Friday, December 28, 2012

It’s a Wonderful Life: The Little Story That Did

Part Dante, part film noir, part Bible story, Capra’s classic survives its unhappy debut.

“While shaving on the morning of February 28, 1938, a man named Philip got an idea for a short story. The whole thing came to him at once, from beginning to end. It was about the averted suicide of a desperate man named George, who, with a little help from a heavenly friend, finds out what would have happened had he not been born. Excited, Phil hocked his little fable to editors everywhere.

No one wanted it.

But Philip Van Doren Stern never gave up. He printed 200 copies of his 24-page mini-epic and gave them as Christmas gifts to friends, including his Hollywood agent, in 1943. In the parlance of Facebook, this is when it got “liked.” Big-time.”

This is the beginning of an article by Patrick Coffin in the National Review Online describing how an unwanted story eventually was named “America's Most Inspiring Movie” by the American Film Institute.

Read the full article.

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