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Wonderful Life (Lesson)


Blog Posted:12/19/2013 11:30:00 AM

               INT. POTTER'S OFFICE – DAY
 
               CLOSE SHOT
 
               Potter is lighting a big cigar which he has just given George. 
               The goon is beside Potter's chair, as usual.
 
                                     GEORGE
                         Thank you, sir. Quite a cigar, Mr. 
                         Potter.
 
                                     POTTER
                         You like it? I'll send you a box.
 
                                     GEORGE
                              (nervously)
                         Well, I... I suppose I'll find out 
                         sooner or later, but just what exactly 
                         did you want to see me about?
 
                                     POTTER
                              (laughs)
                         George, now that's just what I like 
                         so much about you.
                              (pleasantly and 
                              smoothly)
                         George, I'm an old man, and most 
                         people hate me. But I don't like 
                         them either, so that makes it all 
                         even. You know just as well as I do 
                         that I run practically everything in 
                         this town but the Bailey Building 
                         and Loan. You know, also, that for a 
                         number of years I've been trying to 
                         get control of it... or kill it. But 
                         I haven't been able to do it. You 
                         have been stopping me. In fact, you 
                         have beaten me, George, and as anyone 
                         in this county can tell you, that 
                         takes some doing. Take during the 
                         depression, for instance. You and I 
                         were the only ones that kept our 
                         heads. You saved the Building and 
                         Loan, and I saved all the rest.
 
                                     GEORGE
                         Yes. Well, most people say you stole 
                         all the rest.
 
                                     POTTER
                         The envious ones say that, George, 
                         the suckers. Now, I have stated my 
                         side very frankly. Now, let's look 
                         at your side.  Young man, twenty-
                         seven, twenty-eight...  married, 
                         making, say... forty a week.
 
                                     GEORGE
                              (indignantly)
                         Forty-five!
 
                                     POTTER
                         Forty-five. Forty-five. Out of which, 
                         after supporting your mother, and 
                         paying your bills, you're able to 
                         keep, say, ten, if you skimp. A child 
                         or two comes along, and you won't 
                         even be able to save the ten. Now, 
                         if this young man of twenty-eight 
                         was a common, ordinary yokel, I'd 
                         say he was doing fine. But George 
                         Bailey is not a common, ordinary 
                         yokel. He's an intelligent, smart, 
                         ambitious young man — who hates his 
                         job – who hates the Building and 
                         Loan almost as much as I do. A young 
                         man who's been dying to get out on 
                         his own ever since he was born. A 
                         young man... the smartest one of the 
                         crowd, mind you, a young man who has 
                         to sit by and watch his friends go 
                         places, because he's trapped.  Yes, 
                         sir, trapped into frittering his 
                         life away playing nursemaid to a lot 
                         of garlic-eaters.  Do I paint a 
                         correct picture, or do I exaggerate?
 
                                     GEORGE
                              (mystified)
                         Now what's your point, Mr. Potter?
 
                                     POTTER
                         My point? My point is, I want to 
                         hire you.
 
                                     GEORGE
                              (dumbfounded)
                         Hire me?
 
                                     POTTER
                         I want you to manage my affairs, run 
                         my properties. George, I'll start 
                         you out at twenty thousand dollars a 
                         year.
 
               George drops his cigar on his lap. He nervously brushes off 
               the sparks from his clothes.
 
                                     GEORGE
                              (flabbergasted)
                         Twenty thou... twenty thousand dollars 
                         a year?
 
                                     POTTER
                         You wouldn't mind living in the nicest 
                         house in town, buying your wife a 
                         lot of fine clothes, a couple of 
                         business trips to New York a year, 
                         maybe once in a while Europe. You 
                         wouldn't mind that, would you, George?
 
                                     GEORGE
                         Would I?
                              (looking around 
                              skeptically)
                         You're not talking to somebody else 
                         around here, are you? You know, this 
                         is me, you remember me? George Bailey.
 
                                     POTTER
                         Oh, yes, George Bailey. Whose ship 
                         has just come in – providing he has 
                         brains enough to climb aboard.
 
                                     GEORGE
                         Well, what about the Building and 
                         Loan?
 
                                     POTTER
                         Oh, confound it, man, are you afraid 
                         of success? I'm offering you a three 
                         year contract at twenty thousand 
                         dollars a year, starting today. Is 
                         it a deal or isn't it?
 
                                     GEORGE
                         Well, Mr. Potter, I... I... I know I 
                         ought to jump at the chance, but 
                         I... I just...  I wonder if it would 
                         be possible for you to give me twenty-
                         four hours to think it over?
 
                                     POTTER
                         Sure, sure, sure. You go on home and 
                         talk about it to your wife.
 
                                     GEORGE
                         I'd like to do that.
 
                                     POTTER
                         In the meantime, I'll draw up the 
                         papers.
 
                                     GEORGE
                         All right, sir.
 
                                     POTTER
                              (offers hand)
                         Okay, George?
 
                                     GEORGE
                              (taking his hand)
                         Okay, Mr. Potter.
 
               As they shake hands, George feels a physical revulsion. 
               Potter's hand feels like a cold mackerel to him. In that 
               moment of physical contact he knows he could never be 
               associated with this man.  George drops his hand with a 
               shudder. He peers intently into Potter's face.
 
                                     GEORGE
                              (vehemently)
                         No... no... no... no, now wait a 
                         minute, here!  I don't have to talk 
                         to anybody!  I know right now, and 
                         the answer is no! NO!  Doggone it!
                              (getting madder all 
                              the time)
                         You sit around here and you spin 
                         your little webs and you think the 
                         whole world revolves around you and 
                         your money. Well, it doesn't, Mr. 
                         Potter!  In the... in the whole vast 
                         configuration of things, I'd say you 
                         were nothing but a scurvy little 
                         spider. You...
 
               He turns and shouts at the goon, impassive as ever beside 
               Potter's wheelchair.
 
                                     GEORGE
                         ...And that goes for you too!

Please Login
 
  1. Date: 12/20/2013 11:08:00 AM
    Just so you know, in 1946 when this movie was made $45 per week equals $600/wk today and $20,000 per year equals $240,000 today!

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  1. Date: 12/20/2013 9:58:00 AM
    An excellent lesson.. There is much more to money in life.Decency..honesty and pride..One rather dies miserable of being poor than dies miserable of being rich. These people who think money can buy everything including human souls truely exist..but human who still have their dignity truely survive..Yes

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    Chircop Avatar Charmaine Chircop Date: 12/20/2013 9:59:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Actually survive to live and not exist : )oink
  1. Date: 12/19/2013 2:42:00 PM
    Yet Mr. Potter never see's the light--perhaps a couple visits by ghosts would have helped him. But then, some never do.

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  1. Date: 12/19/2013 2:00:00 PM
    Lol! Thanks for editing this blog! : D Mr Potter is a classic villain, the scrooge-type villain with a great message (very appropriate for Christmas). Happy holidays, Craig!!

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  1. Date: 12/19/2013 11:33:00 AM
    My brain works in strange ways, so I was able to read this blog in its original wonky formatting lol. Wot I found extra neat, is how the message of this blog sort of goes along with the White Album that I am listening to(over and over again)while reading. Weird. Yes, life is weird and wonderful.

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