It’s almost Christmas, and for me lately, that means watching a lot of RiffTrax Christmas movies and short films! All of these can be found on the RiffTrax website.
Full explanation of my ranking system is here. Summary: C is average, A/B is recommended, D is badly made, F is something to avoid.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Yes, it’s the Frank Capra film everyone’s seen. Sort of. Because of the weird situation with the copyright on this film, they couldn’t get the rights to stream a riffed version of the entire film. The whole “I wish I had never been born!” moment and the resulting trip to an evil parallel universe is technically a derived work based on a short story that is still under copyright, as are a couple songs used in the original film.
So they cut it out to restore it to a public domain version.
It sounds crazy, but they actually made this work. It’s a solid B riff, but I gave it the B+ because of the audacity of this move. It’s no Star Wars Holiday Special, but it’s definitely worth watching.
Some of my Favorite Lines:
“Their eyes are in their WINGS?!”
“Try not to sound so excited about the abuse, Clarence!”
“You were always best at getting Uncle Billy’s head out when he got it stuck in the pickle barrel!”
“Can’t wait until I escape from this giant house full of servants and REALLY make it big!”
“Hey, remember when Harry smacked the maid on the ass and chased her around?”
“Grab a complimentary office crow!”
Side Note: One thing that strikes me odd about the (unriffed) movie is what a miserable, horrible person George Bailey is. Also, I still find it enraging that Harry Potter, the evil banker, gets away with stealing $8,000, which would be more than $112,000 in today’s money. I know people today steal much higher sums of money, but for several decades around the time that movie was made, there was a big deal about movies showing villains not getting their come-uppance in the end. I’m shocked people accepted this.
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