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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:

Life IS wonderful

10/10
Author: anonymous from St.Jerome, Quebec, Canada
23 April 1999

It's a wonderful life is ,in my opinion,one of the best Christmas movie.Even if that film is over 50 years old,everybody have seen and will seen it for a long time.Those films don't seem to get old.James Stewart plays a depressed man who try to kill himself and he is saved by and angel by showing how the life would be if he never been born.The story is wonderful and the plays of the actors are wonderful.A very good movie.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Just try to hold back the waterworks at the end, I dare you

10/10
Author: Kyle Milligan (toldyaso@planeteer.com) from Toronto, Canada
22 February 1999

To my utter dismay and disbelief, I recently discovered that a friend from work hated this movie.

This friend, whom we will call "Jean", says she saw it for the first time recently and absolutely hated it. "What a crappy movie" or something to that effect.

Not that it's important how old Jean is, but let's just say she's had ample opportunities to view the film in previous years, and by her own account she feels her parents had the good taste to protect her from this film.

I can only react in shock as one of my most beloved film experiences is torn asunder in such a harsh way. But perhaps I'm blindsided by the tradition of the film, with it being a staple for Christmas fare. Maybe I'm being merely nostalgic. Maybe I can't see it for what it is.

I tell you something dear friends, I hated Christmas this year.

It seemed to be one obligation after another that nearly stamped out any Christmas cheer I could usually muster with the greatest of ease. My beloved wife and I were busier than ever before and didn't even find the time to put up a Christmas tree, much less enjoy "It's A Wonderful Life".

You know something, I think it's because we didn't take the time to enjoy the finer points of Christmas, and part of that is Frank Capra's delightful film, which I've just acquired on DVD and plan to watch just as soon as I'm able, despite my hectic schedule.

I don't know if Jean will ever give this film another chance or not, I hope she does. Because nothing on film can compare to the touching scene at the end, where George Bailey discovers just what kind of an impact he's had on the lives of the friends around him. Just try to fight those tears, but it won't make you feel any less choked up, no matter how many times you see it, whether you start at the end or not, it doesn't matter. C'mon Jean.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Never fails to move me to tears, the best of all films.

10/10
Author: Kenneth Wilson (wilsonk@tcnj.edu) from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
17 October 1998

Frank Capra has created a film for the ages with "It's a

Wonderful Life." The story chronicles a man, George Bailey,

who seems to have lost everything that is important in life. With the assistance of his guardian angel, Clarence (the role of Henry Travers' career), George is shown how important his

life has been to those that are dearest to him. The film

captures the true spirit of the holiday season without

appearing overly sappy or contrived. A universal story for all mankind, "It's a Wonderful Life" is the rarest of all films: a

film that improves upon repeated viewings.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

It's without doubt the ultimate feel-good movie

10/10
Author: Graham Kavanagh from Dublin, Ireland
9 October 1998

Anytime I'm felling down I'll put on "It's A Wonderful Life" and just forget about the things that were bothering me. To me that's the power of this exceptional film. It has an amazing way of putting things into perspective for me and that's why it's my favorite film. Of course the film also contains some of the finest acting I've ever seen. It's not just the entralling performance from James Stewart but the richness in depth of all the character actors no matter how insignificant their parts may seem.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Greatest Movie about life, not just Christmas

10/10
Author: amaskery from United States
24 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is about life and all its aspects. The highs and lows, and it makes you realize how important the whole thing is. Not just your successes. As you follow George through his life you see a lot of yourself or people close to you that relate to him or the characters that surround him. The issues he goes through with his hearing, and saving his boss from poisoning someone. The pranks and stress that balance life. And the courtship, and the issues contained within, that bring them to the life the have. It shows every aspect from early childhood to late adulthood. I for one, use this movie as a mirror to my life and it helps me appreciate all that I have and will have.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A Talk with Jimmy: Seeing a 'Wonderful Life' through His Eyes

10/10
Author: (g.njoseph@hotmail.com) from United States
2 July 2014

A VISIT WITH JIMMY STEWART: Inside 'Wonderful Life,' a Wonderful Life

"'It's a Wonderful Life' sums up my philosophy of filmmaking ... to exalt the worth of the individual, to champion man ... and to dramatize the viability of the individual." _ director Frank Capra

JAMES STEWART, whom Frank Capra lovingly described as being "unusually usual," the movies' quintessential Everyman, sat down to reminisce about "It's Wonderful Life" on Nov. 16, 1987, not quite 40 years after it had opened in theaters across the country. Then 79, Stewart, in his familiar crackling Indiana drawl, explained that the movie was never really intended as a Christmas film. RKO, the movie's distributor, originally planned to premiere it on Jan. 30, 1947. But its big color film set for the holidays, "Sinbad the Sailor," had to be put on hold when Technicolor went on strike. Enter black and white 'Life" instead on Dec. 20, 1946. "Christmas was just sort of part of it, and a wonderful way to end the movie," Stewart said. "The picture didn't do well when it opened because -- and I know Frank (Capra, the movie's director) feels the same way -- it was right after World War II, and the substance of the film wasn't what people wanted to see. They wanted something sort of relaxing, a rejuvenating film, a lot of comedy -- Red Skelton, Martin and Lewis, who were just coming into their own just then. The war was a tough thing to take for the people back home here. I think they wanted something sort of wilder than this." Another thing didn't help box office when 'Life' opened: a real white Christmas that year. Snow blasted the eastern U.S. Ironically, the film actually had been shot from May through July 1946 at RKO's Encino Ranch during 80-degree weather. Snow was simulated by use of 3,000 tons of shaved ice, 300 tons of plaster, 300 tons of gypsum and 6,000 gallons of chemicals. The "snowstorm" that occurs when Stewart's character, George Bailey, attempts suicide took three weeks to create and required the largest special effects crew assembled for a movie up to that time. "Frank didn't even have the story for 'It's Wonderful Life' on paper when he invited me over to his house one day. He told me, 'I have an idea for a picture,' and started taking about an angel named Clarence who hadn't won his wings, and that I'm gonna commit suicide, and he said, 'I'm not telling this very well.'' I said, 'Frank, if you want to do a picture about an angel named Clarence who hasn't won his wings, I'm your man." The movie was Stewart's favorite. "For quite a few reasons," he said. "Number one, it was the first picture I got to do after the war, and maybe for that reason, it's sort of a sentimental favorite. But beyond that, I think the picture had the main sort of things that mean so much to me ... an idea with two basic points: There's no man who is born to be a failure, and that no man is poor who has friends. Now, from the those two sentences, the secret of the movie is made." A number of things were improvised, like the recurrent bit where George keeps knocking off the knob on the Baileys' banister railing. "The first time I walked by, it was loose and it came off when I grabbed it. We just left the bit in. Frank and I never discussed it."

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Best Christmas movie ever made

10/10
Author: Ross622 from United States
23 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life is the inspirational story about a frustrated businessman named George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) who on Christmas eve wishes that he was dead because of a man who made him want to do that named Mr. Potter (played by Lionel Barrymore), then Bailey no longer exists and an angel (played by Henry Travers) tries to teach him what it feels like to be dead and how wonderful life can be. The American film institute had the perfect reason to rank this film as # 1 on their 100 most inspirational movies list because of how inspiring of a movie that director Frank Capra made it out to be and of which I consider to be the best movie of 1946.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A classic film with a powerful message

10/10
Author: Damon Day
9 March 2014

I was never much of a fan of older movies, especially not movies as old as It's a Wonderful Life. Being the ignorant teenager I was, I was turned away from the black and white film. The only other film I had ever seen in black and white was 12 Angry Men, which I had to see for my American government class. Although I surprisingly really enjoyed that film, I was in no hurry to see another like it.

Years later, while going through a rough time in my life, I came across this movie on this very website. I had known the film existed for years, but upon reading the IMDb page I became curious. Maybe it was just because I was lacking direction in life needed an inspiring message, or the fact it was one of the most redone plots in cinema history. Whatever it was, I set all my ignorance aside, looked the full movie up online and gave it a watch.

The outcome was nothing short of life changing. George Bailey (James Stewart) was a very likable character, which made him easy to feel for throughout the movie. The other actors were great as well, making the film feel natural. Hailing from a small town myself, I could relate the family-like atmosphere of the townsfolk. Capra did an excellent job at capturing that quality.

But what truly made the film the greatest of greats was the fact it delivered a message we can all truly relate to and appreciate. It was a message that left me feeling that maybe my life wasn't so bad after all. It left me feeling I had purpose.

This film now holds a special place in my soul and I've grown to greatly enjoy classic films, possibly even more so than films today. If I were to recommend just one film for everyone to see before they died, without any shadow of a doubt my answer would be Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Love this movie

10/10
Author: msmeow00 from United States
23 February 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is my favorite movie of all time. I just saw a school do the play and they did just as an excellent job as the movie. My cousin does a radio show of this play also and thy do an excellent job. I like the message of the movie and how everyone came together at the end to help. It also shows how mean some people can be so they can get what they want, but it does not help them as people will turn away from you like what Potter tried to do to George with the missing money. I like how they brought Mary and George together and especially like the dance scene when they fell in the pool and then when they walked home and saw the house that they end up getting. How George stated home so that his brother could go to college, which meant George gave up his dreams for his brother. Showing what like would have been like without George was a scene as it shows that with you around life is good and if some of things did not happen then things and people could be worse off. I also like watching this in the black and white version vs watching the color. The color I think spoils it. The message comes out a lot better in Black and White.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful indeed

10/10
Author: studioAT from United Kingdom
22 January 2014

Like many people I had heard about this film and seen the parodies or things inspired by it but had never sat down to watch the actual film.

However now I am pleased to say that I can understand why this film is so beloved by people and continues to stand the test of time. It's now not just one of my favourite Christmas films but one of my favourite films of all time.

It has everything. It has a strong story (inspired by a Christmas card no less), heart and mixes comedy and drama effortlessly. It's also a beautiful love story between Mary and George as well as showing us the importance of friendship and loyalty.

I can't fault this film - wonderful.

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