Film Studies Lecture 2 – It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life was made in 1946 and was directed by Frank Capra.  The film had large success upon its release, attracting a large American audience and becoming one of Capra’s most successful films, and considering the budget for the film was just under $3.2 million, it was one of the biggest budgeted films of the time. The main actors involved in the film where Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore and James Stewart.

Stewart was, in my opinion, perfect for this role as he is a tall, handsome “American” looking nice guy actor, which fitted in perfectly with this film as the story is all about a struggling business man who does his best to not rip off his clients, while his main business rival steals some money from him and tries to bankrupt him, however in a true show of friendly neighbourhood spirit his friends and clients put money into his business to stop him from going bankrupt.

While this film was incredibly heart warming, I found the story and especially the outcome incredibly unbelievable.  Not only that but the film promotes capitalism to the point of making me want to vomit, however the ideals of this capitalistic way of living are misrepresented in this film as the “evil” business man who controls most of what happens in town has no friends or family, while the “good” underdog Stewart ends up with his friends bailing him out with an amount in the thousands, bearing in mind this was set in the 1940’s.  I find this portrayal of humanity helping out the good guy to be unbelievable, especially considering his clients are the working class and can barely afford to finance their own lives, let alone someone else’s.  The idea of good triumphing over evil in this manner is an old one which fits in with the “American Dream”, being able to go to America and working hard to create a business empire, however this is far from the truth, Texaco and Fuel Cells spring to mind.

Nice Guy Stewart


About opinionatedalex

Less opinionated than one might think.
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