Why “It’s a Wonderful Life” is anything but
Comic book fans know that Ethan Van Sciver is an amazing artist, but they might not know that he’s also an insightful film critic. Courtesy of Ethan’s Facebook page, here’s an iconoclastic take on a holiday classic:
Now that Christmas is over, we can discuss It’s A Wonderful Life, with all of its political and emotional horrors.
“Are you running a business or a charity ward? NOT WITH MY MONEY!!” -Potter.
Words that still ring true to Americans today. As George Bailey, put-upon martyr who eventually exploded on the beautiful family he somehow stumbled into, continued to make predatory loans to Italians who couldn’t possibly pay them back, turning his community into a garlicky slum that might collapse into utter depression at the loss of a 4-figure bank deposit, FINALLY does the right thing and tries to kill himself, we’re treated to a glimpse of life without him.
And life seems to be much better without him for everyone involved. “Potterville” is a jumpin’ town, thriving economically. A place for hot jazz, drinks, gambling. What’s missing? Nobody knows who George is. WHO CARES?
His “friend”, Sam Wainright, who George secretly hates, and betrays by stealing his girlfriend, continually tries to help George. He invites him to invest in a great scheme which eventually makes Sam wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. But George sneers and ignores the tip, condemning Sam’s former girlfriend, now George’s wife, to a life of poverty. And who saves the day for George at the end? Sam. Who George hates.
George Bailey is the bad guy, and if you like him, you’re a chump. Discuss.
P.S. All the best to Ethan’s wife Sharis, who had to spend Christmas in the hospital. Get well soon, Sharis!