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It's a Wonderful Life

It's a Wonderful Life (2013)

This is director Frank Capra's classic bittersweet comedy/drama about George Bailey (James Stewart), the eternally-in-debt guiding force of a bank in the typical American small town of Bedford Falls. As the film opens, it's Christmas Eve, 1946, and George, who has long considered himself a failure, faces financial ruin and arrest and is seriously contemplating suicide. High above Bedford Falls, two celestial voices discuss Bailey's dilemma and decide to send down eternally bumbling angel Clarence Oddbody (Henry Travers), who after 200 years has yet to earn his wings, to help George out. But first, Clarence is given a crash course on George's life, and the multitude of selfless acts he has performed: rescuing his younger brother from drowning, losing the hearing in his left ear in the process; enduring a beating rather than allow a grieving druggist (H.B. Warner) to deliver poison by mistake to an ailing child; foregoing college and a long-planned trip to Europe to keep the Bailey Building and Loan from letting its Depression-era customers down; and, most important, preventing town despot Potter (Lionel Barrymore) from taking over Bedford Mills and reducing its inhabitants to penury. Along the way, George has married his childhood sweetheart Mary (Donna Reed), who has stuck by him through thick and thin. But even the love of Mary and his children are insufficient when George, faced with an $8000 shortage in his books, becomes a likely candidate for prison thanks to the vengeful Potter. Bitterly, George declares that he wishes that he had never been born, and Clarence, hoping to teach George a lesson, shows him how different life would have been had he in fact never been born. After a nightmarish odyssey through a George Bailey-less Bedford Falls (now a glorified slum called Potterville), wherein none of his friends or family recognize him, George is made to realize how many lives he has touched, and helped, through his existence; and, just as Clarence had planned, George awakens to the fact that, despite all its deprivations, he has truly had a wonderful life. Capra's first production through his newly-formed Liberty Films, It's a Wonderful Life lost money in its original run, when it was percieved as a fairly downbeat view of small-town life. Only after it lapsed into the public domain in 1973 and became a Christmastime TV perennial did it don the mantle of a holiday classic. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Directors: Frank Capra

Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, and Henry Travers

Release Date: December 25, 1946

11 Movie Reviews
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  • fira
    firaThursday, February 7, 2019 at 8:28 am55 popcorn
    This is such a great movie! I watched it last christmas with my family. It is about a man named George Bailey. As he grows up, he continually shows incredible selflessness in order to help others. Instead of pursuing his own dreams of traveling the world, he stays at home to run the lowly building and loan alongside his forgetful uncle. He becomes the only business to hold out against the villanous Mr. Potter. As time goes by, Uncle Billy goes to the bank to deposite a large sum of $8,000. However, he meets Mr. Potter there and accidentaly gives him the check. Unfortunately, he can't remember where he left the money and goes home to tell George. Because this would cause them to go bankrupt, George goes off to a bar and gets drunk, crashes his car into a tree, and weaves his way around the town until he finds himself at a bridge. At this point, he has become really depressed because his life seems to be really terrible, so he seriously considers jumping off the bridge to comit suicide. However, God has sent and angel named Clarence to go down to set his life right again. Clarence jumps off of the bridge before George does, so George jumps in, to try to save him. George pulls Clarence out and Clarnce begins to tell George all about him being an angel. At first, George thinks that he i going crazy, but soon comes to accept that. He tells Clarence that eveyone would be better off if he had never been born. Clarence then takes him into a world where there is no George Baily. George realizes how important he was in the towna and begs Clarence to take him back. When George returns, he is overjoyed to see everyone he meets on his way home. In the end, all of the residents of the town come together and pool their extra money to save George and the building and loan. I definitely recommend this movie to everyone, as it has such an amazing story and lesoon. Do not take life for granted. Each person is important in so many ways. It really is a wonderful life.
    • littlegoldfishSaturday, January 5, 2019 at 9:07 am
      I was in tears and couldn't stop crying. What a difference just one person makes in so many people's lives.
      • enchanted7
        enchanted7Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 1:47 am55 popcorn
        Best movie for Christmas ever! Even though it's a bit old (my mom's favorite movie when she was small) I think it should receive an award!
        • enchanted7
          enchanted7Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 1:44 am55 popcorn
          Who does not want to live? Who wants to die instead of experience defeat? One man, thinks everything is lost. An angel shows him what the world would be without him being born. The difference... was horrid!
          • animaljamz
            animaljamzWednesday, March 4, 2015 at 6:43 pm55 popcorn
            its very good!
            • awesome_kid
              awesome_kidSaturday, January 11, 2014 at 11:32 am33 popcorn
              This is a good movie to watch around christmas time and it seems old fashioned but it is actually really good
              • gap430
                gap430Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:08 pm44 popcorn
                It's really good. A great movie to watch like you said, during the holidays. The movie was really good. They should try to make a book with it.
              • gap430
                gap430Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 7:57 am44 popcorn
                I liked this movie because I was left in suspense. I knew there was an angel, but I didn't know what he would do. The best part was at the end when he got his life back. I felt really good and learned a lesson. Even though I thought it was a little slow in the beginning, the movie was really good overall.
                • gap430
                  gap430Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 7:57 am44 popcorn
                  I liked this movie because I was left in suspense. I knew there was an angel, but I didn't know what he would do. The best part was at the end when he got his life back. I felt really good and learned a lesson. Even though I thought it was a little slow in the beginning, the movie was really good overall.
                  • glamgigi43
                    glamgigi43Monday, November 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm
                    i watch this every year i love old fashion movies they r my favorite!
                    • boomzoom
                      boomzoomWednesday, October 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm
                      Just thinking about all the great holiday movies my family watches every year. This is one of our favorites!!!!!!