Sunday, 20 December 2020

just say the word and i’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down

On this day in 1946, Frank Capra’s holiday classic (previously, see also) had a special preview held for charity in New York City’s Globe Theatre on this day, just before its theatrical release in cinemas across the US.
Due to a clerical error by the movie’s new owners, the National Telefilm Associates—whom had bought it from Paramount Pictures, who previously had absorbed Liberty Films, were not able to renew their copyright in 1974 and thus It’s a Wonderful Life became an inexpensive filler for local network affiliates to air during the holiday season (because of the lapsed studio copyright, no royalties on the movie itself needed to be paid, though a nominal fee went to the estate of the short story “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern which the film was based on). This looping repetition for a several decades, through 1996, endeared the story to countless viewers.