December 12, 2013 |
In order to like or identify with a character, you have to feel sympathy for his plight. Take George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life . Whatever you may think of his stand against the Mr. Potters of the world, the movie hinges on whether an audience indulges his moment of self-pity on the bridge before he jumps. I mention Bailey because I have never felt sympathy for him and because The Story of My Life , now receiving an emotionally potent production at Delaware Theatre Company, borrows heavily from Frank Capra's film, if to ultimately different effect.
December 4, 2012 |
Given enough time, some wiseguy will eventually turn everything a culture holds dear into camp. For a current example, see People's Light's production of Steve Murray's This Wonderful Life . In fairness, Frank Capra's beloved film It's a Wonderful Life supplies plenty of fodder for a campy approach. Murray's one-person show bursts with snarky remarks or ridiculous exaggeration, picking on the movie's low-budget effects, poking fun at a young George Bailey's curious resemblance to Jimmy Stewart, noticing the cameo role played by Alfalfa from The Little Rascals , or ridiculing the mashed lips and smushed cheeks of George and Mary's first kiss.
April 29, 2012 |
Just as in It's a Wonderful Life , a "cash mob" of about 100 people crammed into the Newtown Hardware House on Saturday morning to help bail out the store and its popular owner. "It's like George Bailey - everything George did was for everyone in the town," said Michelle Knobloch, referring to the Frank Capra movie. "This is all for Dave Callahan. He is quietly philanthropic and giving in so many ways. " Callahan, who has run what he calls Bucks County's oldest hardware store for 27 years, represents "the integrity of this borough," Knobloch said.
May 18, 2008 |
When he returned home from World War II, Hollywood icon James Stewart was featured on the cover of Life magazine in front of the Indiana County courthouse. "In New York, Stewart refused a hero's welcome," the text read. "Instead, he drove to Indiana, Pa., 50 miles from Pittsburgh. There, in his parents' comfortable red-brick house overlooking the town, he slept late, played the piano and joked with his family about the old days. " Just plain folks. That was the Jimmy Stewart legend.
December 20, 2002 |
You've seen it more times than The Wizard of Oz, or maybe you've never managed to see it at all, but in either case there are two opportunities coming up to catch Frank Capra's dark and heart-stirring yuletide classic on the big screen. It's A Wonderful Life has become almost required viewing this time of year, with Jimmy Stewart turning in a signature performance as George Bailey, woebegone family man of Bedford Falls, who, on the brink of suicide, gets to see - thanks to a rather befuddled guardian angel - what would have happened if he had indeed jumped off that bridge.
December 22, 2000 |
"The Family Man" is a romantic fable, which is a polite way of saying it's full of bull. Case in point: In one scene, a hard-working suburban guy is offered a huge promotion, a spacious downtown penthouse, the best schools for his kids and enough money to erase health care and retirement worries forever. Good for him? No. This is a fable, and you can tell because his wife insists that he turn the job down and calls him a jerk for jeopardizing their paycheck-to-paycheck life in a cramped house in New Jersey.
July 3, 1997 |
Jimmy Stewart may be best remembered by movie fans as George Bailey, the lovable banker with low self-esteem in the classic "It's a Wonderful Life. " Credit for that can go to Stewart himself, who undoubtedly saw some of himself in the small-town family man, and to director Frank Capra, who put Stewart on a patriotic pedestal in more than one film. But throughout a career that spanned from the 1930s through the '70s, Stewart demonstrated a range that would perplex many of today's screen stars.
December 24, 1996 |
Perhaps you are sick and tired of Frank Capra's movie It's a Wonderful Life, most recently aired as an NBC special. Not me. In fact, I'd make a large claim for this dear, schmaltzy movie: It tells politicians almost everything they need to know as to how Americans think and feel about things that matter. For the handful of human beings who have never seen it, It's a Wonderful Life is the story of George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, a small-town guy desperate to see the world.
December 6, 1993 |
Picture the scene: An evening at Christmastime. The mythical town of Bedford Falls in the Jimmy Stewart movie It's a Wonderful Life. Children gathering quietly at the front porch of protagonist George Bailey's house. Bundled against the cold in scarves and caps, the youngsters hold candles as they jostle and whisper. Behind the wreathed door, the lights are bright with merriment. After a pause, the children lift their voices, filling the night air with "Jubilate Deo. " The door opens.