Double Dose Of Movie and Holiday Magic
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 11/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ready or not, the holiday season is here!(seems like it starts earlier every year). Okay, so if you are in need of a little boost to get your holiday spirit revved up, start here! You can never go wrong with these two wonderful films. It's a double dose of Movie and holiday magic(and Henry Travers!), but caution..you won't be able to lose that smile! (also prescribed for anytime of the year you need that feel good feeling!)
First up: "The Bells Of St Mary's"
A beautiful sequel to "Going My Way", is now a beautifully transferred to DVD. "The Bells of St.Mary's" is funny, poignant and will tug at your heart strings. Father O'Malley(Bing Crosby) has now been assigned to a parochial school that is in dire need of repairs. The school has no money and O'Malley's job is to assess the possibilities, of perhaps sending the children to another school.He meets with some tough opposition though, in the form of one Sister Benedict(Ingrid Bergman). She is the no nonsense type, and right away the two have some very different ideas on what's good for the kids.There is also the problem of a businessman(Henry Travers) who wants the building condemned so he can put up a parking lot for his own employees.Sister Benedict prays for miracle, will she get it?
The story and Ingrid Bergman are charming and delightful and will have you praying with her for that miracle.Bing's beautiful voice graces the film with song and Henry Travers(It's A Wonderful Life) is wonderful as always. It's not too often a sequel equals the original, but with the addition of Bergman, (along with some really adorable kids)and under the direction of Leo McCarey once again, this heart warming story has accomplished that.
This Silver Screens Classic DVD has done a really nice job with the remastering of this Black and White Classic.The film made in 1945 barely shows it's age. It is a nice clear picture, and the Dolby Digital Sound is good as well. It contains the original Theatrical Trailer, Has French and Spanish language tracks as well as subtitles, and has captioning in English.It also comes with a little brochure with some facts about the filming.If your looking for some great old classics that look great on DVD to add to your collection, this would be a good one.
And who could resist: "It's A Wonderful Life"
You do NOT have to wait until Christmas to open this gift. Now that Frank Capra's wonderful film from 1946 is on DVD, it may be enjoyed anytime of the year. "It's A Wonderful Life" is the feel good movie of the all time.It should be watched anytime you need a lift!(Okay, Okay , you can watch it at Christmas time too!).
ASC(Angel Second Class), Clarence Oddbody needs to get his wings.George Bailey is desperately in need of an Angel. So the powers up above arrange a meeting. It's a story made in heaven.
Clarence gets to view George Bailey's life from the time he was a young boy until the present, when George is having so many problems he thinks he would be better off if he'd never been born (it may be safe to say we have all had days like that!). We watch as George touches the lives of so many from boyhood to adulthood. He saves his brother's life,he stops his boss(a druggist) from making a fatal mistake, he saves the family business, "The Building and Loan Assoc" from the hands of the Scroogelike Mr. Potter, is friend and mentor to so many, and although never gets to follow his dreams of travel, settles down with the girl next door in his town, "Bedford Falls".
But things start going amiss for poor George,an accidental misplacement of a large sum of money, and the auditor showing up just at the wrong time, causes George to face loosing everything he THINKS is important. He's on the bridge, ready to pack it all in when his guardian angel Clarence shows up in the nick of time.Clarence shows George what life would REALLY be like if he was never born. It's not good! George must realize that "It's A Wonderful Life" before he can exist again.
Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey. He is just tremendous in this role. We see the full range of his talents as he runs the course of going from carefree, to distraught, to bitter and finally elated with life as he discovers Zuzu's petals have reappeared in his pocket.The petals that disappeared from his pocket when he disappeared from existence. Henry Travers is Clarence and there has never been a more cherubic angel than he. Donna Reed as Mary(George's wife) is exceptional at making a wonderful life for George and looking great doing it. And Lionel Barrymore is the mean Mr. Potter who we love to hate. There are so many other famous faces to look for that do such a superb job, here are a few...the great character actor Thomas Mitchell is the forgetful "Uncle Billy", Lillian Randolph is "Annie", the housekeeper, Beulah Bondi as Mrs. Bailey, Ellen Corby, the lady who only wants $17.50, Gloria Grahame is Violet and don't miss Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, mischievous as ever at the pool scene.
The edition I have of "It's A Wonderful Life" is not this Silver Screen edition, but is distributed by the same studio and has been remastered beautifully.
So it's clear as a bell(oh..I think an Angel just got his wings!)if you're feeling a little down, watch this movie and like Zuzu's petals, your smile will reappear.
Happy Viewing, and Happy Holidays......Laurie