Adam ruins everything, but neglect saved It’s a Wonderful Life.
In a brief clip from Adam Ruins Everything, the eponymous ruiner actually tells how public disinterest in It’s a Wonderful Life saved it from obscurity.
As he explains, the movie tanked hard at the box office. Despite being nominated for six Oscars, the film was a huge loss for RKO Studios. It was even of interest to the FBI, who found the portrayal of bank Mr. Potter a threat to capitalism.
“With regard to the picture It's a Wonderful Life, [redacted] stated in substance that the film represented rather obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a "scrooge-type" so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick used by Communists.”
“In addition, [redacted] stated that, in his opinion, this picture deliberately maligned the upper class, attempting to show the people who had money were mean and despicable characters.”
Luckily for the FBI, no one saw the picture, sparing millions of hardworking, capitalist consumers from communist subversion. However, that same capitalist instinct to save money actually led to the film’s revival.
Because no one cared for It’s A Wonderful Life, the copyright lapsed and was free for TV stations to air whenever they wanted. They started airing it every Christmas, and America was never the same. A full-blown communist take over was underway, which is why we live in the Soviet Union of America today. Hey, as the old saying goes, “No man’s a failure who has comrades.”