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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:

One-of-a-kind classic

10/10
Author: RNMorton from West Chester, Pa
17 October 1999

A lesser cast would flounder with this story, about a small-town man who suffers a setback and ponders ending it all on Christmas Eve. But Jimmy Stewart and friends make the tale truly uplifting rather than sappy. The rare kind of movie that can actually influence you years after you've seen it. Supporting cast provides great backdrop for Stewart. As good viewing the tenth time as it is the first.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Its a wonderful film too

Author: gazzo-2 from United States
2 October 1999

Like the entries for 'Star Wars', 'Lawrence of Arabia' and 'The Third Man', about everything that can be said about this one has been said already. I will say that it's a tremendously affecting film, even after seeing it every year for ages-it still delivers. Watch this one after watching, say, 'You Can't Take it With You' or 'Mr. Deeds Goes to Town'-you'll see many of the same faces in the cast, and a similar magic working in them as well.

Personally I have always enjoyed Sheldon Leonard (as the bar keeper) and Sam S. Hinds as the father, among many, many others.

Of course, the ending where he gets help from the Halohead, and begs God for his life back, absolutely wrenches your guts to tears every time out; no one could deliver the goods like Capra, Reed and Stewart. A film too good to see just in December, by all means see it, watch it, enjoy it. They do Not make them like this anymore; for all I know, they don't know how.

**** outta ****, as good as it gets.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A pretty good movie builds up to the one great scene on the bridge

9/10
Author: Tommy-92 from Baltimore, Maryland
12 September 1999

This movie feels just the same no matter when you watch it, but today it's viewed mainly as a Christmas movie. Still, no matter when you watch it, you can't help but like it and get something out of it, unless you have no heart at all or have an absolute, unshakeable hatred for movies like this. Throughout the movie, you think George Bailey's a nice guy (James Stewart was great in the role). You may get a little tired of the endless flashback scenes, but you'll undoubtedly not really be that bored, especially in the electrifying telephone scene with Donna Reed. Once the flashbacks are dispensed with, you feel sorry for George as he begins a sudden downhill descent. You hope (okay, you know) his lovable, bumbling guardian Angel Second Class will be able to talk sense into him by showing him what the world would be like had he not been born. And then it all comes down to the scene where he almost goes crazy, runs back to the bridge and begs God to let him live again. That is one of the most heart-wrenching scenes I've ever seen in movies; unless you're one of the above-mentioned people with no heart, there's no way you will be able to keep at least a couple of tears from falling. You will almost certainly be pulled into the scene, right alongside George, begging God to let him live, too. But if somehow you can prevent the tears from coming, then they'll immediatly come flowing when he runs back home rejoicing and yelling, "Hello, Bedford Falls!" Yeah, it is what's come to be called "Capracorn", but it's utterly genuine and very emotional. The mood is masterfully orchestrated by Capra and masterfully performed by Stewart. It's the most, well, wonderful way to close a movie.

While that scene and the performance in it are the best things about the movie, that does not mean they're the only good things. Donna Reed makes a great companion with Stewart (witness that telephone scene), Henry Travers is a pleasent diversion as his guardian angel, and Lionel Barrymore is wonderfully wicked as the devious Mr. Potter. The whole film is pretty well-done. Even though everything seems happy, you still do get a little sad knowing George gave up everything. There is a dark edge to this film, especially when he contemplates suicide. Nothing happy there at all, but still well-performed and genuinely sympathy-provoking. While it may be at its best when viewed at Christmas, it's just as good any time of the year and should have a lot of meaning, especially to a depressed or bereaved person. It's just as wonderful as you've heard, honestly.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful charmer, pure and simple.

10/10
Author: Charles Saint-Pierre from Montreal, Canada
31 August 1999

"It's a wonderful life" is one of those movies that is so good that it has the same effect on you even if you watch a million times. The story is brilliant and at the same time it is somewhat simple, James Stewart's performance is probably his best, and Capra's directing is excellent as well.

Beginning with God talking to one of his angels telling him that George Bailey (Stewart) wants to kill himself, the movie never drags. You then see Bailey's life and how he married Mary Hatch (Donna Reed) and why he now wants to kill himself. But when George's archangel is sent on Earth and meets with Bailey, the movie is at its best.

Keeping it simple all along, Capra made his best movie ever when he did "It's a wonderful life". It must not be missed.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Holiday Classic!!~

10/10
Author: Elizabeth (endofroad2@aol.com) from NY
16 August 1999

This is one of my favorite movies of all times. I love James Stewart in the part of George Bailey. I especially love the part where he's praying at the bar...that always makes me cry!!~

I also love Henry Travers as Clarence the angel. He's so funny and so sweet...I wish I had a guardian angel like Clarence!

Everyone, of course, loves the end when the townspeople contribute the money to George and Mary. And I just love Harry's toast:

"To my big brother George, the richest man in town!"

"It's a Wonderful Life" has become a Christmas tradition in my house, but it's great to watch any day of the year. I give this movie a 10!

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The best film ever made.

10/10
Author: anonymous
10 July 1999

I love today's movies and today's actors. But if I were to name my favorite movie of all time, I would have to go back to more than 50 years ago to a film called "It's a Wonderful Life". This movie has become a holiday classic, but it's much more. A movie that makes us realize the value of life, family and friends transcends any season. This film could have come off as overly sentimental had it not been for the superb acting of what I believe is the best actor of all time, namely Jimmy Stewart. His performance, along with a brilliant Donna Reed, makes this a film for all ages and all times.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

One of the all-time greats

10/10
Author: Neil Christiansen
7 June 1999

After a life full of disappointments and facing a jail sentence for fraud,a young man decides to end his life Christmas Eve.Due to heavenly interference he's given the opportunity to see what impact his life has made on his fellow man.

A great fantasy-drama which contains perhaps James Stewart's best performance.The other actors turn in marvelous work,especially Lionel Barrymore as the "Scrooge-like" banker. This movie is Capra's masterpiece,a movie which gets better with each viewing.The nightmarish scenes where Stewart is given the chance to see what life would have been without him,is so masterfully executed that you really learn at the films conclusion that: After all "it's a wonderful life"

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

the top of my list

Author: Shaun Small from Mississauga, Ontario
3 June 1999

Quit simply the greatest movie ever made. No other movie captures the qualities of living and appreciating all that you do for the others around you. Great acting, direction, story and message. "No man is a failure who has friends." Jimmy Stewart gives his greatest performance and how he or this movie didn't win an Oscar is beyond me. A movie that should be watched more than once. A classic.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I love this movie!!!

10/10
Author: Kazuhisa Tsuruta (pho_v@hotmail.com) from Kyoto, Japan
20 May 1999

This is the best movie I've ever seen. After watching this movie, I thought a lot about life, friendship, love and compassion. I tried to figure out what made life wonderful. I was not so interetsed in this movie, but my favorite actor, I knew that Chris O'donnell referred to this movie as his favorite one. Now I want to count this great movie as the favorite one, too. Life is absolutely wonderful.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Thank God for Frank Capra!

10/10
Author: Embley from canada
10 May 1999

Capra made many films that were really good, but It's a Wonderful Life is a truly GREAT film. I have seen it an uncountable number of times and it never fails to bring a tear to my eye. The story is well crafted and the film brilliantly composed. It shows so well the dark side of human nature and also how it shines so very bright. I will watch this movie regularly for the rest of my life.

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