HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » For all the fans of "It's...

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 06:25 PM

For all the fans of "It's a Wonderful Life" and Jimmy Stewart....

(Author credit; Ned Forney, Writer, Saluting American’s Veteran’s)

Just months after winning his 1941 Academy Award for best actor in “The Philadelphia Story,” Jimmy Stewart, one of the best-known actors of the day, left Hollywood and joined the US Army. He was the first big-name movie star to enlist in World War II.

An accomplished private pilot, the 33-year-old Hollywood icon became a US Army Air Force aviator, earning his 2nd Lieutenant commission in early 1942. With his celebrity status and huge popularity with the American public, he was assigned to starring in recruiting films, attending rallies, and training younger pilots.

Stewart, however, wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to fly combat missions in Europe, not spend time in a stateside training command. By 1944, frustrated and feeling the war was passing him by, he asked his commanding officer to transfer him to a unit deploying to Europe. His request was reluctantly granted.

Stewart, now a Captain, was sent to England, where he spent the next 18 months flying B-24 Liberator bombers over Germany. Throughout his time overseas, the US Army Air Corps' top brass had tried to keep the popular movie star from flying over enemy territory. But Stewart would hear nothing of it.

Determined to lead by example, he bucked the system, assigning himself to every combat mission he could. By the end of the war he was one of the most respected and decorated pilots in his unit.

But his wartime service came at a high personal price.

In the final months of WWII he was grounded for being “flak happy,” today called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

When he returned to the US in August 1945, Stewart was a changed man. He had lost so much weight that he looked sickly. He rarely slept, and when he did he had nightmares of planes exploding and men falling through the air screaming (in one mission alone his unit had lost 13 planes and 130 men, most of whom he knew personally).

He was depressed, couldn’t focus, and refused to talk to anyone about his war experiences. His acting career was all but over.

As one of Stewart's biographers put it, "Every decision he made [during the war] was going to preserve life or cost lives. He took back to Hollywood all the stress that he had built up.”

In 1946 he got his break. He took the role of George Bailey, the suicidal father in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The rest is history.

Actors and crew of the set realized that in many of the disturbing scenes of George Bailey unraveling in front of his family, Stewart wasn’t acting. His PTSD was being captured on filmed for potentially millions to see.

But despite Stewart's inner turmoil, making the movie was therapeutic for the combat veteran. He would go on to become one of the most accomplished and loved actors in American history.

When asked in 1941 why he wanted to leave his acting career to fly combat missions over Nazi Germany, he said, "This country's conscience is bigger than all the studios in Hollywood put together, and the time will come when we'll have to fight.”

This weekend, as many of us watch the classic Christmas film, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” it’s also a fitting time to remember the sacrifices of Jimmy Stewart and all the men who gave up so much to serve their country during wartime. We will always remember you!

Postscript:
While fighting in Europe, Stewart's Oscar statue was proudly displayed in his father’s Pennsylvania hardware store. Throughout his life, the beloved actor always said his father, a World War I veteran, was the person who had made the biggest impact on him.

Jimmy Stewart was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985 and died in 1997 at the age of 89.


From "A Wonderful Life"
Photo credit: RKO Radio Pictures

Jimmy Stewart receiving an award from the French government.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

92 replies, 7494 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 92 replies Author Time Post
Reply For all the fans of "It's a Wonderful Life" and Jimmy Stewart.... (Original post)
Heartstrings Dec 1 OP
TomSlick Dec 1 #1
StClone Dec 2 #89
TomSlick Dec 2 #90
jpak Dec 1 #2
efhmc Dec 1 #5
DENVERPOPS Dec 1 #12
Scarsdale Dec 2 #54
Farmer-Rick Dec 2 #56
Scarsdale Dec 2 #63
maddiemom Dec 2 #60
demigoddess Dec 2 #70
stevesinpa Dec 2 #71
Rural_Progressive Dec 2 #88
emmaverybo Dec 1 #3
dem4decades Dec 1 #4
ancianita Dec 1 #6
RainCaster Dec 1 #7
soldierant Dec 1 #38
George II Dec 1 #8
Mendocino Dec 1 #24
George II Dec 1 #25
Mendocino Dec 2 #72
George II Dec 2 #74
Cuthbert Allgood Dec 2 #83
efhmc Dec 1 #9
Beringia Dec 1 #10
MicaelS Dec 1 #26
Beringia Dec 1 #45
LanternWaste Dec 2 #66
Cuthbert Allgood Dec 2 #85
Heartstrings Dec 1 #32
wnylib Dec 1 #46
erlewyne Dec 1 #11
Raine Dec 1 #13
hunter Dec 1 #14
Evolve Dammit Dec 1 #15
Pepsidog Dec 1 #16
spanone Dec 1 #17
dchill Dec 1 #18
yaesu Dec 1 #19
appalachiablue Dec 1 #35
andym Dec 2 #51
FailureToCommunicate Dec 1 #20
LudwigPastorius Dec 1 #21
Wednesdays Dec 1 #22
wnylib Dec 1 #36
Beacool Dec 1 #23
lapfog_1 Dec 1 #27
3catwoman3 Dec 1 #28
Rollo Dec 1 #29
PatrickforO Dec 1 #39
TexasBushwhacker Dec 1 #42
Cuthbert Allgood Dec 2 #86
bucolic_frolic Dec 1 #30
PatrickforO Dec 1 #34
bucolic_frolic Dec 1 #37
PatrickforO Dec 1 #41
ariadne0614 Dec 1 #31
PatrickforO Dec 1 #33
Aristus Dec 1 #48
rockfordfile Dec 2 #61
MustLoveBeagles Dec 1 #40
guillaumeb Dec 1 #43
braddy Dec 2 #49
bdamomma Dec 1 #44
lordsummerisle Dec 1 #47
braddy Dec 2 #50
demosincebirth Dec 2 #52
rockfordfile Dec 2 #62
demosincebirth Dec 2 #65
LunaSea Dec 2 #67
demosincebirth Dec 2 #69
Cuthbert Allgood Dec 2 #87
oldsoftie Dec 2 #80
TlalocW Dec 2 #53
The Wizard Dec 2 #55
Bettie Dec 2 #57
panader0 Dec 2 #58
Kaleva Dec 2 #68
KSNY Dec 2 #59
Sherman A1 Dec 2 #64
FakeNoose Dec 2 #73
ChubbyStar Dec 2 #75
Roland99 Dec 2 #76
Heartstrings Dec 2 #78
brooklynite Dec 2 #77
ZZenith Dec 2 #79
brooklynite Dec 2 #82
klook Dec 2 #81
klook Dec 2 #84
camden040 Dec 2 #91
MrsCheaplaugh Dec 2 #92

Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 06:50 PM

1. Jimmy Stewart continued to serve after WWII.

He retired from the USAF Reserve as a brigadier general,

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TomSlick (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 05:09 PM

89. Conserative Hero Tough Guy John Wayne never Did

For reasons he just didn't!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to StClone (Reply #89)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 08:00 PM

90. Which is one reason I cannot abide "The Green Berets."

Wayne was attempting to "atone" for avoiding service by creating his "super patriot" movie. It's also simply a bad movie.

Wayne was a wanna-be patriot.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 06:58 PM

2. Such were Americans when I was young

Today.....in the WH?

Not

So

Much

Yup

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jpak (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 07:11 PM

5. Proud to have known so many of those men.

Makes me teary eyed. I miss them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jpak (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 07:36 PM

12. And now we

And now we are under the rule of Commander Bone Spurs, with everyone around him a group of chicken shits as military people call them. People who evaded the draft, were "legacy" individuals, or like George W Bush "served" in a reserve or national guard unit stateside.

Trump once said his "WAR" was bigger than VietNam, that his energy was depleted trying to avoid STD's......

They missed one, Lard Ass......He is showing all the signs of Tertiary syphillis...........

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DENVERPOPS (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 06:51 AM

54. One way to avoid STD's would have

been to avoid paying prostitutes. He seems to have a penchant for "pay to play" females. Maybe that is because no self respecting female wants anything to do with him. He HAS to pay gold diggers. Some day we will get his medical records, and find out the truth.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scarsdale (Reply #54)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 08:04 AM

56. He hires prostitutes because psychopaths have bizarre sexual habits

And he probably learned he couldn't get women to do what he wants without paying them. So he keeps marrying younger and younger gold diggers for regular sex than has prostitutes on the side to satisfy his sexual fetishes.

Except in Malaria. She was a Slovenian sex worker. So he gets her for normal sex and what ever fetish he's into. And he insists she keep getting plastic surgery to make her look younger and weirdly fake.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Farmer-Rick (Reply #56)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 09:12 AM

63. I saw her "smile" when the president

of Turkey visited the WH. I told my niece "She looked so happy, I think maybe the Mother Ship sent a message that they will beam her up soon" She looks as Asian as Moscow Mitch's wife, maybe more so.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jpak (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 08:43 AM

60. I realize now that my WWII veteran father suffered from serious PTSD.

He helped "liberate" a concentration camp and had an album of horrific pictures which, since he, himself, had carried a camera, I'd assumed he took. Later I learned from another daughter of a father in the same "outfit," that one of the higher officers, had these made up for the officers under him so they'd "never forget." While I'd read of "shell shock" from WWI, and PTSD after Viet Nam, I never heard about the trauma suffered by WWII veterans, who were mostly hailed as "liberators" and seemed to get together a lot, but mostly seemed to share "humorous stories. I saw only flashes of the humorous and outgoing man those who grew up with him remembered. On the outside he was still fairly gregarious, but at home he was moody and difficult, retired very early, and basically drank and smoked himself to death at sixty, after the kids were grown and on our own. My biggest regret in life was not understanding him at the time. My mom often considered divorcing him (different times), then felt guilty.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to maddiemom (Reply #60)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:42 AM

70. they usually keep it to themselves. Don't want to make

others suffer with them. My dad was wounded in Korea, never wanted to show his scars.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to maddiemom (Reply #60)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:51 AM

71. PTSD has existed in every war ever

war is a horrible experience. the constant fear, the immense death and destruction. it cannot help but have a toll on a person. it is so sad that we are only beginning to realize about PTSD.
I always hated the fact that so many people thought it was great that general patton slapped a soldier suffering from "shell shock" (PTSD).
patton may have been a great general in the war, but anyone that loved war as he did has something seriously wrong with him.

I am sorry to read about your father's issues, so many of our troops suffer similarly. fortunately, we are finally recognizing PTSD for what it is.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to maddiemom (Reply #60)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 03:53 PM

88. I realized that about my dad about 15 years ago

Dad flew a P-47 Thunderbolt, on of the most deadly strafing fighter planes in WW!!. After he passed away I was lucky enough to find all of his flight records for sale by a collector of WWII memorabilia, what I found about his actions during the war opened my eyes in a small way to what he experienced.

All I knew before receiving his records was that he had been awarded the Silver Star for a classified mission he lead towards the end of the war. I had no idea that he had flown 119 combat missions and had logged in excess of 300 hours combat flight time. I saw how many of his missions had involved strafing and considering the fact that the P-47s frequently went in so low that the pilots could see the expressions on the faces of the men they were ripping apart with 50 caliber slugs I realized the price he had paid to help defeat that instance of fascism.

He never really made a full transition back to civilian life. He was happy on the farm I grew up on and we had great times in the orchard, raising game birds, and fishing on our beloved farm pond. After my mother decided rural life was not for her and forced him to move us into the suburbs he retreated into a shell. He'd come home from work, eat some dinner and spend the rest of his evening in his wood shop until he went to bed. My mother ended up divorcing him and his new wife didn't want anything to do with me so I lost touch with him for many years.

He was born Nov 30 so the memories are pretty raw and fresh in my mind today. Our little town has an Armed Forces Legacy Park where there are hundreds of plaques mounted on walls to commemorate the servicemen and women from our area, Dad is remembered on one of those plaques so his sacrifice will not be forgotten upon my death.

Miss you Dad, thank you for your service.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 07:03 PM

3. Thank you, heartstrings!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 07:09 PM

4. Lots of information i didn't know. Thanks

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 07:19 PM

6. So informative. So touching. Thank you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 07:19 PM

7. I never knew, and I'm impressed

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RainCaster (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:37 PM

38. I knew about his service, his medals, and his rank. I did not know about his PTSD,

nor about how critical that was to the movie, not how crtical the movie was to him.

He was pretty clearly anti-fascist, even though he was a Republican. Odd that he also played Lindbergh, who was pretty much a fascist himself - a white nationalist certainly. It was a position nt as out of sync with society then as it is today, of course.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 07:22 PM

8. One of my favorite movies when I was a child was "The Spirit of St. Louis"...

Stewart played Lindbergh. I didn't know he was a pilot - I wonder if he flew in some of the scenes himself?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to George II (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:44 PM

24. He did fly it himself.

The near replica was his own. He donated to the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Mendocino (Reply #24)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:46 PM

25. Thanks, that's an interesting fact. I loved that movie, must have seen it 50 times over the years.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to George II (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 12:34 PM

72. Lindbergh was rejected

for serving in WWII for his isolationism, extreme racist views and Nazi sympathies. Supposedly FDR made sure he would not serve. He advised with civilian aviation firms in the south Pacific during war. He actually shot a a Japanese plane.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Mendocino (Reply #72)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 01:03 PM

74. I'm sure the kidnapping drastically changed his life and attitude about public appearances....

It made him a very complicated person politically and personally. I don't think he was ever happy again after the kidnapping.

He resigned his commission before we got involved in the war, but after Japan and Germany declared war on the US he tried to get reinstated. FDR refused to allow it to happen.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to George II (Reply #74)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 03:26 PM

83. Phillip Roth wrote an alternate history novel in which Lindberg gets elected President

and the US goes full Nazi.

Lindberg was a horrible human being. Flying skills notwithstanding.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 07:23 PM

9. Help me out here. Pretty sure I heard him say that he went to the hospital to pick

up his wife and their twins and went and got the car and then drove home without them. I cannot find this story but it stuck in my mind.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 07:27 PM

10. Is this post in response to the Dreamer Girl post about military worship?


Stewart was a staunch Republican throughout his life. He supported the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and its investigation of the film industry's communist ties. When director Frank Capra was investigated by the committee, Stewart refused to publicly defend him, because he did not want to get involved. (It's a Wonderful Life was Directed by Frank Capra).

Stewart was a hawk on the Vietnam War, and maintained that his son, Ronald, did not die in vain.




Here is a different kind of hero, one that goes against the grain, which I believe is much harder to do.


Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov (21 May 1921 – 14 December 1989) was a Russian nuclear physicist, dissident, Nobel laureate, and activist for disarmament, peace and human rights

Sakharov was arrested on 22 January 1980, following his public protests against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979, and was sent to the city of Gorky, now Nizhny Novgorod, a city that was off limits to foreigners.

Between 1980 and 1986, Sakharov was kept under Soviet police surveillance. In his memoirs he mentions that their apartment in Gorky was repeatedly subjected to searches and heists. Sakharov was named the 1980 Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:52 PM

26. I do not give a flying fuck about his politics.

He served in combat, when many like John Wayne did not even serve. THAT is the only thing that matters.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MicaelS (Reply #26)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 10:09 PM

45. My country right or wrong, gotcha

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Reply #45)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:33 AM

66. Tough old world when people watch actors that you don't.

I can see why you went straight for the reductio ad absurdum fallacy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MicaelS (Reply #26)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 03:30 PM

85. His support of HUAC should mean he gets little respect as a person.

Great actor. Horrible person.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:17 PM

32. No it isn't in response to any other op.....

Just found it interesting and worth sharing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 10:43 PM

46. Regarding HUAC hearings about communism,

as a young man, Bobby Kennedy was a legal assistant for the investigations through his father's advice and connections. Kennedy disapproved of the tactics used by McCarthy. He also despised another attorney connected with the hearings, Roy Cohn, who later became the personal attorney of Trump and taught Trump his sleezy fighting tactics.

Regarding hawks on Vietnan, the fact is that a number of Dems were also hawks on that war. The Greatest Generation was in political power from both parties and their views were influenced by their experience with appeasement of Nazi Germany. I did not agree with them, but I understand why their WWII experiences informed their perceptions of the spread of communism.

Whatever political views Stewart had, the film It's a Wonderful Life seems to be supportive of New Deal values.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 07:34 PM

11. He served in Vietnam.

n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 07:38 PM

13. Thank you

for the info!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 07:40 PM

14. My grandfather was Hollywood Army Air Force.

About ten years senior of Stewart.

Yeah, they met. I have photographs. My grandfather was also a buddy of Lucille Ball.

My grandfather had joined the Army Air Corp to get the hell out of Wyoming and see the world. He was never going to be a rancher or mining engineer. Fuck the Wild West. When he was sixteen he'd run off to the Big City of Cheyenne Wyoming and it had not meet his expectations. Which is why he joined the Army, to see the world.

He met my grandma in Hollywood.

My grandma and her sister had felt much the same about the California dairy industry as my grandfather felt about Wyoming ranching, which is how my grandma and her sister had ended up running wild in Hollywood to meet my grandpa, in Los Angeles, there to do some sort of aircraft engineering.

My grandpa NEVER talked about World War II. He'd dreamed of being the romantic fly boy but the Army had found other uses for him. I only have photographs and vague stories. I recently found out my grandfather had been off to Alaska during World War II. Maybe across the Atlantic as well. Doing something. Always doing something elsewhere during the war, by my dad's recollection.

But my grandfather would always talk about the work he did landing men on the moon. Bits and pieces of metal he made are on the moon and in the Smithsonian. After the war he became an aerospace engineer with a knack for exotic metals. How that happened is a mystery,

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 07:43 PM

15. Thank you for the post. Like most men at thst time, including many in my family, they were "called"

especially after Pearl Harbor.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:03 PM

16. I just watched on Netflix a series about WWII greatest events and one big takeaway was how heroic

both U.S.A.F. And RAF were. What an real American hero Stewart was an still is.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:05 PM

17. K&R...👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:19 PM

18. "This country's conscience is bigger than...

...all the studios in Hollywood put together, and the time will come when we'll have to fight.”

Money quote. We could assume that he might add, "All enemies, foreign and domestic."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:21 PM

19. I remember reading long ago that the movie was a flop at the theaters, I guess their tastes were

a little different, maybe tired of the war, the past, looking for something a little more upbeat. Its now the fav of millions of Americans at xmas time, mine included.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to yaesu (Reply #19)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:33 PM

35. Same with what I read. Also by this time the Depression

Last edited Mon Dec 2, 2019, 06:55 AM - Edit history (1)

was over and the Red Scare and early Cold War were heating up.

Capra's portrayals of old man Potter, banks and housing were also regarded as too critical of Wall Street for some.

The drama, sentimental and happy family aspects of It's A Wonderful Life came when movies were heading into more realism, 'Film Noir' suspense, darkness, etc.

There have been books written on Capra, a 'New Deal' director and his movies; I treasure him and these great Hollywood films.



('Mr. Potter & The Commies of Bedford Falls'!) It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra, based on the short story and booklet The Greatest Gift, which Philip Van Doren Stern wrote in 1939 and published privately in 1943. The film is one of the most beloved in American cinema, and has become traditional viewing during the Christmas season.
The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams to help others, and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers). Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched, and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be if he had never been born.
Despite performing poorly at the box office due to stiff competition at the time of its release, the film has become a classic and is a staple of Christmas television around the world...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Wonderful_Life

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to appalachiablue (Reply #35)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 01:39 AM

51. Interesting that Capra was criticized as un-American, since he was a conservative

Republican. It was liberal screenwriter Robert Riskin who had written many of the earlier Capra hits that were critical of business and politics. Ironically it was Capra's association with men like Riskin that caught the interest of Joe McCarthy, although Capra never testified.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:24 PM

20. My father was a head of chaplains in that war. The heroism of the greatest generation, women

and men alike, is awe inspiring these many decades later. The world faced fascism and beat it down, at enormous cost in deaths, broken and disabled veterans and ruined lives...

Sad that little of that nobel fortitude is evident in the chicken hawks leaders of this era.

We recently got to crawl inside a B-24 Liberator at a WWll air show (three days before the tragic crash that killed many who had paid for a brief flight) Those planes would have been a hell of tight space, sharp edges, insanely loud, freezing cold and of course with the enemy shooting at them, nearly certain death on each mission. I can more easily see now how Stewart, and countless other brave young lads, would have been traumatized.


Thanks for posting this.

I can hardly think of the scene in "Its A Wonderful Life" at the christmas tree with the daughter in his arms...and not hear the updated dialogue from the little girl: "And every time a bell rings...a Republican gets indicted"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:26 PM

21. Before, and after, his 18 months of combat:




He looks like he aged 20 years.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:29 PM

22. A little bit OT, but I posted about that movie some years ago

That It's a Wonderful Life was a staunchly pro-New Deal film.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x4682241

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Wednesdays (Reply #22)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:34 PM

36. Yes, it certainly seems to be. I wonder

if its anti monopoly, pro common person view accounts for its popularity now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:38 PM

23. He was what there seems to be a dearth of in public life: an honorable man.

I have always admired the man, not just the actor. He was a remarkable person, decent and humble.

I must have watched "It's a Wonderful Life" dozens of times in my lifetime. I just watched it this week and will probably watch it again before the holiday season is over.

Here's to Jimmy and all those from the Greatest Generation, thank you for your service and sacrifice.




Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:54 PM

27. my father

"He rarely slept, and when he did he had nightmares of planes exploding and men falling through the air screaming (in one mission alone his unit had lost 13 planes and 130 men, most of whom he knew personally)."

Yup... I remember the times my father would wake up in the middle of the night screaming.

That generation did not really acknowledge "shell shock" or PTSD. My dad would never talk much about his war experience in WWII.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:56 PM

28. Stewart ultimately achieved the rank of brigadier...

...general in the AF reserves.

A one of my favorite Stewart movies is Flight of the Phoenix.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:57 PM

29. A local TV station broadcast "It's a Wonderful Life" over the weekend...

I watched most of it, great movie.

This was also a great article. Stuff about Stewart that I hadn't known. I was vaguely aware he was a bomber pilot in WW2, but wasn't aware of the toll it too on him. It makes the scenes in IAWF where he basically loses it all the more convincing. One of the greatest films and performances ever.

I didn't know about his strong conservative streak or his support for the Vietnam War.

Well, nobody's perfect.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Rollo (Reply #29)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:39 PM

39. I'm inclined to give him a pass. Different times.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PatrickforO (Reply #39)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:59 PM

42. Yeah, I read that Mr. Rogers was a "frustrated" Republican

You can be part of a political party and not agree with all their policies. And I can see how many people bought into the Domino Theory in the 60s, that probably realize it was bullshit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PatrickforO (Reply #39)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 03:32 PM

86. Supporting HUAC was some bullshittery, though.

And plenty in that time knew it was a crock.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:06 PM

30. And Jimmy Stewart as I recall from an online biography

was a thorough Republican. Democrats and Republicans did agree on a lot at one time. Democrats loved the jobs that Main Street provided. Where did it all go?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #30)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:33 PM

34. Down the disgusting road of neoliberal capitalism.

Deregulate, privatize and gut social programs.

Chicago school of economics and Milton Friedman. Cut, cut, cut taxes and the wealth will just trickle down!

Starve the government with tax cuts and debt service until it is small enough to 'drown in a bathtub.'

Military industrial complex takes control in 1965 when LBJ sends half a million troops to Vietnam.

The 1971 Powell Manifesto to the US Chamber of Commerce laying out this wonderful capitalist utopia we're living in now. Thanks Lewis. For nothing.

Fox News, AM talk radio and Rush Limbaugh.

That's where. https://www.thebrainwashingofmydad.com/

And it makes me sick. We've lost so much of our decency, our humanity, our goodness as a people.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PatrickforO (Reply #34)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:37 PM

37. You're right

and it's old-time laissez-faire cutthroat capitalism renamed. Neoliberal is such a misnomer in my mind. They tried to tag us with the blame.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #37)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:40 PM

41. Yeah, they did. Us li-ber-uls are responsible for all the evils in the world,

don't you know.

Your post made me think of right wingers that try to claim Hitler was a socialist.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:07 PM

31. I never knew this story, but always felt it in my bones. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:27 PM

33. Stewart was a really good man. He was.

A fine human being. I know my father, who fought in the Pacific theater in WWII always thought the world of Jimmy. Said he was the 'real deal.'

And so he was.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PatrickforO (Reply #33)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 11:26 PM

48. He and Henry Fonda, a die-hard liberal, were good friends.

The repubs back then weren't the crazed, Kool-Aid-drinking cult members they are today.

I never thought of Jimmy Stewart as anything but a thoroughly decent human being. And a very appealing actor.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Aristus (Reply #48)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 09:10 AM

61. They got into fights and Fonda always kicked his butt.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:39 PM

40. He wasn't just a wonderful actor, he was a wonderful man



He's been one of my favorite actors since childhood.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 10:04 PM

43. On the other hand, Ronald Reagan spent his service making training films,

and pretending he helped conquer concentration camps.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to guillaumeb (Reply #43)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 12:16 AM

49. Actually Reagan joined the Cavalry in 1937 as a reservist and since his eyes should have

kept him from ever being in at all he was sent to transportation in 1942 and then to the Army Air Corp and making training films, he ended with 9 years of military service.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 10:09 PM

44. Watched it last night

What a wonderful classic ❤️

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 11:05 PM

47. k&r thanks

I didn't know a lot of that history...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 12:19 AM

50. A little off topic but LBJ was awarded the Silver Star in WWII.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 02:16 AM

52. I wonder what John Wayne, the concervatives idol, did during the War?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to demosincebirth (Reply #52)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 09:11 AM

62. John Wayne was a un-American fascist and racist scumbag

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rockfordfile (Reply #62)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:26 AM

65. He made war movies - probably claimed bone spurs to beat the draft.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to demosincebirth (Reply #52)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:33 AM

67. Scene from "Trumbo"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LunaSea (Reply #67)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:40 AM

69. Thanks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LunaSea (Reply #67)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 03:34 PM

87. Jimmy Stewart supported what happened to Trumbo.

Just sayin'.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to demosincebirth (Reply #52)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 03:10 PM

80. Wiki says he was first classified 3-A, "family deferment"; but later applied for the OSS

"U.S. National Archives records indicate that Wayne, in fact, did make an application[33] to serve in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), precursor to the modern CIA, and had been accepted within the U.S. Army's allotted billet to the OSS. William J. Donovan, OSS Commander, wrote Wayne a letter informing him of his acceptance into the Field Photographic Unit, but the letter went to his estranged wife Josephine's home. She never told him about it. Donovan also issued an OSS Certificate of Service to Wayne."

So at least no bone spurs that also must magically heal themselves.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 05:51 AM

53. The Oscar was proudly displayed in his father's store

Not doubting the pride, but I seem to remember an interview with Jimmy where he said that his dad didn't know what to do with it so he put it in the window.

TlalocW

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 07:47 AM

55. He remained in the Reserve after the war and

achieved the rank of General, which takes Congressional approval. Quite a guy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 08:32 AM

57. He was a good and decent man

we have too few of them around these days.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 08:35 AM

58. My dad flew 50 combat missions over Europe and N. Africa.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to panader0 (Reply #58)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:39 AM

68. A freind of the family was a co-pilot on a B-24 in Europe

He told me some pretty interesting stories. Like when they were getting close to the target and he'd scrunch down in his seat as he watched bombers ahead of him go down in flames.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 08:38 AM

59. Thank you. I didn't know this.

And Trump personifies Mr. Potter...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 09:36 AM

64. Thanks for posting

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 12:38 PM

73. K & R Good info to share with friends

Thanks Heartstrings!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 01:14 PM

75. I gave Jimmy a kiss and hug once

1987 in an elevator. His wife was there, she laughed and he was adorable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to Roland99 (Reply #76)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 02:09 PM

78. Thank you, Roland99!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 02:05 PM

77. I absolutely hate that movie

Potterville seems like a much more fun place to live than Bedford Falls...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to brooklynite (Reply #77)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 02:46 PM

79. No surprise that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ZZenith (Reply #79)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 03:23 PM

82. Library with evening hours, music, sexual liberty...

...and we won't even get into the Bailey Building and Loan's policy on nepotism...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to brooklynite (Reply #77)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 03:22 PM

81. LOL! smdh.... (nt)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 03:26 PM

84. Thanks.

Watching Mr. Smith Goes To Washington recently made me recall the America of yesteryear (for all its faults) a little more fondly.

Of course, the ending of that movie is ridiculous by today's standards, with the corrupt senator admitting the error of his ways! Maybe someday honorable behavior will be the standard for American politicians instead of the exception for so many.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 10:16 PM

91. Oops!

The author seems to have forgotten to thank the women who gave “up so much to serve their country during wartime”.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 10:18 PM

92. No one cares if he was a con

Unlike those of today, Jimmy Stewart put his money where his mouth was and stepped up when everyone needed a big clutch play.


No doubt that's why it looks so odd to everyone now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread