It's a Wonderful Life
Year:
1946
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Family
IMDB rating:
8.7
Director:
Frank Capra
James Stewart as George Bailey
Donna Reed as Mary Hatch
Lionel Barrymore as Mr. Potter
Thomas Mitchell as Uncle Billy
Henry Travers as Clarence
Beulah Bondi as Mrs. Bailey
Frank Faylen as Ernie
Ward Bond as Bert
Gloria Grahame as Violet
H.B. Warner as Mr. Gower
Frank Albertson as Sam Wainwright
Todd Karns as Harry Bailey
Samuel S. Hinds as Pa Bailey
Mary Treen as Cousin Tilly
Storyline: George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George's modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George's Uncle Billy loses the business's $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, finally allowing Potter to take over the town. Thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off with him dead, he contemplates suicide. But the prayers of his loved ones result in a gentle angel named Clarence coming to earth to help George, with the promise of earning his ...
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Reviews
An inspirational heartwarming experience. A Timeless Classic!
George Bailey is a man with goals, ambitions - a man of courage, integrity and pride. But all he has ever done his whole life is assist those in need, never for a second thinking about himself. Wanting to see the world before he sets off to college for an architect degree, he finds that he can't let his town crumble against the miserable, hateful, greedy and powerful 'Potter' and so he decides to stay. His father passes away, and so he must find a way to run the 'Loans' business that his father has kept from the mad man 'Potter'. All goes well for Bailey - a beautiful wife, a few children and a lot of friends. Although still handing out loans like his father before him, he pursues his dream of building and constructs a home village with affordable houses despite Potter's mass influence on the township. Unfortunately for Bailey, things begin to point downhill following the Depression and later bankruptcy where Bailey just can't handle the weight of burden of all the people's money he cannot repay. He comes to the harrowing conclusion that he should never have been born and decides to leave his family and friends and take his own life off a bridge. But the world cannot dispose of itself such a man, so god sends an Angel on a mission to get its wings, or better yet to save George Bailey's life. The Angel shows George what life would have been like had he not been born at all and of what became of the people he took dearly. Miserable under Potter's absolute influence, the town looks like an over indulgent, over spent, money making machine. George gets a glimpse of his own powerful influence on his friends and family and realises just what a wonderful life he really had.

Few films have portrayed the value (not the meaning) of life like 'It's a Wonderful Life' has. In contemporary times, we have been fed with recycled stories such as "The Family Man" and "It can happen to you", but none have captured the raw beauty of life like the original, "It's a wonderful Life"- its success partly due to its simplicity. And it sustains your attention from start to finish due to its simple and riveting storytelling. Sets aren't big, the story is quite small and the film is in black and white.

What makes this film stand taller than others is the great dialog between the characters which consistently remains on the story throughout the film and not on irrelevant topics - this is what keeps us glued to the screen (unlike with modern films, most of the dialog is blabber about nothing). The acting is superb from the whole cast, but you have got to hand it to James Stewart for one of the best performances of his career portraying the discouraged George Bailey - arguably his best performance - and one of the best performances you will see in any film. What I really love about this film is the lack of music, which gives a sense of realism to the story, like we are there with the characters in George Bailey's world.

Frank Capra creates an unforgettable atmospheric experience that remains tattooed in your memory years after viewing. The outdated effects aside, this film has stood the test of time as a timeless classic. The direction was subtle and superb - rarely equaled and I think this film is best in Black and White, even though they already had color in 1939, seven years before this masterpiece was released.

I recommend this film to anybody who feels down and depressed, sad and lonely. It really makes you think about the importance and beauty of this life in which you are living. All I can say is that I will be watching this film yearly until the day that I die due to its poignancy. A real classic in cinema history. It really is a wonderful Life!
2005-01-10
It's a Wonderfully Boring Life
I know this is an old movie and one cannot expect much from these things. I get that, and I did not expect much. Well what I got was an emotional and touching tale of good prevailing over bad. The adage that, 'they just don't make movies like they used' applies to this flick. Granted there were moments that seemed exhausting, but they were skillfully written into a script and plot that were easy to follow and intended to make you feel good at the end. I like that. Now today's Christmas Movies are so disrespectful. They either have drunk Santa's or peddling sex by notable Hollyweirdo Perves. Why even waste your money on a movie now-a-days? The production costs go towards one or two way-overpaid stars, and nothing is left for quality scripts; decent directors or is an understatement for this clap-trap. The only thing memorable about 'Life' is the stupid tinkling bell on top of the Christmas Tree. An angel gets his (or her) wings...and we will here a slight tinkle? Really? That's all. No freaking gong or a company of trumpets...just a measly little tiny bell...sheesh. What an indication of mediocrity. Ha! Donna Reed was such a beautiful woman, and she did a marvelous job along with the stellar performance of her co-star - Jimmy Stewart. Lionel Barrymore did a fantastic job and so did the rest of the crew. This is probably one of Frank Capra's greatest works. What a lifetime this fellow had. His life ushered years before the Wright Brothers' first flight; he was on the sidelines witnessing the ends of two World Wars, Korean and Vietnam Conflicts; old enough to remember the Titanic, Britannic and their sister, and yet lived into the 1990's Spectacular life. This movie is not for everyone. If you do not have a young family or if you are overly sensitive about Christmas...don't bother...you were insulted before you sat to watch. If, on the other hand, you happen to be normal, you will enjoy this movie.
2016-02-15
Outstanding
I have seen some very good films in my life, of that there is no doubt. This one though, Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" I remember the first time I watched it, it was the holiday season I think my sophomore year of High School. Being a high schooler I tried extremely hard not t let my tears show, but it was no use, and I could see similar failures around the classroom. I haven't seen a movie that could reach such an emotional level with me since, probably the only one that ever came close was Lion King, when I was 5. This movie will always be on my top 5 list, and so far no contender has got even close to removing it from the #1, and 64 years after this movie has been made there still isn't, that is really saying something.
2011-11-15
Director Frank Capra's bittersweet, heartwarming Christmas movie is a wonderful movie!
'Every time you hear a bell ring, it means that some angel's just got his wings'. That is the quest for the guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers) when he was assign to take care of a suicidal man named George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart). Clarence must try to show George, the tremendous impact he has had on his community before it's too late. Can Clarence, change George's mind or will this Christmas, be the last for George Baily? To find out, watch the movie! Made just after World War 2, this movie was a favorite for both leading man Jimmy Stewart and director Frank Capra. It's easy to see why. There's so much things to like, about this film. The film is full of delightful moments, from music and a dance sequence, funny comedy, and heart-warming romantic scenes. While, some critics might see this film as too sentimental and syrupy. In fact, in my view, most of the movie's vision is something out of a more modern complex, dark-edged sophisticated film. Yes, there are some really dated dialogue, sayings and behavior, but for the most part, I think modern audiences can still, watch this movie and find something about it, that they can related to. No matter how often, you get to see this Christmas favorite, there is always something timeless with this film, when you do. Important message about the value of an individual life and how one person's actions affect all those around him/her is a great life moral for people to take. Themes about family and friendship are also very important. Another great message is having faith, and belief in yourself and the future. After all, director Frank Capra himself said he made the film in large part to "combat a modern trend towards atheism and Nihilism". While, a lot of people say, that this movie isn't really a Christmas movie, due to the fact, that 90% of the movie is a story about George's life and takes place at some point in time other than Christmas; in my view, the whole Clarence arch, wouldn't had work as good as it did, on any other day of the year. There is something about Christmas, that makes the whole magically redemption story with Clarence somewhat believable. Based on the short story "The Greatest Gift," by author Philip Van Doren Stern, It's a Wonderful Life was never intended to be the Christmastime staple that it is now. In fact, when the film was first released back in 1946, it was generally considered a box-office flop. This film had a resurgence for a while in the U.S. during the 1980s when it was discovered that the copyright on the film was never renewed, which meant the film was in the Public Domain and any television station could legally show it as often as they wanted without paying for a license. Many stations across the country would run it, around Christmas time, to the point, that people label it as a Christmas movie. No matter, if it's a holiday movie, or not. A lot of critics, has point out, that the film protagonist's action are very similar to a Christ figure in all. I have to say, they're somewhat right, but there were some moments that George Bailey got really problematic to sympathize with. Some people feel that brought all his problems on himself by choosing to run an over-leveraged, illiquid bank business even though he's given many opportunities to do something else. However, I didn't find it, too abrasive to watch. What I didn't like, is how he treat Mary Hatch (Donna Reed) for most of the film. He was a little too mean-spirited to her; mostly in the beginning of the film He nearly ruin his first date with her. I really didn't like that. Thank heavens, he got more likable, as the film goes on. Still, the drunk driving scene was a bit hard to watch. Anyways, Jimmy Stewart is wonderful as George. I'm glad, he didn't quit, acting after the war. He gives the performance of a lifetime, here. Alternately affable and bitter, he is the movie's little-man hero. All of his emotional were, mostly play as for real. Seeing this, Capra had to reframe the shot in order to get it closer than was actually filmed because he wanted to catch the expression on Stewart's face. At the time, this shot was an extremely time-consuming project, each frame had to be done individually, making it only one step away from stop-motion animation. Capra spent the whole night doing it. Thank Goodness, he did! Most of the supporting cast are just as good as Stewart, but one-person stands out. Donna Reed is wonderful, despite her character being a one-dimensional manic pixie dream girl. She was really able to show the character's beautiful, supporting and caring nature. Just say the word, Mary, and I'll lasso you, the moon, indeed! I just don't buy the idea that George and Mary are somehow supposed to be soulmates. It's a bit unrealistic to think that Mary can only love George. Nor, do I believe, without spoiling it, that the ending of this film seen can be seem as "happy". After all, George is still in the same position he was before Clarence show up. An investigation is still looming. There are tons of others puzzling questions, still worth debating. So a rewatch, is needed. One thing, when watching it, is not to watch the color version. The black and white works well, to show the symbolic snow of the peaceful Bedford Falls, when compare to the cold and dark sleet of Potterville. It's better to watch that, since Paramount had all the grain removed in 2006. Overall: This well-known sentimental film is a masterpiece. Capra's Magnum Opus. A must-watch. So check it out.
2015-12-31
A wonderful film. One of best i've seen
This is one of my favorite movies of all time and a Christmas tradition in my household. This film is about sacrifice for the greater good. George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) having big ideas of the world around him and continually puts his desires behind the good of the town. Another thing this movie shows perfectly that no matter how insignificant we feel, we are all linked to each other and play a important part in each others lives. After George looses his way and a angel shows what the world would be like without him he soon realizes how important he was to the people and town around him. This will always be considered a classic in cinema and a great movie to watch every year during Christmas. So we can all remember the good and bad of the present year and when new years comes around we try to make the next year better for others and ourselves. This is a must see for any family or fan of cinema.
2012-11-08
The Greatest Film Ever Made
So often the movies that claim the top spot on people's "Best Movies" lists are iconic films that are suitable to watch any time of year. "Gone With the Wind", "Casablanca", "The Godfather", and many more would easily fit into that category, and certainly those movies along with your favorite that I'm leaving out all should be in the discussion whenever we talk about the best movie ever made.

But whenever I'm asked that question, be it now (five days before Christmas in 2014) or in mid June or July, the movie that I always come back to time and again is the iconic Christmas movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." This movie is the greatest film ever made.

The film features James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who dreams of seeing the world only to be a victim of fate that finds him staying in his hometown and running the family business, the Bailey Savings & Loan Company in the fictional town of Bedford Falls. James Stewart turns out the performance of his career (barring no other role, including "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"). The tale sees him fall in love with Mary (Donna Reed, who offers a similarly strong performance as supporting actress). The two are wed and life goes well for a while, until a fateful day when George's world comes crashing down on him, prompting him to wish he had never been born...only to eventually realize what a wonderful life he has.

The story is of course much more complex than that brief summary, but it's the story itself that is the most prevalent star in this movie. The script is a masterpiece in the art of conveying an entertaining and emotional narrative, taking the viewer on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Over the course of two hours you grow to love George Bailey for his character and his perseverance in standing up for the little guy against the tyrannical Mr. Potter, the film's antagonist. When George is elated, you feel it with him. When the frustration of life overwhelms him, you sympathize with him. When he finds himself in the midst of great despair, your heart breaks. And when his grief turns to joy, your heart swells....along with your eyes. I cannot watch this film without crying time and again in its final minutes.

Along with the acting and the script, the other major contributing factor to this movie being such a wonderful film is its cinematography. I have seen this movie pop up on "film noir" lists from time to time, and I'm not sure that I would agree with that categorization at all, given that film noir movies tend to be more tragic in nature. That said, though, there are a few scenes in which the film uses strong shadow effect in a similar way that noir films are known to do. In at least two scenes, Stewart is shown staring prominently into the camera as he realizes the gravity of certain situations he finds himself in. Those scenes become impressed in your memory after you've seen the film a time or two, and overall the film is well produced with good scenes and settings, and good camera work.

All of this makes "It's a Wonderful Life" my pick for the Greatest Film Ever Made. We may not always think of it immediately when we're sitting around the picnic table in the summertime thinking about great movies, but it's nevertheless a top notch movie that stands out for its artistic and cinematic value in a way that makes it much more than just a "Christmas movie". The wonderful story and well constructed script, the tremendous acting, and the excellent camera-work and film production all make this movie the cream of the crop.

10 out of 10 stars!
2014-12-20
Who are you, really?
Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like It's A Wonderful Life.

Does it take me back to that place in my heart, that makes me long for everything that once was great and it could be again? Does it remind me of my childhood, Christmas in my home? No. Maybe it's just simply what I always wanted from life and every man I want to be.

Everything about this film is well for lack of better words, perfect. No question to it any longer, the best performance by an actor I have ever seen. It's more than just beautiful, timeless or fair. All of Stewart is revealed. Everything coming together for Capra. Lionel Barrymore at his best, which seems to be his worst.

Sometimes I think there is a reason why somethings happen. And I'm pretty sure there is some magical reason why this film was made. I'm 27 years old and saw it for the first time Christmas Eve of this year. I've watched it 3 times since. The only movie to ever make me cry. I probably wouldn't have all the answers for you, if you asked me why. I'm still trying to figure Stewart out and just how beautiful was Reed.

What can I say? This movie is a life changing experience.

Makes me feel good to be alive. What a wonderful little world it is. And if I waited my entire life, it would not be a waste of time.
2007-01-27
You Can't beat the Classics.
God forbid if they ever attempt to remake this movie in any way. I know they probably already have in different versions and ways of telling the story, but this is a movie that will never die. Like everyone else, I and my family watch this movie every Christmas eve. It's like a tradition in a lot of families who celebrate Christmas. The best thing about it, is that this movie never gets old. You know the story, you know what is going to happen every Christmas you watch this. But this movie has a very deep meaning to it that a lot of movies in the history of film DON'T have. Every Christmas eve I watch this it gets me in the perfect Christmas mood, and makes me forget about all the worries, problems, and struggles I have to put up with in life. This movie teaches me that everyone in the world can make a difference, and that everyone, no matter who you are has a purpose of existing. Even when its not the holiday season, I'll just watch a couple scenes of this movie just to put me in a good mood anyway. They just can't make movies like this anymore that teach you a very meaningful lesson. Even to people who don't celebrate Christmas can still enjoy this film. I can't wait for Christmas this year, for it is my favorite time of the year, and the time to be very happy in life.
2012-11-12
Superb. Few films touch the heart like this one.
I saw this movie when I was much younger than I am today and I rated it about a 7/10 back then. Having just recently seen it again, it stands in my top 10. This film really does hit home on so many levels, it's sentimental and heart warming. Times were different back then but I think as we get older this film really stands as a testament to how we should cherish life. Older audience's will understand this film at its very core as opposed to a younger generation, no doubt.
2017-06-07
Depressing movie
It's a Wonderful Life... Yea RIGHT! SPOILERS It's Christmas season and I just sat thru my 10000th viewing (or so it seems) of 'It's a Wonderful Life.' I movie that everyone but me seems to find a happy and uplifiting story that centers around the holiday season. I see it as something different, and I cannot find one small glimmer of hope in the life of the poor pathetic main character of George Bailey.

Poor George was born with but one ambition for his life, to get the hell out of Bedford Falls and to see the world. This movie is but one long look at his miserable failure. In the movie we are taken thru the life of George Bailey, introduced to his family and his freinds as we are shown what looks at first glance to be an unfortunate chain of events that keep poor George trapped in the prison of a town called Beford Falls.

He meets the love of his life, Mary, and despite his explaining his intentions of getting the dust of that small town off of his shoes; she traps him into marriage. This is due in no small part to his rivalry with childhood friend Sam Wainwright. None the less, he and Mary save and plan for their eventual departure from Bedford Falls, and once again George is crushed. His dream nearly within his grasp, a failure of the family buisness (The Building and Loan,) caused by the incompetence of his familt to run the buisness and the economy (manipulated by his arch nemmissis Mr. Potter,) force him to give away all that he has hoped and dreamed for to "save the family buisness."

Later, as world war two is raging, George's possibilties of getting out of Bedford Falls are again dashed by the evil Mr. Potter, who through is political influence has managed to ensconse himself as the head of the draft board, thereby using a slight hearing deficiency to keep George from joining the armed forces. That way the evil robber barron Potter can keep our George under his control, at home, in dismal old Beford Falls.

After that crushing blow to his dream, George becomes complaicent and allows Mary to saddle him with FOUR children. Ultimately dashing all hope of ever leaving Beford Falls. When an IDIOT relative misplaces a large sum of money that belongs to the Building and Loan, the money is stolen by the evil Mr. Potter and a crisis ensues. Poor George is driven into drpression and contemplates suicied.

Up to this point we can only feel sorry for poor George, we are shown his troubled life from his perspective; but, here is where this movie takes a turn. Just as George is about to end it all, an angel in the form of a dumpy old man named Clarence shows up and saves George from his untimely demise. What happens next is most enlightening.

Our George tells Clarence that he wishes that he had never been born. His wish is grated and we get to see what life in Bedford Falls (now Potterville) would be like if George Bailey had never been born. We are shown in great detail how each and every person in the town was better off because of George Bailey. Everyone that is EXCEPT George.

George's dear wife Mary ends up as a spinster. It would seem that her only prospect for landing a husbandl was George. Even though she had been persued in the first half of the movie by George's close friend Sam Wainwright. We can now plainly see that Sam's interest in Mary was only a rivailry with his friend George. With George out of the picture, Sam had no interest in Mary at all. No wonder then that she did everything in her power to trap poor George into marriage, and keep him by producing multible offspring.

At a blinding pace, the movie shows us how each and every person in the town of Bedford Falls has USED George Bailey. Taken his kindness and generosity for all it is worth and given nothing back. And, in the process, assuring that George's one dream of getting the hell out of Bedford Falls will never become a reality. Each and every person in that hell of a town had used George in their own way: the cab driver, the police man, the bartender, the list goes on and on. All had TAKEN from George and given nothing back.

In the end though, Clarence scares George so badly that he pleads for his old life back, and predictably his wish is again granted. The movie then tries to make us feel better by showing that this town of ungrateful takers has begun to realize that they NEED George Bayley. In a stirring closing scene, we see these "users" come to George and Mary's house to give money to help save George from prison. The movie closes with George having been saved from prosececution, only to be stuck in the same HELL that has been his whole life.

What is not shown at the end of the film is that the evil Mr. Potter, who stole the money that caused all the trouble in the first place, gets off scott free. Once again the evil robber barron Potter comes out on top, while poor old George is left to live out his misserable life serving the leitches of Beford Falls.

The moral lesson to all who watch the film is that no matter what your dreams, no matter how good a life you live; the evil in this world (be it low life leitches that take, take take; or corporate robber barrons like Potter) will ultimately triumph over you and crush your dreams.

Merry Christmas everybody!!!
2002-12-29
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Download It's a Wonderful Life movie 1946 by Frank Capra Actors: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Frank Faylen, Ward Bond, Gloria Grahame, H.B. Warner, Frank Albertson, Todd Karns, Samuel S. Hinds, Mary Treen, Virginia Patton - , the lowest price, high speed.It's a Wonderful Life full movie online.It's a Wonderful Life HD movie are available too (720p and 1080p). It's a Wonderful Life Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Family download. download movies USA
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