MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 4 this week

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

 -  Drama | Family | Fantasy  -  7 January 1947 (USA)
8.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.7/10 from 208,855 users  
Reviews: 639 user | 188 critic

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), 4 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 03 Jan 2011
 
a list of 48 titles
created 23 Apr 2011
 
a list of 27 titles
created 01 Oct 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 21 Dec 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 04 Nov 2012
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

It's a Wonderful Life (1946) on IMDb 8.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of It's a Wonderful Life.

User Polls

Top 250 #25 | Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 6 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Spirited Away (2001)
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

In the middle of her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and monsters; where humans are changed into animals; and a bathhouse for these creatures.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino
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
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
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 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
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Ralphie has to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect gift for the 1940s.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin
WALL·E (2008)
Animation | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 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 (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
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A classic fairy tale, with swordplay, giants, an evil prince, a beautiful princess, and yes, some kissing (as read by a kindly grandfather).

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright
Up (2009)
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years younger, inadvertently becomes a stowaway.

Directors: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
Stars: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger
Finding Nemo (2003)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home.

Directors: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich
Stars: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Monsters generate their city's power by scaring children, but they are terribly afraid themselves of being contaminated by children, so when one enters Monstropolis, top scarer Sulley finds his world disrupted.

Directors: Pete Docter, David Silverman, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Mary Gibbs
The Kid (1921)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Todd Karns ...
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Mary Treen ...
...
Virginia Patton ...
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:

They're making memories tonight! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Fantasy

Certificate:

Approved | 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)

Gross:

£682,222 (UK) (24 December 2010)
 »

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

Donna Reed's first starring role. See more »

Goofs

When Mary puts on "Buffalo Gals" on the phonograph, she starts a ten-inch, yellow-labeled record, but in the next shot, a dark-labeled record is playing. Also, when Mary breaks the record after the conversation with George, she breaks a twelve-inch, yellow-labeled record instead of the original ten-inch record. 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 church bell forms the backdrop for the studio logo, 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 »

Connections

Referenced in State and Main (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

When Johnny Comes Marching Home
(1863) (uncredited)
Music by Louis Lambert
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.


119 of 144 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Sadly... screenscreams
The ending??? vipermts
How did Sam Wainwright get out of being drafted? librachashjesu
Who is the money for? rhonda-gram
The Song Auld Lang Syne brandynmdavis
Did George build Bailey Park on top of a cemetery? CharletonHestonsGunCollection
Discuss It's a Wonderful Life (1946) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page