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It's A Wonderful Life

Screening on Film
Directed by Frank Capra.
With James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore.
US, 1947, 35mm, black & white, 130 min.
Print source: Paramount Pictures

I didn’t give a film-clip whether critics hailed or hooted Wonderful Life. I thought it was the greatest film I had ever made. Better yet, I thought it was the greatest film anybody ever made. It wasn’t made for the oh-so-bored critics, or the oh-so-jaded literati. It was my kind of film for my kind of people; the motion picture I had wanted to make since I first peered into a movie camera’s eyepiece in that San Francisco Jewish gymnasium.

A film to tell the weary, the disheartened, and the disillusioned; the wino, the junkie, the prostitute; those behind prison walls and those behind Iron Curtains, that no man is a failure!

To show those born slow of foot or slow of mind, those oldest sisters condemned to spinsterhood, and those oldest sons condemned to unschooled toil, that each man’s life touches so many other lives [...].

A film that expressed its love for the homeless and the loveless; for her whose cross is heavy and him whose touch is ashes … I wanted to shout, ‘You are the salt of the earth. And It’s a Wonderful Life is my memorial to you!’ — FC

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