Review

  • This was a great idea, a recreation of the 1947 Lux radio Theater version of the film classic, It's A Wonderful Life, with an all-star cast of the late-90s. Almost all of the actors are excellent. People who think Hollywood movie stars can only play themselves, or are unable to give theatrical performances in front of an audience, should see this.

    The one exception for me was Bill Pullman, who doesn't seem to connect to the role of George Bailey with even a small fraction of the emotion or concentration of James Stewart. From what I've been told (not sure if it's accurate), Tom Hanks was supposed to play George, but had to drop out, and Pullman stepped in at the last minute. He seems under-rehearsed, and, at times, confused. Since George is in almost every scene, well, it's unfortunate. Because he's likable and seems like the right type.

    It's a good recreation of an old-time radio show in almost every particular, from sound effects men to a full band. The only way it differs significantly is that on shows like Lux, the actors wore street clothes, they didn't dress up as the characters they were playing, the way some seem to here (Craig Sheffer, for ex).

    Anyhow, take a look - it's something offbeat for the Christmas season. And listen to the original broadcast with Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Victor Moore (as Clarence).