The movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ was first shown in 1946. The year after the end of World War Two. Frank Capra, the director, thought that people were tired of the horrors and stress of war. So he made a movie about small-town people living their peaceful small-town lives. And how one man in this small town made all the difference. In small, unassuming, and sincere ways.
The film initially did not do too well at the box office.
But a slip-up by the lawyers left the film in the Public Domain 20 years later, so anyone could screen it. Which is just what TV stations did. Americans immediately took the movie to their holiday hearts.
James Stewart and Lionel Barrymore
James Stewart gives an emotionally charged reading to his character George Bailey, a small-town banker. But even more fun is the villain, Mr. Potter. Played by Lionel Barrymore, Potter is the American Scrooge, bar none. In living rooms across America, he is still roundly hissed on his first appearance in the film.
Is it really an American Christmas Tradition?
There are others who contend that this is not really a Christmas movie because the events that take place in it may take place at any time of the year. The majority of the film takes place in flashbacks during George’s life, despite the fact that it “officially” all takes place on Christmas Eve. However, Christmas is central to the story and plays a significant role throughout the film.
Because George is such a well-liked person in the neighborhood, virtually everyone considers him to be a member of their own family. And so it is, on Christmas Eve, they cancel all of their own plans so that they can assist him, the same way that they would assist one of their own children, husbands, or brothers. This climactic sequence wouldn’t have the same impact on any other day, whether it be Easter, the Fourth of July, or any other holiday.
This is an honest Christmas tale in all the best ways, a genuine celebration of the joy that comes with the holiday season.