18 March 2006 | omalleypa
Magic Town - It's A Wonderful Film!
I will comment on this film in general terms and try to avoid spoilers...
I have read through a lot of other people's comments and I think many of them missed the point of Magic Town. Yes, it's old-fashioned and a little corny, and yes it's not as good as It's A Wonderful Life, but in my opinion, IAWL is one of the most emotionally-stirring and profound films ever made. I have seen IAWL many times, but have never made it through the final scene without tears!
In very simplistic terms IAWL is about the positive effects one person can have on society, without even realizing it, while Magic Town is more about the negative effects one can have on the masses.
Someone previously commented "Not a bad person in the whole town".
The plot does not focus on purely "bad" people because that would detract from the point of the narrative. In this film, James Stewart is essentially the bad guy! He's selfish, greedy, manipulative and dishonest, and it is his actions, with a little bit of help from Jane Wyman, that cause a chain of events that virtually destroy the fabric of the town. When this happens, these "good" people become pessimistic, lazy and selfish.
However, I do agree with some of the other comments, including the one that says "People had to learn the perfect society has to be practiced individually, intentionally and daily for it to become a reality." That is at the core of this film, and it is illustrated beautifully.
I won't spoil it for people who haven't seen the film, but I think the way that the main characters turn this situation around is truly brilliant!
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that, on its own merits, Magic Town is a truly wonderful film. If you are a fan of IAWL, James Stewart or Jane Wyman - or just a fan of a good stories with depth, darkness, humor, personality and emotion - I recommend it highly.
I give it 8/10. (IAWL gets a 9/10.)