MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 2 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 199,637 users  
Reviews: 628 user | 186 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...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 29 Mar 2011
 
a list of 45 titles
created 14 Oct 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 07 Feb 2013
 
a list of 42 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 6 months ago
 

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 #26 | Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 6 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Chicago playwright uses self-hypnosis to find the actress whose vintage portrait hangs in a grand hotel.

Director: Jeannot Szwarc
Stars: Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer
Fantasy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An angel tires of overseeing human activity and wishes to become human when he falls in love with a mortal.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An uncommonly gentle young man, who happens to have scissors for hands, falls in love with a beautiful adolescent girl.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After dying in a car crash a man searches the afterlife for his wife.

Director: Vincent Ward
Stars: Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A lonely doctor who once occupied an unusual lakeside home begins exchanging love letters with its former resident, a frustrated architect. They must try to unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary romance before it's too late.

Director: Alejandro Agresti
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Christopher Plummer
Always (1989)
Fantasy | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A romantic adventure about a legendary pilot's passion for dare-devil firefighting and his girl.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, Brad Johnson
Phenomenon (1996)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An ordinary man sees a bright light descend from the sky, and discovers he now has super-intelligence and telekinesis.

Director: Jon Turteltaub
Stars: John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker
Groundhog Day (1993)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A weatherman finds himself living the same day over and over again.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A bishop trying to get a new cathedral built prays for guidance. An angel (Cary Grant) arrives, but his guidance isn't about fundraising.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An IRS auditor suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death.

Director: Marc Forster
Stars: Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman
Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément
Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A film set in a strange afterlife way station that has been reserved for people who have committed suicide.

Director: Goran Dukic
Stars: Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham, Tom Waits
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:

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

Debuted a week after William Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), which explained why this movie was a disappointment at the box office and at the Academy Awards. See more »

Goofs

Snow on Ernie's taxi disappears and reappears when arriving at George's dilapidated house. 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

Spoofed in It's a Miserable Life (1979) 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

 
Who are you, really?
27 January 2007 | by (Manhattan) – See all my reviews

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.


249 of 268 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Sadly... screenscreams
The ending??? vipermts
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Sequel in the Works DRose23
One Scene That Always Gets To Me... crybern-944-513780
How did Sam Wainwright get out of being drafted? librachashjesu
'What are you doing tonight, Violet?' mblotd
Discuss It's a Wonderful Life (1946) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page