Anyone who participated in the movie thread understands that I love It’s a Wonderful Life, it has always left me with mixed emotions after viewing it. On the one hand, it’s an enjoyable film with an uplifting message; on the other hand, it leaves a number of puzzling questions and observations in its wake. For instance:
1. The most obvious irritant left dangling at the movie’s conclusion is the fact that evil old Mr. Potter still has about $8,000.00 of other people’s money in his cold little hands and no one is the wiser. That's a lot of jack in barely post WWII times.
Would it have been too much to ask for a cut-scene where Potter is stuck in his wheel-chair in the snow while wolves slowly descend upon him or one showing him being murdered by his butler--the only other living soul who knows he has the missing cash?
2. Why does anybody give the job of depositing eight grand to Uncle Billy, a man who can’t be trusted to remember George’s wedding day and whose best friend in the world is, apparently, a squirrel?
3. After the townspeople show up with money how is it that the sheriff decides he doesn’t need to worry about those pesky criminal charges…and why exactly does the bank examiner agree?
4. And why does everyone keep dolling out money after the telegram arrives announcing up to 25K could be advanced by the town rich-kid anyway?
5. George’s brother Harry dies after falling through an icy patch without George to save him---meaning that everything leading up to that day and the infamous “shovel sled catastrophe” was completely unaffected by George’s absence...which makes the otherwise horrific impact in terms of later events all the more mystifying.
6. George’s beautiful, well educated and capable wife becomes a spinster without him around for her to fall in love with. And this in turn leads to her wearing dowdy, unattractive clothes and, somehow, to vision problems that can then only be resolved with really bad looking eye-glasses.
7. Why is it that without George around Uncle Billy, who seemed reasonably okay with the idea of the building and loan closing prior to George saving the day, goes insane and ends up in a mental institution?
8. Why does Bedford Falls become something akin to New Sodom without George, as the town movie house, lovely homes, and quaint shops, are replaced with pawn shops, liquor stores, cat houses, and various other dens of iniquity?
9. We don’t learn what happens to George’s former housekeeper, but we can only assume that she is a prostitute.
10. Violet, the town beauty, becomes a prostitute…
11. Without George as a moral compass, Bert the cop, who should be a responsible war-hero, thinks firing his pistol wildly at a man who is at worst drunk and disorderly is pretty fine police work while cabby Ernie, the once happy go lucky troubadour, is left by his wife (presumably because George wasn't there to build Bailey Court--you can't underestimate the value of a well built home).
I suppose taking the obvious importance of George in the world it is equally safe to assume that without him being present to fight the Battle of Bedford Falls resource drives or act as air-raid warden, etc., the Nazi’s probably won the war and all non-Aryans were rounded up and done away with (which might be the alternate explanation of what happened to his housekeeper).
Man, that George Bailey really was important...
Anyway, those are just a few things that have always bugged me.