The Lost Ending Of It’s A Wonderful Life!

Has it ever bothered you that, at the end of It’s A Wonderful Life, Mr. Potter basically gets away with nearly destroying George’s life?  It’s certainly bothers me!

Well, fortunately, the lost ending of It’s A Wonderful Life has been uploaded to YouTube!  Broadcast on a 1986 episode of Saturday Night Live and introduced by William Shatner (who, it must be said, really gets into introducing the clip), this clip gives George the revenge that he deserves!

As George Bailey put it: “You double-crossed me and left me alive!”

(Incidentally, I love the fact that Uncle Billy says that he talked to “Clarence at the bank.”  Obviously, Clarence put those wings to good use!)


From 1939, it’s Lionel Barrymore and Orson Welles in A Christmas Carol!

This radio production of A Christmas Carol was originally broadcast on Christmas Eve, 1939.  It’s not really Christmas unless you experience at least one version of Charles Dickens’s classic holiday tale and this version features not only Orson Welles providing the narration but Lionel Barrymore playing the role of Scrooge!

Other members of the cast included such well-known Welles’s associates as  Everett Sloane (Marley’s ghost), Frank Readick (Bob Cratchit), Erskine Sanford (Fezziwig) and George Coulouris (Ghost of Christmas Present).  Two years after this broadcast, Welles, Sloane, Sanford, and Coulouris would all appear in Citizen Kane.

For your listening pleasure, we offer up this journey to the past….

Celebrate Life Day With The Star Wars Holiday Special!

Happy Life Day!

The Star Wars Holiday Special was first aired in 1978 and, over the years, it has achieved a certain amount of infamy.  Some people say that it’s the worst thing to ever be made for TV.  To those people, I say that 1) that’s not a good attitude to have on Life Day and 2) have you seen Disco Beaver From Outer Space?

Anyway, this is a musical Star Wars extravaganza.  One thing that makes it interesting is that Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher were all ordered to appear in it.  Seeing as how Harrison Ford tends to come across as being grumpy on a good day, I can only imagine how he reacted to filming The Star Wars Holiday Special.

Also, a few years ago, Val reviewed the Hell out of this thing.  Be sure to check out her review.

And now, for those of you looking to experience a dubious piece of pop culture history on this Christmas, we present to you …. The Star Wars Holiday Special!

Enjoy The Miracle on 34th Street!

Now, before anyone asks, this is not the Oscar-nominated original with Edmund Gwenn and Natalie Wood.  Nor is it the 90s remake with Richard Attenborough and that girl who gives a hundred interviews a year about how she doesn’t care about being famous.

Instead, this is a 46-minute made-for-TV production from 1955!  It stars the one and only Thomas Mitchell (you’ll remember him as Uncle Billy from It’s A Wonderful Life) as the man who might be Santa Claus!

Even though this version may not be quite the holiday masterpiece that the original is, I still like it.  You really can’t go wrong with Thomas Mitchell as Santa.


And remember….


6 Trailers For Christmas

It’s a holiday and you know what that means!

Or maybe you don’t.  Sometimes, I forget that not everyone can read my mind.  Anyway, I used to do a weekly post of my favorite grindhouse trailers.  Eventually, it went from being a weekly thing to being an occasional thing, largely due to the fact that there’s only so many trailers available on YouTube.  Now, Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers is something that I usually bring out on a holiday.

Like today!

So, here are 6 trailers for the holiday season!

Christmas Evil (1980)

Believe it or not, this is actually a really good movie.  In fact, it’s probably the best killer Santa movie ever made.  The ending will blow your mind.

Don’t Open Till Christmas (1984)

This, on the other hand, is one of the worst Christmas movies ever.  I reviewed it a few years ago.

Black Christmas (1974)

Long before he made A Christmas Story, Bob Clark directed this classic holiday-themed horror film.

Black Christmas (2006)

Of course, as happens with any classic Canadian horror film from the 70s, Black Christmas was remade in the aughts.

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (1964)

There was no way that I wasn’t going to include this trailer.

And finally, we have a trailer that’s not really a Christmas film but it’s so trippy, festive, and oddly disturbing that I had to share it.

Pinocchio’s Birthday Party (1973)

Happy holidays!

Lifetime Christmas Movie Review: The Christmas Pact (dir by Marita Grabiak)

I’ll admit it.  I get sentimental around Christmas time.

Actually, to be honest, I’m sentimental all the time but I’m even more so once December rolls around.  Suddenly, the simplest little things can bring tears to my mismatched eyes.  I find myself telling complete strangers about how much I relate to Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street and Violet Bickerstaff in It’s a Wonderful Life.  December is the time of the year when I suddenly find myself walking up to my neighbors and complimenting them on how they decorated their house.  I actually find myself spending more money on other people than on myself.

And I guess I’m not alone in that.  I mean, that really is one of the big things about the holidays.  Regardless of how cynical or snarky the world may be, it’s always safe to be sentimental in December.  That’s something that’s certainly understood by the programmers at Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel.  This month, both of those networks have broadcast some of the most sentimental films ever made.

Take The Christmas Pact, for instance.  This film, which aired on Lifetime, was one of the most unabashedly sentimental films that I’ve ever seen.  That’s not a complaint, of course.  Or at least, that’s not a complaint in December.  If the film had been released in October and called The Halloween Pact or maybe The Labor Day Pact, I might feel differently.  But this is The Christmas Pact!

In this one, Kyla Pratt played Sadie and Jarod Joseph played Ben.  They’ve grown up next to each other.  They’re best friends.  One year, they plant a tree and, every year after that, they meet at the tree on Christmas and they not only add a ormenant but they also discuss their Christmas wishes.  It’s an incredibly sweet idea and, from the start, it’s pretty obvious that they’re meant to be together.

Unfortunately, the path of true love never runs clear.  In this case, it’s partially because everyone swears that you can’t fall in love with your best friend.  (I actually used to believe that but then I did fall in love with my best friend.  Yay love!)  It’s also because Sadie has big plans and opportunities, the majority of which involve leaving town for some place better.  Can true love survive in a complicated world?

Of course it can!  It’s Christmas!

Anyway, The Christmas Pact has a nice idea behind it, even if it is sometimes easy to get annoyed with just how unnecessarily difficult Ben and (especially) Sadie make things.  In the end, though, Kyla Pratt and Jarod Joseph had enough chemistry to keep the story moving.  As I said earlier, it’s December.  Things that wouldn’t work in any other month do work in December.

That’s the magic of Christmas.