About Me •
by Pat McDonald
© Pat McDonald 2006
all rights reserved
One of my all time favorite movies is the Holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life". George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) is a true hero, no doubt about it. Only one thing bothers me; I can't help but believe that things could have been a lot better for George if he had just been a little clearer in his thinking.
The crucial point in the movie is when George says to his guardian angel " . . . I guess it would've been better if I'd never been born." That's when the fit hits the shan and, poof, George's life gets a little weird. He made the wrong wish.
Because he'd suddenly "never been born" he lost his wife, family & friends. Even his brother never lived to save that convoy because George hadn't been there to save him! He should have said: "Ya know, I've really screwed up the last fifteen years or so of my life, I wish I could go back and fix my mistakes."
Then, maybe he would have demanded the right to go to college, to travel and to build things and to hell with Bedford Falls! George could have built an exact replica of it someplace else with the money he made by going into plastics with Sam Wainright.
How much more could he have helped others if he had just follwed his dreams when he had the opportunity. Going back ten or fifteen years, Mr. Gower wouldn't have killed anyone. Martini would have struggled by renting for a few more years and the Bailey Building and Loan would have collapsed -- possibly keeping George's father from dying too young of a stress induced heart attack.
Meanwhile, George would have become a very talented and wealthy architect and businessman. He'd come home to Bedford Falls and swallow up the evil Potter's feeble conglomerate in a series of secret corporate takeovers. He could then turn his hometown into a high-tech, environmentally-aware city of tomorrow.
His wife, Mary would have waited for George to sow his wild oats. In fact, we know from the alternate reality presented in the movie that she would have remained a virginal librarian. George would have returned to sweep her off her feet, only now he'd have "lassoed the moon" for her.
It is a grand scenerio. I can't help but wonder what other great tales could benefit from good timing and a clear head. Would Romeo and Juliet have done the happily-ever-after thing? Would Elsa have stayed with Rick and let Victor go off to fight the good fight?
I know, Rhett wouldn't have bothered with Scarlett.