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It's a Wonderful Life
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Reviews & Ratings for
It's a Wonderful Life More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

It's a wonderful film.

9/10
Author: (esmorr) from Melbourne, Australia.
27 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of my favourite movies. It took some time for me to get to the point of liking it so much though; the first time I watched it I thought it was o.k., but after subsequent viewings I now like it very much. I have always loved Jimmy Stewart's work, he's my favourite actor, so the fact that he's in it is a plus. The message of this film is that one man can make a difference, and that should never be forgotten by anyone; we all make a difference individually, but whether it's good or bad is up to us. Donna Reed is excellent as the dutiful, loving wife, and Lionel Barrymore is classic as the miserly, greedy opportunist. Henry Travers shines in his role as Clarence the guardian angel 2nd class, sent to pull George up by the bootstraps and make him see his place in the world of Bedford Falls. This is the movie which should be played every Christmas, as it engenders in the viewer the true spirit of Christmas: the joy of giving and investing in your fellow man. If you can get your hands on the behind-the-scenes extras' please do, as they contain very revealing interviews with both Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra. I only wish that they still made good quality movies like this nowadays. I give it a 9 because it's a B&W; it would be great in colour, but either way 'It's a wonderful life' is indeed a wonderful family movie with a great message. Note: There is a coloured copy of this classic movie floating around, so you might like to grab it if you can.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Think! If George Bailey hadn't been born: Harry wouldn't go to the Ice Pond!Martini would run a Pizzeria!Gower would've sold to CVS!Violet would've married Uncle Billy.....

10/10
Author: John T. Ryan (redryan64@hotmail.com) from United States
12 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

WHILE MAKING IT yet another early Winter's eve spent with the handy work of Mr. Frank Capra, Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, et al, it suddenly occurred to us that IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (Liberty Films/RKO Radio Pictures, 1946) is one film that has a most checkered history. Inspite of the exalted position of preeminence that it has occupied for some thirty or so years now, as hard as it may seem to believe, the movie was not a success at the time of its original release.

WE CAN RECALL viewing it for the first time. It was while in Junior High (in the 7th Grade), circa 1958. The temperate zone setting was very appealing; rather than being set in the warm and sunny Southern California, Mediterramean clime that characterize so many cinematic works. This was a most friendly way of getting the attention of this kid, here (that's me, Schultz)! I really identified with it.

SO, WE CAN now magically fast forward our time line about 12-15 years to the early 1970's. It was during this period that our subject film was wrongly thought to be in Public Domain. Without the benefit of copyright protection,it would be open season on this or any other movie. Every and any print of it could be, and was shown over just about all of the commercial TV stations in the land; as well as those which come under the umbrella of (everybody bow their heads) the Public Broadcasting System.*

THE MEGA DOSSAGE of exposures to the Film, rather than wearing out its welcome with the Public, surprisingly served to permanently cement its endearment to the masses. In much the same manner that all the films and characters which are numbered among all that is the Walt Disney Legacy, the characters and happenings of this screen story are all second nature to us now.

HAVING SUCCEEDED IN capturing the affection and imagination of the public at large, the characters and storyline would surely invite imitation; for after all, they say that..."Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Yet, there has never been a movie which we could say with any reasonably high degree of certainty that was an attempt to emulate the story and the spirit of the film.

WE SAY THAT there was no imitation of the movie; a statement that you may well be disputing. And believe us when say we can hear you when you say, "What about that made for TV movie, IT HAPPENED ONE Christmas (Daisy Productions/Universal TV/ABC TV Network,1977), which was a starring vehicle for Miss Marlo Thomas and Wayne Rogers; with support from Cloris Leachman and Orson Wells!!

IT REQUIRED A Sex Change operation for the principals as Mary was now the main character and head of the Savings & Loan; with the Angel's role being consigned to the feminine side with Cloris Leachman (relpete with an annoying & phony Cockney accent) being called "Clara", instead of Henry Travers' name of "Clarence"! (Clever these Americans!)

WELL, WE SAID it before and we'll stick by our statement. This is not an imitation or derivative of the original. It's an outright piece of Plagiarism, plain and simple! It may have been do one all legal like and above board, but it's still Plagiarism. Just screen it and see that the script has been a carbon copy of the Capra Film.

AS PERHAPS AN unintended, though extremely beneficial, consequence of all of this super dosage of this variety of what has been described as 'Capra-corn'**,

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE eventually rose to the pinnacle of success as America's Favourite Film of the Christmas Holiday Season. In doing so, Mr. Capra's pet project managed to supplant the former Yuletide Christmas favourite, WHITE Christmas (Paramount, 1955). (Yuch!!!!!!!!!!!! But that, my dear buddy Schultz, is another story!)

NOTE: * We prefer to refer to it as the POLIT BUREAU SYSTEM.

NOTE: ** It has been said that while it was true, that the copyright to the Movie had not been renewed therefore it was legitimately considered to be in Public Domain, the Music in the Film was a different story. In this case, the impossible was accomplished, with "all the Horses being put back into the Barn!" The Music Copyright lead to having a single copyright owner (Republic Pictures). Hence, we see the movie usually twice a year on NBC.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Must See for the Holidays

10/10
Author: jackiemariec from United States
9 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of the all time greatest Christmas movies ever! Jimmy Stuart plays the roll of George Bailey with his normal genius. All of us have a little George Bailey in us and sometimes need to be reminded how we affect the world around us. Of course Henry Travers is quite lovable as Clarence (Angle 2nd Class). It brings back to memory a time much more innocent and always leaves me wishing I could have grown up in that era. If you don't feel good after watching this movie, you should watch it again. This movie is great for the entire family and is one of our Christmas traditions. It is always an event when we turn it on and officially starts our Christmas season.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Nice Movie I ever seen

8/10
Author: chandrasekhar_babu from India
14 April 2008

The first half of the movie is going very good with the family background. The real twist starts in the second half and after seeing the entire movie no body wont leave until they cry. The human values is shown very nicely. And the people will learn how to lead a life with their wife and children.

James stewart done excellent in this movie. I like his character in this movie. Mostly the angle do the funny things in this movie. This movie is worth watching and You can spent for this.

I have a DVD Collection for my own and i want to keep it for a long time. wish to see this movie.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The most inspiring movie of all time no matter what anyone says!!

10/10
Author: dan80074 from United States
7 April 2008

I feel in love with this movie the first time I have ever watched it. The first time I did watch, I was having a great experience to be watching such a milestone in cinema history. This is the movie that shows you have a purpose. It shows have important one life is to all the lives around him/her. Capra was masterful in this directing and I believe this movie was better than The Best Years of Our Lives which beat it out for all major academy awards.

James Stewart is also my favorite actor of all time and he was at the top of his game in this movie and one of the high points in his career. He gave a worthy best actor performance. This movie should inspire anyone who thinks they are worthless and don't have a meaning in the world. This is truly in the top 3 or 4 in my movies behind such classics as "The Godfather" or "Casablanca".

A true milestone in cinematic history.

10 out 10 stars without a question!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I want to live in that time of 1940s.

10/10
Author: gaurav_thegreat from India
5 January 2008

I know its the 21st century and everything has changed so fast that you just can't even believe. Although I'm a teenager but watching this movie I want to go in the past & want to live a very simple life like George Bailey . During watching this movie I thought why don't that time strikes and the whole world again become simple & lovely. I rated this movie 10 on 10 I'm sure it deserves it. Brilliant acting by James Stewart, Reed & Barrymore. I loved the movie & want to at least for 1 day in that era. By watching this movie one can learn a lot about life,- that life is not just about you, its about everyone. Its not about your gratification but about how much sacrifice you can do for your loved one's. This movie is specially for our new generation, which needs to learn importance of family values and bonds.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

it's a wonderful film

9/10
Author: guy anisimov from Austria
19 February 2007

wow how i enjoyed this! i really don't know how to start describing what i feel about this beautiful film but its just that i am in about the same point in my life as George Bailey is in most of 'its a wonderful life' so you probably understand why I'm so excited.not knowing exactly what i want to study and where and also having so many things i have to consider and so many things i have to decide if i wanna give up or keep, thats basically what is happening with the main character in this wonderful film...

the story that is told to us is about the whole life of a guy that owns a heart of gold, throughout the movie were being told about his whole life since he was a child and until a point where he's considering about taking his own life away.i really don't want to say too much because i think it will just spoil the whole experience for a first time viewer after reading this.go watch this only knowing that it is a very old film that is considered to be very good, you will never expect a 1946 film to be made like this was made just as you will never expect it to be as enjoying as this is.

i watched it by myself but i can really imagine that watching this with someone you love or someone close to you will make it so much better.it certainly deserves its spot on this site's top 250 list and i truly hope that more and more people will watch it so its recognition among top movies will be much higher.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

It's a Wonderful Life (1946) ****

10/10
Author: JoeKarlosi from U.S.A.
13 February 2007

An acclaimed holiday classic which took a very dramatic turn for me this last Christmas season and has finally emerged as a truly emotional and uplifting film in my eyes. To be fair, I had to ask myself if this was the same film I had tried out for only the first time three years ago and which I initially felt was vastly overrated. Back then I was expecting a completely "Christmas-y" movie and had been disappointed while missing the whole point of the story. So I satisfied my urge to give this acclaimed film a second chance and it was a completely different experience for me. Jimmy Stewart was great in the role of George Bailey, a man who gives of himself to others and puts people ahead, often at his own expense. I found Bailey to be not only tragic at times but funny too. I appreciated a lot of chuckles that I somehow missed originally. I also relished the photography and atmosphere (this being a better quality DVD than the first time I saw it).

But I think I was simply in a better frame of mind and mood this time as well, which goes to prove yet again how sometimes movies can really affect you differently at any given time, depending on whatever state you're in when you're watching them or what your expectations are. I also have to say this film touched me greatly emotionally because I just think I can personally relate to a lot of feelings in the film more today than I did yesterday. It touched a spot in me, and I spent the last entire Christmas Season feeling better about the holidays and in more of a generous Christmas spirit than I'd ever felt before. I think I've also learned a little something about life and how to better live it from this classic this time out and it was a fully rewarding experience all around. It may be required every year now to give me that inspirational kick I may need. And that is a true accomplishment. **** out of ****

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

My Favorite Movie of All Time!

Author: hoffmankm from United States
27 January 2007

This is not only the best feel good movie of ever, but my personal favorite movie of all time. The story of the movie is great, and the moral that goes along with it is excellent. The movie makes you feel as if you are a very important person, and it is one of the very few movies that can do that. It was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, and didn't win any, which is a little sad considering it is an absolutely fabulous movie. In this day and age when movies are all about sex, drugs, and alcohol, I know that I can watch this and feel a lot better about cinema, and also feel better about myself. The acting in this movie was so great and the characters were so cute, sweet, and lovable. But some of the characters were mean, but were still well acted. This movie is a great Christmas classic, and in my opinion it is so completely flawless.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Thank You Magic Shadows

10/10
Author: ages_hence from Canada
22 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Anybody who grew up in Ontario might remember TVO's "Magic Shadows".Elwy Yost would spin half an hour of a movie...each day for the week. Now I don't know how anybody today could watch that and even then as a kid I only watched one entire movie on Magic Shadows.That was the week he showed "Its a Wonderful Life". This was not the Christmas classic then.Mid seventies I had never heard of it and I was excited to watch every half hour of it. The audience knows there is a man who will be brought to despare and that he is a good man...well he must be because the angels are talking about how to save him.It is in this manner... how the story is set up... that there is a suspense and eagerness in watching.It almost feels like two films because you are watching the buildup to James Stewart's tragic demise all in flashback and then we are in the present and he isn't saved yet. Really well done film because it entertains and makes you feel good. Glad to see it became a classic and will always be there for us at Christmas. On the serious and dramatic side what happened to George Bailey could happen to any of us....he has the best intentions but at the end he is feeling unfulfilled and abandoned.James Stewart's acting captures this very well. Thank you Elwy Yost...Its A Wonderful Life!

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