ByRose Moore, writer at
Writer, cosplayer and all around nerd. @RoseMooreWrites
Rose Moore

Most of the time, I find myself agreeing with the general opinion on films. I may hate it a little less than the critics, or love it a little more than some fans, but as a general rule, I'm happy to agree with prevailing wisdom on whether a movie was good or bad.

However, we all have at least one movie to be filed away into "guilty pleasures". A film that the majority of viewers laugh at or that critics panned, but that we find hugely entertaining. For this entry in the (a film you loved that critics panned), I'm going deep into the classics bag, and pulling out a film that not everyone realizes was originally a giant flop.

It's A Wonderful Life

That's right, this uplifting Christmas Classic was originally a total flop. It just didn't sit well with audiences, the FBI labelled it as "subversive", and it took a loss at the box office. It could have potentially languished in obscurity for all time, if not for a clerical error in the 70s which allowed the copyright to lapse, leading to its airing on public TV as they didn't have to pay to show it. On this second time around, audiences fell in love with the story of George Baily and Bedford Falls, and the film became the holiday classic we still love today.

While this film is a little bit schmaltzy at times, that's part of its charm. Nearly seventy years old, it's best served with a heaping spoonful of nostalgia, but the core message (that it's friends and family that make us rich, that we may never know the good we do in the world just by living in it, that karma is a wonderful, wonderful thing) is still just as heartwarming as it ever was.

It's a Wonderful Life is a film that should give anyone the warm fuzzies, and it just goes to show that the critics aren't always right.


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