Saturday, 22 December 2007

The Christmas standard

The Little Theatre in Bath - a gem of an independent cinema that has survived since the 1930s despite the emergence of a city centre multiplex - showed the new print of It's A Wonderful Life this week to a full house, accompanied by mulled wine, minced pies and carols by local singers.
Frank Capra's dark but ultimately uplifting story about the difference that one person's life can make - in this case a small building society manager who survives against the odds - is as good as ever. I don't think I had seen the film for many years, despite the assumption that it is about every Christmas, but it is a truly great movie. James Stewart is magnificent as George Bailey with Lionel Barrymore as the nasty Mr Potter, a young Donna Reed as Bailey's wife and Henry Travers as the unlikely guardian angel. Released in early 1947, it sought to engender a spirit of post-war optimism, but Capra's idealistic small town America was probably doomed by that stage without too many nasty Mr Potters to speed up the process. Seeing it on the big screen is the perfect Christmas treat.

Blogging will be very light until the New Year. We're off to enjoy a white Christmas in Bavaria. Happy Christmas and all the best for 2008 to my regular readers.

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