Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers, Thomas Mitchell
Directed by: Frank Capra
Synopsis: An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.
So, my Christmas movie advent calendar draws to a close, with perhaps the best Christmas movie ever made. And, unbelievably, this is the first time I’ve ever seen it! I’m not big on old black and white movies, so it’s always been near to the DVD player but never quite made it in. This is finally the year I got round to watching it. And thank god I did.
I won’t go into the ins and outs too much because I’m sure you are all well versed in this classic film, much more than I was anyway. The story itself is a real beauty. There is something so good and wholesome about it, it has no cynicism, no violence, no swearing. It may be a sign of me getting old, but there was just something really refreshing about that. Not that I am adverse to those elements in film, far from it, but for a Christmas film it was just a nice exception.
I always watch old films and are dubious about the acting. They all seem wooden, the dialogue seems clipped and unnatural. This film can be like that in places, but when you have the likes of James Stewart on top form, it almost doesn’t matter. It’s all very sweet and saccharine I guess, but the sentiment behind it all is so pure and lovely that I just didn’t care. I could easily have shed a tear a few times, which surprised me due to the age of the film.
Overall, the film is, obviously, a total triumph. You don’t need me to tell you that, history tells you all you need to know. It is rated as one of the best films ever made, because it IS one of the best films ever made. The only disappointment is that I didn’t get round to watching it sooner! Although, I’m glad I saved it for Christmas Eve.
I hope you have enjoyed my Christmas Movie Advent Calendar series, it has certainly been a mammoth task, but enjoyable none the less. You will have to let me know if you have watched any of the movies I watched, and give me your opinions on them.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!