It's a Wonderful Life (Academy Award Nominee Best Film, 100 Greatest Films, 1946)


It's a Wonderful Life (Academy Award Nominee Best Film, 100 Greatest Films, 1946)

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FADE IN: Foreshadow of the Resolution: " my friend George Bailey…"

Meeting the Mentor: God, Joseph and Clarence.

Mentor's Challenge: will I get my wings?

Meeting the Hero: George as a kid.

Hero's Capabilities and Nature: George saves his kid brother, Harry Bailey.

Meeting the Antagonist: Potter.

Meeting the Romantic Challenge: Mary.

Meeting the Goddess' Competition: Violet.

Developing the Romantic Challenge: see stupid, don't you know where coconuts come from.

Hero's Inner Challenge: I'm going exploring some day.

Meeting the Loyal Ally: Uncle Billy.

Meeting the Mentor / Developing the Antagonist: Pa Bailey confronts Potter.

Hero's True Nature: George saves Gower from killing the boy.

Grown George

Mentor likes the Hero: "...I like George Bailey…"

Preparing for a Journey: George buys a suitcase.

Mentor's Magical Gift: the suitcase is a present from Old Man Gower.

Meeting Allies: Cabbie Ernie and Officer Bert.

Meeting the Goddess' Competition: this old thing, I only wear it when I don't care what I look like.

Hero's Ordinary World: George at home having dinner with Dad.

Developing the Antagonist [through referencing]: he's [Potter] is a man with no heart or soul.

Developing the Hero: I want to do something big and important, build cities, travel.

Call to Adventure: why don't you stay behind and look after the Building and Loan?

Refusal: it's just not for me Pa.

Developing the Antagonist [through referencing]: this town is no place unless you're prepared to crawl to Potter.

Pushed to the First Threshold:

Outer Cave / Creatures of this World: at the party; meeting Sam, Violet etc.

Meeting the Romantic Challenge: George sees Mary.

Developing the Romantic Challenge: George dances with Mary.

Trial: the swimming pool opens up.

Middle Cave: Developing the Romantic Challenge: George offers to Lasso the moon; the big old house where Mary wants to live. Refusal: I'm going to see the world. Conflict: why don't you kiss her? Ahh, youth is wasted on the wrong people.

Pulled to the Inner Cave: George, come on home, your father's had a stroke.

Inner Cave: Peter Bailey dies; confronting Potter; Building and Loan will go to Potter unless George stays on.

Resisting the Physical Separation: Harry can take over the Building and Loan once he's finished college; Harry returns but is offered a job.

Pushed to the Physical Separation: Ma Bailey tells George to go and see Mary.

Misdirection: Violet is the wrong girl.

Resisting the Physical Separation: George resists Mary. Obstacles: Sam calls; Mother.

Pulled to the Physical Separation: George can't resist kissing Mary.

Physical Separation: George and Mary get married.

Pulled to the Transformation: $2k in their hands and something funny going on at the bank.

Trial / Transformation 1: George stops a run on the bank and stops Potter buying it by using his honeymoon money.

Celebrating the passing of the Trial: "…open the bottles …"

Developing Characters and Relationships: Bert and Ernie prepare the house; serenade.

World of the Transformation: welcomed into the big house.

Transforming: Bailey Park; Mr Martini moves in.

Developing the Antagonism / Foreshadow of Trial 2: Potter has to do something about Bailey Park.

Hero's Frustration: George and Mary meet Sam with his new car.

Trial / Transformation 2: Potter offers to pay George a heft salary.

Transforming: Mary is expecting.

Time Shift: more children and the war.

Transformation Complete: Harry becomes a war hero and George is well established.

Time Pressure: the bank examiner is here.

Seizing the Sword: Uncle Billy loses the $8k and Potter doesn't give it back.

Developing the Hero's True Nature: George lends Violet some money.

Time Pressure: the bank examiner is here.

Near Death Experience: George roughs up Uncle Billy; "…you silly stupid old fool…."

Near Death Experience: George is very angry at home.

Atonement with the Father: George begs Potter for the money; the reporters are waiting for him; George will go to jail.

Apotheosis: George is worth more dead than alive; George contemplates suicide.

Ultimate Boon: George preys.

Refusal: George gets punched in Martinis.

Magic Flight: George takes the car and crashes into the tree.

Rescue from Without: Clarence arrives and shows him what the town would have been like if he had never been born.

Crossing the Return Threshold: George prays to be back with his family; Bert recognises him.

Master of the Two Worlds: George appreciates Mary, the kids et al.

Freedom to Live: George's friends make a collection.

Mentor's Challenge Conquered: Clarence gets his wings.



by Kal Bashir