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75th Anniversary of It’s a Wonderful Life

By Lori Perkins

It’s hard to believe that the Frank Capra classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, is 75 years old. I’ve been watching it at Christmas time for years (because there was a copyright registration glitch in the ‘80s that allowed television stations throughout the country to play it nonstop without paying fees) and suddenly realized that I have never seen it in a movie theater. But that issue was solved this year, because Fathom Events is hosting holiday showings of the movie at select theatres throughout the country, and tonight is one of the nights it is being shown in New York.

I also remembered that there was what I thought was an update of the movie that ran when I was a kid featuring Marlo Thomas in the George Bailey role. I remember thinking that was pretty radical at the time, but I rewatched It Happened One Christmas (1977) this week and found it to be a pretty boring remake, almost scene for scene, but the angel Clarence was played as Clara by Cloris Leachman and Mr. Potter was played by Orson Welles.

I also learned that there were three other remakes/updates – Merry Christmas, George Bailey (1997), The Christmas Spirit (2013) and Adam Sandler’s Click (2006), so maybe I have some holiday viewing ahead!

Or you can always rewatch the classic SNL parody from 2013.


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