Photo copyrighted by Jennifer Miller
Dec 15th's photo challenge is favorite holiday movie. Yeah, I'm a sucker for It's A Wonderful Life. Most people are familiar with it, but in case you're not, it's a wholesome story about George Bailey (played by James Stewart) who falls to unfortunate circumstances and feels he cannot make it right and that his life is now worthless. His guardian angel, Clarence, is sent down from heaven with a "gift." He's to convince George that his good influence on others has positively impacted their lives. It was made in 1947, so hence the black and white format. The music sounds a little bugle-y and the women's voices are soft and feathery. I think it adds ambiance to the viewing experience. It's even a little science-fiction-like because we see how one person or deed can affect an entire timeline.
One of my favorite lines is in the beginning when the angels are talking amongst themselves. Clarence is called over and told he is being sent to earth to help George Bailey. He asks, "Why, is he sick?" Another angel responds, "No. Worse, he's discouraged." Worse, he's discouraged. Discouragement is a powerful emotional state when you think about it. When we're troubled, it's on our minds and can very well consume our thoughts so that the good and pure actions and things around us go unnoticed. The film reminds us to be grateful for what we do have and have hope in any situation.
I think one of the most wise and mysterious characters in It's A Wonderful Life is George Bailey's father. He seems to observe the lives of those around him with quiet intelligence and understanding. George, and most folks, didn't understand why he operated the Building & Loan so unselfishly. I think a large part of George coming to terms with himself, is realizing the contentment his father found on probably a similar life path and discovering what was truly important.
I also like that movies of this era are clean. No profanity, violence, or risque scenes. Some of the storylines of today's movies or even novels are down right disgusting. Violence and gore is just about everywhere, including television. "Bad words" or scenes not suitable for general TV used to be censored out, but no longer. It's preying on society into making us believe these actions are normal. I enjoy action or suspenseful movies just as much as anyone, but I do feel it's gone overboard. I suppose I could continue to expand my discouraging thoughts on modern media, but perhaps that would be best left for another day. For now, I'm going to let this uplifting film remind me of what I can be grateful for in my own life.