Monday, July 27, 2009

Favorite All-Time Film Performances...#99

99. Lionel Barrymore, It's a Wonderful Life (Director: Frank Capra, 1946)
The film is known for being a staple during Christmastime, particularly for all the heartwarming scenes between James Stewart’s George Bailey and his family. But without a doubt, the standout of the film has to be Mr. Potter. The true embodiment of evil, a guy who owns half of Bedford Falls and wants nothing more than to continue to bulk up his wallet. Despite the fact that Potter never gets his comeuppance, we are still left with some hope when the residents of Bedford Falls come to Bailey’s rescue.

Lionel Barrymore was already an Oscar winner when he stepped into Mr. Potter’s wheelchair, but the performance should have given him another. While known for playing the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1938 A Christmas Carol, watching Barrymore chew up the scenery as the town Scrooge (who never reforms) is a sight to see. That many other villainous characters in the years after Mr. Potter appeared on the big screen, continue to try their best at reaching his heights of nefarious actions only proves the lasting legacy of Barrymore’s performance.

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