First, if you have somehow managed to avoid this classic film since 1946, when it was originally released, you must go watch it before you use this clip as a pick-me-up during the holiday season. Spoiler alert!
When George Bailey, played by James Stewart, makes a move to take his own life, a guardian angel falls into his life. Well, actually, into a lake. Clarence, the angel in need of his wings, was sent down to Earth to change George’s mind about ending his life as a final test to earn his wings. The two meet when George pulls Clarence out of a freezing lake. The rest is history.
Based on the short story The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern, this feature film underwent many changes before reaching the final product. It started as a 21-page Christmas card that the writer sent out to his friends, which made it into the hands of a Hollywood producer who purchased it for $10,000.
As it happens in Hollywood, the script passed through the hands of dozens of screenwriters and a number of different producers, getting tweaked bit by bit along the way. A fun fact? Cary Grant was meant to play the starring role, but as the producers changed, so did the cast list.
I, personally, am thankful that this story went through all of its changes, because the product we’re left with is a priceless holiday classic. The story just brings a unique warmth to your heart, especially this final scene.
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