19 thoughts on “Christmas in Pottersville”

  1. Hi! Tony,
    Oh!…now I get it!(The “snow” effect)…you’re taking a more “noirish” approach to your post on Christmas Day!…I think the “snow” effect, really works in conjunction with the picture of a despairing George Bailey.(Jimmy Stewart)

    dcd 😉


  2. Ah, Pottersville! I wouldn’t expect any other look at this timeless American classic here at filmsnoir.net than this tableau of American greed an dcorrosion, the very subject of so many pieces here at this oasis of noirish film studies on the net. Yet, as Tony d’Ambra has often admitted–he is a sentimentalist at heart–and an acknowledgement of sort to Frank Capra and his holiday masterpieces is the least he could do–LOL!!!—the snow falling effect is define too!! As the sun sets on the Australian Christmas day of 2008, I would like to wish the incomparable Mr. d’Ambra and his family a wonderful week and wishes for the best year ever in 2009!!




  3. Thanks DCD for the very apt quotation. I admit I struggled to find a suitable commentary and gave up. DCD to the rescue 🙂

    Thanks Sam for your Christmas visit!

    Best wishes to you both and all who visit FilmsNoir.Net.


  4. The New York Times had a very good piece on this film just within the past week, entitled “Wonderful? Sorry George, It’s a Pitiful, Dreadful Life”. The author raises the argument that Bedford Falls is the darker alternative, and that Pottersville would be a much more fun place to live, and more economically feasible to boot. He raises the point that while most manufacturing towns have withered on the vine, cities with casinos and other tourist attractions have enjoyed more prosperity in recent times. Seems the author saw the film in the classroom as a student in the early Eighties, as a young punk rocker from Brooklyn. He fully expected not to like it, and was won over by movie’s end. I’m not sure that I buy his argument (I live in Detroit, it now has three casinos and the city still suffers), but I admit that it is a compelling one. But to put it in context, George and Clarence enter noir territory the instant they enter Pottersville, and merit our attention for that reason as well as any other. Almost as dark as Christmas in New Orleans (Siodmak’s Christmas Holiday).


  5. I didn’t know you had a site Guy! Thanks for informing of it Tony. I will add it to our blogroll today. I also saw and read the Times piece you both note, and I kind of agreement with Tony’s conclusions.


  6. Thanks Sam. My prints don’t exactly have me swimming in gravy just yet, but I am committed to them, and hopefully someday something will kick in. So, that having been said, every bit of exposure and acknowledgment is appreciated.


  7. Hi! Tony, Sam Juliano and Guy Budziak,

    Sam Juliano said, “I didn’t know you had a site Guy! Thanks for informing of it Tony…”
    Oh yeah! Sam Juliano, I feature “samples” of Guy Budziak “beautiful” “work of art” woodprints on my “newspaper” website.
    Sam, this is a “small” little noir world we (Tony, Guy, Eddie, Laura and others live in!…therefore, we all are “bound” to come in contact with each other eventually!…I think we will make you and Alexander (Since Alexander said, “he plan to “revisit” it (film noir) “real” soon!) “honorary members”) 🙂
    dcd 😉


  8. Guy Buziak said, “But to put it in context, George and Clarence enter noir territory the instant they enter Pottersville, and merit our attention for that reason as well as any other. Almost as dark as Christmas in New Orleans (Siodmak’s Christmas Holiday).”

    Right you are!…Guy Budziak, I watched Siodmak’s 1944 film Christmas Holiday recently, Oh! what a very “cheerful” holiday film (The word “sarcasm” should be inserted in here somewhere.
    What a very “dark” film, not even a “glimmer” of a Christmas candle can light this film!)
    dcd 😉


  9. Guy Budziak said,“But to put it in context, George and Clarence enter noir territory the instant they enter Pottersville, and merit our attention for that reason as well as any other.”
    Right you are again! Guy,…
    Hey! Tony, Sam and Guy, when you get time check-out! my good friends over there at
    Out of the Past Clute and Richard Edwards,…

    (I communicate more so, with Richard, than I do with Clute.(He seems to be the “silent half” (except when they are discussing films on their podcast…of course!) of Clute and Edwards.)

    …discussion of It’s A Wonderful Life and how noir elements are present in this film too!

    Thu, 15 December 2005
    Episode 13: “It’s a Wonderful Life” Acording to my “Film noir” friends, “Clute and Edward”
    With “It’s A Wonderful Life” Capra launched his independent studio, Liberty Films. He thought he had a guaranteed box office winner, with stars Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, and the power-to-the-people message that had made his pre-war films such successes. He was wrong. Capra never seemed to realize what a dark film he had made, nor understand that his populist message no longer resonated. This film would not achieve great success until decades later, when the divorce generation would (mis)read it as a tale of the redemptive virtues of the nuclear family. Richard and Shannon read it as a proof of just how influential noir’s themes and visual style were in the wake of the war. Welcome to 1946–the year of suicide, and noir.”

    This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of http://www.noircast.net. please visit “Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir” at outofthepast.libsyn.com.
    Direct download: OOTP_2005_12_15_IAWL.mp3

    dcd 😉


  10. Hi! Tony,
    The reason that I said,
    Oh!…now I get it!(The “snow” effect)in the post above….is because I don’t think you post your picture of George Bailey yet, when I posted the comment below: Under your “Human Desire” (1954)
    Beast Within…

    “Hi! Tony,
    Thanks!…a lot!…I was about to repost your TCM schedule on my blog because I changed my template the next thing I know a “hail” storm developed! 🙂
    I thought I was still on my blog! haha!…Do it only “snow” in “noirish’ cities?”

    dcd 😉


  11. Indeed, this recent line of contributions by DCD is infectious and wholly exciting. Ha! I just spent the better part of a half hour checking out the links.

    Guy, your stuff is terrific, and I am honored to post that link at the site. Your gravy train will come in for sure.

    DCD: I would love to be an honorary member of the film noir club!


  12. Tony,

    That picture and that title could, sadly, have accompanied my anti-00s rant so recently. That NY Times author is inadvertently revealing…we’ve become a nation that honestly sees Pottersville as the preferable alternative (how glibly “fun” it is)…and probably considers this the “liberal” point of view.

    On which note, I don’t find the transition from punk-rocker to honky-tonk/fatcat banker apologist (writing for the NY Times, no less) awfully surprising. I say this as somone who loves much punk rock and recognizes that a lot of self-identified punks have a respectable ethos. But a certain brand of self-satisfied “rebellion” eases its way into Potterian selfishness far more easily than the views of a supposed square like George Bailey.


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