There are movies that live on Mount Olympus. The movie »It’s a wonderful life« by Frank Capra from 1946, belongs to them. However, at the time of the release, shortly before Christmas of the aforementioned year, this had not been the case yet. Commercially, this movie was a flop and did not turn into a cult movie until decades later. Today, the story about George Bailey (played by James Stewart), who does many good deeds in a small American town, quarrels with his destiny on Christmas Eve and eventually, through meeting an unconventional angel, learns to recognise the value of life, is considered to be one of the best movies in motion picture history.
Next to the brilliant actors, there is one performer in this movie, who got a monument erected in his honour: the full moon. In of the scenes, George encounters Mary (played by Donna Reed) who will later become his wife. They talk to each other, sing and joke. Then he asked the famous question, whether he should lasso the moon for her:
George: »What is it that you want, Mary? What do you want? You … you want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around him and pull it down …. hey, that’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.«
Mary: »I’ll take it … then what?«
George: »Well then you could swallow it. And it all dissolves, you see. And the moon beams shoot out of your fingers and your tows and the ends of your hair.«
If comparing the English with the German synchronised version, it is noticeable that George remains funny in the English script, whereas the German version sounds rather romantic:
George: »Dann brauchst Du keine Lampe mehr. Der Mond leuchtet nur für Dich allein. Du wirst niemals mehr im Dunkeln sein, und Deine Haare und Deine Augen werden immer so glänzen wie jetzt.«
[Translation: »Then you won’t need a lamp anymore. The moon only shines for you alone. You will never be in the dark again and your hair and your eyes will always be sparkling like right now.«]
This scene represents the full moon’s elusiveness and simultaneous closeness to people in a wonderful way. Don’t we all sometimes wish to make the impossible possible?