Well folks, I realize my post this evening is a bit later than usual, but I just came back from my side job at the Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Kansas City. This evening was a special one as tonight we were showing It’s a Wonderful Life on two screens. I lobbied to have the hosting duties for the evening as it has been a movie I have grown up with, mostly due to my father’s love of the film. So I got the gig to host both showings and was absolutely floored that we sold out both showings. As a film fan, it made my heart swell that a movie made in 1946 is still touching generations of movie watchers and getting them out to the theaters to experience this unintentional Christmas classic.
Now I have grown up a lot since my first viewing of the film. I always thought Pottersville was pretty fucking sweet with booze, burlesque and fights on Wednesday nights. It seemed like a great town to me at a young age. Over the years though, I understand what makes this movie timeless and why it ended up becoming this holiday classic despite the directors insistence that it was never intended to be a Christmas movie. It’s the message at heart, one that James Stewart learns over the course of the movie that your worth in life isn’t measure by material or even monetary possession, it’s the people that are in your life and the lives of those that you have touched. That is what you need to take stock in and that is what life means.
It’s a movie that was panned upon its release, lapsed into copyright default to the public domain, and then found its home amongst the Christmas special rotation. A movie that over the years since the 70s, has touched the lives of those that have seen it. Capra and Stewart created a movie that has lived on through the years and to see all those people out at the two sold out shows tonight was amazing.
So today, I present the movie in its entirety for those that have not seen it. Enjoy!