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Against Capra’s Critics: In Defense of <i>It&#8217;s a Wonderful Life</i> ARTICLE

Against Capra’s Critics: In Defense of It’s a Wonderful Life

Perhaps the most beloved of Christmas movies, Frank Capra’s sleeper classic It’s a Wonderful Life has inevitably become a target of seasonal, iconoclastic culture-warmongering.

REVIEW

Platinum Blonde (1931)

This theme of romantically linking an upper-class society girl and a man beneath her station would become a popular device in screwball comedies, appealing to Depression audiences both as escapist entertainment and as satire of the idle rich and celebration of the hardworking poor.

REVIEW

It Happened One Night (1934)

She’s fleeing from her concerned father (Walter Connolly) and returning to the shiftless beau (Jameson Thomas) she married in a civil ceremony to spite her father (who had her whisked away from the service, so it’s not final legally or sacramentally).

It&#8217;s a Wonderful Life REVIEW

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

The truth is that It’s a Wonderful Life is both darker and more subversive than its popular reputation as cheery holiday “Capra-corn” would suggest, and more robustly hopeful than cynics and hipster deconstructionists would have it.