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  • Writer's pictureBrian Powers

Episode 40 - It's a Wonderful Filler

What really gets me about this story is the chicken-egg nature of it. Is it really a great movie that we all love, or is it just a tradition because it was omnipresent while in the public domain? It wasn't so much that the box office numbers were that bad, but they didn't come close to breaking even on such an expensive production, dashing Frank Capra's dreams of his own production studio right out of the gate. Capra and Stewart would never work together again, either. This film was such an outright failure that it's easy to understand the "clerical error" that failed to renew the copyright, even though it was such a simple thing to do. If it were more important or bigger, the studio might've been watching the rights like a hawk, and whole generations may never have seen the movie as broadcasters ignored it entirely. It's the opposite of being a victim of its own success. It's a success of its own failure.

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