It's a Wonderful LifeDirector: Frank Capra
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/a>… See more details below
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.
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- Original Release:
- [B&W, Wide Screen, Colorized]
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Cast & Crew
|James Stewart||George Bailey|
|Donna Reed||Mary Hatch Bailey|
|Lionel Barrymore||Mr. Potter|
|Thomas Mitchell||Uncle Billy|
|Beulah Bondi||Mrs. Bailey|
|Carol Coomes||Janie Bailey|
|William Edmunds||Mr. Martini|
|Gloria Grahame||Violet Bick|
|Argentina Brunetti||Mrs. Martini|
|Sarah Edwards||Mrs. Hatch|
|Jean Gale||Mary (younger)|
|Karolyn Grimes||Zuzu Bailey|
|Frank S. Hagney||Potter's Bodyguard|
|Jim Hawkins||Tommy Bailey|
|Samuel S. Hinds||Pa Bailey|
|Todd Karns||Harry Bailey|
|Virginia Patton||Ruth Dakin|
|Ronnie Ralph||Sam (younger)|
|Larry Simms||Pete Bailey|
|Mary Treen||Cousin Tilly|
|H.B. Warner||Mr. Gower|
|Charles Williams||Cousin Eustace|
|Bob Anderson||George as a Child|
|Harold Landon||Marty Hatch|
|Frank Albertson||Sam Wainwright|
|Danny Mummert||Marty Hatch (younger)|
|Ray Walker||Joe at Luggage Shop|
|Ellen Corby||Miss Davis|
|Stanley Andrews||Mr. Welch|
|Marian Carr||Mrs. Wainwright|
|Tom Fadden||Tollhouse keeper|
|Charles Halton||Bank Examiner|
|Harry Holman||High School Principal|
|Charles Lane||Real Estate Salesman|
|John Farrell MacDonald||House Owner|
|Garry Owen||Bill poster|
|Almira Sessions||Potter's secretary|
|Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer||Othello|
|George Nokes||Little Harry Bailey|
|Harry V. Cheshire||Dr. Campbell|
|Eddie Fetherstone||Bank Teller|
|Arthur S. Black||Asst. Director|
|Russell A. Cully||Special Effects|
|William W. Hornbeck||Editor|
|Emile Kuri||Set Decoration/Design|
|Jack Okey||Art Director|
|Clem Portman||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Edward Stevenson||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Dimitri Tiomkin||Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Richard VanHessen||Sound/Sound Designer|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Any time you get stressed and are having 'one of those days' WATCH THIS MOVIE. It is timeless - it applies to everyday situations and will continue to do so forever. Don't listen to the person complaining that it is in color - IT'S IN BOTH black and white and color. It says so right on the box.
This is a holiday classic and should be in your collection. For its 60th anniversary, they've taken the opportunity to restore the film and create a brand new high-definition master. The new disc features a superior video presentation in the original full frame aspect ratio. PS - To the reviewer who complained about color... Only the packaging is in Color (and IMHO looks great!), the movie is in it's original B&W.
Another great movie with James Stewart. Great to inspire you to value the life you have and enjoy the blessings of family and true friends. This is a well-developed storyline with endearing lead and supporting cast that you should hopefully find enchanting. A great story for the upcoming holiday and Holy-day season as well as a reminder to enjoy your life's "gifts" to the fullest, is the message of this heaven sent tale. If you enjoy this tale you may like to consider watching, The Bells of St. Mary's starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. Both stories are very inspiring and great faith builders. A classic movie with modern applications is in this, It's A Wonderful Life.
This is a WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, Classic Movie that will stir your feelings. A time when the townspeople got together to do something good for someone who loved the town and didn't want to see it disappear. A town where one evil person was not allowed to control the town because the good people of the town would not let him. A time when the good was in ultimate control not the bad. This movie should make as aware IF THE GOOD PEOPLE DO NOTHING - THE BAD PEOPLE WILL TAKE CONTROL.
Love this movie. Look forward to watching every Christmas.
Frank Cappra's classic Christmas movie, ''Its a Wonderful Life'' continues to provide new generations with examples of life, love, and hope. A snapshot of Americana when we were still innocent and life was simpler, this tale of a truly good man in crisis makes all of us reflect on our lives and what should truly be important to us. I've watched this film many times in most years and will continue to enjoy it for years to come.
I like the movie to it says the true meaning of Christmas.
My husband and I have been married 47 years and have watched this every Xmas eve either on tv, vhs and now DVD...It's a custom and our girls grew up with this as a Xmas memory. What a wonderful gift this film was.
This is the one movie I watch at least once on an annual basis. I have two copies myself and will put off other appointments to watch it on TV. The story line and message are timeless. It captures the true value of giving selflessly of ones self for the sake of others. If there were only more examples like this one in all of our lives, wouldn't we all be better off? I used to have my kids sit down with me to watch this, and now they simple know to leave me along when it is on. The value of this message is good year-round, but especially at the holiday season.
I have watched this film every year since I was a little girl and it has never gotten old. It is a wonderful story about how one man's life touches so many others and when he is gone he leaves an awfully big hole. This was the defining performance for James Stewart in a career spanning 60 years. It was also his favorite film. I was lucky enough to see this last year at a movie theater and I also got to me Karolyn ''ZuZu'' Grimes. A classic for years to come!
A classic from the first showing...
This movie epitomizes the truest meaning of love of your fellow man. Amazing to think about how many people one touches throughout their existence.I emplore anyone who is feeling down on themselves or their lot in lifeto watch this film -it can really make a difference in one's outlook-watching this film helped me through a dark time in my life
If society would return to the principles set forth in this movie, what a wonderful world we would live in today! This is the greatest fictional story ever told.
This is a favourite movie of a freind--Mr. Jose Rouise Ramos. His kindness and encouraging words when I was in hopelessness and despair actually endears this movie to me.
a truly one-of-a-kind presentation. it reveals the importance life, and the meaning of christmas joy.
What a movie this is. I believe when Cappra made this movie he was most inspired by God. It helps many people in their walk in this life. I know it does me.