Editors’ Note: Recently our Executive Editor, Kevin Price, was thinking about his favorite Christmas Movie. A Christmas Carol is one of his all time favorite Christmas movies, but It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story are among his favorites.. We found this interesting article on the topic and it is posted here with permission.
By Jon Griffin, Special for USADT.
It’s no surprise that the Christmas season is a great time of year for movie lovers of all ages. There are quite a few annual television and film classics that continue to stand the test of time year after year. There are also quite a few animated Christmas specials that have not made an appearance in quite a long time. One example I can think of is the Flintstone’s Christmas special so many enjoy when it aired. It has never been given a DVD release, and trying to find it on television isn’t an option these days.
Luckily for us there are quite a few classic specials that come back every year. With masterpieces such The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol (My favorite has always been the 1951 Alastair Sim version), or even The Long Eared Donkey there is always something to watch around the holidays. If I had to choose my favorite Christmas film of all time I would have to say the Frank Capra masterpiece It’s a Wonderful Life takes the prize.
A Brief History of the Film
You may not be aware of this, but many fans would be surprised to know that the film itself was released in July. The original idea for the film was in fact to not make it a Christmas story despite the holiday setting that took place at the end of the movie. The film itself spans several months and is not meant to focus around the Christmas season. It was brought to the theatres without much advertising at the time and was also panned by critics for its heavy plot and what they called a sappy ending. Looking back you would think that this film was a huge failure in the career of Frank Capra, but that all changed a few decades later.
Realizing that the film concluded during the Christmas season it was repackaged and aired by the television networks as part of their holiday programming. By focusing on the holiday spirit of the film, it started to see quite a positive response from its audience. The response to the film has been so positive that it has actually been named the most popular Christmas film in history time and time again.
Why is it so Popular?
People can really relate to the films message that no small deed is accomplished without having a profound effect on someone else. This timeless and poignant message is the main reason why It’s a Wonderful Life continues to gain new fans year after year, and will continue to do so for generations to come. This timeless film classic deserves all the praise and admiration it has received.