Thursday, December 04, 2014

The Story Behind It's a Wonderful Life

Did you know that the iconic Christmas movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" was based off of a short story by historian Philip Van Doren Stern? I didn't until I saw this book, The Greatest Gift: The Original Story That Inspired the Christmas Classic It's a Wonderful Life, recently at a local book store. I had to read it!

Admittedly it is hard to judge the story on its own merits, in light of the fact that the movie version starring Jimmy Stewart is so well-known. Suffice it to say that this version is different, but the main components are there. It is very interesting to read and compare.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this 1996 edition is the afterword by Van Doren Stern's daughter Marguerite Stern Robinson. She shares how the idea for the story came to him on February 12, 1938, when he was shaving. It wasn't until 1943 that he showed the finished story to his agent. It never found a buyer. The author had become fond of the story, however, and decided to pay to have 200 copies printed in pamphlet form which he sent out for Christmas in 1943. The rest, as they say, is history (but definitely worth reading about!).


dog opus said...

Hi, Patrice! I saw your piece about the fruits of the Rosary's mysteries on Catholic Exchange while searching for this information. I've been enrolled in the confraternity of the Brown Scapular for two years and pray the rosary daily. I was wondering if you would share your source material/references as I have been seeking something like an official guide to the fruits of the mysteries for my prayer. What I've been using is very similar to your list (I got mine in an iPhone app.), but, again, I'd like an authoritative guide.

Thanks in advance, and may the Lord bless you and yours.



Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur said...

Hi Patrick - I'm glad that you found the article helpful. I actually wrote it several years ago and CE pulled it from their archives. I truly don't remember where I got the list of what fruit goes with which mystery; the reflections were my own. In terms of a reliable source, I would think the Marian Fathers are highly trustworthy: Best wishes, Patrice

dog opus said...

Thanks a lot, Patrice! God bless you and yours during this Advent season.

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