Sunday, December 25, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life

Steven and Friends by paynehollow
Steven and Friends, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.

I recently learned that, in the 1940s, the FBI considered the old Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life a piece of communist propaganda.

Of course they did.

From a 1947 FBI memo...

With regard to the picture “It’s a Wonderful Life”, [redacted] stated in substance that the film represented rather obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a “scrooge-type” so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick used by Communists...

In addition, [redacted] stated that, in his opinion, this picture deliberately maligned the upper class, attempting to show the people who had money were mean and despicable characters...

I love this movie and its message. It's one of my favorites. I thought this Christmas morning, I'd offer one of the wonderful quotes from that wonderful old movie that the FBI apparently found questionable...

[George Bailey, speaking to the bankers about the possible closing of his father's tiny savings and loans business:]

...Why, in the 25 years since he and his brother, Uncle Billy, started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn't that right, Uncle Billy? He didn't save enough money to send Harry away to college, let alone me.

But he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mr. Potter, and what's wrong with that?

Why... here, you're all businessmen here. Doesn't it make them better citizens? Doesn't it make them better customers? You... you said... what'd you say a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what?

Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they're so old and broken down that they... Do you know how long it takes a working man to save $5,000?

Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about... they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?

Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him. But to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well in my book, my father died a much richer man than you'll ever be!

And on an unrelated note, last year at this time, we were celebrating our kids' first self-produced CD of songs. It was made on the cheap and with some sound problems, but it was a delightful Christmas gift to us.

This year, believe it or not, the band our kids is in (Beady) is celebrating the news that they have been signed to a local recording label!

How about that?

Merry Christmas, everyone.


Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Merry Christmas, Dan, and that is wonderful news! Keep us updated.

John Farrier said...

And that's not all. Why do you think that Rudolph has a red nose? And leads his comrades with it? It's a metaphor, I tells ya.