In Celebration of the Upcoming 75th Anniversary of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ & the Holiday Season, New Book Explores the Profound & Lasting Impact of the Film’s Legacy

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Author James Dillon takes readers on a spiritual journey through the film’s recurring motifs & themes in his new book “The Gospel of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’”

“The Gospel of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’: A Spiritual Journey Through the Movie” By James 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.

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 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.”

A great guide for people who already enjoy the film or for those wanting to learn more about the holiday classic while they grow in their faith, the book makes for a perfect gift this holiday season.

“The Gospel of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’: A Spiritual Journey Through the Movie”
By James Dillon
ISBN: 978-1-4897-3634-5 (sc); 978-1-4897-3633-8 (e)
Available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and LifeRich Publishing

About the author
James Dillon has been an educator for more than 40 years, including 20 years as a school administrator. He is an author of seven books and writes regularly for educational blogs. Currently, he is an educational consultant for Measurement Incorporated. He is married to his wife, Louisa, and has four adult children and twin grandsons, and resides in Niskayuna, New York.

Review Copies & Interview Requests:                    
LAVIDGE Publicity, Grace Connor                        
gconnor@lavidge.com, 480-998-2600        

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