by Julian Spivey
It’s the most wonderful time of the year where we all gather as families (though, unless they’re already in your bubble we don’t recommend that this year), decorate the house and tree with Christmas lights and ornaments and sit down in front of our television screens with a nice hot cup of cocoa to watch some of our many favorite Christmas movies. This year The Word is celebrating 12 Days of Christmas Movies with our favorites to watch around the happiest time of the year. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do and if you haven’t seen them be sure to seek them out.
My personal favorite Christmas classic is Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which one could argue isn’t even really a Christmas movie if they like, as it’s merely set around the holiday – but if “Die Hard” gets to be a Christmas movie than “It’s a Wonderful Life” certainly does. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is also the only film in our 12 Days of Christmas Movies series that is considered one of the 100 Greatest American Films Ever Made by the American Film Institute, ranking at no. 20. The film is essentially a play on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with James Stewart’s George Bailey in the Scrooge role and Henry Travers as guardian angel Clarence Odbody serving as the ghosts from the Dickens tale. Bailey has given up on his dreams and is going to kill himself by jumping off a bridge on Christmas Eve – yeah, it’s heavy for a Christmas movie, but they can’t all be “Elf” – before Clarence shows him how life would’ve changed for the worse had he not been in it. The story of how “It’s a Wonderful Life” became a yearly tradition for many is quite unique. Due to a clerical error in the mid-‘70s, “It’s a Wonderful Life” slipped into the public domain, meaning it could be shown basically anywhere without licensing or royalty fees and television broadcasters everywhere played it essentially on repeat until the movie basically became part of Christmas viewing tradition as a result.
"It's a Wonderful Life" can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.