Sure enough, in 1993 Republic Pictures announced that it held the exclusive rights to It’s a Wonderful Life, despite the fact that the movie had been in the public domain for 20 years.
While some contemporary reviews of It’s a Wonderful Life were positive, audiences were wary about a Christmas tale steeped in so much darkness.
Can you imagine a world where It’s a Wonderful Life was just some random Frank Capra movie?
From the mid-1990s on, stations that tried airing It’s a Wonderful Life without a rights fee faced potential legal action from Republic Pictures.
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