Civil Discourse Now

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Why make a sequel to "It's a Wonderful Life"?

   An item on Yahoo reports "It's a Wonderful Life" will have a sequel. The 1946 film, directed by Frank Capra, starred Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. The American Film Institute named it one of the 100 Best Films made.

   There is no mention of Capra in the article. There is mention, however, of the way in which the producers want to capture the original spirit of the 1946 flick. Apparently George Bailey's children relive the concept of what the world would be like had one or more of them not been born.

   There only is one movie that captures the original spirit of "It's a Wonderful Life." That movie is the 1946 classic "It's a Wonderful life." Re-makes and sequels seem never hit the mark. There are few exceptions. People are more comfortable with what they already know. Unfortunately, when studios cater to that fear of novelty, the studios only pass on mediocre (at best) works. If one ever has seen "Casablanca" with David Soul as Rick Blaine---well, that's the idea. The movies get over-written. The acting---no knock on David Soul as he was good in the original "Salem's Lot"---one understands the remake should not be compared to the original. The comparison has a tendency to embarrass the people involved in the remake. As for sequels, I was glad to speculate what happened to Marty McFly's kids at the end of "Back to the Future," Part I.

   "The Great Gatsby" has been shot half a dozen times, or thereabouts. No one adequately has been able to convert to film the images F. Scott Fitzgerald created in the written word. At least the Redford version made a good try.

   One sequel stands out, of course, and that's "Godfather, Part II." GF III, though, should have been left in the minds of those who market crap.

   There are a lot of scripts for new stories that could be shot for the budget about to be blown on "It's a Wonderful Life, or at Least I Thought It Was." The last part of the title of the sequel was my addition. If they screw up remakes as badly as they have, imagine what they would have done to the ending of "Some Like It Hot." Instead of Joe E. Brown's, "Nobody's perfect," we would have had some long exposition about gender roles and a bad one-liner.

   I know this is a "free market" system---right---and studios may do as they wish. They probably will wish they never had remade this film and had the people who pushed the idea jump into the icy river a la George Bailey, without an angel around to save him. Hey! There's an idea for a sequel!

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