It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, Family, Fantasy


It's a Wonderful Life (1946) Poster

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.


8.6/10
368,109

Videos


Photos

  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • Robert J. Anderson and Georgie Nokes in It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • James Stewart and Donna Reed in It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • James Stewart and Karolyn Grimes in It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • James Stewart and Donna Reed in It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • James Stewart and Donna Reed in It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

See all photos

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

What are These Stars Watching This Holiday Season?

On this very merry watchlist "The IMDb Show" asks stars like Jim Gaffigan and Linda Hamilton what movies they are watching during the holidays. For more gift ideas, check out IMDb's Holiday Gift Guide, curated with the entertainment lover in mind!

Watch now

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


6 December 2000 | FlickJunkie-2
10
| A Wonderful Film and Timeless Classic
This film has become a Christmas tradition in my family. We watch it every year and never tire of it. Frank Capra is a master of creating films with a message that reinforce strong values. This is probably his greatest film in that regard. Both he and Stewart have publicly stated that this is their favorite film.

The message in this film is one of courage and sacrifice for the greater good as George Bailey, a man with big ideas about seeing the world, continually forsakes his own desires to do what is right for the town. The second message is that each life important. No matter how insignificant we feel we are, we are all inextricably linked to each other and play an important part in the fabric of one another's lives.

Capra's direction is brilliant. His genius is bringing human stories to life in a ways that not only make a point, but that totally involve the audience in the lives of the characters. He is always extremely optimistic about the human condition. He is known for testing his characters with overwhelming adversity to make them struggle to triumph in a way that causes the world to change and the character to grow. For this reason his films were always crowd pleasers and this film was the best of all in that regard.

Led by Capra's understanding hand, the actors all did a magnificent job. Stewart's wide-eyed enthusiasm and boyish charm, coupled with an unbending strength of character made him the perfect folk hero. Donna Reed was lovely and charming and attained the right balance between being supportive and inspirational. The romantic chemistry between her and Stewart was subtle and charming. Lionel Barrymore was towering as the greedy old skinflint who was trying to take over the town. Thomas Mitchell plays one of my favorite characters, as the bumbling Uncle Billy in probably his most memorable role.

This film is number eleven on AFI's list of best films of the century. It was nominated for five academy awards and won none. It was swept in 1947 by `The Best Years of Our Lives', a great film that won seven Oscars that year but in my opinion was the lesser film. History has corrected that minor injustice by rendering `It's a Wonderful Life' an enduring classic that is viewed and loved by generation after generation. Of course, I rated it a 10/10. I can't wait to see it again this Christmas.

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews



More Like This

The Lion King

The Lion King

Modern Times

Modern Times

Spirited Away

Spirited Away

Miracle on 34th Street

Miracle on 34th Street

Toy Story

Toy Story

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas

WALL·E

WALL·E

Up

Up

Inside Out

Inside Out

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ranked as the #1 Most Inspirational Movie of All Time by the American Film Institute (2006).


Quotes

Mr. Emil Gower: I owe everything to George Bailey. Help him, dear Father.
Giuseppe Martini: Joseph, Jesus and Mary. Help my friend, Mr. Bailey.
Ma Bailey: Help my son, George, tonight.
Bert: He never thinks about himself, God, that's why he's in trouble.
Ernie Bishop: George is a good guy. Give him a break, God.
Mary: ...


Goofs

(at 2:06:07) (2007 DVD), 'The Bells of Saint Mary's" (1945) is playing at the Bijou Theatre. It premiered in New York City 12/6/1945, and was actually released 12/27/1945 to the first-run, big-city theatre circuit, and would not have been playing the neighborhood, small-town theatre circuit this early (Christmas Eve, 1945).


Crazy Credits

A ringing facsimile of the Liberty Bell (without the crack) forms the backdrop for the studio logo, which is Liberty Films, and the opening credits are in a scrapbook with Christmas decorations. The bell reappears before the end credits, and the end credits have a Christmas card picture as a backdrop.


Alternate Versions

The film was colorized three times. The first colorized version of the film was produced by Hal Roach Studios (now Sonar Entertainment), the second by Republic Pictures. A third colorization of the film was produced by Legend Films for Paramount, the film's current copyright holder, in 2007.


Soundtracks

My Wild Irish Rose
(1899) (uncredited)
Written by
Chauncey Olcott
Performed by Thomas Mitchell

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Drama | Family | Fantasy

Featured on IMDb

Check out what IMDb editors are excited to watch this month and get gifting with IMDb's Holiday Gift Guide, curated with the entertainment lover in mind!

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com