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Added by blankend

on 2 Jan 2012 02:02

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The Evolution of "It's a Wonderful Life" (Updated)

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December 1943

Philip Van Doren Stern sends Christmas cards to friends and encloses a 21-page, 4,000-word short story, "The Greatest Gift."
Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating
1. Philip Van Doren Stern

April 1944

RKO buys the film rights for $10,000, after pressure from George Bailey wannabe Cary Grant. Later, Frank Capra snags the rights from RKO.
Average listal rating (395 ratings) 8.6  IMDB Rating
2. Cary Grant

December 21, 1946

The studio rushes the film to the box office because it lacks enough copies of planned holiday release, "Sinbad The Sailor."
Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0  IMDB Rating
3. Studio

December, 1946

Critical reception is lukewarm. The New York Times: "The weakness of this picture ... is the sentimentality of it-its illusory concept of life."
Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0  IMDB Rating
4. New York Junk

January 7, 1947

The studio earns a mere $3.3 million from the release (production and distribution cost was $3.8 million), and nabs five Oscar nominations but zero wins.
Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0  IMDB Rating
5. Academy Is

Late 1940s

Capra becomes informant for House Un-American Activities Committee; seven of the film's other eight writers end up blacklisted.
Average listal rating (164 ratings) 8.5  IMDB Rating
6. Frank Capra

Late 1960s

More than 20 years after its release, the film gains modest followings in collegiate film societies.


CBS begins to air the film about once a year in the days before Christmas.
Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0  IMDB Rating
8. CBS


Capra memoir and museum retrospective set off craze. John Cassavetes says, "Maybe there really wasn't an America, maybe it was only Frank Capra."
Average listal rating (114 ratings) 8.1  IMDB Rating
9. John Cassavetes


Copyright owner Republic Pictures fails to renew rights; local TV stations use it as low-cost holiday fare throughout the next half decade.
Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0  IMDB Rating
10. Reppublic Pictures

December 11, 1977

Time for a gender-bender TV remake: Marlo Thomas stars as Mary Bailey Hatch in "It Happened One Christmas."
Average listal rating (15 ratings) 6.3  IMDB Rating
11. Marlo Thomas


Now a TV mainstay in the weeks before Christmas, the movie is sold on tape by more than 100 distributors during the VHS revolution.
Average listal rating (431 ratings) 8.8  IMDB Rating
12. James Stewart

December 1986

James Wolcott asserts, "It's the perfect film for the Reagan era, celebrating the old-fashioned values of home and hearth that everyone knows ... have eroded."
Average listal rating (1 ratings) 3  IMDB Rating
13. James Wolcott


Seneca Falls, NY - the town that claims it's the "real-life" Bedford Falls - hosts the first annual "It's a Wonderful Life" weekend.
Average listal rating (1 ratings) 3  IMDB Rating
14. Bedford Falls


Republic Pictures wrestles the copyright back and inks deal with NBC for exclusive broadcast rights.
Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0  IMDB Rating
15. NBC

June 14, 2006

The American Film Institute puts the film at No.1 on its list of the 100 most inspiring films of all time.
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16. American Film Institute


Seneca Falls opens the "It's a Wonderful Life" museum with a walking tour that includes 13 stops based on scenes from the movie.
Average listal rating (1 ratings) 3  IMDB Rating
17. Seneca Falls

Bonus Feature - TV Variations/Adaptations -

Its a Miserable Life - Golden Girls - 1986

Its a Wonderful Job - Moonlighting - 1986

Its a Blunderful life - Charles In Charge - 1989

Its a Bundyful Life - Married With Children - 1989

Its a Wonderful Life - Designing Women - 1990

Its a Wonderful Zorro - Zorro - 1990

Hey Harry, F'Crying Out Loud - It is a Wonderful Life ... Sorta - Night Court - 1991

Its a Wonderful Wife - Cheers - 1991

Its a Wonderful Afterlife - Beetlejuice - 1991

Its a Wondeful Laugh - Doogie Howser - 1991

Its a Wonderful Leap - Quantum Leap - 1992

Chuckie's Wonderful Life - Rugrats - 1994

Its a Wonderful Lie - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - 1995

Its a Miserable Life - Beavis and Butthead - Dec 19 1995

Its a Wonderful Life (Without You) - Weird Science -1996

Its a Wonderful Cake - Good Eats - 1999

Its a Wonderful Life - That 70's Show - 2001

Its a Wonderful Wife - Bernie Mac - 2004

As the film turns 65, here is a timeline that illustrates how a box office bomb became a beloved classic.

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Posted: 2 years, 2 months ago at Jan 17 11:18
Terrific list for one of the greatest movies ever made.
Posted: 1 year, 8 months ago at Aug 12 18:07
Thanks for pointing out the Beavis and Butt-head omossion. I will add it to the list, I am sure there are others that I have missed as well.

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