Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Blogging From A to Z - R is for Rain

Welcome to the It's A Wonderful Blog's Blogging From A to Z April (2015) Challenge. For this challenge, I will post every day in April (except for Sundays) about topics related to the Frank Capra/Jimmy Stewart film, It's a Wonderful Life.


Wedding days are meant to be beautiful. They are days of celebration, optimism and love.

But sometimes it just needs to rain. And for some people, that rain coincides with one of the most important days of their lives.

On the day George and Mary wed, the audience does not see the wedding. The event itself is not important. What IS important is that we see George genuinely happy for the first time in this film.

Looking out the taxi window at the bank run
Source: https://www.pinterest.com/lizchris610/its-a-wonderful-life/
As the happy couple runs outside, we see them doused by rice and rain. Rain typically is considered to be bad luck on a couple’s wedding date. We soon will learn that while it is a happy day for the couple because of their wedding, it also is a day of trial and success for the building and loan.

As Ernie drives the couple away in his cab, George and Mary tell him about their planned adventures. As they do this, the audience can see through the back window of the taxi that people are running down the street in the rain, some without umbrellas. We soon learn why the residents are running, as Ernie pulls his cab over and tells George that there is “something funny going on” at the bank. He adds that he believes it is a bank run.

George and Mary stop kissing and turn to look. We see the couple in close-up, framed by the rain-streaked cab window. When George climbs out of the cab to see what is going on, Mary is left framed alone and lonely in the cab's window. The rain streaking down the window is symbolic of the sadness she feels at that moment and the tears she is not crying. They are supposed to be on their way to their honeymoon. Instead, they are facing a challenge to the family business.

According to Jeanine Basinger, author of The It's a Wonderful Life Book, Frank Capra learned while researching for the film that the “weather in the New York State area that Bedford Falls was allegedly situated in had rain during the bank run of 1933” (Basinger 41). Capra added rain to the scene to make it more realistic.

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