September 19, 2014

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It’s a Wonderful Life is a wonderful movie
Written by Bill Baird   
Tuesday, November 06, 2012 10:59 PM

I popped the buttons on my shirt with pride when I watched our granddaughter Lexis Dole being honored as “Student of the Week” on WCPO-TV Channel 9 last week.

Lexis was born the month I had throat cancer. She is a senior at William Henry Harrison High School. I thought God played a bad trick on people when he let us grow old, but then He more than made up for it by giving us grandchildren like Lexis.

My later life with grandchildren has been the best years of my life. My sincere thanks to Union Central for sponsoring this program.

The year has passed so fast, I had forgotten I hadn’t heard from my favorite readers. I recently heard from reader Linda Bonkowski.

Linda is from the Harrison area and now lives in Manchester, Michigan. She is the daughter of the late Hallie Williams. Hallie was a saleslady for Maucher Realty.

My house was her first sale 50 years ago this past summer. Other readers I haven’t heard from in several months are child movie star Marilyn Knowlden of Newport Beach, Calif., and Larry Farsace, Rochester, N.Y. I hope all is well with these folks. Perhaps they can send me a note that they are OK.

My third movie that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime probably has been seen by most people with the exception of the very young.

For several years, it was continually shown throughout the Christmas season until someone bought the rights to the film.

Now you might see it once during the Christmas season. It is my number two all-time favorite film after

The Grapes of Wrath (1940). The film is It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) starring my movie hero as well as my number one World War II hero James Stewart (1908-1997) and the pretty girl next door Donna Reed (1921-1986).

My number one favorite director of feel good films Frank Capra (1897-1991) did a great job on this film about a guy seeing how the world would be if he hadn’t been born.

The film follows the life of George Bailey from about age 12 through the end of the war in 1945.

The film’s premise makes one wonder what the world would be like if they were never born.

Bumbling Uncle Billy played by Thomas Mitchell (1892-1962) misplaces the $8,000 bank deposit, which is found and kept by Banker Potter played by Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954).

The film ends with Potter keeping the money. In other words, he got away with stealing $8,000.

What if?

The TV program Saturday Night Life  did a skit in which Potter’s deed is discovered. They beat him up and toss him through the window.

They did a good job making their scenery look like the movie, and it is a good alternative ending.

Thank God the election is behind us, putting an end to the lying political TV commercials.
Since most of the candidates couldn’t say anything positive about themselves they had to tear down their opponents with lies.

If the money spent on these commercials was put to good use, such as helping the recent storm victims, wouldn’t that be great.

I think the president should return the taxpayer’s money he spent politicking on Air Force One which costs a ton of cash to operate.

Bill Baird is a Whitewater Township resident who writes a weekly column about old movies and Hollywood trivia.