You know that one of the hottest topics around the Christmas season is what is the best Christmas movie. I’ve heard radio stations debate it over the airwaves and it’s really a fun argument and discussion. We are ardent Christmas movie watchers in our family. In fact, I’m so weird about it, I’ve established guidelines on when and how to watch certain movies (example – the George C. Scott Christmas Carol must be viewed Christmas Eve night and The Christmas Story is never viewed before Christmas Day, yet can be binged on that day). Not that I’m obsessive or anything…I’ve actually made slight alterations when cajoled by my daughters exclaiming, “Please Daddy!” because they won’t be back home in time. I’m not a Grinch for goodness sakes!
I know people have opinions and cogent arguments about their favorites. However, no right-thinking person can argue over what is seemingly inarguable. The BEST Christmas movie EVER, and perhaps one of the greatest movies of all time is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Period. Punto. No mas.
Look…the movie has it all. We’ve all been George Bailey at some point in our life. Is there a more compelling character for Christmas? It transcends generations with its story of family, adversity, loyalty, compassion, evil (Mr. Potter is the original Darth Vader), and love. The depth of despair to the adulation. Heck, when you watched Elf and saw Buddy standing over the East River (might have been the Hudson, but who cares) about ready to end it all, didn’t your mind flash back to George Bailey leaning over the edge of the bridge with the snow falling and the agonized and tormented look on his face? of course you did. Me, too.
The Godfather is known for it’s profound, life explaining quotes. It’s a Wonderful Life has them all, too. I am literally able to fall out of bed at 2:00 in the morning quoting someone from the movie. Consider these classics and I bet you get goosebumps just like I am writing them…
Clarence: Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?
Harry Bailey: A toast to my big brother George: The richest man in town.
Pa Bailey: All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.
Clarence: [In book inscription] Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.
You’re with me, right? Of course you are. Like the players on Remember the Titans, “leave no doubt;” Frank Capra, Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, et al, left no doubt. I don’t even think it’s debatable, is it? It’s a Wonderful Life is THE Christmas movie. It is best watched between December 21st and 24th. Just saying…
That is unless your daughter (who doesn’t arrive until the 26th and is as much a geek about this as I am) asks to wait by pleading, “Please Daddy! Please!”
That’s how you know it’s the best!
George Bailey: Ha, ha, ha, ha! My mouth’s bleeding, Bert! My mouth’s bleeding! Zuzu’s petals… Zuzu…[checking his pocket] There they are! Bert, what do you know about that! Merry Christmas!
© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved