The Popcorn Stand: Yes, it is a wonderful life

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NBC is showing the classic “It’s A Wonderful Life” at 8 p.m. tonight. This is one of my all-time favorite movies because admittedly I identify with George Bailey’s struggles like I’m sure most of us do.

But when Frank Capra’s classic came out in 1946, studio executives had no idea how to market the film and here’s there futile attempt They actually tried to market the film as a romantic comedy and because of the fumbled marketing attempt, the film actually bombed at the box office.

If the film was released today this is actually how it would be marketed as shown in this “honest” trailer depicting what the film is actually about, providing a much darker preview for the movie

Although the film bombed at the box office, it became an integral part of our culture in the 1950s when it was shown over and over again on television, a practice that remained through the 1980s. I remember when I attended college it wasn’t uncommon for the movie to actually be on three to four times in a given night.

But that all changed, thankfully, in the 1990s. Without going into all the legal mumbo jumbo, the powers to be knew the movie was becoming to sanitized, so now NBC shows the movie only one to three times every year at Christmas, which I think is a wise decision.

I wished something like this could be done with the entire Christmas season, or should I say the HallowThanksMas season. I still enjoy this time of year, but this old fuddy, duddy still much prefers the more difficult (but better) days of his youth when Christmas was a lot more special before it became this sanitized two-month HalloThanksMas marathon.

But tonight’s now infrequent showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” will remind me maybe Christmas hasn’t become so sanitized after all.

— Charles Whisnand


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