Kerr's Corner

Kerr's Corner is a regular feature in East Antrim and Newtownabbey editions of The Wizard. David Kerr would like to hear your memories of life in your own area. Maybe you'll trigger some thoughts for a future column.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Classic Movie for Christmas - It's a Wonderful Life

CHRISTMAS is around the corner. It’s a happy time for many folk, but others dread it. Things in their lives are not working out so well. Many are in despair. Some may even try to end it all by taking their own lives. This is the situation facing George Bailey (James Stewart) in the classic Christmas feel-good movie to end them all – Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life! which is sixty years old this year.

George is a pleasant bloke who runs a savings and loan company – something like a credit union in this country – in Bedford Falls, an American small town. He is held responsible for the loss of a large sum of money and is hung out to dry by the evil Henry Potter (brilliantly portrayed by Lionel Barrymore); an unscrupulous local banker who give him a deadline to come up with the cash or go to prison. In depair he decides to drown himself.

Before he can do so, he rescues another drowning man who turns out to be Clarence (Henry Travers), an apprentice angel sent to save him from himself. George wishes he was never born, so Clarence shows him what life in his little town would have been like had his wish come true. The town without him is Pottersville; a miserable, nasty, unpleasant place. George is made to realise that his life had not been futile. He really did make a difference to the lives of every inhabitant.

This film hits the spot in many ways. James Stewart brilliantly brings out George Bailey’s essential decency with strong support from the lovely Donna Reed as mary, his sweetheart and later his wife. It should never go out of fashion. It’s just perfect viewing over the Christmas period. Look out for it in the TV schedules or for the special Sixtieth anniversary DVD edition in your local music and video shop or in some supermarkets.


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