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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:

Atta boy, Capra!

Author: gsx_tuner from TX
19 December 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is almost perfect. It is infinitely easy to suspend one's disbelief and be completely immersed in this movie. You forget that those are actors up there on the screen (with the exception of the young Ms Grimes. I'm afraid that I must agree with a previous comment. Surely there were better child actresses available.) Noting that exception, I must say that the rest of the casting was perfect.

I'm not going to rehash the plot. I just wanted to make some observances.

Possible spoiler:

A dissenting comment was written by a person that surely must be extremely naive. It is as follows:

"But the worst flaw? THEY NEVER GET BACK THE MONEY THAT WAS STOLEN. It is morally unacceptable that this guy doesn't get punished and the townspeople have to rush in with a bailout."

Don't you know, young sir, that for those of us who attempt to live our lives correctly, there are many others living around us that get away with murder and are never punished or found out. The good people of the town of Bedford Falls didn't know what happened to the money. They only knew that they loved George Bailey and were willing to help him out of a bad situation. I wish all the miscreants of this world would be punished. Sadly, that's not the case, so you must give Capra credit for being realistic here.

In spite of the untalented young Ms. Grimes, in spite of the water that was supposed to be a rushing river looking like a studio tank that Clarence and George jumped into, I still give this movie a perfect 10.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely fantastic, feel-good stuff!!

Author: CHRIS GREER from Newtownards, Co Down
13 November 2002

I have seen this wonderful film 11 times-this Christmas (surely it should be the law that British TV shows it every Christmas!) I will be watching it with a tear in my eye, because, at Christmas last year, I was depressed, and thought, like George, of killing myself. Then an angel-in my case a gorgeous girl- came onto the scene, lodged herself deep in my heart, and we hope to get engaged at Christmas!!! I'd LOVE to officially ask her to marry me when this film's on!! Then, it REALLY would be "A Wonderful Life"!

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Still wonderful, 55 years on

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 3 people found the following review useful:

Free-roaming Indoor Squirrels!

Author: guanoJohn from Normal, IL
7 February 2002

The golden age of Kansas City jazz enters this movie as George wanders through downtown Pottersville. Hot live music spills from every doorway, what a gas! George stops in the "alternate reality" Martini's bar, and it looks like Meade Lux Lewis pounding out infectious barrelhouse piano! To heck with Bedford Falls, give me Pottersville! Shame on Capra for slandering jazz as evil.

Does Uncle Billy keep a free-roaming pet squirrel? Is Capra using the squirrel symbolize that Billy is a nut case?

Billy loses the money, and at Billy's house George screams that Billy is going to prison. George shakes Billy by the lapels and storms out. Poor Billy collapses is despair at his desk. There is no comfort from a small Scottie dog under the desk, but a squirrel climbs up Billy's sleeve and tries to give Billy's arm a hug! Priceless!

Who keeps a squirrel loose in their home? Can a squirrel be trained to use a litter box? I am serious, IMDB fans, send me a note if you've ever heard of a squirrel kept loose indoors.

The crow in the Savings & Loan. Is it left over from a filming of the Poe's "Raven"? Awwwwk! Sit under the rafters at your own risk.

Donna Reed lights up "like a firefly" as Mary, in the performance of her career! I wish I could like the angel Clarence, but to me his part is weak. This is not a perfect film.

"It's A Wonderful Life" is a sappy, corny, sentimental, mawkish old tear-jerker. It kicks my ass! 10/10 stars.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

How does this communicate to you?

Author: scream25281 ( from Bristol, UK
24 January 2002

Before watching this I had the same misconceptions as everyone else about films from this golden age and especially this festive flick. The film fortunately put such doubts to rest. Many will argue it is too sentimental, while partly true, such scenes are handled with the utmost care and NEVER feel cheap. Being from this current generation of cynical drones, this film to me, was a revelation. Capra fills each scene with such feeling and character that one cannot help but feel slightly moved. The film has the perfect cast especially the immortal Jimmy Stewart and the ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS Donna Reed (underrated, underrated). While labelled as a feel good christmas movie, such a label is disrespectful. The film encompasses a variety of values and emotions, from family, faith, hope, love, aspirations, despair to many others. Although it is a universal film and there are some lighthearted periods, there are also scenes of depression and unhappiness(exploiting the talent of Stewart perfectly). If this is a happy, festive film, then it is the most depressing one I have ever seen. Every scene is excellently realised by a director at the pinacle of his craft and furnished with layers of detail and feeling. The film is also complemented by the best cast ever assembled (yep beating all others I think in my opinion). Every performance is refreshing and unlike 99% of all other golden age films from this era, the acting and dialogue is wonderfully accomplished and refreshing and has not dated in the least. Many polls do not consider this to be the greatest film ever after all it has to be something 'cool' something for the 'twenty something generation', something like the Godfather or Pulp Fiction. It effortless surpasses my previous favourites: Shawshank Redemption, Magnolia, Chungking Express, The Truman Show and Memento. These films while excellent do not touch me PERSONALLY in the same way as It's a Wonderful Life. They do not ignite the same sense of joy and euphoria, that little 'magic'. This is cinematic utopia, a film which breaks free from the boundaries of motion entertainment and into the realms of your emotional senses. And it feels nice.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful, brings happy tears.

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 3 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 3 people found the following review useful:

The best filmed performance ever...

Author: Jim (
4 January 2002

Interested in learning everything you need to know about film acting in just over 2 hours? Then observe the glorious Jimmy Stewart in "It's A Wonderful Life." It's all there. Just keep watching his eyes. Ask any actor and he/she will tell you that the secret to good acting isn't what you do when you're reciting lines - it's what you do when you're NOT saying anything. Stewart was the MASTER. Proof? Take a look at the scene towards the end when George turns away from talking to his mother (who in Clarence's world does not recognize him) on the porch of Ma Bailey's Boarding House... oh my GOD, the way he looks into and THROUGH the camera, the film, the walls of the studio, across time and straight into your soul! How did he do it? And to think he never won an Oscar - shows what a sham that whole concept is.

So I watched it again for the billionth time this past holiday (NBC actually seems PROUD of the fact that they have a lock on the TV rights and yet feel no pressure to perhaps NOT cram as many commercials as possible into a masterpiece) and a funny thought occurred to me: wouldn't it have made more sense for Clarence to simply tell George WHAT HAPPENED TO THE $8,000 ?!? :-)

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Classic

Author: Trent_Stirling from Manteca, CA, USA
27 December 2001

The best Christmas movie ever made. A wonderful story about a man and the difference one person can make in the lives of so many people. Christmas wouldn't be the same without this classic. If you've never seen the movie (you need to see it) and if you don't own it on DVD (you have to buy it and buy it now)

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

It's a Wonderful Xmas Movie

Author: manipool from Los Angeles
24 December 2001

Love this film and never get tired of watching it. Jimmy Stewart's performance in particular is wonderful and heartfelt, but I like most or all of his films. In this movie, I especially the love phone scene between he and Donna Reed, wow!!! I've seen it for several Christmases now and that scene still makes me cry, he exudes such tender emotion. Beautiful story, superb actors, great movie!!

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