Its a Wonderful Life
Francis DavidSeeking the American HeroOne snowy night, the inhabitants of Bedford Falls pray for their fellow citizen, George Bailey. The film looks back over his life. As a young man, he turns down his father’s suggestion that he should take over the family savings and loan business, preferring to travel before training as an engineer. Potter is a banker and the town’s most prominent businessman, whose opposition to the Bailey family is placated with a seat on the board. The death of George’s father changes everything.To prevent Potter from closing the business, George takes charge while his brother goes to college. After marrying his teenage sweetheart, Mary, George discovers that the bank has precipitated a run on the company by calling in the loans. He reassures worried investors that their money is secured in property. Those who are still nervous are repaid using cash intended for the honeymoon. His strategy works and the business is saved.Potter’s income from rents declines because people are buying homes with the help of Bailey’s company. As George is the company’s lynchpin, Potter tries to buy him off by offering him a job as manager in the bank. George refuses. When he returns home to tell Mary of the offer, she reveals that she is pregnant.George’s brother, Harry, becomes a decorated naval flyer during the Second World War and the hero of Bedford Falls, while George continues to run the business. Christmas approaches and Uncle Billy goes to the bank with the company’s takings. There he is distracted by reading of Harry’s exploits. The copy of the newspaper belongs to Potter, who subsequently finds the money among the pages. He says nothing. A distraught Billy confesses to George that the money is lost, while a bank examiner chooses that day to examine the books. George is forced to appeal to Potter for help. The banker refuses. As George prepares to kill himself, an angel named Clarence intervenes.In response to George’s wish that he had never been born, Clarence shows him what the town would have become without him. It is filled with bars and gambling clubs. The Bailey family business has long since disappeared. Harry is dead because George was not there as a child to rescue him from a frozen lake. Mary is unmarried. When George tries to talk to her, she becomes alarmed. The men of the town turn on him and he is forced to flee. The experience makes George decide to live. He returns home to find that the townspeople have clubbed together to make good the company’s loss. They all then celebrate Christmas.By: Francis DavidFrancis helps people learn about DISH TV
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