20 Dec: It’s A Wonderful Premiere

Festive favourite ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ originated as a short story transcribed into Christmas cards by its author Philip Van Doren Stern. But it received disappointing box office returns following its premiere on 20th December, 1946 – and was not considered ‘a classic’ for decades.

In the 1970s someone at Paramount forgot to renew its copyright, so the film became free for any TV channel to broadcast – which they did, time after time after time after time, right up until 1993 – solidifying America’s relationship with Frank Capra’s movie each December.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly conduct a risk assessment on Beverly Hills High School’s ‘swim-gym’; ask if Jimmy Stewart gets off more lightly than Ebenezer Scrooge; and investigate the film’s little-known ‘90s sequel, ‘Clarence’…

Further Reading:

• ‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE – Official Trailer’ (Paramount, 1946): 

• ‘How Frank Capra’s ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ Became a Christmas Classic’ (History Hit, 2017): https://www.historyhit.com/1946-wonderful-life/

• ‘How ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ transformed the use of fake snow’ (NY Post, 2021): https://nypost.com/2021/11/17/how-its-a-wonderful-life-transformed-the-use-of-fake-snow/

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