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IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE – The world’s most favourite Christmas movie and its adaptation in Hindi Cinema. (Did You Know Facts of Hindi Cinema by Bobby Sing) (Movies To See Before You Die - Drama)

04 Apr, 2008 | Movies To See Before You Die / Drama

One of most loved and famous movies associated with Christmas, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE is a American fantasy comic drama released in 1946. Produced and directed by the renowned Frank Capra, the film enjoys a cult status due to many interesting facts related with its making and post release fame received years after its initial release.
The original story of the film is based upon a short story ‘The Greatest Gift’ that first appeared as a small booklet/Christmas greeting card privately published by its writer Philip Van Doren Stern around 1945. So this is probably the only film as an exceptional case in the history of cinema that actually got its idea from a Christmas greeting card. 
The story revolves around a frustrated businessman who has lost hope in life heading towards suicide on the Christmas Eve. Diving into the river, the man suddenly finds a god sent ‘Guardian Angel’ by his side who enlightens him about life and how it would have been, if he had never ever born or existed for anyone else. So the angel takes the man into the real life again where nobody even knows his name and the people are living without him as he never existed for them at all including the family members.
The message he gets from the entire enriching experience is that each gifted life has an importance of its own and nobody is insignificant here contributing his or her valuable bit celebrating life together.
The film reportedly didn’t do well on its initial release but became a famous classic in the later decades when it became free to air for anyone due to an unintentional glitch in its Copyrights registration (during 70s- 80s). The television channels repeatedly started airing it particularly in the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And the film slowly became a cherished Christmas tradition with families winning millions of hearts achieving a cult status of a yearly ritual, continuing even when the producers re-owned the rights back in the 90s.
A personal favourite of both its director Frank Capra and the lead actor James Stewart, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE got ranked as the #1 Most Inspirational Movie of All Time and among the Top 100 Greatest American Movies by the American Film Institute in their reputed listings. Interestingly it’s also the only film that was produced, directed and co-written by Frank Capra contributing in its screenplay, that got nominated in five major categories of Best Picture / Best Actor / Best Director / Best Sound Recording and Best Film Editing at the Academy Awards (OSCARS).
The high on emotions inspirational film had a fabulous direction of Frank Capra and praise worthy performances from the entire cast that later inspired two Hindi films post the 50s.
Naukri - Bobbby Talks Cinema Dot ComTaking the clue from its thoughtful plot Hrishikesh Mukherjee made his only fantasy movie NAUKRI in 1978 on the story written by Salil Chowdhury featuring Rajesh Khanna as the young man committing suicide and Raj Kapoor as his guarding angel enlightening him about the valuable gift of life. Post his suicide Raj takes Rajesh back to the world of living in order to show what difference his untimely death made to the life of his family members and how important was his presence for each one of them.
NAUKRI unfortunately didn’t work as one of the weakest attempt from the reputed director also vaguely mentioning the partition of India towards the end (the story was set around the same time period). But it was indeed a noble, thought provoking attempt bringing together Raj Kapoor and Rajesh Khanna on the screen for the very first time.
Incidentally, a similar story idea was earlier also adapted in the Hindi film PAHLI TARIKH (1954) directed by Raja Nene featuring Raja Nene, Nirupa Roy and Agha in the lead roles. The film was later remade in Tamil as MUDHAL THETHI in 1955 featuring Sivaji Ganesan in the lead.
Summing up, if you haven’t seen it yet then do celebrate Christmas by watching IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE together with your family this evening and cherish the gift of life.

Tags : Frank Capra, Its A Wonderful Life, James Stewart, Donna Reed, Christmas Celeberations, Movies To See Before You Die, Must See Movies List By Bobby Sing
04 Apr 2008 / Comment ( 0 )
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