Classic Movie Scenes: It’s a Wonderful Life

November 14, 2010

Today, we start a new periodic look at classic scenes from the movies and start us off on the best footing possible, I’ve chosen It’s a Wonderful Life. Life is one of the great films of all time, includes at least 15 or 20 memorable lines, and almost every scene in the film is a memorable one. Choosing just one of those scenes is a huge challenge but I know we’ll have others to discuss in the future so, today, I’ve chosen the one that always thrills me when I watch the film again.

At the end of the film, George Bailey (played by the inestimable James Stewart), opens a book that has been left for him by Clarence, his guardian angel. In the book, Clarence has inscribed: “Remember, George. No man is a failure who has friends.” In these difficult times, when so many of us are facing life crises that we never imagined we would experience, and when financial issues so forcefully take center stage, it’s so inspiring to realize that our friends and family are so much more important in the scheme of things than anything else.

In the same scene, George’s brother provides as a punctuation point to Clarence’s message as well when he makes a toast to George, who has been facing huge financial crises, bankruptcy, and even perhaps jail time for something he didn’t do. The toast:

“A toast to my big brother George: The richest man in town.”

Here’s to all the George and Mary Baileys of the world today. You will prevail.

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