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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 4 people found the following review useful:

It is a wonderful life!

9/10
Author: Rhiannon from United Kingdom
7 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(Please note: this may contain a spoiler) This film epitomises what a good film should be - humoured, heartfelt, funny and touching. 'It's a wonderful life' is not only viewed as a classic but also lives up to the audiences' expectations - a truly satisfying experience.

Never having previously experiencing Capra's work I chose to rent this film - arguably one of Capra's finest achievements.

The film follows lovable character 'George Bailey' a man whose life is filled with love and friendship. Like many people, he does not always realise the great support and affection he holds with the people close to him. Bailey was an ambitious, determined child with hopes of building bridges and buildings, touring the world and seeing famous sights. Bailey's dreams come back to earth when his father suddenly dies and he is asked to fill his place.

Slowly, Goerge builds a new life with his family (and of course..the girl!). They don't have much - for Bailey's heart is slightly over-sized and his business makes little profit but does much good for the citizens of his town. But things don't always go smoothly and when Bailey's uncle misplaces a large sum of money, they face severe financial crisis, as well as criminal.

Bailey's life has apparently come crashing down around him..until he meets somebody - an angel to guide him on his way. The Angel shows Bailey what his life would have been like had he never been born. Bailey discovers unnerving things - his town is completely changed and nobody knows him - they shy away from him. His family doesn't exist and his wife is a lonely librarian..George Bailey's stark realisation - his life made great impacts on the people of the town..his brother didn't survive - because he wasn't there to save him. Bailey realises - his life impacts so many things - and if he wasn't there, everything would be different..much worse.

This film is perfect - not too overpowering to watch and not too bland. Stewart's character shines as a lovable and sweet man - caring, sensitive and completely selfless. Capra's ingenious movie brings to light a very good topic - how one single person's life impacts the people he/she meets and knows...how everything can be so completely different - how fate and reality go hand in hand.

The production is fantastic as is every other aspect of this picture - unique and memorable. Even in black and white! A must-see for all the family, for every film buff and cynic - children and adults alike - a truly memorable piece of cinema that will forever shine a true mastery.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

excellent quintessential film about life

Author: saimahuq from malden, ma
2 January 2003

This isn't really a Christmas movie, the story just takes place around Christmas. George Bailey has always wanted to be an explorer, but instead he lives in the same little town his whole life, marries his childhood sweetheart, and takes over his dad's savings and loan association, Now he is in danger of going bankrupt, through a mishap that is used to the advantage of the local evil codger and main competition to Bailey. Despondent, he decides to jump off a bridge and end it all.

Enter Clarence, a student guardian angel who is trying to earn his wings. Saving George Bailey will get him those wings, if only he can show George how the world would have been had he never been born. He reveals the impact George has had on others -- even saving lives --- to prove he is not a failure and very much needed and loved.

Keep an eye out for the grown-up Alfalfa (from the Little Rascals) as the jealous guy at the high-school dance who opens up the gym's swimming pool so the dancers fall in. It's priceless!

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Best Movie Ever Made?

10/10
Author: rhythmwiz (9702702t@student.gla.ac.uk) from Falkirk, Scotland
3 April 2002

OK, it has it's flaws, like every movie ever made, but this has fewer than most, and, surely, it's the greatest feel-good movie ever made? It's simple, innocent, and wonderful. Great performances, great story - it's everything the movies should be, and it leaves you feeling good about movies, about the human spirit, and about life when you've seen it. I love this movie! Why can't they all be this good?

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Different Take (mild spoilers)

10/10
Author: kensmark from Right Behind You
1 April 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love this movie and can watch it again and again. To me, this movie is intentionally bittersweet and ironic.

George Bailey's life is, or isn't, wonderful, depending on how you look at it, or how he looks at it. I don't think the movie's purpose is a sappy homily about how George will never be poor so long as he has friends. I think it's more like Voltaire's "Candide". Life is difficult, and often unpleasant, and you have to work to make it worthwhile, but the rewards of life are not unattainable or small.

I think "It's a Wonderful Life" makes a great companion to "Shenandoah", another James Stewart film, one which touches on the same theme from another perspective. "It's a Wonderful Life" is a happier film, and hence is easier to watch over and over, and it's one of the few holiday classics that really deserves repeat viewings.

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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:

It's a wonderful film

10/10
Author: aberry-1 (aberry@mgtrecruiters.com.au) from Sydney, Australia
21 February 2002

I gave it 10 out of 10. Seen 10 times and I still cry with joy at the end, every time! I always think the testament of the a great film is that no matter how advanced technololgy becomes( and this was in black & white!), noone can attempt to repeat the perfection of this film. Just thinking about the film leads me to reach for something to wipe my eyes, so I must go...and live life to the full.

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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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