Monday, January 6, 2014

It's wonderful

I'm finding it hard to mentally put away Christmas.  We took the tree down on New Year's Day, and my kids will head back to school tomorrow, but I'm still trying to cling to it a bit.  I keep playing just one more Christmas CD and am even considering making another batch of sugar cookies, just to use up all the leftover frosting, of course.

What to do?  I think I'll make a list of the best parts of It's a Wonderful Life, greatest Christmas movie ever.  Maybe I can blog it out of my system.

1. The first lines

The opening is perfect, with everyone praying for George.  I'm practically in tears, one minute in.

"I owe everything to George Bailey..."

"He never thinks about himself, God..."

"I love him, dear Lord.  Watch over him tonight."

2. The speech

I love George's speech to Mr. Potter in front of the executive board:
You... you said... what'd you say a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they're so old and broken down that they... Do you know how long it takes a working man to save $5,000? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about... they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him. But to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well in my book, my father died a much richer man than you'll ever be!
That's right.  George Bailey was a champion of the 99 percent!  And Mr. Potter's response, "Sentimental hogwash!" is going to be the title of my future memoir or the name of my future band.

3. Mary's fate

It is simultaneously hilarious and depressing when George asks Clarence what became of Mary.
George Bailey: Please, Clarence, where's my wife? Tell me where my wife is.
Clarence: You're not going to like it, George. 
George Bailey: Where is she? What happened to her? 
Clarence: She became an old maid. She never married...
And here's what basically happens next, in my own words.
George: An old maid?  No! 
Clarence: Yep, she works at the library and wears tweed suits. 
George: No! 
Clarence: With her hair in a bun. Glasses too. 
George: No! 
Clarence: She doesn't even pluck her eyebrows. 
George: Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!
(Seriously, check it out next time you watch.  I'm pretty sure Old Maid Mary is wearing extra bushy brows.)

4. Happy family

I could go on and on with a list of my favorite scenes and quotations ("He says it's the chance of a lifetime."  "George, I am an old man, and most people hate me.  But I don't like them either so that makes it even." "My mouth's bleedin'...What do you know about that?!?"  "A toast to my big brother George, the richest man in town!"), but I'll just end with my favorite.

George: You call this a happy family?  Why do we have to have all these kids?


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