Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Best Pictures That Never Were: Day 1

For the next 18 days I will be listing movies that were nominated for Best Picture but didn’t win even though they deserved it.

Year: 1946
Movie: It’s A Wonderful Life
Best Picture Winner: The Best Years of Our Lives

There is no doubt that both these movies are great. For those of you that haven’t seen The Best Years of Our Lives its definitely a movie worthy of a Best Picture title, like most of the Best Picture winners on this list, but when compared to It’s A Wonderful Life it comes up short for me.
I viewed It’s A Wonderful Life for the first time as a kid in the early ‘90’s and it has become a movie that I watch every year when the Christmas season rolls around. To me the movie is flawless, with great performances from Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed and an engaging story that still holds up today.
Yet in 1946 the movie opened up in New York City to mixed reviews. The contemporary critical reviews were considered to be mostly negative by the films director Frank Capra. This only goes to show you that critics don’t know what movies are going to stand the test of time and become classics in American Cinema. I guarantee you if you go out and ask people if they saw the movie The Best Years of Our Lives they’re going to say no, but if you ask people if you saw its A Wonderful Life, 99 percent of people will say yes.
It’s A Wonderful Life is just simply a wonderful movie that didn’t deserve to get mixed reviews or be a box office flop, it deserved to be an outstanding success and in my opinion deserved to take home the Best Picture honor. At least it will be a movie that will mean so much to generations to come.

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