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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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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Classic American film deserving ALL acclaim

Author: michaelny7-909-638520 from nyc
13 December 2015

Just a terrific film that needs to be seen each yr, Great acting by James Stewart and supporting actors. I guess audience and critics back then could not support another inspirational film vs Best years of Our Lives which deserved much acclaim after WW 2. Stewart did deserve the Oscar though and that would have made 2 if they got it right, since he should have won for MR Smith goes to washington.director Frank Capra does a tremendous job and its a shame he wasn't given more time and money for creative jobs. BTW its fascinating that the snow scenes were filmed on days of heat waves and you see Stewart sweating in the scenes. A great classic film that holds up and hopefully will be seen a hundred yrs from now

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

George Bailey's Community, or Stray Thoughts About It's a Wonderful Life!

Author: teddyd
19 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The concrete lessons from this film: 1) the world is a thankless place, and 2) 99.9% of the time, you will not receive help if you don't ask for it.

The final act of the film, I am immediately concerned with George Bailey's apparent closet-alcoholism. I know he has finally hit, what he believes, anyway, the rock-bottom of hopelessness in his business, and the only way to go through with his final plan is to get very drunk. I suppose it is also fitting that he has to become incredibly drunk in order to meet Clarence, and "enter" Pottersville, modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah.

Like nearly every repeat watcher of this film, George's return home is overwhelmingly emotional. That the financial downfall of the building and loan can bring an entire community together like that is amazing, and hopeful for humanity.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

What is there to say?

Author: your-killin-me-smalls from United States
4 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is a classic. There is very little negative that I can say about it. The acting is incredible and the plot is great and iconic. The film hit with me a lot of different emotional levels and is definitely can be a tear-jerker at times but is uplifting at the end when George wishes he was born again and goes back to his family. The film plays out as a life story for our main character George Bailey and follows the different events in his life such as the people he meets and the things he does. It is powerful and touching and a iconic masterpiece. It is not only a great movie but a great Christmas movie as well. It is something that everyone should see at least once in their life because it teaches great lessons about life. It is not always happy as it does get a little sad at moments but when you sit down and watch it you can have fun with it because it really is just that great of a film. Definitely something worth watching every Christmas.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

a story about a man livilng a wonderful life

Author: koichi-saito-95 from Japan
27 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of my favourite films. I heard that it's still nominated as films which people want to watch in Christmas seasons in the US. Although this film was published in 1946, it's still popular among the people. The lesson of this film, I suppose, is that we mustn't give up until the end. We cannot guess what will happen in our future. Even if we had serious problems, an angel might help us. We cannot prove what is impossible in our world.

I've watched some films in which Jim Stewart, who is the star of this film, appears. In these films, I like 'It's a Wonderful Life' the best.His way to act is perfect.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

the movie told about an angel that helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.

Author: Boni Andika from Indonesia
22 July 2014

I consider this movie as one of my inspirational movies. I think there are many lessons that we can take from the story. In life, sometimes we feel down, nobody cares with us, no choices in life, and many others desperate things. We might feel like why we should be born in this condition, or why is God gives this problem to us, or anything else. But, we should reconsider how wonderful life is.! From the movie we can learn that life is like a cobweb. We don't know that thing which happened to us, might be connected and give the influence to other's life. We don't know that the thing we do is might be a history. We don't know how is precious our life for others, for our family, our friends, and for people around us. We can think that the thing is disaster, but we never knew how great that thing and what is God's planned for us. From the movie we can see that George might feel very desperate and thought that better not to be born. But, God has his own plan! And no matter how hard the problem is, God can always helps his slaves. We should not be regretful to everything happened in our life. Even how hard our life is, we should consider that God is exist, and we have many friends that still willing to help us and give us their support. We are human being, we don't know the future, we don't know that every problems has its solution behind. That we need just belief that LIFE IS WONDERFUL!

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A flawless movie that never grows old.

Author: roberto_cava ( from Spain
12 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"It's A Wonderful Life" is a 1946 movie directed by one of the greatest filmmakers of all time: the three-time Oscar-winning director, Frank Capra.

The film is set in a fictional North American village, and tells the story of an ordinary guy, George Bailey (James Stewart in the role of his life) from his childhood to his adult age.

The first hour of the film is like a summary where we witness some events of George's life: his first love (the astonishing Donna Reed playing the role of the woman everybody would like to marry), the death of his father, his wedding... But the real aim of this introduction is making us feel utterly identified with Stewart's character: a good man who has been constantly sacrificing his dreams to help his family (renouncing to go to University to stay in charge of the family business), his friends (lending them money through his company whenever they need it) and many other members of his community.

Capra then focuses on an unfortunate incident of George's current life that leaves him totally broken and makes him believe his whole existence so far has no sense, what finally will lead him to attempt suicide.

Then, an angel from heaven appears to help George by letting him see how different (and worse) the life of all the people he knows would have been if he hadn't been born. In other words: in the middle of an incredibly intense family drama, Capra did something that nobody had done before (and nobody would dare to do again) in movie history: he changed completely the gender of the story... after almost 2 hours of movie!!! Therefore, a drama film suddenly became a fantasy film... but, surprisingly, it worked perfectly well because those last 30 minutes still remain as one of the most touching endings in movie history.

Curiously, the movie was not only a flop, but it was also defeated in the Oscars by "The Best Years of Our Lives", incidentally, my favorite movie of all time. But what is harder to believe is that Stewart wasn't awarded for one of the most outstanding performances ever given by an actor.

Fortunately, as years went by, this masterpiece eventually reached the critical recognition it always deserved and nowadays it's constantly included in the lists of greatest motion pictures ever made... including mine. It became even more legendary when TV channels all over the world started to show it on TV every Christmas since the 1970s decade.

But "It's A Wonderful Life" is much more than a Christmas movie: it's a gripping and moving work of art, a masterpiece that never grows old, but mostly, a film you never get tired of watching over and over again. I think that's the best compliment for any movie.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

My family watches this every Christmas!

Author: mjennings_cot from United States
30 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love, love, love this movie. (;)-Darcy) It is our Christmas movie while we eat our party foods.

Comments below may be considered spoilers: It's been about six months since I've seen this movie so I don't know if I can think of all my favorite scenes. I'm sure I will have forgotten to put some of them. :) * I like when they are walking home from the school party and throw a rock in the old house windows and make a wish. The whole scene where they are walking home is good.

* I like when Sam is explaining about plastic and getting them to invest. It is kind of upsetting because George has longed to get out of the little town, but he is falling in love with Mary. It is very conflicting, does he love Mary and stay in the small town and have a family or leave the small town.

* Some parts are frustrating or upsetting, George's father dies, Potter is trying to take over George's late father's business, George will never get his dream of leaving the small town, Potter tries to have George arrested.

*The end is wonderful when his friends come to his rescue. It makes me cry. And George's family house servant says the money she is giving to help George is the money she was saving for a divorce if she ever got married. :)

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

It Truly Is A Wonderful Life

Author: bayardhiler from United States
20 December 2012

In 1946, America, and the rest of the world for that matter, had just witnessed and won the most destructive war in mankind's history. They were trying to rebuild their lives from this and the Great Depression as well and as such, Hollywood got into the act by producing a number of movies that instilled hope in their audiences. Perhaps the greatest of these movies is Frank Capra's timeless film "Its A Wonderful Life" staring the late, great James Stewart as everyday man George Bailey in small town America, Bedford Falls. George has spent his entire life in Bedford Falls, longing to see the outside world but never able to get past the confines of the small savings and loans that he is in charge of. Then, one Christmas Eve, George's Uncle, Billy (played by the memorable character actor Thomas Mitchell) makes a terrible mistake that could ruin them both forever and George begins to think that everything would be better without him. It just so happens that heaven hears his and others' prays and sends an angel named Clarence (played by the understated but talented Henry Travers) to show him how wrong he is. In a Scrooge like role, we also have the great Lionel Barrymore in an excellent performance of Henry Potter, "the richest and meanest man in town" and in her most famous role, Donna Reed as George's loving and devoted wife. This is a movie that will make you laugh, maybe make you cry, and leave you with a sense that no matter how bad things get, there is always hope. "Its A Wonderful Life" is by far the greatest Christmas movie that has ever been produced and for that matter, will ever have been produced due to the time that it was made in and its message of how we all affect our fellow man, often times without even realizing it. So, I urge you to watch this movie and take in its message of hope and also, remember, no man is a failure as long as he has friends. 10 out of 10.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

wasn't the first and won't be the last of the classic's I 'get around to', but so far, it's one of the best

Author: witster18 from United States
7 December 2012

I didn't feel comfortable in my skin a few years back. My friends and family considered me 'the movie buff'. In a way, I was. I'd seen about 4,000 movies, and covered literally everything worth watching since 1980, but I hadn't broken into the vault of classic films. I'd seen a few.

Wuthering Heights(9.5/10) and The Wizard of Oz(10/10) were two of my favorite films, both from 1939. I'd also seen 1939's Gone With the Wind(9/10), Dark Victory(9/10), and a few other classics:The Killing, King Kong, Frankenstein, Dracula, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, War of the Worlds, Mr. Smith goes to Washington, and some Hitchcock.

Citizen Kane, It's A Wonderful Life, and Casablanca sat embarrassingly on my watchlist. So did a litany of great classic films.

My journey to fill this void has been an exciting one.

It's a Wonderful Life is a great film for those who haven't given classic film a chance. It doesn't overstay it's welcome. The production values are strong, and the story is a template for many of today's films. Seriously, I can name 500 films from the last 2 decades that use this story/life-lesson, but I can't name one that does it quite as effectively as it's done here.

It's a film that is practically impossible to dislike.

James Stewart is fantastic, and many of the characters in the film teach us life lessons, not just the lead. Words like integrity, generosity, and sacrifice take on a whole new meaning.

The film doesn't really have the holiday vibe I was expecting until the last 40 minutes. The holiday season is nothing more than a platform to remind us of all that is important in life. That aspect of the film surprised me.

Good guys don't finish last. Why? Because when they're down, there's always someone there to pick them up.

I can see all the reasons why there are those like me that shy(d) away from Classic film. You have to take some of the customs of the day and the production stuff with a grain of salt and get past it. Or better yet, understand it. If you do - you'll find what's underneath to be fantastic. A week before the release of "The Hobbit", I think it's important to remember that as much care or more went into productions like this back in the day.

Now, I get all the references to this film that I missed over the last 40 years. I see the shots of the town and the snow that will forever be etched into my mind. It's amazing how all those "production and technology" issues from the time yield more memorable moments and shots than just about anything you'll see at the theater today.

This is a fantastic movie. 95/100

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: Dudley
29 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Frank Capra understood filmmaking. This is a movie that could be about anyone of us and a movie that might relate to the life of anyone of us.

Sadly the weak dismiss the movie as sentimentalist. I say the "weak" because they are threatened by how real and how close to life the movie actually is.

Our lives are full of sentiment and the same sentiments the movie stirs in the audience are as strong and relevant in 2012 as 1946.

Interestingly it gets pegged as a holiday or Christmas movie. I don't see it that way but maybe for many that is the time when they explore their own sentimental side.

Watch this movie in the dark and late at night. It will never disappoint the film-goer who drops there guard and believes they are a Bailey.

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