COMEDY GOLD #20: George meets Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

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Well, here it is, the 20th and last ever COMEDY GOLD (booo!). Like DOUBLE BILL last year, I thought I’d end this series of posts on a positive note. And what better way to do that than with the most uplifting movie of all time? That’s right, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946, dir. Frank Capra) is the last featured movie on COMEDY GOLD, and Clarence (Henry Travers) gets the spotlight.

In this scene, Clarence has just been rescued by George Bailey (James Stewart in an Oscar-nominated performance) after deliberately jumping in the river in order to save George himself – we all know the story by now, right? As Clarence explains who he is and why he did what he did – he’s an angel trying to get his wings -, the reactions of both George and the tollhouse keeper (Tom Fadden) are priceless, especially considering how non-chalant Clarence is about the whole ordeal. Towards the end of the scene, Clarence has granted George his wish of never having been born, and the movie takes an even darker turn, but for a while there, it goes from drama to comedy to drama again in such a seemingly natural way, while also establishing Clarence and George’s relationship, creating a sort of banter between them in the process. This moment showcases It’s a Wonderful Life’s ability to balance drama, comedy and fantasy better than arguably any other in the film, while delivering its now iconic message. As per usual, you will read this on every film blog out there throughout December, but… it truly is the ultimate Christmas film (sorry, Die Harders).

8 thoughts on “COMEDY GOLD #20: George meets Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

  1. Mike Noonan

    Thanks Carol, my favorite film. A great scene from a great movie. Henry travers was perfect in the role. I remember Capra once said if you have a message it needs to be entertaining as well to get your point across.. will miss comedy gold🤣

    Liked by 2 people

  2. John A. Rizzo

    That’s beautiful Carol. I’m glad you are a fan of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, it has long been one of my favorites.

    I’d love to know if you have any thoughts on the noirish aspects of IAWL.  Have a Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John! 😀
      There are some elements but you could say that about nearly every film, if you really stretch it. I don’t particularly think there’s anything to be said about it, no more than any other film, though that may be slightly simplistic.
      Merry Christmas to you too!! 😀


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