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Technicolor tinsel

By Howard Elias | China Daily Asia | Updated: 2018-12-26 10:10
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It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

James Stewart said that of all the films he made, It's a Wonderful Life was his favourite. It's one of my all-time favourites, too. Stewart plays George Bailey of the fictional town of Bedford Falls, set somewhere in upstate New York. George is the richest man in the town, though he barely has two nickels to rub together. Instead of having money, he has the undying devotion of his family, his friends and his town – the lines separating the three being very blurry. The only person who is working against him is the town's wealthiest man, the miserly Mr Potter (Lionel Barrymore), who is jealous of George. When a clerical error puts George's business on the verge of bankruptcy, he decides that his life isn't worth living. That's when Clarence shows up. Clarence is an angel who must save George's life in order to earn his wings. Clarence decides to turn back time to show George how life would be in Bedford Falls if he had never existed. With Clarence's help, George sees that he truly has a wonderful life. You'd have to be a heartless person not to break into tears during the final scene. I get misty just thinking about it… and I've seen it dozens of times. If there is one film that shows the true meaning of the holiday season, this is it.

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