Philadelphia: David McKay, 1944. First edition. Small octavo, original illustrated cloth, original dust jacket. A fine book in a near-fine dust jacket. Rare complete and in this overall condition. Item #418
CHRISTMAS IN POST-WAR AMERICA. First edition of Philip Van Doren Stern's classic Christmas story, the genesis for director Frank Capra's film It's a Wonderful Life, this copy complete with the original dust jacket. Philip Van Doren Stern worked on this short story (with an obvious debt to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol) for several years. He finally completed it in December 1943 but failed to find a publisher. The story was acquired and published by David McKay of Philadelphia in 1944 with delightful illustrations by Rafaello Busoni. Eventually the story was purchased by David Hempstead at RKO Pictures before the project passed to Frank Capra's production company. A screenplay, changing George Pratt's name to George Bailey, was adapted by Capra into the 1946 movie It's a Wonderful Life. The film starred Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reid and was nominated for five Academy Awards. It has been recognized as one of the 100 best American films ever made. A vintage piece of mid-century Americana.