8.6/10
283,209
710 user 205 critic

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Trailer
1:02 | Trailer

Get Showtimes

In 1 theater near Ashburn VA US [change]

WATCH NOW
ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
402 ( 159)
Top Rated Movies #24 | Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Modern Times (1936)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger
The Lion King (1994)
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Lion cub and future king Simba searches for his identity. His eagerness to please others and penchant for testing his boundaries sometimes gets him into trouble.

Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones
Spirited Away (2001)
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino
Toy Story (1995)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy's room.

Director: John Lasseter
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles
WALL·E (2008)
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

Director: Andrew Stanton
Stars: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it's up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren't abandoned and to return home.

Director: Lee Unkrich
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright
The Kid (1921)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan
Up (2009)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway.

Directors: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
Stars: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger
Biography | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker
Family | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Charlie receives a golden ticket to a factory, his sweet tooth wants going into the lushing candy, it turns out there's an adventure in everything.

Director: Mel Stuart
Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Todd Karns ...
...
...
...
...
Ruth Dakin
Edit

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 ... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, smoking and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 January 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Greatest Gift  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,180,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£49,845 (UK) (19 December 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(colorized)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Mrs Hatch's first initials are JW but it's not known what they stand for. See more »

Goofs

When George arrives at home and finds Mary lying there, he puts his right hand on her right hand and kisses her. Next shot he is caressing her head with his right hand. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
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: I love him, dear Lord. Watch over him tonight.
Janie Bailey: Please, God, something's the matter with Daddy.
Zuzu Bailey: Please bring Daddy back.
See more »

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. See more »


Soundtracks

Vieni, vieni
(1884) (uncredited)
Music by Vincent Scotto
Lyrics by Henri Varna and Georges Koger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A wonderful film that should be watched again and again.
13 September 2002 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland) – See all my reviews

This is one of the best films of all time, without a doubt. I challenge anyone to watch this film and not be touched, if you can, you have no heart!

James Stewart is one of my favourite actors, and in this film he acts so naturally you even forget he's an actor playing a part, you really believe his story. You're pulled on a roller coaster of emotions throughout this film, and by no means is this a light hearted look at life, as many believe. This is not a rose tinted look at the wonderful life we have, this is a dark, downtrodden start to a film where the lead character is about to commit suicide.

However, it is a beautiful film, and is one of the few that you can watch again and again and walk away with the same glowing feeling as you did when you first watched it.


135 of 165 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Uncle Billy cookiesonaspatula
Racist? UM Yeah. This movie did not age well dolcineadelamantra
Great message for girls who watch this film timroth
Why did George say "pop, you want a shock?" tranngoc
It's a Wonderful Film? terranova222
Colorized or Black and White? trailmarker3-2
Discuss It's a Wonderful Life (1946) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?