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“It’s a Wonderful Life” Movie by Frank Capra

Introduction

The impact of old written works, which have remained till now, on modern film and book industry is great. The ancient writings are taken as the basis for modern stories. Bible is one of the main references which authors use as the base for their stories. Bible motives may be seen in lots of books and films. The reason for this is people’s awareness about Bible and their absolute belief in its canons. Biblical themes have always been chosen to show something true, good and nice. The issues which are written in Bible do not need to be proved, they are taken for granted. Biblical themes are known to everybody and people easily understand the context of the film plot, when Biblical themes are taken.

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Discussion

The film under consideration is “It’s a Wonderful Life” by Frank Capra. The film is based on the short story “The Greatest Gift” written by Philip Van Doren Stern. The film is a light and wonderful presentation of the worth of person’s life. The cast and the characters of the movie are chosen so carefully and proper, that there is no any chance to leave this film without attention.

People should always live with dream and the very dream helps them to sustain some difficulties which often happen in life. People always have some plans and dreams, they want to reach something what could please them and bring notes of satisfaction into their lives. People think that their life has lost its sense when they understand that their main aim is unreached. They become to think that their lives went through, that all what they did was in vane and the only thing which they could do is to release the Earth from their body. People usually do not understand and do not remember all their good actions, they do not want to accept the idea that their lives were not in vane, moreover, that their lives were useful for somebody.

This very concept is given in the film “It’s a Wonderful Life” by Frank Capra. George Bailey thought that his life was a mess, that the only way out is to leave it. The film is great collaboration of Bible and real life.

The story teller is the angel, who was aimed to save George Bailey. It is also an opportunity for Clarence Odbody, an angel, to receive his wings. This angel has to show George Bailey his life from the side, to show all good actions which he had provided and then to prove him that his life was not in vane, that his live brought some profit. Angel reminds George Bailey how he had saved life of his brother and of one more boy in the hospital. These events were present in his life and he was useful to others.

The travelling around George Bailey’s life brought him back the desire to live. He understood that his life was useful and for this people should live, to understand at the end that their lives worth being continued. Angel showed George Bailey the other life, the life where he was not present. The city was different, the people there were different! This event shows that all people are interconnected, that all their actions, thoughts and intentions are the huge part of one single idea, the Universe.

One of the main themes of the film is a connection of all people’s destinies. People’s lives do not go singe, they usually connected with lots of other people’s destinies, what creates a unity of all people. This film shows the “connection story with the world, this advanced social fantasy is designed to allow the audience to see, and to compare in great detail, two distinct versions of as entire town” (Truby 2007-196).

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The other important Biblical theme, which is raised in the film, is the theme of resurrection. The events in the film take place in Christmas Eve, a religious holiday, the day when Christ was born. The resurrection turns more to Easter, when Christ resurrected. The resurrection in the film is a very important event which has a very profound meaning. Person, in our case George Bailey, has understood that he was mistaken, that his understanding of life was confused before and he has an opportunity for the other chance. George Bailey wants to live another life, taking into consideration all his knowledge which he ha possessed from angel.

Angel, Christmas, and resurrection – all these notions are religious. There are a lot of films where we may meet these notions, but their meaning is the same everywhere. Bible is one and it is not in our power to re-interpret or re-write it. The main reason, why Biblical themes are chosen for films, is that all Biblical events are familiar to people. People watch film and they can predict some events, which are connected with Biblical themes and these themes will never bother people as there is no border to people’s perfection, even if they thin they are perfect.

There is one more reason why directors like to shoot movies with Biblical themes. Bible themes are immortal. The issues which are raised in Bible were up to date many years ago and continue to remain up to date now. Sins, prayers, confessions are themes which are very important in people‘s life. Ethics in religion is the collection of norms and issues which people should follow in their every day life.

The old works, Bible in our case, impact the new, modern works intuitively, as these old themes stay inside us, they are in our conscious and it comes for itself that film directors and book authors take up these ideas for their creations. From our very birth we are taught that we should follow Bible, that we should remember it as it is the mode of behavior for us, people, that this is a sacred book which words should be taken for granted.

The film “It is a Wonderful Life” is a great teacher of Bible. This film shows some ideas and notions which people should know in order to life godly life. This film teaches to love live, to percept oneself as a part of the whole universe and not a single unique substance. This book teaches to believe in best, to believe that there is nothing accidental, that all in life has its own order and this order prevents to establish chaos on the Earth.

George Bailey wanted to find truth, he wanted either to die or to prove himself that his life worth living. The understanding of that gave him an opportunity to continue his life, to resurrect. It is impossible to have all childish dreams come true (as George Bailey wanted), but there is the opportunity to live for something more valuable and significant.

The central message of the film is to serve “as a much-needed annual reminder of the profound and positive impact that each of us has on the lives of others” (Willian 2006). People watch this wonderful film on the Christmas Eve in order to entertain themselves, but the aim of this film is deeper. People even do not notice that their lives fulfill with sense, that they seem to experience the same events and feelings with George Bailey.

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The whole story is sodden with religion in this or that manner. The plot, the characters, the events all this support the idea of Biblical themes in the film. This film raises very serious problem, the “spiritual redemption… spiritual salvation… dramatic depiction of angels, prayer, and the Christmas setting itself” (Riccomini 2009). The topic of the film is Christian in its very nature.

Summary

In sum, there are a lot of films, which take the theme of Bible as the basis. Bible is not the only theme which is usually used in films and books. The ancient myths, stories, folklore are the most popular basis which is taken for film or book. The reason is that people got used to listen to folklore and myths in their childhood, they study Bible from youth and while watching these films they consider them to be familiar. Religion based films play two roles: they teach people the ethics and morality and at the same time it gives people power to survive in this cruel and injustice world.

Works Cited

Riccomini, R. Donald. Christian Signature and Archetype in Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Journal of Religion and Film. Vol. 13, no. 1. 2009.

Truby, John. The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller. Macmillan, 2007.

Willian, Michael. The essential “It’s a wonderful life”: a scene-by-scene guide to the classic film. Chicago Review Press, 2006.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 30). “It’s a Wonderful Life” Movie by Frank Capra. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/its-a-wonderful-life-movie-by-frank-capra/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 30). “It’s a Wonderful Life” Movie by Frank Capra. https://studycorgi.com/its-a-wonderful-life-movie-by-frank-capra/

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"“It’s a Wonderful Life” Movie by Frank Capra." StudyCorgi, 30 Oct. 2021, studycorgi.com/its-a-wonderful-life-movie-by-frank-capra/.

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StudyCorgi. "“It’s a Wonderful Life” Movie by Frank Capra." October 30, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/its-a-wonderful-life-movie-by-frank-capra/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "“It’s a Wonderful Life” Movie by Frank Capra." October 30, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/its-a-wonderful-life-movie-by-frank-capra/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) '“It’s a Wonderful Life” Movie by Frank Capra'. 30 October.

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