It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG   |    |  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.

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8.6/10
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  • 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 Donna Reed in It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • James Stewart and Donna Reed in It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

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Reviews & Commentary

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11 February 2002 | Aidan McGuinness
9
| Best feel good movie ever? Quite possibly.
Here's a new definition of cold-hearted: a man or woman who remains completely untouched by the 1946 Capra classic "It's a Wonderful Life". You can't not be moved by this wonderful little gem.

The acting is all great. One of the film's greatest strengths for me is making George Bailey - the star of the movie played by James Stewart - a nice normal man. He's not perfect and that's pretty much essential to the film's success because Bailey could be *any* man. The lesson of the movie is fairly simple - we all have our role to play in the world and we are all important. Most movies would make this into a schmaltzy affair but Capra delivered a touching, heart warming tale. Bailey consistently denies himself to allow others to live as he sacrifices his life to make sure people can have enough money to avoid having to sell-their-soul in debt to the evil H. Potter (alas not a Harry Potter...). His complete and utter humility is great - he doesn't see how much he accomplished until his guardian angel Clarence shows him. Again Clarence isn't played in the usual clichéd manner but more as a believable character who honestly loves Bailey for his strengths.

The movie is a success because you can't but want Bailey to succeed. The manner in which he does could be classified as corny but, because it's so deserved, that doesn't matter. The music, the set pieces, all the touches add to a wonderful movie and give you hope that life can indeed also be wonderful. A lovely mood-lifter. 8.8/10.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the scene that required Donna Reed to throw a rock through the window of the Granville house, director Frank Capra hired a marksman to shoot it out on cue. To everyone's amazement, Reed broke the window by herself. She had played baseball in high school and had a strong throwing arm.


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

On Christmas Eve when he is hugging Tommy, George is clean shaven at 1:25:35 (2007 DVD). By the time he climbs the stairs to check on ZuZu he has a heavy 5 O'clock shadow on his face (at 1:28:36).


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

I Love You Truly
(1906) (uncredited)
Written by
Carrie Jacobs Bond
Performed by Ward Bond and Frank Faylen

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Drama | Family | Fantasy

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