1946: American actor James Stewart (1908 - 1997) as George Bailey, hugs actor Karolyn Grimes, who plays Zuzu his daughter, in a still from director Frank Capra's Christmas classic film, 'It's a Wonderful Life'. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
We all know what life in Bedford Falls would look like if George Bailey had never existed.
Oh dear God how we know. That stupid five-hour movie — What? It’s only about two hours? Really? — airs repeatedly every holiday season since the birth of Baby [snap, snap] Baby … what’s his name?
Really, when you stop to think about it, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is not about Christmas as much as it’s about a man’s desperation and redemption, with a little Heavenly Hamburger Helper thrown in. Ergo, the film screens at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 23, at the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station as part of the art house’s “Not Quite Christmas Movies” series.
Still, it might be good family fun to watch the movie in its big-screen glory — sans Norelco commercials — as it was intended … without a fast-forward button.