‘Still My Man Godfrey’? ‘Virtue 2’?   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.11.19 at 08:58
Current mood: confusedconfused

36 godfrey 030b

Imagine a classic film, such as “My Man Godfrey” with Carole Lombard and William Powell, getting a sequel decades after it was made. Well, yesterday it was announced that another iconic movie will be getting such treatment.

We are referring to “It’s A Wonderful Life,” the beloved 1946 Frank Capra film starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. It did good business on its initial release and was nominated for the Academy Award for best picture (losing to another classic, “The Best Years Of Our Lives”), but repeated TV showings after it fell into public domain boosted its appeal to subsequent generations. Eventually, NBC gained the rights and has made it a holiday perennial.

Variety has reported that a sequel — “It’s A Wonderful Life: The Rest Of The Story” — is to be produced, with hopes of having it in theaters for the 2015 holiday season (http://variety.com/2013/film/news/its-a-wonderful-life-sequel-in-the-works-exclusive-1200850705/). See the little girl above, “Zuzu”? She was played by Karolyn Grimes, who this time will play the angel.

There will be a George Bailey character, too — the grandson of the man portrayed by Stewart. He’s a miserable sort, the producers say, and here the angel shows how much better off the world would have been had he never been born (a twist on the ’46 version). That sounds rather mean-spirited (didn’t Sam Kinison perform a similar turn on “Married…With Children”?), but I presume in this one, the grandson gets a chance to atone.

Cyberspace reaction to the concept hasn’t been favorable, to say the least; someone noted the failure of “Scarlett,” a TV-movie sequel to “Gone With The Wind,” while many cracked one-linres about sequels to “Citizen Kane,” “Casablanca” or “Vertigo.”

The idea got me thinking (always a dangerous concept): In what Lombard films could a sequel be made? (The difference being, of course, that the original characters would continue, played by modern-day actors — what would be compelling about the grandchildren of Hazel Flagg and Wally Cook?) And it wouldn’t be enough for characters in love to get married (or stay married); they would need some new challenges, perhaps involving other characters from the earlier film.

carole lombard my man godfrey 064c

A few movies provide possibilities. In a sequel to “My Man Godfrey,” how does Godfrey adapt to having a flighty wife, rather than a flighty heiress patron? And what challenges await “The Dump,” built on the site where Irene Bullock discovered the downtrodden Godfrey? Did Lily Garland ever forgive Oscar Jaffe for getting her to sign a Broadway contract in a sequel to “Twentieth Century”? (If she returned to Hollywood, the movie could be named after another famed train, this one heading to Los Angeles.)

Put on your thinking caps, if you dare, and come up with a sequel to a Lombard film…but provide some sort of conflict that would fuel such a movie. Where do Hazel and Wally go in a followup to “Nothing Sacred,” and what happens to them?

carole lombard nothing sacred 47a

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Posted November 19, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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