Yes; it is.

This has been here since shortly before Christmas, it didn’t get published – not because it not a really good article – but because we simply ran out of slots. Anyway, it’s just as valid today as it was then so enjoy. Neo.

As there are twelve days of Christmas, I’m going to push your patience a bit and have a little discussion of the old movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I saw that! – you just rolled your eyes, didn’t you? Don’t deny it – I caught you dead to rights. Anyway …

A couple of weeks ago, I was enjoying the yearly series “A Carol A Day”, written by Margaret Ashworth, a staff writer for The Conservative Woman UK. Along with the ‘backstory’ of the carol writer, and often times the words of the carols, she selects the most delightful samples of YouTube videos that relate to the carols. I highly recommend you go to that site – you can go back to December 1st and catch up or just enjoy the carol of the day. One of the carols she posted caused some interesting comments (below the line, as they say) and some of those comments got me going. Not in a good way.

Some of the TCW commenters hate It’s a Wonderful Life and proceed to share their mean-spirited appraisal of the movie. While some make valid – though obvious – points about the unrealistic portrayal of the characters and insist that if it were honest, the way the movie should go is ‘insert your objections here’. I just sort of bristled a minute or two and then moved on – as you do (a delightful English expression I may have to adopt).

Then, my very dear English friend, my Alys, sent me the link to an article in The Critic https://thecritic.co.uk/its-a-wonderful-life-the-perfect-christmas-film/

It’s meant to be supportive but it doesn’t quite reach its goal. To me, anyway. There’s just something missing from the article. It may warmth; it may be heart. I suspect what’s missing is heart.

First of all – in case you haven’t figured it out yet – IAWL is a work of fiction. Fiction means it is not true. But because something is not true, we are not prevented from taking a lesson from it. There is a great message in this film and especially important – I would think – in this time of me-ism. It is, after all, all about me, isn’t it? Hmmm – one wonders. In any event, we learn what we do has an effect in the world – like the thrown stone causes concentric ripples on the water. Truly no man is an island unto himself. Cast your bread upon the water and it will come back a hundred fold*

The big part of the movie that the Critic’s writer misses is the biggest part of what makes the movie. In his article, the writer says that the angel, Clarence, gives George Bailey the ability to see what life would be like without him; that’s wrong. The scene that matters is the one that shows the night sky with twinkling stars and the audience hears a discussion between God and St. Peter. God hears the prayers of the family and friends of George Bailey and sets about making things right. God and St. Peter choose Clarence, a not very effectual angel who needs help to get his wings, to accompany George on the journey he’s about to take. Clarence is there as a sort of haphazard “Behold, I bring you great tidings”. It is Clarence’s job to help George see what is most important in his life. Unless people understand that it is God ordained for this to happen to George, it’s very easy to pick apart the rest of the film’s premise.

I know you’ll be grateful that I’m not going to go through the whole movie – I’ve already spoken about what’s most important. But I do want you to consider your own life. Simple things we’ve done for others, without their knowing or without them having to ask. These are the things that make our lives wonderful. We didn’t think long and hard about them, we just did them, sort of spur of the moment or an opportunity presented itself. Or perhaps – just maybe – you answered a prayer. I call them ‘Holy Spirit moments’; seemingly coincidental moments when you did something good for someone without even thinking about it. Answered prayer.

My prayer is that your life is sprinkled with these lovely acts and that you acknowledge that you’ve done good in the world. Not to take pride in them but to be grateful that at that moment, you did a good and wonderful thing. For someone else.

*Ecclesiastes 11:1

Seven degrees of separation

Remember that one never knows where inspiration is going to come from? Well, I’ve just had my socks blown off by a recent article in the UK magazine The Critic. You can visit The Critic online and also – keep an eye out for the writer Michael Collins; he’s an author and an excellent writer that contributes to The Critic.

So, my beloved friend Alys, who lives in Wells, England, is so very dear and kind, she sent me this wonderful ceramic creamer in the shape of a resting cow. The manufacturer is Burleigh, a company over a hundred years old still doing what they did a hundred or more years ago. Burleigh has a very good name in England so my gift is extra special. Because I’m an Anglophile and because Alys knows I have a taste for English-made things (note to women who read this – check out the UK company The 1 for U. They make the BEST nightgowns you will ever wear! The cotton is superior and they wash and wear as if they were new every day. You can order on US Amazon), Alys sent me my beautiful little creamer.

Being much interested in Burleigh, which the article covers, early on in the narrative, I saw the name, Tunstall. A huge bell went off in my head. I know that name. And you probably do, too. Remember the movie Young Guns about Billy the Kid? Who did Billy work for before becoming a bad guy? John Tunstall – an Englishman from Hackney (London)!

John Tunstall is played by the wonderful British actor Terrance Stamp.

We know John Tunstall from the Lincoln County War. Here is the Wiki page with the history of Tunstall, McSween, Dolan, Murphy, and Riley. John Tunstall – Wikipedia. The historians and westerns lovers amongst you know the story well.

Then I wanted to know more about Tunstall, England, and found this very short Wiki page. Tunstall, Suffolk – Wikipedia. Note the last sentence of the piece. I’m still laughing. That last bit of information might, depending on to whom one speaks, tie into bigfoot. If you think I’m kidding, you haven’t done YOUR homework!

What an afternoon it’s been. I’ve spanned two centuries, two countries, noted craftmanship, and a tie between England and America that has nothing to do with the Founding Fathers, lol! It’s been a good day!

56 Movie Mistakes: The Longest Day

2014-06-05-robertmitchumlongestday-thumb

Then there is this attempt to denigrate the movie The Longest Day recounting the Overlord operation to liberate Europe.

The Longest Day, which was made in black and white, features a large ensemble cast including John Wayne, Kenneth More,Richard Todd, Robert Mitchum, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Red Buttons, Peter Lawford, Eddie Albert, Jeffrey Hunter, Stuart Whitman, Tom Tryon, Rod Steiger, Leo Genn, Gert Fröbe, Irina Demick, Bourvil, Curt Jürgens, Robert Wagner, Paul Anka and Arletty.

Many of these actors played roles that were virtually cameo appearances and several cast members such as Fonda, Genn, More, Steiger and Todd saw action as servicemen during the war, with Todd being among the first British officers to land in Normandy in Operation Overlord and participated in the assault on Pegasus Bridge. So just for some fun here are some of the movie mistakes – we expect you spotted most of them anyway 🙂

When the ships are about to begin bombarding the beaches you see a group of planes fly by the camera these are Douglas Sky Raiders which did not see service until the late 1940s.

The currency notes in Schultz’s winnings are of a later issue than was in circulation in 1944.

Features LCM-8s, which weren’t built until 1954.

German General Max Pemsel says: “Wir haben starke RADAR-störungen” (We have strong radar interference). The word “radar” was not used, perhaps even not known in Germany in 1944. They used a somewhat similar system, but called it “Funkmeßgeräte” (radio measuring equipment).

General Gavin is wearing a Senior Parachutist badge in 1944.The Parachutist Badge was formally approved on 10 March 1941. The senior and master parachutists badges were authorized by Headquarters, Department of the Army in 1949 and were announced by Change 4, Army Regulation 600-70, dated 24 January 1950.

During the go/no go sequence, a jet can be heard flying overhead as the naval representative is speaking.

During a very early scene in France, the back end of a Citroen 2CV can be seen parked at the side of the street as the German soldiers march down it.

via 56 Movie Mistakes: The Longest Day

And so on for three pages. Yes, it’s interesting and very likely true. But you know, it doesn’t matter a damn. Like the John Ford Trilogy, the story is the thing, and these warriors of America, Canada, Great Britain, France, Poland, and still others did something so heroic here, that all of these relatively picayune mistakes, while regrettable, just don’t matter. This is not a technical documentary, this is a commemoration of one of the greatest days in history, one of the first to try to be fair to all the participants.

I couldn’t find the whole movie on YouTube for you, but if you run the playlist in autoplay, it’ll be kind of like watching it on TV, which is where I fist saw it, long ago and far away. 🙂

True Grit

Don’t know about you, but like our commenter Unit yesterday, I’m simply not gonna bother today. So, here you go! One of Jess’ and my favorites, the real one too. 🙂

Enjoy!

TOMORROWLAND

From the sound of it, Bill Whittle didn’t much like this movie

It’s hard to believe they could screw up that vision, of our childhood, even in a movie isn’t it?

But they did, and worse they screwed up the vision of the country that had that vision as well.

McLintock

I’ll be honest with you, I’m still bouncing around the clouds that Jess both got out of the hospital yesterday, and that I had some small contact with her.

Cut me some slack here, it’s only a week since we thought we were going to lose her. Frankly, I never opened my reader yesterday, and it’s likely I won’t today either.

So in honor of a miracle, lets just enjoy one of Jess’ (and mine as well) favorite movies.

 

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