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It's A Wonderful Life gets 4,990,000 viewers last night


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On NBC, It's A Wonderful Life earned a 1.2 18-49 rating , up 9 percent from a 1.1 last Christmas Eve.

 

Total viewers was 4.99 in millions.

 

Classic movies can still get big ratings.

 

Not bad for a movie that lost money when it first came out.

 

Here is something interesting too,

 

On May 26, 1947, the FBI issued a memo stating "With regard to the picture 'It's a Wonderful Life', [redacted] stated in substance that the film represented rather obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a 'scrooge-type' so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick used by Communists. [in] addition, [redacted] stated that, in his opinion, this picture deliberately maligned the upper class, attempting to show the people who had money were mean and despicable characters.

 

Interesting how they always read something into a movie,

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Here is something interesting too,

 

On May 26, 1947, the FBI issued a memo stating "With regard to the picture 'It's a Wonderful Life', [redacted] stated in substance that the film represented rather obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a 'scrooge-type' so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick used by Communists. [in] addition, [redacted] stated that, in his opinion, this picture deliberately maligned the upper class, attempting to show the people who had money were mean and despicable characters.

 

 

I was just kidding when I created this joke on another thread. Seems like the FBI would have agreed with the premise, however.

 

manwhoshotlibertyvalance11.jpg

 

Whadda ya mean It's a Wonderful Life is a bunch of Commie mush?

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On NBC, It's A Wonderful Life earned a 1.2 18-49 rating , up 9 percent from a 1.1 last Christmas Eve.

 

Total viewers was 4.99 in millions.

 

Classic movies can still get big ratings.

 

Not bad for a movie that lost money when it first came out.

 

Here is something interesting too,

 

On May 26, 1947, the FBI issued a memo stating "With regard to the picture 'It's a Wonderful Life', [redacted] stated in substance that the film represented rather obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a 'scrooge-type' so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick used by Communists. [in] addition, [redacted] stated that, in his opinion, this picture deliberately maligned the upper class, attempting to show the people who had money were mean and despicable characters.

 

Interesting how they always read something into a movie,

 

Funny how they managed to overlook that George Bailey was also a banker and the most loved person in the film.

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I was just kidding when I created this joke on another thread. Seems like the FBI would have agreed with the premise, however.

 

manwhoshotlibertyvalance11.jpg

 

Whadda ya mean It's a Wonderful Life is a bunch of Commie mush?

 

And thus the very reason when you posted this one in your "Christmas Pix" thread, I replied "And we have a winner here, folks!", Tom! Because if one thinks about it, IAWL definitely suggests this subtle message that J. Edgar and his boys thought it did.

 

(...and which is quite ironic, as Capra was a conservative Republican who was noted to be quite anti-FDR and his populist policies)

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And thus the very reason when you posted this one in your "Christmas Pix" thread, I replied "And we have a winner here, folks!", Tom! Because if one thinks about it, IAWL definite suggests this subtle message that J. Edgar and his boys thought it did.

 

(...and which is quite ironic, as Capra was a conservative Republican who was noted to be quite anti-FDR and his populist policies)

I hadn't heard this before and, if that is the case, I have difficulty understanding Capra's real life politics, as opposed to his film messages. What else was Capra's populist message of a film like Mr. Deeds Goes to Town other than a seeming endorsement of many aspects of FDR's New Deal?

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Funny how they managed to overlook that George Bailey was also a banker and the most loved person in the film.

Many of Capra's films portrayed wealthy banker-types as villains Usually, they were played by Edward Arnold. Ironically, in YCTIWY, L. Barrymore played the good guy who transforms Arnold into a good guy.

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I hadn't heard this before and, if that is the case, I have difficulty understanding Capra's real life politics, as opposed to his film messages. What else was Capra's populist message of a film like Mr. Deeds Goes to Town other than a seeming endorsement of many aspects of FDR's New Deal?

 

Exactly. I know. The following is from Frank's Wiki page:

 

Capra’s political beliefs coalesced in his films, which promoted and celebrated the spirit of American individualism. A conservative Republican, he had railed against Franklin Delano Roosevelt during his tenure as governor of New York State, and opposed his presidency during the years of the Depression. Capra stood against government intervention and assistance during the national economic crisis. A man that had come up the hard way, overcoming the disadvantages of an immigrant background, Capra saw no reason why others could not accomplish success through hard work and perseverance.

 

 

 

My guess as to this seeming contradiction would have been his strong belief in his Catholic faith, and so the idea that this might have somehow overridden the obvious social philosophies suggested in this many of his films that, "the Hoi polloi should enjoy more power than they do and share the wealth among them".

 

(...yep, Capra was quite the "walking contradiction", it appears...AND maybe why I've always liked "Capracorn", as while he may have held these personal opinions, his films never seem overtly "dogmatic" by pressing his personal opinions in these matter--think "Ayn Rand" here--and by often bringing such a great sense of human emotions, though some will always refer to it as "sentimentality", to the stories he told) 

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Here's a bit from the NYT review of a Capra biography, Frank Capra The Catastrophe of Success, and the director's surprising poiltical conservatism:

 

PROBABLY no film maker ever dominated an era the way Frank Capra dominated his. During the 1930's, at the peak of his powers and his success, he won three Academy Awards and was Hollywood's most highly paid director. He also served as president of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Screen Directors Guild. Time magazine put him on its cover. The Philip Morris Company used him to peddle cigarettes. ("I smoke quite a lot when directing a picture," he was paid to say. "I like to smoke Philip Morris because of their throat ease, so noticeable when one's voice is important.") The film critic for London's Daily Express thought that Capra's political influence was potentially as great as Franklin D. Roosevelt's. And Capra was one of those rare Americans whose name became not only a household word but an adjective as well.

 

Audiences flocked to see "Capraesque" movies like "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "Meet John Doe" -- parables of ordinary people forced to stand up against the greed and corruption of the rich and powerful. Those dramatic comedies, with their depictions of hardship, their "common man" heroes (usually Jimmy Stewart or Gary Cooper) and their celebrations of small-town virtues, gave expression to a country struggling to climb out of the Depression; they have, ever since their release, been identified with Roosevelt and the New Deal. Yet it is one of the great surprises of Joseph McBride's masterly, comprehensive and frequently surprising biography, "Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success," that the man who seemed to put the spirit of the New Deal on the screen was, in reality, a closet reactionary and a dogged Roosevelt hater.

 

Frank Capra managed to fool just about everyone; even his wife was unsure of his political affiliations. Longtime co-workers who were Democrats assumed he shared their political convictions. Katharine Hepburn, who starred in his 1948 picture "State of the Union," thought him "quite liberal"; others applied the term "radical" to him. And why shouldn't they have, when Variety was calling a sympathetic character in "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" "quasi-communistic" and The Saturday Evening Post was reporting that in the Soviet Union Capra was "hailed as a comrade"? But as Mr. McBride, the author of previous books on Howard Hawks, John Ford and Orson Welles, tells us, Capra was a lifelong Republican who never once voted for Roosevelt. He was an admirer of Franco and Mussolini. In later years, during the McCarthy period, he served as a secret F.B.I. informer.

 
In part, the misperception was due to Capra's writers, who generally ranged from New Deal Democrats to card-carrying Communists. One of Capra's great strengths as a director in the 1930's was his ability to work with anyone who had something to contribute to his pictures, even those who were far to his left. He was also enough of a popular entertainer to cater to his audiences; he understood that during the Depression the most hissable villains were grasping bankers and businessmen.
 

But ultimately the misunderstanding over Capra's politics seems to be a case of people seeing what they wanted to see. In his analysis of "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," Mr. McBride points out that the Gary Cooper character, far from being some sort of socialist or New Deal liberal, was, if anything, an "enlightened plutocrat" whose philosophy of voluntary giving was little different from that of Republican businessmen opposed to the New Deal; and he shrewdly notes that while Deeds got into trouble for trying to distribute most of the $20 million he inherited to desperate farmers, he was still planning to keep $2 million for himself.

 

A plutocrat less enlightened than Deeds, Capra derived his conservative politics from his battles to reach the top. His was a Horatio Alger story, full of pluck and luck, but in the end, as Mr. McBride vividly demonstrates, more chilling than inspiring.

 
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I just wanted to add that it isn't just Capra being a conservative that is so surprising, although it is to me, but it is his fondness for facist dictators and informing for Hoover, that really blows my mind.  I agree that nearly 5 million viewers for a movie that's on every year is pretty impressive in this day and age when there are so many viewing options.

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I just wanted to add that it isn't just Capra being a conservative that is so surprising, although it is to me, but it is his fondness for facist dictators and informing for Hoover, that really blows my mind. I agree that nearly 5 million viewers for a movie that's on every year is pretty impressive in this day and age when there are so many viewing options.

 

Christine, while I've been championing IAWL since WAY back in the late-60s and when it was still in the public domain sector and when I'd have to explain this movie to all those out there who had never heard of it and thus have ALWAYS loved this movie, let us not forget here that what is broadcast on Christmas Eve by all the other networks is usually nothing but reruns of their sitcoms or drama series.

 

(...and thus the idea that NBC's showing of IAWL doesn't usually have much "stiff competition" while Santa is making his deliveries that night and east of the time zones one may be watching it on their local NBC affiliate) ;)

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4.99 million watched it and it was chopped up with commercials, it ran for a gulping three hours so had 50 minutes of commercials added at a minimum assuming they didn't cut the movie time.

 

This is why I would love to see what the viewership is for TCM on a daily basis. People persevered through that showing even with the commercials. maybe most viewers also watch TCM, I would bet that at least 80% do.

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I just wanted to add that it isn't just Capra being a conservative that is so surprising, although it is to me, but it is his fondness for facist dictators and informing for Hoover, that really blows my mind. 

 

Why do you automatically believe rumors you read on the internet?

 

Don't you realize that his real support was for North Korea??

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4.99 million watched it and it was chopped up with commercials, it ran for a gulping three hours so had 50 minutes of commercials added at a minimum assuming they didn't cut the movie time.

 

This is why I would love to see what the viewership is for TCM on a daily basis. People persevered through that showing even with the commercials. maybe most viewers also watch TCM, I would bet that at least 80% do.

 

People making the effort to view an iconic 'old' Holiday movie like IAWL or a movie they connect to their childhood (e.g. Wizard of Oz),   is a lot different then making a similar effort to watch 'old' movies in general.     So I would take that bet of yours.  My guess is that less then 10% of the people who viewed IAWL watch TCM on a regular basis.

 

Also,  I assume most people didn't really watch IAWL.   Yea,  the T.V. was on and turned to that station,  but how many really watched the movie.   At my sister's house where we had our holiday lunch we had the NBA on,  but out of the 20 people there only 2 people were really watching the games on a consistent basis.  

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Also,  I assume most people didn't really watch IAWL.   Yea,  the T.V. was on and turned to that station,  but how many really watched the movie.   At my sister's house where we had our holiday lunch we had the NBA on,  but out of the 20 people there only 2 people were really watching the games on a consistent basis.  

 

Hmmmm...funny you mentioning the NBA here, James. Word is Donald Sterling's favorite movie actually is "It'a a Wonderful Life"!

 

(...uh-huh, and maybe not surprisingly, his favorite character is said to be Mr. Potter!!!) 

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Why do you automatically believe rumors you read on the internet?

 

Don't you realize that his real support was for North Korea??

I don't automatically believe rumors I read on the internet (why would you assume such a thing?)  but one of the quotes (courtesy of TomJH)  was from the NY Times which is usually a more credible source. 

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Hmmmm...funny you mentioning the NBA here, James. Word is Donald Sterling's favorite movie actually is "It'a a Wonderful Life"!

 

(...uh-huh, and maybe not surprisingly, his favorite character is said to be Mr. Potter!!!) 

C'mon Dargo...if you're going to reference "It's a Wonderful Life", you have got to refer to him as "Old Man Potter"! ;)

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C'mon Dargo...if you're going to reference "It's a Wonderful Life", you have got to refer to him as "Old Man Potter"! ;)

 

LOL

 

Aaah, but midwesty sir, in that post of mine, I was stating that whole thing about Potter from Donald Sterling's point of view, ya see!

 

And thus, because Donald Sterling is 80 years old, AND because Lionel Barrymore was ONLY 68 years old when he acted in this movie as that crusty and mean old f-art, there would be NO way Mr. Sterling could legitimately refer to Potter AS "OLD MAN Potter" by comparison to himself...RIGHT?! 

 

(...and I'm stickin' with this excuse!)   ;)

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Also,  I assume most people didn't really watch IAWL.   Yea,  the T.V. was on and turned to that station,  but how many really watched the movie.   At my sister's house where we had our holiday lunch we had the NBA on,  but out of the 20 people there only 2 people were really watching the games on a consistent basis.  

 

Unless you can hack the ratings agency we will never know who is right, so we have to go by the numbers they give as that is all we have, lol. If it was as bad as you think then the advertisers would be suing to get their money back.

 

IAWL shows that millions will watch a classic movie over the normal trash that is on. TCM should have advertised during the showing of IAWL the classic Christmas movies they are showing.

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LOL

 

Aaah, but midwesty sir, in that post of mine, I was stating that whole thing about Potter from Donald Sterling's point of view, ya see!

 

And thus, because Donald Sterling is 80 years old, AND because Lionel Barrymore was ONLY 68 years old when he acted in this movie as that crusty and mean old f-art, there would be NO way Mr. Sterling could legitimately refer to Potter AS "OLD MAN Potter" by comparison to himself...RIGHT?! 

 

(...and I'm stickin' with this excuse!)   ;)

OK, I'll buy that reason, or excuse, as you put it!

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