5:39 am in Uncategorized by RFShunt
It’s that time of year again, when people fall back to their tried-and-true holiday traditions.
The merry revelers at Fox News clench their teeth and hiss at the horror of being wished happiness in any way that fails to meet their precise specifications.
Retailers emphasize the family spirit of the holiday by forcing employees to work nearly around the clock to meet end of year sales goals.
And movie fans everywhere gather around the Samsung to watch George Bailey learn, once again, that It’s A Wonderful Life.
Frank Capra’s holiday classic has been lionized, analyzed, and fondly remembered more times than Dutch Reagan’s union busting at a tea party social. When it comes to this film, there’s really no new ground to cover. So this year, I thought we would harken back to the simpler times of post-WWII America. Let’s flash back to that era of red-baiting, demagoguery and Joe McCarthy for an old-time review of the movie.
Luckily those renown film scholars over at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have given us just the thing. Made available through the magic of FOIA request, and since buried again, we find an in-depth, if rather specialized, look at the charms of It’s a Wonderful Life. True to their no-nonsense style, the FBI wasted no time on fancy film talk and instead came directly to this cheery yuletide verdict about the film: Communist Propaganda.
Here’s a sampling of what those impish elves at the Bureau had to say:
With regard to the picture It’s A Wonderful Life, [REDACTED] stated in substance that the film represented a rather obvious attempt to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as “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.
Fiendishly clever of those commies, casting Lionel Barrymore as the villain when Roy Rogers would have worked just as well. Roy probably needed the work too.
But there’s more.
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. [REDACTED] related that if he had made this picture portraying the banker, he wold have shown this individual to have been following the rules as laid down by the State Bank Examiners in connection with making loans. Further, [REDACTED] stated that the scene woundn’t have “suffered at all” in portraying the banker as a man who was protecting funds put in his care by private individuals and adhering to the rules governing the loan of that money
They have a point – think of how this would have improved the dialog:
I’ve had enough of you, George Bailey. You and your upstart building and loan! I’m going to get you by protecting funds put in my care by private individuals and adhering to the rules governing the loan of that money as laid down by the State Bank Examiners in connection with making loans.
Sure writers Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett came up with a snappy line or two, but look at the veritable music they missed out on.
Now you may wonder how those stodgy boys at the FBI were able to come up with such knowing criticism of the movie without any help. And you’d be right to, because for this kind of work they needed the aid of somebody in the know, a sidekick, somebody who was hep and with it when it came to the glamorous ways of Hollywood. And the bureau found that help in their gal, Ayn Rand.
It turns out the FBI enlisted a panel of Hollywood types who were wise to the crafty ways of the movie biz pinkos. And among those cognoscenti was the plucky and ever-eager Ayn. Together they put together a 2008 page report entitled “Communist Infiltration of the Motion Picture Industry” (COMPIC).