Dec 22

It’s a Wonderful Life

I  didn’t see It’s a Wonderful Life until I was over 30 years old.  Since then, I try and watch it at least once a year, as it’s become a really powerful movie for me.  The man, who much like me, puts duty and his family above himself and ends up persevering through a difficult time.

When George is a grumpy asshole to his family after his dumb fucking uncle loses the $8,000?  That’s me sometimes after a hard day of work.  Remember when George first met Mary, after trying to get with that other gal, and was a grumpy bitch (he’s lucky Mary was able to overlook that)? I’ve been there. Not feeling appreciated for being the glue that holds your family and company and social group together? We’ve all been there.  Suck it up. Life is still pretty good and so are you.  Great lessons in the movie, slow to get there, but one of my favorites.  I also like the movie Family Man (despite Nick Cage) in a similar vein:

I also wonder once they find out George was fucked over, why they didn’t go after Potter (if this doesn’t imbed properly, Google “SNL It’s a Wonderful Life Lost Ending”:

Karma MFer!


  1. Ras Al Ghul

    While I enjoyed the movie, I can’t help but think it was intended to betasize men. It encourages men to sacrifice everything for wife, kids, the community and the reward is, well, you’re a good boy and everyone loves you . . . sucker.

  2. Carnivore

    No, the main take away from the movie is that a man who treats people right builds true friendships on which he can count when he is in trouble. That’s the point of George’s brother saying at the end that he’s the richest man in town.

    We have to translate the missing $8000 into today’s terms to really understand what George’s friends were sacrificing. After all, $8000 is nothing today; most people have at least a $10,000 limit on credit cards.

    That $8000 would be around $92,000 today. More importantly, a “Building and Loan” (these no longer exist) really did lend out the depositor’s cash as mortgages; there was significantly less credit and high finance as compared to today. A financial institution like that really had to balance the books to the penny – George was in serious trouble.

    That $8000 was over three times the average US income of $2600 in 1946. The average new house was $5000. George’s school buddy was going to advance him $25,000. And no, that wasn’t credit, like a home equity loan. He was extending to him $25,000 in CASH – equivalent to $290,000 today – in CASH.

    All that said, it’s my second favorite movie. Better for Christmas is “The Cheaters”. An incomplete version is available on youtube (there’s only audio at the end; no picture). The story is about a snobby family who give the appearance of being wealthy but are really bankrupt. They try to cheat a poor woman out of an inheritance. Christmas is actually integral to the story, more so than in It’s a Wonderful Life. The story could easily fit into 2013.

    1. AverageMarriedDad

      Great stuff Carnivore in crunching the numbers for what it means in today’s terms. I’ll have to check out “The Cheaters” as I have seen what I can for Christmas movies already this season, culminating with the non-feelgood Bad Santa last night.

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