It’s A Wonderful Life To Die Hard

Christmas movies, Die Hard, It's A Wonderful Life, humor, Modern PhilosopherEveryone has a favorite Christmas movie, Modern Philosophers, and if you ask me mine, I’ll tell you without hesitation…

It’s A Wonderful Life To Die Hard.

This Christmas classic is an action flick with a heart of gold.

George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, is trying to survive his first Christmas after his divorce.  His wife Mary (Donna Stewart), who had the better lawyer, got the kids and the Building & Loan that had been in George’s family for ages.

Shortly after the dissolution of their marriage, Mary sold the Building & Loan to the Nakatomi Corporation, who moved the business to their flagship building in sunny Southern California.

Mary got a high paying job as part of the deal, even though she no longer needed the money, and relocated to Los Angeles with the kids.

George stayed behind in Bedford Falls, where he joined the police department and tried to forget about how much his life sucked now that his wife and kids were gone.

Then out of the blue, Mary calls and invites George to fly out to the coast for her company’s Christmas party.  He’d get to spend Christmas with the kids, have a little fun, maybe get a tan.

Christmas movies, Die Hard, It's A Wonderful Life, humor, Modern PhilosopherBecause he was so miserable and missed his family desperately, George accepted the invitation, even though his gut told him it was not a good idea.

But he really wanted to see his kids on Christmas.

And being around Mary would be a nice bonus.

George is greeted at the airport by his driver, Argyle, played by Bruce Willis in his first movie role.  The odd pair quickly bond on the drive to Nakatomi Plaza, as George bares his soul to Argyle about how much his misses his old life.

Once at the party, George realizes that Mary has really hit the big time.  She is a powerful executive, who is highly respected by her employees, and doesn’t seem to miss her old life or her ex-husband one bit.

George escapes to the bathroom to contemplate how crappy his life is compared to Mary’s, and to berate himself for letting Mary, the greatest thing to ever happen to him, get away.

As he splashes cold water on his face, George wishes aloud that he could have the chance to prove himself worthy of Mary’s love and win her back.  He’s do anything for the chance.

That’s when a toilet flushes and Clarence (Reginald VelJohnson), emerges from one of the stalls.  Even though dressed as a cop, Clarence explains that he is a guardian angel sent to help George with his Christmas wish.

Christmas movies, Die Hard, It's A Wonderful Life, humor, Modern PhilosopherClarence then explains that a group of terrorists, led by Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), has stormed Mary’s Christmas party and taken over Nakatomi Plaza.

George thinks Clarence is just some crazy California dude who’s smoked too much weed, but then he hears automatic gunfire echoing through the corridors.

George realizes that he not only needs to save Mary, but that this is also his opportunity to prove that he is worthy of her.  So he strips down to his undershirt, takes off his shoes, and sets off with Clarence to spread a little Christmas cheer.

Mary recognizes Mr. Potter and quickly realizes that this has to be a continuation of the weird grudge the old man has against the Bailey family.

Even though the Building & Loan no longer belongs to the Baileys, and Mary is no longer married to George, Mr. Potter wants to destroy them both to bring himself some much needed Christmas joy.

And so the game of cat and mouse begins.

Christmas movies, Die Hard, It's A Wonderful Life, humor, Modern PhilosopherGeorge sneaks around the building and picks off terrorists one by one, while Clarence reminds him that every time a terrorist dies, an angel gets his wings.

When Mary sees Mr. Potter freaking out, she knows that only George could get under the old man’s skin that way.  She starts singing “Buffalo Girls Won’t You Come Out Tonight” and fantasizing about reuniting with her ex.

If only they can both survive.

It comes down to a dramatic face off between George and Mr. Potter.  George doesn’t want to shoot a man in a wheelchair, even though Clarence is egging him on to do so.

Potter reveals that he doesn’t really need the wheelchair and comes at George like a wild man.  As he is beating the life out of George, Potter tells him how he intends to marry Mary and become an evil stepfather to George’s kids.

That sets off something inside George Bailey, and with ample goading from Clarence, he fights back, kicks some serious Potter ass, and then utters the movie’s most famous line…

“Yippee ki yay, Mr. Potter!”

At that point, George empties the clip of his sub-machine gun into Potter’s ancient, wretched body and sends him flying out the window of Nakatomi Plaza.

The old bastard falls to his death.

Christmas movies, Die Hard, It's A Wonderful Life, humor, Modern PhilosopherMary runs into George’s arms.

George is reunited with his kids.

Clarence gets his wings.

Argyle moves to New York to become a cop.

Christmas is saved, and everyone but Mr. Potter lives happily ever after.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie (real or imagined)?

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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12 Responses to It’s A Wonderful Life To Die Hard

  1. Louise says:

    oh my god Austin..that is a classic….damn i laughed out aloud reading this and i was on the train, a very packed train, heading back to the house i live in. Of course everyone else had a snarky day and looked at me like i was a lunatic… For goodness (Christmas) sakes it was only laughter folks. Maybe they should ALL read you.
    it was your usual sublimeness…. keep it up…funny as. ohh get a new movie please.

  2. SD Gates says:

    I think my favorite is Christmas Carol – but in my version I would have Ghost of Christmas Future stop by 7-Eleven when I am buying quick pick lottery tickets – so I know the lottery numbers!!! Great revision on “Its Wonderful Life”!!!!!

  3. iancaimercer says:

    that is just the funniest mashup ever! Wonderful!

  4. Pingback: It’s A Wonderful Life To Die Hard — The Return of the Modern Philosopher | Iancaimercer's Blog

  5. The Hook says:

    Greatest. Mash-up. Ever.

  6. kristianw84 says:

    It took me three tries to type this comment because I couldn’t stop laughing. I’m talkin’ fall out of my chair, tears running down my face, gut-wrenching laughter. There are not enough words to describe how much I love this, Austin. Only you could mashup It’s A Wonderful Life and Die Hard and have it make sense. I’d watch this movie in a heartbeat!! I think your movie mashups are one of my favorite things!

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