

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