Hee-haw, I love George Bailey, too

When I was a child, I dreaded only one thing about the holiday season: “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

You know the movie. The 1946 film focuses on Jimmy Stewart’s character, George Bailey, who, with the help of an angel named Clarence, finds out what life would’ve been like had he never been born.

My mom watched it all the time, it seemed, once Thanksgiving was over and the Christmas season hit full swing.

I just didn’t get it. It was a movie with no big explosions, no bursts of song and no cartoon characters. A movie without those is, to a kid, a nightmare.

Finally, when I was a teenager, I decided I should actually watch it to decide for myself.

And, finally, I fell in love with it.

Now my mom and I watch it way, way, way too many times during the holidays.

I don’t know if I can even pick a favorite scene.

I love it when George and Mary see each other at the dance. No words have to be said – just those looks they exchange are priceless.

Of course, the following “I’ll give you the moon, Mary” scene is beautiful.

Then I love it when George visits Mary and she’s on the phone with “Hee-Haw” Sam, and George tells her he doesn’t want any plastics or ground floors, and he doesn’t want to get married – ever – to anyone. But of course he does, and I adore their honeymoon scene, too.

You can’t forget Mary’s best line: “He’s making violent love to me, mother!”

I love it, too, when George tells off old Mr. Potter – at any point in the film, really.

I quote Nick all the time when he says he doesn’t need any “characters around to give the joint atmosphere.’”

And, of course, the last scene where all of George’s friends and family gather around to help him out is classic.

When his younger brother, Harry, shows up, my mom and I really lose it. I’m not one to cry during movies, but when Harry says, “A toast to my big brother, George: The richest man in town,” oh, how the tears start falling.

My mom teases me once in a while about how I hated the movie for so long without ever having actually watched it. A friend of mine just admitted he’s never seen it, so it looks like I’ll be passing this beautiful movie on.

It’s just not the holidays without a little Jimmy Stewart and an AS2 – that’s Angel, Second Class.

Contact Daily Journal writer Sheena Barnett at 678-1580 or sheena.barnett@djournal.com. Also read her entertainment blog, Scene Now, at the djournal.com Blog Center.