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It's a Wonderful World (1939)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 19 May 1939 (USA)
Detective Guy Johnson's client, Willie Heywood is framed for murder and while Guy hides him so he can catch the real killer, both of them are nabbed by the police, tried, convicted and ... See full summary »


(as W.S. Van Dyke II)


(screen play), (based on an original story by) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
'Cap' Streeter
Sergeant Koretz
Vivian Tarbel
Lieutenant Miller
Willie Heyward
Major Willoughby
Dolores Gonzales
Al Mallon
Cliff Clark ...
Captain Haggerty
Madame Chambers
Herman Plotka
Stage Manager


Detective Guy Johnson's client, Willie Heywood is framed for murder and while Guy hides him so he can catch the real killer, both of them are nabbed by the police, tried, convicted and sentenced to jail -- Guy for a year, Willie to be executed. On the way to jail Guy comes across a clue and escapes from the police... Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Claudette Colbert James Stewart in a Wonderful Picture See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

't Is een wonderlijke wereld  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Many easily recognized cast members who are supposed to be in this film (according to studio records) are not seen in the print. These are Jack Norton, Eddie Acuff, Lester Dorr, Dorothy Ates, Nell Craig, Carl Stockdale, Bess Flowers and David Newell. See more »


All of the newspapers shown in the film share many of the same articles, with the same headlines and typefaces, despite being in different newspapers and spread across several weeks. See more »


Guy Johnson: I got one chance in a thousand without some silly dame gummin' the thing up!
See more »

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User Reviews

Two of the dumbest flatfoots ever
17 December 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

1939 was definitely James Stewart's break out year with Destry Rides Again and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington putting him once and for all in the ranks of biggest film stars. Unfortunately he also was in Ice Follies of 1939 which was a dud and It's A Wonderful World which didn't help or hurt his career.

In their one and only screen pairing, Stewart gets Claudette Colbert as a leading lady. He's a private detective hired by Ernest Truex who swears he's been framed by an evil woman Frances Drake for murder. Stewart hides out Truex, but they both get caught and Stewart gets sent up for aiding and abetting a fugitive. He escapes the cops and continues his investigation.

He also meets up with Claudette Colbert who's doing a pale imitation of her role from It Happened One Night. She's a poetess/heiress also on the run and she's more of a hindrance than a help although her quick thinking does save the situation in the end.

It's A Wonderful World is enjoyable however for the presence of three wonderful characters. Guy Kibbee as Stewart's hapless partner in his detective agency who seems always to be around to get clobbered. And the best is Edgar Kennedy and Nat Pendleton as the police pursuing Stewart.

Those two really save this film. Thank God these two were such a pair of dim bulbs. Neither of these guys exactly plays Rhodes scholars on the screen, but here they really outdo themselves. They were excellent together, why MGM or other studios didn't team them more is a mystery.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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