It’s a Wonderful Life

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Jimmy Stewart finds out that the world would have been a much worse place if he had never been born,

OK, it’s schmaltzy. It’s sentimental, and kinda silly, and (even for its time) old fashioned. I still love it, and watch it just about every year. Jimmy Stewart (a honey back then, I think), Donna Reed and a bunch of other just plain folks playing out a drama about the difference one man can make in the world, and the rewards of being a good guy.

Since Mr. Otter and I are both librarians, we LOVE the scene where Jimmy Stewart forces Clarence to tell him where the woman he would have married is, and after refusing to tell, saying that it’s too horrible, Clarence finally admits that…she’s just now…CLOSING THE LIBRARY!!! And of course she’s a hideous spinster librarian who is afraid to even have a strange man speak to her. We quote right along with that scene, laughing hysterically.

But it is a lovely movie, a slice of small town America and a time and place that vanished long ago, a story about Everyman (or at least the kind of man that many of us would hope to be able to be) and the need to resist the temptation to despair.

Pull up the couch, pour some eggnog and grab the kleenex, you’ll need them.

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