Tag Archives: James Stewart

I forgot to write a title.

47. It’s A Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)

Somehow I managed to avoid this film until this past year. I think everybody has their one or two Christmas movies that they watch every year. I know “It’s A Wonderful Life” is the staple one for many people, my brother used to watch “Scrooge” on Christmas Eve, there’s also stuff like “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer“, or “The Charlie Brown Christmas“. I was always a fan of “Mickey’s Christmas Carol“, but I haven’t seen it in years. But the one movie I have to watch it “The Christmas Story“. Every year I watch it, I know it incredibly well, but I adore it. From Flick getting his tongue stuck to a pole, to the stupid leg lamp, to “I like Santa” kid, to Scott Farkus, to the Bumpus hounds, it’s just filled with tremendous stuff.

So about this movie…I watched it while drinking alot of wine on Thanksgiving…Canadian Thanksgiving. There were some curse words, but curse words generally mean I enjoyed the movie.

What I liked about the movie was that George Bailey was the kind of everyman you can get behind, he’s decent, charming, charismatic and most of all sympathetic. You identify with him wholly, and even when he is being taken advantage of you sympathize rather than think he’s a moron. Sometimes that happens where the supposed hero is either a retard or a dick and it ruins everything, but in this film, there is the right amount of awareness on Jimmy Stewart’s part that you get hooked.

I will admit that I got mad at this movie, I was swearing alot, first when Uncle Billy misplaces the money because he’s a fucking old idiot. When George is all getting pissed at him, I totally thought a good old fashioned curbstomping was in order, but it doesn’t happen. The rest of the cast even shames George, which is kind of disappointing, because Uncle Billy is the one who fucked up, and should suffer some punishment rather than getting absolved. Ignorance is not an excuse.

Then the fact that evil fucking Mr. Potter doesn’t give back the money or get punished in anyway, that makes me mad too. There’s not denying what a total douchebag Mr. Potter is, and then he doesn’t get what’s coming to him? Not cool man.

But other than that the movie is a lot of fun, and I look forward to watching it in the holiday context.

On filmaffinity.com I gave the film a 9/10 because it’s fun, uplifting and eminantly rewatchable.

Grace, c’mere! There’s a sinister-looking kid I want you to see.

41. Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)

Ranking Hitchcock:

  1. Rear Window
  2. Strangers on a Train
  3. Dial M for Murder
  4. North by Northwest
  5. The 39 Steps
  6. Notorious
  7. Psycho
  8. The Birds
  9. Shadow of a Doubt
  10. Rope
  11. The Lady Vanishes
  12. Marnie
  13. Vertigo
  14. Rebecca

I have seen more Hitchcock than any other director, partly due to his having 13 films on the list, and partly due to the fact that he is consistently excellent. Even the stuff I didn’t like, it’s still interesting.

Anyway I like “Rear Window” the best for several reason. I am a sucker for Jimmy Stewart, I love how he can be the everyman, but on the other he can say the craziest shit and still seem perfectly normal(see “Rope” and the “moon beams” speech from “It’s a Wonderful Life“. That and how his voice cracks when he speaks. Just awesome. Plus Grace Kelly is straight ballin’. Seriously she is a candidate for most beautiful woman ever.

So basically the film combines Jimmy Stewart’s awesomeness and Grace Kelly’s hotness, throws in some Thelma Ritter sass, and to top it all off, one of the most suspenseful screenplays ever. A simply astonishing film.

Plus it was the subject of a fantastic Simpsons episode. Really what more can a film do to get in my good graces.

The only issue I have with the film is that nothing can really compare with the first viewing(I was swearing and almost in tears, tears of awesomeness). The end sequence is so suspenseful upon first viewing, that once you know how it ends, the film loses a bit of muster. I think all thrillers kind of suffer the same fate. It’s the price you pay for making a thriller with a suspenseful ending.

On filmaffinity.com I gave the film a 9/10, it’s about as close to a 10 as I can think of, and chances are it will become a 10 if I watch it again. Just a fantastic movie.