It’s just another job for child actor Karolyn Grimes. She was 6 years old and had acted in four films in the summer of 1946 when filming began. “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The only thing she remembers about the biggest movie of her career is feeling excited about playing in the snow on set.
That single job will turn out to be very memorable for so many others. “It was a great life,” which marks its 75th anniversary this year, has now become a beloved holiday tradition around the globe.
“It’s a once-a-year choice for the humanity of America and the world,” Grimes told the Associated Press. “It’s been a good incentive to really help us move in a positive direction.”
“It’s a Wonderful Life” was released in late 1946, produced and directed by Frank Capra and starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. It takes place on Christmas Eve in a small town.
The film revolves around the character George Bailey played by Stewart, who contemplates suicide until his guardian angel intervenes and shows him all the people he has touched in life and differences. that he created in the community.
One memorable character is Zuzu, played by Grimes. She said, “Every time the bell rings, an angel has wings.” And the petals of Zuzu’s rose – which Stewart’s Bailey stuffed in his pocket as he comforted his ailing daughter – became a symbol of life.
If Grimes is quite lackluster in filming details, then Jimmy Hawkins, another child actor who played Tommy in the film, is the opposite. He recalls when a 4-year-old woke up when it was dark and took buses and trams to Culver City to film his scenes.
“I have vivid memories of making that movie,” he said. “On set, Capra would squat down, look me in the eye, tell me what he wanted me to do and if I understood that. I would say, ‘Oh, yes, sir.'”
Grimes and Hawkins are the last surviving members of the cast and have been chosen to represent the film’s legacy and spread its lesson of doing good.
“We feel so lucky to have done those parts and carried the message of Frank Capra. He wasn’t around to do it, and he gave us a great share and a lot of great memories, so we just went with it,” Hawkins said.
“We wanted to get that message across, whether it was to the prisoners in Attica or ringing the bells at the Stock Exchange. We talk to people to keep it going. “
Paramount Home Entertainment released a limited edition two-disc Blu-ray set with color versions of the film in high definition as well as the original black and white film, digitally remastered in high definition. This set includes over 45 minutes of bonus content.
The new Netflix series from director and screenwriter David E. Talbert follows a toy maker who finds new hope when his granddaughter shows up on his doorstep and stars Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, and Forest Whitaker. new actress, Madelen Mills. Talbert joined LX News to discuss why he was driven to create a magical holiday story that Black kids could accept as their own.
The film has been nominated for five Academy Awards and has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made. The film also won first place for AFI’s Most Inspirational American Film of All Time.
“It gives us an optimistic view of what our lives could be. And we have the ability to do that. Grimes said.
Hawkins recalls Capra with a powerful vision for the film – faith, hope, and life renewed. The movies he makes may be emotional, but on set, the director is not at all.
“It was his movie,” he said. “People fell sideways because that was his vision. If you didn’t have his vision, you didn’t make his actions. He was very precise, very nice to everyone on set. But now it’s a job.”
The film – now tied to Christmas – was not originally intended for a holiday release. But RKO’s 1946 Christmas movie – “Sinbad the Sailor” – was not ready, so the studio asked Capra to rush production of “It’s a Wonderful Life”. The film was released on December 20 at the Globe Theater in New York, a little late to introduce the traditional Christmas.
“They did a great job of getting it out there and then it was more or less bombed. Grimes said. “But then in the early ’70s it became public domain and it was on every channel every year.”
Grimes still receives mail from all over the world and from generations of viewers. “I get a lot of fan mail from the UK and even the Mideast and all over,” she said. “It reaches a lot of people and I think people will want to make a difference.”
Mark Kennedy at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
https://www.nbcchicago.com/entertainment/holidays/2-stars-of-its-a-wonderful-life-look-back-at-a-classic/2704907/ 2 Stars of ‘It Was a Wonderful Life’ Looking Back on a Classic Life – NBC Chicago