"Christmas ... is not an eternal event at all, but a piece of one's home that one carries in one's heart..."
Friday, June 21, 2013
Thursday, June 20, 2013
I remember as a child waiting for It's a Wonderful Life to air the first week of December. It seemed like with the airing of that old movie, the outside world was acknowledging that, yes, it was Christmas season again. While I didn't understand much of what was happening - the war, the way the world can beat down a hard-working man like George Bailey, I delighted in watching George and Mary at the soda shop as children, watching them sing Buffalo Girls after falling in the swimming pool, and watching Clarence, the somewhat inept angel show George that it really is a wonderful life. Of course, the absolute highlight for me was always at the very end where the little girl utters the famous line, "Look Daddy, teacher says, every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings."
I stumbled upon another Capra movie one day in the middle of the summer. While it isn't as well known as It's a Wonderful Life, Meet John Doe is another one of those Christmas movies that leaves you feeling like maybe the world isn't quite so bad of a place after all.
Starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck, it's the story of a newspaper columnist who, in response to losing her job, fakes a letter from John Doe, a man who plans to commit suicide on Christmas Eve because of the state of the world. The letter strikes a chord and increases sales for the newspaper, and the columnist is rehired. The story really takes off when the paper decides to present John Doe to the world and several men come forward willing to claim the letter as their own, in particular a former baseball player with an old injury.
I won't say anymore lest I give anything away. If you have a chance to watch it, I recommend it. If not, here is an inspiring speech from John Doe.