Mary Travers

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It’s A Wonderful Movie

It's A Wonderful Life (1946) began as a short story called "The Greatest Gift". Writer Philip Van Doren Stern was able to sell it to a publisher, that he sent the story as a long Christmas card to friends. His agent subsequently sold the fable of RKO Pictures, where it went through several transformations. Have in a version a losing political candidate contemplated suicide, to remain only an angel to convince him and do good works. Finally fell into the hands of the DirectorFrank Capra who cried when he read it, said it was the story he had been looking for all his life, and purchased it to be the first project for his new production company, Liberty Films.

To play the unassuming savings and loan clerk, Capra wanted Jimmy Stewart who he had previously worked with in You Can’t Take It With You (1938) and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939). But coming back from World War II, the thirty-seven year old Stewart was no longer the easy going man about town he had was in the thirties. The former Oscar winner for The Philadelphia Story (led 1940), a man in bomb attacks in the European theater to maneuver in difficult-to B-24s. The loud engines damaged his hearing in later years, the people, when people would greet him, and he would not respond, some would mistake his deafness for a cold personality. He was uncertain after five years away from the screen, if he still wanted to be in the movies. Sometimes the job is so it seemedhumiliating. In 1943 when Stewart had tried to stay in the best hotel in Madrid, he was turned away because he was an actor. He went back to the air force base, got his Lieutenant Colonel’s uniform and then they let him in.

When he returned to Southern California in 1945 Stewart took things easy. He refused to re-sign with his old studio MGM, despite tearful requests to do so from the hammy Louis B. Mayer. He was content to spend time flying kites and building model planes with Henry Fonda. When Capra came to his pitch Stewart looked bored, out of him what the manager losing the trust. "Well Jim, it's about to commit a savings and loan associations clerk who wants to commit suicide. There is an angel named Clarence, who wants what life without him … Aw were forgotten shows, it is a stupid idea." Capra can be turned on when Stewart his hand on his shoulder. "Frank, if you want, I'm your man." At least that's how the film is told journalists.

Stewartwas morose and insecure as filming began. Then he went to serve, Hollywood had a new leading men like Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck, who were around seven years younger than he was found. Some scenes called for the now graying actor, still in high school. He felt ridiculous and plastic surgery. But he was very different from his co-star Donna Reed who encouraged him, while helped. In the romantic scene where George (Stewart) and Mary (Reed) declared their love to each other,Capra Stewart joked, was so nervous he wrapped a phone chord around her, so he would not run away. James was also on the movie villain Lionel Barrymore who have contributed to a wheelchair because of crippling arthritis limited. "My son, I want to enjoy yourself. Do not you know you can make people happier than a movie star than you ever shoot it on an airplane."

In the 1930s, had worked Capra at Columbia Pictures, which by the autocratic Harry Cohn who has long reigned as the lowestMan in Hollywood. The Mogul always the entire studio electronically bugged, displayed a huge portrait of Mussolini in his office, and uses an electric chair to give unsuspecting victims of sudden jolts. Capra had once sat, got a shock and anger, smashes the chair to bits. When filming began on It's A Wonderful Life, Capra Cohn happy to be free, but nervous. Now his own money was a part of the investment. For the preparation of working movie sets fun places to acquaintances, he was initiallygrumpy and irritable with his cast and rod shooting of a snowy, Christmas movie will not help morale in over a hundred degree heat in Encino. Many of the fallen heavily dressed actors fainted. But there were beautiful moments. One scene required Mary to throw a rock through an old mansion window and a wish. Capra had a marksman ready off camera but to his delight Reed shattered the glass on its own feet. She turned to him and said: "Why so surprised?" Do not you think a girl would Iowa FarmKnow-how to play baseball? "

Since the shooting Capra progress back his confidence. He disdained special effects, has Oddbody when the angel Clarence (Henry Travers), his magic, rather tell the story of the faces of his actors. The Director began believe he made the best movie of all time. Then his mood lightened, the company picnic and enjoyed singing in the crowd, were the hallmarks of the earlier films Capra.

Dark is wanted comedy like Dean Martin, the countryand Jerry Lewis. For dates, came from Wonderful Life as a depression film rather than a post war film. For whatever reason, the three-million-dollar production back to their money. Capra chose to call for his tent triggered shortly after the release of the movie Liberty Films, "The fastest way to go broke a man who has ever developed." Stewart panicked. The ex-war hero got a call from his agent. "Donna Reed, the co-operation with you. She wants to do it again." "No way. This girl isbewitched. "June Allyson became his leading lady of choice playing his wife five times. Decades later he would be the performance of a confused Donna Reed for making Wonderful Life high praise." My God, "she said to her friends." He certainly didn 't say that when it came out. "

The years passed. From that point on Capra, willing to risk either his own money or work for someone else to work only very few films. Stewart decided to portray a stronger image on the screen. He refused to play in war moviessaying they were unrealistic, but decided to tough, gritty Western like "The Man From Laramie (1954), which beat him rich and John Wayne as a number of the nation is a box office star helped. Reed back her career, winning an Academy Award for playing a prostitute in From Here To Eternity (1953) and was one of the healthy mothers television. And It's A Wonderful Life fell out into the public domain in 1973 because no one renewed the copyright. The film has been forgottenshown repeatedly on almost all cable TV station, finally a large audience and was a perennial Christmas Classic.

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October 3, 2009 - Posted by | Mary Travers Articles |

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