Is this column the only one who hates this movie? Hates.
And is it a harbinger of the economic dystopia the country is currently facing?
Poor George Bailey. All he wants to do is leave the little town of Bedford Falls and see the world. But his father dies suddennly and certainly his alcoholic Uncle Billy can not run the Savings and Loan, Bailey’s S&L by himself.
So his younger brother goes to college. And then there is war. George is 4F because he is deaf in one ear. That happened during his childhood when he saved his brother from drowning.
The younger Bailey son becomes a war hero. He marries and is offered a wonderful career opportunity. George releases his sibling from the obligation of coming back to Bedford Falls and taking over the S&L so George could finally attend college.
He marries a beautiful young woman but is forced to forgo his honeymoon when there is a run on the bank and then the S&L. This is orchestrated by the evil Mr. Potter who wants to buy Bailey’s Savings and Loan. Then he, Potter, could control the town. Keep everyone poor and in substandard houses.
Mwa ha ha.
So George uses money saved for his honeymoon to stave off folks from closing their accounts. He keeps the institution open.
His wife renovates an old house and they have four children. On the day before the war hero brother will return to town, after meeting with the President of the United States, drunk and bragging Uncle Billy loses $8000 in deposits. Just as the bank examiners are in town.
Actually Potter stole it, when UB was distracted, talking about the Bailey son who was able to escape Bedford Falls and live his dream.
George realizes he is going to jail. Why him and not drunk UB? He remembers that due to an insurance policy, he is worth more dead than alive. George contemplates suicide, then wishes he never was born until his angel in training shows him what life would have been like if he had never lived.
Well, you know. You’ve seen the movie a dozen times or more.
Potter stole money. 8K in 1939 is worth about $130,000 or so today. Give or take.
George is saved by the town and the people that he had saved through his selfless actions.
But Potter got away with it. SNL skit notwithstanding.
With stealing money.
So, Clarence, an angel who finally got his wings…. Look at Wall Street today and see what Mr. Potter has wrought.