I recently watched a colorized version of this classic, and was amazed at how far the art has come. It didn’t resemble those Ted Turner monstrosities of the 1980’s. The skin tones were perfectly natural, and you could almost forget it wasn’t the original black and white.
Also, this time I used subtitles. It was cool to see dialogue that just hadn’t registered before. Like when Cousin Tilly looks at two dollar bills in a wire basket and says, “I wish they were rabbits.”
One last thought. The script was created by five people, including the director, Frank Capra. The story came from a Christmas card. How do you expand a super-short story into a two hour movie?
Somehow they did it, and very well. And now, the quotes.
And here comes the scare-baby, my kid brother, Harry Bailey. You don't like coconuts! Say, brainless, don't you know where coconuts come from? Avast, there, Captain Cook! Where you headin'? Are you running a business or a charity ward? Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Now, look, Joe. Now, look, I . . . I want a big one. Avast there, Captain Cook. You got your sea legs yet? Oh, this old thing? Why, I only wear it when I don't care how I look.
Annie, I'm in love with you. There's a moon out tonight. Maybe you were born older, George. Oh, why don't you stop annoying people? What's the matter, Othello – jealous? What'd you wish when you threw that rock? Well, I wired you I had a surprise. Here she is. Meet the wife. All right, Mother, old Building and Loan pal, I think I'll go out and find a girl and do a little passionate necking.
Hee-haw! Hello, Sam, how are you? By the way, where are you two going on this here now honeymoon? Joe, you lived in one of his houses, didn't you? Well, have you forgotten? Have you forgotten what he charged you for that broken-down shack? Who wants to see liver pills on their honeymoon? What? They want romantic places, beautiful places... places George wants to go. I own the house. Me, Giuseppe Martini. I own my own house. No more we live like pigs in this-a Potter's Field. That old George . . . he's always making a speech. Hee-haw! There's the old cemetery, squirrels, buttercups, daisies. Used to hunt rabbits there myself. Look at it today. Dozens of the prettiest little homes you ever saw. Ninety per cent owned by suckers who used to pay rent to you. So long, George. See you in the funny papers. (To be continued.)