It’s a Wonderful Life
…is playing at several theaters around here, as expected this time of year. True, it is playing constantly on some TV station also, but there is something about seeing it on the big screen without commercial breaks. We were able to catch it at a local theater this week, and I am happy to have seen it.
I am curious about the moments in the movie where Old Man Potter is on screen or being spoken of on screen. I paid special attention to these moments while watching this time. I have a story I have conceived a year or two ago, and I would like to finish it.
Potter’s Field Redemption
By Stephen Rousseau
This is the story of Henry Potter from Bedford Falls, and his battle for life against the Bailey Family. He was an embittered old man in a wheelchair trying to make sense of it all. Why did people hate him just because he was rich?
The story is also of the guardian angel, Hershel Smythe who posed as Henry’s personal assistant/body guard. This story is parallel to that of George Bailey, and tells the story of Henry’s redemption through the happenstance of seeing what life would have been without George Bailey. His guardian angel was there when Henry made the decision to keep the money George’s Uncle Billy mistakenly left with him. This is Henry’s final chance as he is scheduled to depart the earth before the end of the year. During the parallel universe excursion of George, Henry Potter is cognizant of the change also.
At first, he is elated to see his total control in Pottersville, but is quickly dismayed by the reality of the misery caused by life without George Bailey.
This leads to the realization that it is Henry Potter’s appointed meeting with Death and the Gates of Hell. As Death leads Henry toward the gate, Henry finds out it was the keeping of the $8,000 that pushes him into Damnation. As his carriage passes the Bailey home on the way to Hell, he begs for the chance to return the funds to the Building and Loan before he enters the gates. It is this act, in parallel with George’s prayer which sets things right.
I envision playing off each of the scenes in IAWL (It’s A Wonderful Life) that Henry Potter is featured in. These will be the key frames for the story of Henry Potter. There is a back story of the bank examiner doing the bidding of Potter.
Perhaps when Bailey runs through the graveyard in his parallel universe trip, Potter will see him. This is the point where Death appears in place of Hershel. (Or, perhaps Hershel IS Death… and has been all along.) Perhaps Potter can be the one that contacts the Bank examiner outside the Christmas Eve Gathering at the Bailey house, handing him the $8,000 to pass on, causing a change the bank examiner’s attitude. (An obvious change at the end of the movie.) At this point, the carriage changes directions to take the highroad to eternity.
The story will have elements of Scrooge and The Grinch… with a little Darby O’Gill.