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  1. There doesn't seem to be an existing thread for the film as such, but in the 'Humor' forum there is a thread on 'It's a Wonderful Life ... in 30 Seconds: THE BUNNIES ARE BACK.' - - - Jump, George, Jump! While watching the new colorization of �It's a Wonderful Life" on DVD - this time they got it right; no longer do you get the feeling you're watching a black-and-white film through stained glass - I thought: you know who would love this? Why, that visionary American innovator Henry F. Potter. That's right, Mr. Potter - the unsung hero of �It's a Wonderful Life," the canny businessman who tried (and, alas, failed) to turn boring, repressed Bedford Falls - a town full of drunks, child beaters, vandals and racial and sexual harassers - into an exciting new destination nightspot called Pottersville. . . . You know who doesn't commit any crimes in this movie? Mr. Potter. . . . In the Pottersville scene, the movie stacks the decks by putting a cemetery in the place of the Bailey Park development. Sorry, George, but without you, people still would have died in Bedford Falls - of boredom. That's because Bedford Falls lacks most of the bars, pool halls, bowling alleys and dance clubs that make Pottersville a lively city instead of a drab hamlet where the only entertainment is to see �The Bells of St. Mary's" at the local monoplex. Are we supposed to be outraged that Nick the Bartender, in Pottersville, says, �We serve hard drinks in here for men who like to get drunk fast"? What barman would say anything else when asked, as Clarence the Angel does, for �mulled wine, heavy on the cinnamon and light on the cloves"? Remember, the guy who slugs George in the bar does so in Bedford Falls, not Pottersville. . . . When the folks empty their pocket change and lint on the Baileys' table at the end, it doesn't look like nearly enough to cover an $8,000 shortfall. Not that it matters, since Sam Wainwright agrees to wire $25,000. In the end, the moral is: better to know one rich guy than a lot of losers. Kyle Smith, New York Post, November 25 It's a Destructive Life Yet, if there is a dark side of America, the film quite ably captures that aspect as well - and contrary to popular belief, it is found not solely in Mr. Potter. One sees a dark side represented by George Bailey himself: the optimist, the adventurer, the builder, the man who deeply hates the town that gives him sustenance, who craves nothing else but to get out of Bedford Falls and remake the world. Given its long-standing reputation as a nostalgic look at small-town life in the pre-war period, it is almost shocking to suggest that the film is one of the most potent, if unconscious critiques ever made of the American dream that was so often hatched in this small-town setting. For George Bailey, in fact, destroys the town that saves him in the end. . . . We also learn something far more sinister about Bailey Park toward the end of the film. . . . George confirms a horrific suspicion: Bailey Park has been built atop the old cemetery. Not only does George raze the trees, but he commits an act of unspeakable sacrilege. He obliterates a sacred symbol of Bedford Fall's connection with the past, the grave markers of the town's ancestors. George Bailey's vision of a modern America eliminates his links with his forebears, covers up the evidence of death, supplies people instead with private retreats of secluded isolation, and all at the expense of an intimate community, in life and in death. . . . A deep irony pervades the film at the moment of it joyous conclusion: as the developer of an antiseptic suburban subdivision, George Bailey is saved through the kinds of relationships nourished in his town that will be undermined and even precluded in the anomic community he builds as an adult. Patrick Deneen, December 23
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