“It’s a Wonderful Life” can Never be Duplicated
As Christmas arrives we settle in to watch one of the most famous seasonal films of all time, Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a film that never can — and never should — be repeated in a sequel.
The lump of coal this year goes to Allen J. Schwalb of Star Partners and Bob Farnsworth of Hummingbird, who are planning on making a sequel to the 1946 timeless classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
Sixty-seven years ago Frank Capra released his iconic movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” to theaters, which starred James Stewart and Donna Reed.
At first, the film was not a success.
The producers rushed to release the film before the year ended in 1946, so it could have a chance at the Oscars.
The film premiered at Globe Theatre in New York on Dec. 20, 1946, and received mixed reviews from critics.
After the film was released, it performed poorly at the box office due to stiff competition and high production cost. The film only grossed $3.3 million while its budget was $3.8 million.
The film was nominated for five Oscars but did not win a single award. “It’s a Wonderful Life” lost Best Picture to “The Best Years of Our Lives.”
The late 1970s became a turning point for the film as it became a television staple during the Christmas season and has been shown every year since then.
After that, it became a tradition for many families to sit down and watch the film every year on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
In 1998, the American Film Institute put “It’s A Wonderful Life” on the list of the 100 best American films ever made and placed it at No. 11.
The film finally gained attention over many years and is now considered a classic.
On Nov. 18, Schwalb and Farnsworth decided it would be a good idea to make a sequel and aim for it to be released during the 2015 holiday season.
Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey’s daughter Zuzu in the first film, is supposed to reprise her role in the sequel.
Grimes, 73, has not acted in decades and her last film was in 1952, “Hans Christian Anderson.”
According to Variety, “the story will show Zuzu, now as an angel, who shows Bailey’s unlikeable grandson (also named George Bailey) what his life would be like if he had never been born.”
These are my five main reasons why the sequel is a bad idea:
1) It has been nearly 70 years since the first film, so why start now?
2) Almost all of the original actors have passed away and no one could ever replace James Stewart and Donna Reed.
Even the character Zuzu has passed, but apparently comes back as an angel. Jimmy Stewart is probably rolling in his grave by now.
3) The sequel will be titled, “It’s A Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story,” and this is probably one of the worst titles ever given to a sequel in recent Hollywood history.
4) This sequel will most likely be in color so it will not have the same special feeling as the first film did in its classic black and white.
5) Lastly, the plot sounds lazy and unoriginal. The new story is basically the same story as, “A Christmas Carol,” but with the title, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” slapped on it.
According to Grimes, “The new film will retain the feeling of the original, and it simply must be shared.” Only time will tell.
According to Times, Paramount released a statement concerning this issue, and this is good news.
“No project relating to, ‘It’s A Wonderful Life,’ can proceed without a license from Paramount. To date, these individuals have not obtained any of the necessary rights, and we would take all appropriate steps to protect those rights,” according to the Associate Press.
Hopefully, Schwalb and Farnsworth do not get these rights and this sequel idea will be scrapped, but if for some reason it gets a green light there will be no bells ringing that 2015 Christmas season.
There are some movies that should never have sequels and I believe “It’s A Wonderful Life” is one of those movies.