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It's a Wonderful Life
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It's a Wonderful Life More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Nothing more to be said

10/10
Author: mfrost71w from Kent, England
1 March 2002

There's no point in commenting on this film; it's simply the best thing to come out of Hollywood. For me it's a barometer - Everybody I like seems to love Wonderful Life while the few people I dont get on with dislike it.

As for Jimmy Stewart, is it a coincidence he plays the two nicest men in the world, George Bailey and Elwood P. Dowd?

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Still wonderful, 55 years on

9/10
Author: gaityr from United Kingdom
12 February 2002

There are many things to rave about in this wonderful classic movie: the competent direction, the detailed creation of a town on a 4-acre lot, the sheer amount of hard work, love and inventiveness that went into its conception and completion.

I wish, however, to restrict my rave to the (previously unrecognised) dramatic abilities of the lead actor, James Stewart. If there's one reason to watch IAWL again and again and again (all the other wonderful factors notwithstanding), it's for the amazing performance Stewart turns in as George Bailey. The nuance and subtlety captured in the actor's performance is wonderful, just as the desperation he shows at the end of the film when he's running through Potterville looking for traces of his old life. Watching Stewart play college-age at the beginning of the film takes a little getting used to, but it's the end of the film that truly establishes him as one of the finest actors of his generation. His performance is an absolute marvel, and just as it's a crime that Cary Grant never received an Oscar for his amazing work, the fact that Stewart didn't win an Oscar for this shows how meaningless award ceremonies can be.

A beautiful, heartwarming movie. 9/10.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful, brings happy tears.

9/10
Author: insanitatsu from Vancouver Canada
20 January 2002

I am fall in love with this movie when I first watched it. Now,I watch it over and over. though, it brings fresh tear every single time.

Great movie to watch in the morning to have a good start for your day. It's a guaranteed happy tear movie.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Oh! What a fabu movie

Author: Stella from Manayunk, Pennsylvania
6 January 2002

This is why I love Christmas. People gathering and renewing life with hapiness abound! Jimmy Stewart is phenomenal and this movie will send you to bed with a much improved outlook on life! I recommend that everyone watch this movie every year for life!

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I guess "Timeless" is the right word for this film.

10/10
Author: anton-6 from sweden
31 December 2001

I have heard that they show this film every Christmas in America and I can´t understand why they don´t show it every year here in Sweden.A film that makes you happy.

First off all I would like too say that the acting by James Stewart is superb and Henry Travers as the angel is very funny.The rest of the acting is also great.The cinematography is also excellent.

I would call it a masterpiece.A Sentimental tale about life that I am sure will make you happy.It has not aged a bit.5/5

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Sidebar Point Or Two

Author: fowler1 from nyc
16 December 2000

There's no need to echo the praise this film receives from seemingly everyone, but I've always been fascinated by its continuing, if not growing, appeal to modern audiences. The Bedford Falls of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE has never existed and I think we all know that: it's sheer fantasy composed of equal portions of wish-fulfillment and nostalgia, but the type of fantasy that summons the better angels within us and ennobles us by lifting us out of the mundane and towards the ideal. Bedford Falls is childhood and innocence tucked away in the safe harbor of the past. Where this movie's immense power lies is in the Pottersville scenes...let's face it, Pottersville is what contemporary America IS. (Has anyone ever noted that while Bedford Falls is obviously a studio set, the camera pans through nightmarish Pottersville look like stock footage of any postwar American city?) That contrast, that emotional dichotomy, is what strikes such a chord within us: the idealized never-was vs the harsh, unforgiving can't-wish-it-away of grim reality. By the same token, the movie's true message - Bedford Falls is within reach of us all if we love our friends and family, stay the course despite setbacks, and treat others with kindness and respect - is even more seductive and affecting now than in 1946. It's little wonder this movie tanked on first release, as its peculiar magic needs to acquire antique status to reach its full power. I'm sure the first half of the film seemed as unbearably corny to postwar audiences as it now seems impossible to resist to audiences who are unceasingly bludgeoned with entertainment built upon callousness, carnality and levels of brutality once unthinkable. (Which is why the notion of a remake is utterly laughable: even younger audiences who don't 'get' old black & white movies are intuitive enough to grasp that this kind of heartfelt sentiment properly belongs to a different America - the America contemporary Hollywood has taught them to despise.) Though everyone focuses on the well-known plot and a truly stunning performance by Jimmy Stewart, it's worth noting that this might be Capra's most superbly directed project. There's no exotica a la LOST HORIZON or showy MR SMITH filibusters on view; WONDERFUL LIFE is more introspective and mellow a film, Capra in a minor key. But every setpiece is staged and photographed expertly, and all the big payoffs resonate with honest and powerful emotion. The scene with young George Bailey and the drunken, grief-crazed druggist is as beautifully done as any in Capra's long career, and that's just the first of many high points here. Maybe the most satisfying aspect of the film is the inability of film critics to resist taking a shot at it: you keep reading over and over how IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE is a 'dark' film with a pessimistic view of middle-class aspirations, despite the fact that millions of viewers, year after year, watch it as a reaffirmation of those same values. And Frank Capra made movies for ordinary people, whom he loved, and not critics, whom he tolerated.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The best Christmas movie ever!

Author: Monika-5 from United States
9 October 2000

What a wonderful film. Sure, it ends happily but it is also a very dark, dramatic film. NO ONE could've played the unlucky hero, George Bailey as wonderfully as James Stewart did. I could never imagine anyone else playing him, and a wonderful supporting cast backs him up beautifully. Who hasn't felt like George at some point in our lives and wondered how our loved ones would be if we'd never been born? The saga of George Bailey is a wonderful story to behold. A must-see, especially at Christmas.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

If you've never seen this movie, you've GOT to.

Author: john in missouri from United States
23 June 2000

If you're one of those people who've never seen this movie -- you've GOT to. It's as simple as that.

In fact, if I were limited to viewing 3 or 4 movies during my lifetime, and could somehow make an intelligent choice of which movies to choose, "It's A Wonderful Life" would be on that very short list.

Even if you've seen it quite a few times, like I have, you can still find details you've previously missed. (Do you know what words Peter Bailey put in a plaque on the wall of the Building and Loan? Didn't think so!)

I personally find this movie so important because of what it says about such things as: the meaning of a single individual's life; the potential of an ordinary person; getting the hard stuff in perspective, etc.

Feel-good movie? Yes -- but darker moments are gripping as well; from the very beginning in which we hear (among other voices praying for a man named George Bailey) the desperate voice of his young daughter. There's a rather horrifying drugstore scene. Classic moments, however, include the touching and the funny as well, like the dance scene ("Hey, we must be pretty good!")

Writing about it all makes me want to see this movie again. If you've never done so, I highly recommend making it next on your list!

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Classic

10/10
Author: Fran Robins (critic-22) from London
30 March 2000

It's a Wonderful Life

DIRECTION V% Directed to bring across the story in a fairly good way. Not aged that much!

ACTING †% Stewart is the centre piece of emotions and drama. Supporting performances are good as well.

EDITING/SPECIAL EFFECTS f% Edited to convey a story, showing how the past affects the present.

PLOT •% The strongest part of the movie, enough there to stop you from killing yourself even though times do really get hard.

STRONG WORDS AND VIOLENCE ETC %% There is a family argument, which is emotional and dramatic..

MUSIC e% A score fitting this style of movie.

SOUND 0% Normal everyday sounds, improving tha atmosphere of the flick.

HOOKABILITY †% Good story telling goes a long way.........

LASTABILITY %........and you won't be forgetting this tale in a hurry.

OVERALL ‘% A classic in the respects of good story telling and provides a healing process for the hurt in this world. Life is wonderful and worth every moment!

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

It's a Wonderful Life!...It really is!

10/10
Author: Derek Viger (sturmvogel43@hotmail.com) from Rumford, Maine
2 March 2000

There are multitudes of Christmas films that have been made. Some are only for kids, some are more serious, and some are simply classics. It's a Wonderful Life fits under the last category. Ever since I was a small child, I cant remember one Christmas where everyone didn't cuddle up under warm afghans and watched this movie. Jimmy Stuart gives his most brilliant performance in this movie. He does a very well job of portraying a man who's down on his luck at the beginning of the movie. I can hear the frustration in his voice when the stair banister breaks. But he not only plays this one shade of a man. He plays many more. He is the sweet father who watches over little sick ZuZu, but at the same time he is the man with too many troubling thoughts when he yells at his daughter Janey for practicing the piano too loud. Then again he shows his helpful side when his old friend comes back looking for money to head out to Hollywood and start a acting career. Although this story has vast differences, I find that it contains a hint of A Christmas Carol. The underlying story is still there. A man who is heading down the wrong path and is shown how he changed the world. If you haven't seen this movie before rent it in the middle of July for a little bit of the Christmas cheer.

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