Welcome to the Weekly Movie Thread, your place on the Avocado to discuss films with your fellow commenters. Want to make a recommendation? Looking for recommendations? Want to share your opinions of movies, both new and classic?
This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Christmas classic, It’s A Wonderful Life.
According to Frank Capra, critics were not kind upon the movie’s release. “Mr. Capra’s nice people are charming, his small town is a quite beguiling place and his pattern for solving problems is most optimistic and facile,” wrote the New York Times’ Bosley Crowther. It didn’t catch on with audiences, either. The movie lost over half a million for RKO. The FBI went after the film, too, implying that its attack on bankers and glorifying the community hero was a potential piece of Communist propaganda.
Judging from some recent thinkpieces, nothing has changed.
The best thing to happen to the movie was when its copyright lapsed in 1974 due to a clerical error (though the rights issue is more confusing than that and the Wikipedia article on it gives me a headache). And thus networks had a movie that they could air every year during Christmas, transforming the film from a barely remembered Frank Capra film into a Christmas classic.
Since then, everyone’s been chasing that magic. There’s 24-hour marathons of A Christmas Story, Elf, and Polar Express to impress on young minds what a Christmas classic is.
Who knows if you can pull of something like that these days? What with us cutting the cable in favor of everything being on demand.
Today’s bonus prompt: what film do you love mainly because you watched it so much on repeat?
Next week: the best movie seen in 2021