A Wonderful Life Tickets
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A Wonderful Life
It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 film based on the short story, The Greatest Gift written by Philip Van Doren Stern. It is produced and directed by Frank Capra. It's a touching movie mostly consisting of flashbacks depicting the complete life of James Stewart as George Baily. It amply covers the personal relationship of George as well as the ways he has affected the community around him. It's a Wonderful Life was nominated for four of the five awards contrary to the modest box office returns.
Movie in a Glimpse. The time is shortly after Second World War and the area is the fictional town of Bedford Falls. James Stewart as George Bailey, attempts suicide on Christmas Eve and eventually catches the attention of Henry Travers who is a guardian angel by the name of Clarence Odbody (or Oddbody). The guardian angel is sent to help raise his morale and psychologically uplift him and thus saving his life. The movie encompasses complete life of George through flashbacks and narrated by Franklin. The Unseen Angels prepare Clarence for his mission to save George.
Story of The Story. The original story The Greatest Gift was written by Philip Van Doren Stern in November 1939. He was unable to impress any of the publishers he approached and got desperate after being unsuccessful for four years. The story got the attention of RKO producer David Hempstead after Doren Stern decided to convert it into a Christmas card, and mailed 200 copies to family and friends in December 1943. In April 1944 David Hempstead's RKO Pictures bought the rights to the story for $10,000 after showing it to Cary Grant's Hollywood agent.
Making of the Movie.
Filming of the movie started on April 15, 1946 and went exactly as per schedule ending on July 27, 1946. The RKO studio in Culver City was the hub of activities for shooting of It's a Wonderful Life. Bedford Falls, the fictional town was a four acres set comprising three separate parts with a main street stretching 300 yards, three city blocks with 75 stores and buildings, a tree-lined center parkway and 20 full grown oak trees. The set was extremely adaptable for depicting different seasons as per the requirements of the film.
It's a Wonderful Life premiered in New York on December 20, 1946 at the Globe Theatre and overall a modest box office result. Time magazine reviewed it as a wonderful movie contesting for the Hollywood's best picture of the year against The Best Years of Our Lives).
Nominations And Awards.
A massive advertisement cum promotional campaign preceded the release of the movie in Los Angeles by Liberty Films. This included a daily advertisement highlighting one of the film's players and comments from reviewers. The New York Daily Times also wrote an editorial in which it declared the film and James Stewart's performance, to be worthy of Academy Award consideration. It's a Wonderful Life received five Academy Award nominations:
- Best Actor for James Stewart
- Best Editing for William Hornbeck
- Best Director for Frank Capra
- Best Sound Recording for John Aalberg
- Best Picture for Frank Capra
It's a Wonderful Life is considered as the reality film which has tremendous influence value. Like Bruce Almighty and The Family Man where main characters have to struggle and reconcile with a past life.
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