Bedford Falls, a Different Look
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
(SNN) The film was a disappointment when it was first released, and it was almost entirely forgotten. It entered the public domain in 1974 and gained popularity as television networks began playing it to skirt paying royalties on Christmas programming. It’s been listed amongst the best films of all time. There are very few people who would disapprove of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ becoming a fundamental part of Christmas.
the movie seems to have very little to do the Birth of Christ, Santa Claus or even presents.
One of these people is Benny Dorenstern. Dorenstern is the author of “Why Not Potterville? A Conservative Prospective” a critical analysis of the story from the standpoint of a contemporary conservative.
Dorenstern’s book points out that the movie seems to have very little to do the Birth of Christ, Santa Claus or even presents. “The first thing you should remember is that despite the fact that the movie takes place on Christmas Eve, the ‘good people’ of Bedford Falls aren’t in church. While the movie is dubbed a Christmas classic, it has very little to do with how actual people spend their Christmas Eve.”
George Bailey was a bad businessman and it was his personal responsibility to fix his problems.
But the main problem that Dorenstern has with the movie is the Christmas miracle itself. “George Bailey was a bad businessman and it was his personal responsibility to fix his problems. He was the one who ultimately made the decision that his Drunken, Ted Kennedy like, Uncle Billy could courier money for the building and loan. The idea that his customers would come to him and help him out of the kindness of their hearts reeks of communism.”
The book also points out several passages which it considers communist and liberal. A favorite passage to site is this speech given by George Bailey to Mr. Potter, “Just remember this, Mr. Potter: that this rabble you're talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath.”
But Dornestern does not assess blame on George Bailey alone. “The people of Bedford Falls were foolish to invest their money with Bailey’s broken down building and loan. They complained that the property owners of Potter’s field ‘lived like pigs’ a term communists often applied to visionary capitalistic investors. If they had allowed Potter the capital, Potter’s field would have far surpassed Bailey Park. Plus the people would have had the security of knowing that their money was in a proper bank, not one run by drunken communists.”