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It’s a Wonderful Life
with Music by Dimitri Tiomkin


Signed & numbered prints are available for $120 each + tax& shipping. Total edition is 200

It’s a Wonderful Life
acrylic on canvas - 48" x 24"
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It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 film produced and directed by Frank Capra. It stars Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams to help others, and then struggles in despair, near suicide, before being saved by angel, Clarence, who takes him on a journey to reveal his worth to all of those he’s touched.

Never intended as a Christmas film, the movie was created as an American period drama dealing with the disappointments in life of the “every man”. The Christmas scenes were merely a vehicle for creating a mood and gathering everyone close at the end, and had very little to do with the movie on a whole.

Work on the movie began in April, 1946, and composer Dimitri Tiomkin, who had collaborated with Capra on 5 other films, was given the parameters of the story and the mood to be set by the music. By fall, Tiomkin provided a complex and rich musical score of surreal Americana that incorporated folk melodies such as Red River Valley and Pop Goes the Weasel, a lush love theme for George and his wife Mary, and many sequences of changing moods and pacing.

Though slated for a 1947 release, the studio heads at RKO thought the film would do better if released before Christmas of 1946 as a holiday release.

Since the film was already shot, and many of the scenes dark, disturbing and brooding, decisions were made to sublimate or eliminate much of Tiomkin’s score leaving only a suggestion of the folk tunes and of his composition in the final cut.

Until July of this year (2014) the original score was recorded only once – in 1988 by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of David Newman.