Hello, Bedford Falls! Merry Christmas!
One of the most (if not the most) iconic Christmas movies of all time is celebrating a big milestone. That's right, It's A Wonderful Life is celebrating 75 years since it debuted back in 1946. Since then, it has become a classic. For some, it has even become an essential Christmas tradition.
To celebrate the momentous occasion, we connected with Jimmy Hawkins and Karolyn Grimes. The two original cast members were both young kids when they played Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed's on-screen children in It's A Wonderful Life. Now, at 80 years old, Hawkins looked back on the legacy of the beloved film that he had the privilege of being a part of:
"Nobody thought it would be (a classic) after it came out initially... it wasn't until it fell into public domain that TV stations all around the country could show it for free and they took advantage of that. It's the TV audience that has made it so important."
Thanks to audiences, It's A Wonderful Life has gone down in history as not only one of the best Christmas movies of all time, but as one of the best movies of all time period.
"I will always be grateful to Frank Capra. He hand picked me to be Zuzu. So, I thank him for that and it was a privilege and it still is. I think that that's one of the reasons that I've been allowed to live this long. I'm 81 and still kickin!"
That was Grimes who played Zuzu, the character who says the film's most iconic line: "Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings." Grimes had this to say about the quote:
"I say it so many times that it never becomes old. It's always refreshing and kind of a pick-me-up to know that there is an angel watching over me. And I believe it."
In 2021, It's A Wonderful Life is still touching audiences 75 years later thanks to Grimes, Hawkins, and the rest of the cast. Not to mention the film's beautiful message that remains timeless to this day.
"The people need that message more than ever now. Each year, it gets bigger and bigger. They really have to feel and should feel that they are important. That each one of us can touch lives for the better if we choose to." Hawkins said
Be sure to watch It's A Wonderful Life December 4th and 24th on NBC or pick up the new blu-ray set from Paramount to commemorate the 75th anniversary of this important film.