The holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” premiered December 20, 1946, and this year marks the 75th anniversary of the film’s release.
In James Dillon’s new book “The Gospel of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’: A Spiritual Journey Through the Movie,” the author explores the lasting impact of the film’s legacy as he takes readers on a spiritual journey through the film’s recurring motifs and themes.
In the book, the author unveils the film’s many references to religious traditions and scripture that has made the movie resonate so profoundly with its audience.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” has become an important holiday tradition for families, therefore it offers great opportunities for discussing the meaning and purpose of our life.
Based on his own experiences similar to George Bailey, Dillon felt called to share his own his analysis of the movie, including its spiritual roots, to provide a tool for understanding and discussing its connection to faith, hope and love.
The book highlights and shares life lessons from the film such as:
— Sometimes, miracles simply involve looking at things differently.
— Viewing the movie through a lens of spiritual faith can be a productive way to move closer to the Lord.
— George’s life is a journey and a struggle to discover what was there from the beginning, what was always with him even in times of darkness, and what would be there at the end: God’s love.
The book also explores the background and context of the movie’s origins, the life of its director, Frank Capra, its place in pop culture and includes suggestions for small group discussions.
Dillon was inspired to explore the film further after going through his own health scare 20 years ago that left him permanently deaf in one ear just like George Bailey.
The movie helped him make sense out of his illness and helped him see how his own life was wonderful even in its darker moments.
“I took a deep dive into the movie and screenplay to find the depths of its meaning that I hadn’t seen before,” said Dillon. “I found many liturgical and scriptural references that emanated from the life and experiences of Frank Capra. He was a man who had drifted from his faith because of his desire for fame and fortune. When his success left him feeling empty, he went on a journey to re-discover his faith. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ was his way of sharing the good news he found about life with his audience.”
Dillon joins Gayle Guyardo the host of the nationally syndicated health and wellness show Bloom with more on the book.
Bloom airs in 40 markets across the country, with a reach of approximately 36 million households, and in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Madison, WI.
You can watch Bloom in the Tampa Bay Market weekdays at Noon on WTTA: Spectrum 1006; Frontier 514; DirecTV 38; Dish 38; Comcast 43, and look for Bloom early mornings on WFLA News Channel 8.