1947 FBI Memo Re: “It’s A Wonderful Life”

Yesterday vs. today:

1947 FBI Memo Re: “It’s A Wonderful Life”

With regard to the picture “It’s a Wonderful Life”, [redacted] stated in substance that the film represented rather obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a ‘scrooge-type’ so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick used by Communists. [In] addition, [redacted] stated that, in his opinion, this picture deliberately maligned the upper class, attempting to show the people who had money were mean and despicable characters.”

Related: 

It’s a Wonderful Life (in some ways)

“Every year about now I watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” again to remind myself what Frank Capra understood about America — its essential decency and common sense. In many ways the nation is better than it was in 1946 when the movie first appeared. Women have gained economic power and reproductive rights; we enacted Civil Rights and Voting Rights and, through Medicare and Medicaid, dramatically reduced poverty among the elderly; we began to tackle environmental devastation; we stopped treating gays as criminals and have even started to recognize equal marriage rights. We elected and then re-elected the first black president of the United States. But we are still in danger of the “Pottersville” Capra envisioned as the alternative to what happens when Americans fail to join together and forget the meaning of the public good. The craven and cynical bullies symbolized by Lionel Barrymore’s “Mr. Potter” are threatening our democracy and our common morality. We must continue to fight them.”

— Robert Reich