This scene is from a classic movie called “It’s a Wonderful Life“, starring James Stewart as George Bailey and Donna Reed as Mary. It’s a staple here in the USA at Christmas but was considered a flop at the time of its release in 1946. It was nominated for five Oscars without winning any, but the film has since been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made, and placed number one on their list of the most inspirational American films of all time.
Of course, I’m a cynical Brit, but this film really moved me. On Christmas Eve 1946, George Bailey is deeply depressed, even suicidal. Clarence Odbody, an Angel Second Class, is sent to Earth to save him — and thereby earn his wings.
From childhood, George’s greatest ambition has been to see the world, to become an architect and design bridges and skyscrapers everywhere. However, George repeatedly has to sacrifice his dreams. In this clip, he’s close to being able to leave the town and finally achieve his dreams, but he’s fallen in love with Mary.
The moment when he stands over her when she is on the phone and simply inhales her, is probably one of the most erotic moments I’ve ever seen in a movie. I love the way he hates her and loves her, wants her and wants to leave, can’t stop himself from caring despite everything-and both actors do a fantastic job showing this rather than just saying it. This is how I want to write-this is how I want my readers to feel.
Things work out fine in the end. Clarence is able to show George what the town would’ve been like if he hadn’t made those sacrifices and everyone lives happily ever after-sigh-even Clarence gets his wings-perfect for an old romantic like me 🙂