It's a Wonderful Kid
Sarcasm Girl knows enough now about the early '50s and the climate thereof so that she was able to appreciate TDTESS for its social merits as well as its whiz-bang SF qualities. Younger Girl was a little restive; she got it, but wasn't overwhelmed by it.
As for A Wonderful Life, Sarcasm Girl had seen it before and loves it. As for Younger Girl...I am not sure where the film got the rep of being this treacly confection--it's very dark, with the hero's willingness at every turn to take care of others to his own apparent detriment reading like an anti-Ayn Rand testimonial (or perhaps her worst nightmare of where altruism can get you). By the time the ending comes, you feel like poor ol' George Bailey has earned a little good luck. But YG is a tough cookie, and I had no qualms about her watching it. So we put on the DVD. Younger Daughter gets the whole angels-talking-about-someone-who's-having-a-dark-night-of-the-soul thing at the beginning. She feels terrible when George loses hearing in one ear after he saves his brother's life. But it was the sequence, a few years later, when the druggist, drunk and beside himself at the news that his son has died, boxes George's ears because the kid refused to deliver the pills the druggist had mistakenly put poison in, that got her. I don't think I've ever had my ears boxed, and I know my kids haven't, but I grew up knowing that some parents (or other adults) did strike children. That scene never bothered me. It completely wrecked Younger Girl. We had to stop the DVD for the first time to help her deal with it; she was in tears, outraged at the injustice of the druggist's reaction and horrified that any adult would hit a child hard enough to make him bleed.
There were a good number of other "stops" during the film. We kept asking if she wanted to stop watching, but she kept at it as if it were a particularly tough project she was bound and determined to conquer. At each juncture where George Bailey is forced to put aside his own goals to take care of other people or things (the scene where he swears he's never going to marry anyone, ever! right before he kisses the girl he does in fact marry is particularly good) YG would get tearful and upset. But she kept at it. She hissed Mr. Potter with the gusto of a silent-movie viewer of old ("I want to kick him in the butt!") and thought the children were adorable.
And at the end, when George decides to live, and returns to find that, in the words of Lina Lamont (another film) all his hard work "ain't been in vain for nothin'" YG was absolutely rapt. We congratulated her for sticking it out to the end. "It's a really good movie, but it's hard. I'm glad Clarence got his wings." And then we watched the ball drop in Times Square (adjusted for time differences, of course).
Sarcasm Girl, of course, could not go to bed until I had seen this. Not quite as biting as the bunny version of The Exorcist, perhaps, but satisfying nonetheless.