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Posted on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at 8:33 am

Mark McGee

My Take

It’s the Christmas season, which means it is time for Christmas movies, which also means it is time for multiple showings of “It’s A Wonderful Life”.

One network ran the film for 24 hours on Thanksgiving Day.

As a sidebar, if you have never seen it on the big screen, check the schedule for the Belcourt Theater in Nashville which offers the film as part of its December schedule.

It was not really meant to be a Christmas season staple and was less than enthusiastically received by audiences of the day.

I always enjoy the theme of the film. I love this movie directed by the great Frank Capra. As I have mentioned before it is one of my top two movies along with the ultra-violent Western “The Wild Bunch” directed by Sam Peckinpah.

For me some of the aspects of “It’s A Wonderful Life” are troubling and become even more so with each viewing.

James Stewart’s character George Bailey lives with his parents in the Bailey Boarding House. Yet, we never see anyone else living in the house and the family dinner table is much too small to include members other than the family.

I don’t know. Maybe the boarders ate at a different time.

Then there is the case of Mr. Martini. He owns a restaurant and bar that looks to be very popular in the movie. Maybe it is because he has a very large family, but why is a successful businessman forced to live in one of Mr. Potter’s rundown homes as a renter before buying a nice home in Bailey Park.

Why would a bank examiner choose Christmas Eve to perform an audit, especially since he was from out of town?

Mr. Potter is the richest man in town, but he is even more arrogant in his attitude considering he is in possession of the missing $8,000 that is the centerpiece of the film.

Speaking of the missing money, the ending of “It’s A Wonderful Life” is uplifting as people come to George and Mary’s house to help, but it presents all manner of unexplained situations.

Donna Reed, as Mary Bailey, asks “Mr. Martini, how about some wine?” The man has already made his contribution to the fund by “busting the jukebox” at his restaurant. And why would he be carrying around bottles of wine in the first place.

Ernie, the cab driver, reads a telegram from Sam Wainwright, one of George’s old high school buddies. Wainwright has been very successful and offers more than enough money to pay off what George owes. Who delivered the telegram and why was it given to Ernie to read since it was probably addressed to George?

When George’s brother, Harry, walks in he is suddenly seen with a filled punch glass which he uses to offer a toast to George. Where did the punch and the glass come from since everyone is standing in the foyer of the home and the table with the money on it is blocking the entrance to the rest of the house?

Maybe Mr. Martini also had a bowl of punch to go along with the wine bottles he was expected to carry around.

Minor issues to be sure. And I probably just need to have the joy of the film wash over me. Maybe I need to watch something like “Home Alone” instead.

Whoa! Don’t get me started on that one.