A few more links about “It’s a Wonderful Life,” to add to the video links in my recent previous post and an earlier post about the FBI checking into the film as possible communist propaganda (It’s a Wonderful Communist Life?).

This past December there was a New York Times piece, “Wonderful? Sorry, George, “It’s a Pitiful, Dreadful Life,” in which author Wendell Jamieson reflects on his perspective on the film. He writes:

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a terrifying, asphyxiating story about growing up and relinquishing your dreams, of seeing your father driven to the grave before his time, of living among bitter, small-minded people. It is a story of being trapped, of compromising, of watching others move ahead and away, of becoming so filled with rage that you verbally abuse your children, their teacher and your oppressively perfect wife. It is also a nightmare account of an endless home renovation.

He goes on to conclude that Pottersville, what Bedford Falls would have looked like had George not lived, is more appealing and real, suggesting that the nightclub and gambling joints had a better shot at succeeding financially.

New York Times film critic, A.O. Scott also includes a video review of the film.  He describes it as “a dark, disturbing fable about greed, exploitation, misery, and disappointment. . . .The main character is a man named George Bailey whose life is defined by rage, anger, disappointment and who is driven to the very brink of self-destruction.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

There is also an old-time radio production of the story that is available as a podcost/mp3 download: Lux Radio Theater: It’s a Wonderful Life Episode.  (Here is another link just in case: The Lux Radio Theater “It’s A Wonderful Life”). Jimmy Stewart as George and Donna Reed as Mary reprise their film roles here.  It was apparently broadcast on March 10, 1947. It appears to have been presented in front of a live audience, and the radioplay transcript is available here.

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