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5 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Remake much less dated

9/10
Author: seduffy from United States
1 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I assume slamming "It's a Wonderful Life" is probably like knocking the book "A Christmas Carol"--both are sacred, no matter how sick people actually are of them (are the round-the- clock showings of "Wonderful" really necessary?). I'm another one who saw this remake first, and then attempted to watch the original. I suspect that 1930s-era film may be one of the most difficult periods for modern audiences to appreciate. I found the original "It's a Wonderful Life" impossible to watch--saccharine and sappy in the extreme.

The characters in the remake were much more believable, and to me this was a very successful update. The pain of both the main characters--Rogers' character, returning from WWII with a permanent injury, and Thomas' lead, who is trapped in a life she didn't plan for-- are quite realistic. Thomas seems *genuinely* suicidal; the causes of her depression are clear, and also, like a depressed person, she has become isolated from her family and is snapping at those around her. The premise of the original film, if you think about it, is quite serious; it has a kind of "Our Town" melancholy hanging over it, but this seems lost amid layers of hoke in the very dated original.

I haven't seen "It Happened One Christmas" in years, and keep hoping in vain that it will be re-released, or at least shown at Christmastime.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

It Happened One Christmas

10/10
Author: John40ish from United States
16 April 2007

I feel this remake was a great movie and felt, Marlo Thomas did so much better then Jimmy Stewart. I thought his acting really stunk in the original, plus he didn't show much realism to the part. Esp the part where he was to jump off the bridge and kill himself was so stupid. If you pay close attention, his guardian angel jumped in the river so George can save him, if you notice George jumped off the same bridge he was to kill himself, if he wasn't gonna die by jumping off the same bridge the same way by saving the stupid angel, why didn't he die when he jumped in to save the angel. This part was so stupid. The remake with Marlo, you see her getting ready to jump, but stops as her guardian angel falls in to the side by stepping on some ice near the edge, not jump off the same bridge to save her guardian angel to kill herself, it looked more realistic. I can't find the remake anywhere, even tried looking on ebay, but have not found it, if anyone has found it whether VHS or preferably DVD, please let me know.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Great show!

10/10
Author: Star DeLaRosa from United States
19 November 2006

I Loved this show and have been trying to find it for such a long time. I am still searching for it so if anyone knows where I can get it from please let me know. Thanks. I recommend this show for a good family Christmas movie to sit down and watch after Christmas dinner before sending the kids to bed to wait for Santa to come. :) This show has a heartfelt meaning and really makes you realize the good things in life and that the bad things are really not that bad once you realize the Love you have of your family and friends. Even when things look so bleak in life God always has a different plan for all of us in our lives. God Bless everyone..

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3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

All time favorite Christmas story

9/10
Author: scottngregg from United States
18 March 2006

I must be the only person in the world, no the universe, that did not like the original story "it's a Wonderful Life." But then I saw the remake called "It Happened One Christmas" and I have loved that story ever since. It was only repeated on TV a few years and I have been looking for it ever since. I have the feeling I'm not the only one who found that remake more enjoyable than the original and would love to see it again. Please, if anyone out there, reading this message has the clout to get it into print, I know it will gain a "cult" following and make the reproducers of the movie very happy!! As well as all the fans...

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3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A great movie (even if it is a remake)

9/10
Author: rebekahdavignon from United States
2 March 2006

Marlo Thomas is a terrific actress who has finally shaken the "all too wholesome" That Girl image. She is one of those who communicates emotion very believably. I have nothing bad to say about Jimmy Stewart and enjoy most of his films. Having seen both "It's a Wonderful Life" and "It Happened One Christmas", I must say that there are good points to both. I enjoyed Ms Thomas's role immensely and would buy a copy of the film if it was available - though according to her the company owning the rights to the movie aren't releasing them. I think that all of the actors (and the director) did a very good job of telling the story.

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3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

I enjoyed this movie-it's a creative, different approach-brave, too.

7/10
Author: moose0423 from United States
5 January 2006

While most remakes & sequels are generally not worth while, I really enjoyed this movie. Marlo Thomas has been a favorite of mine since "That Girl". Given that opinion, I thought her performance was refreshing. "It's A Wonderful Life" has always been my favorite Christmas movie & that has not been diminished by this remake. Like most remakes, it presents a different approach to the classic's original concept. The acting was well done-can anyone really fault the performance of Orson Wells as Mr. Potter? Having a female lead is really just another way of telling the story but definitely required imagination to make it work. Judging from the comments I read pertaining to this movie, my opinion won't be popular but differences of opinion make life more interesting & it's good that I am not alone in genuinely liking this movie. The statement "if it's not broken..." is true. However it you look at all the remakes of Dickens "Christmas Carol" it shows that everyone has a viewpoint on how even such a classic as this can been revised-my favorite was produced in 1951. If only I could find this movie in a store....

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3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

It Happened One Christmas

10/10
Author: ShrinkingViolet54 from United States
29 December 2005

Although i agree It's a Wonderful life is a classic and does have some great actors/actresses. Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed are great actors but i found this movie with Marlo Thomas to be a good movie. Every year i look for it and cant find it on. I've only seen it once and am now looking for one on DVD so i can watch it every year. Marlo Thomas is a good actress and this remake could be a classic for the future generations to come. I'm hoping they aren't going to let this movie just sit on the shelf collecting dust. So come on TV stations, please take this movie off the shelf and give others a chance to enjoy it. I would definitely recommend this movie to others.

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3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

It Happened One Christmas

7/10
Author: chazzer3332000 from United States
13 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My view of this remake of It's a Wonderful Life is that it was wonderful. Far from being a put-down of Ms. Thomas' talents, it showcased them as a positive tribute to the original movie. She struggles, and makes you believe.

This struggle of a person who wants to find a way out of what she sees as a pointless life is only sparked by Cloris Leachman as the Angel. Like the many remakes of A Christmas Carol, this story is timeless and deserves any remakes that capture the original spirit. Brava, Ms. Thomas, I would strongly recommend this remake.

If I can buy this movie, I will.

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3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Excellent movie! Updated version of an old time classic!

10/10
Author: freedom-23 from Philadelphia, Pa
4 November 2004

I agree that this is a great movie. The traditions of the holiday as well as of the family and friends are an abundant theme throughout the movie. The feeling of the movie is of the times when family was first and Christmas was a magical time and place. The movie, although sweet and with a great ending, isn't meant to be a perfect script or a classic writing. It is just to make one feel good. It was a TV movie that had been advertised as a gift from Marlo. Marlo plays an excellent role. She was vibrant and endearing. She made you believe her role really happened. Her characters situation is one that many women would not have filled in that day and age. Wayne Rodgers played a much different character than his role on MASH. He was a great supporting actor.

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3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Great! A twist to the Jimmy Stewart classic

10/10
Author: Dolores (Hoopie80@aol.com) from Pennsylvania, USA
13 December 2002

It Happened One Christmas is a great movie. I loved it. I only wish it was available on video or DVD. I have searched everywhere I can think of to find a copy of this movie. I don't know the company that made it but if anyone does or knows how I can get a copy of this movie I would love it if you would contact me. It is such a nice twist to the It's a Wonderful life which of course is an all time classic. It is worth watching. I only wish Disney would put it on again so I could tape it! Happy Holidays!

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