26 November 2013 | The Independent | See recent The Independent news »

Lovers of It's a Wonderful Life will all have favourite lines from the 1946 feelgood movie that rivals Dickens's A Christmas Carol – with which it shares a plot – as the main course in seasonal schmaltz. I relish the moment when Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey, shown by his guardian angel how dismal his little town would have been without him, asks about the fate of his wife Mary. "She's just about to close up the library!" reveals angel Clarence Odbody. Cue a shot of Donna Reed, a tragic spinster in this grim alternative world, complete with librarian's bun, specs and tweeds. The horror, the horror! »

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