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It's a Wonderful Life
Year:
1946
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Family
IMDB rating:
8.7
Director:
Frank Capra
James Stewart as George Bailey
Donna Reed as Mary Hatch
Lionel Barrymore as Mr. Potter
Thomas Mitchell as Uncle Billy
Henry Travers as Clarence
Beulah Bondi as Mrs. Bailey
Frank Faylen as Ernie
Ward Bond as Bert
Gloria Grahame as Violet
H.B. Warner as Mr. Gower
Frank Albertson as Sam Wainwright
Todd Karns as Harry Bailey
Samuel S. Hinds as Pa Bailey
Mary Treen as Cousin Tilly
Storyline: George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George's modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George's Uncle Billy loses the business's $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, finally allowing Potter to take over the town. Thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off with him dead, he contemplates suicide. But the prayers of his loved ones result in a gentle angel named Clarence coming to earth to help George, with the promise of earning his ...
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Reviews
Warm, heart-wrenching and reaffirms our faith in ourselves !!!
I was very much aware of this film consistently being listed as one of the best movies EVER made. James Stewart has been one of my favorites for a longtime. This DVD had been lying with me for quite some time so I decided to give it a try. By God, I was stupefied, I did not write a review immediately just to see if this was not a flash in the pan, just an overdone, emotional blackmailer of a movie but this movie is simply brilliant. As an after thought maybe, its so hard to describe what one feels after watching this gem, this masterpiece. I am told it was a resounding flop when it was released, aah thats so unfortunate.

Everyone goes through the vicissitudes of life, and many a times it is so tempting to end it all, to blame each and everyone around for one's misery that we miss out on the differences one's life makes to others. This is Hollywood at its very best, this is what everyone needs to realize...............

Its a WONDERFUL LIFE... indeed...... ! See it and praise the Lord !
2011-07-24
Director Frank Capra's bittersweet, heartwarming Christmas movie is a wonderful movie!
'Every time you hear a bell ring, it means that some angel's just got his wings'. That is the quest for the guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers) when he was assign to take care of a suicidal man named George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart). Clarence must try to show George, the tremendous impact he has had on his community before it's too late. Can Clarence, change George's mind or will this Christmas, be the last for George Baily? To find out, watch the movie! Made just after World War 2, this movie was a favorite for both leading man Jimmy Stewart and director Frank Capra. It's easy to see why. There's so much things to like, about this film. The film is full of delightful moments, from music and a dance sequence, funny comedy, and heart-warming romantic scenes. While, some critics might see this film as too sentimental and syrupy. In fact, in my view, most of the movie's vision is something out of a more modern complex, dark-edged sophisticated film. Yes, there are some really dated dialogue, sayings and behavior, but for the most part, I think modern audiences can still, watch this movie and find something about it, that they can related to. No matter how often, you get to see this Christmas favorite, there is always something timeless with this film, when you do. Important message about the value of an individual life and how one person's actions affect all those around him/her is a great life moral for people to take. Themes about family and friendship are also very important. Another great message is having faith, and belief in yourself and the future. After all, director Frank Capra himself said he made the film in large part to "combat a modern trend towards atheism and Nihilism". While, a lot of people say, that this movie isn't really a Christmas movie, due to the fact, that 90% of the movie is a story about George's life and takes place at some point in time other than Christmas; in my view, the whole Clarence arch, wouldn't had work as good as it did, on any other day of the year. There is something about Christmas, that makes the whole magically redemption story with Clarence somewhat believable. Based on the short story "The Greatest Gift," by author Philip Van Doren Stern, It's a Wonderful Life was never intended to be the Christmastime staple that it is now. In fact, when the film was first released back in 1946, it was generally considered a box-office flop. This film had a resurgence for a while in the U.S. during the 1980s when it was discovered that the copyright on the film was never renewed, which meant the film was in the Public Domain and any television station could legally show it as often as they wanted without paying for a license. Many stations across the country would run it, around Christmas time, to the point, that people label it as a Christmas movie. No matter, if it's a holiday movie, or not. A lot of critics, has point out, that the film protagonist's action are very similar to a Christ figure in all. I have to say, they're somewhat right, but there were some moments that George Bailey got really problematic to sympathize with. Some people feel that brought all his problems on himself by choosing to run an over-leveraged, illiquid bank business even though he's given many opportunities to do something else. However, I didn't find it, too abrasive to watch. What I didn't like, is how he treat Mary Hatch (Donna Reed) for most of the film. He was a little too mean-spirited to her; mostly in the beginning of the film He nearly ruin his first date with her. I really didn't like that. Thank heavens, he got more likable, as the film goes on. Still, the drunk driving scene was a bit hard to watch. Anyways, Jimmy Stewart is wonderful as George. I'm glad, he didn't quit, acting after the war. He gives the performance of a lifetime, here. Alternately affable and bitter, he is the movie's little-man hero. All of his emotional were, mostly play as for real. Seeing this, Capra had to reframe the shot in order to get it closer than was actually filmed because he wanted to catch the expression on Stewart's face. At the time, this shot was an extremely time-consuming project, each frame had to be done individually, making it only one step away from stop-motion animation. Capra spent the whole night doing it. Thank Goodness, he did! Most of the supporting cast are just as good as Stewart, but one-person stands out. Donna Reed is wonderful, despite her character being a one-dimensional manic pixie dream girl. She was really able to show the character's beautiful, supporting and caring nature. Just say the word, Mary, and I'll lasso you, the moon, indeed! I just don't buy the idea that George and Mary are somehow supposed to be soulmates. It's a bit unrealistic to think that Mary can only love George. Nor, do I believe, without spoiling it, that the ending of this film seen can be seem as "happy". After all, George is still in the same position he was before Clarence show up. An investigation is still looming. There are tons of others puzzling questions, still worth debating. So a rewatch, is needed. One thing, when watching it, is not to watch the color version. The black and white works well, to show the symbolic snow of the peaceful Bedford Falls, when compare to the cold and dark sleet of Potterville. It's better to watch that, since Paramount had all the grain removed in 2006. Overall: This well-known sentimental film is a masterpiece. Capra's Magnum Opus. A must-watch. So check it out.
2015-12-31
Frank Capra's favorite, James Stewart's favorite, Jim Henson's. Who am I to dislike it?
No doubt about it that Frank Capra was one of the best directors of all time and James Stewart was one of the best actors of all time, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that this is also one great movie to watch.

This movie always on a lot of top-lists and many well known and respected film-makers consider this to be one of their favorite movies, including director Frank Capra and actor James Stewart themselves. And really, it's not all that hard to see why. No, I won't call it one of the best movies of all time but its themes, the characters, the story and its message make sure that this is a movie to enjoy, over and over again.

Basically it's being a very warm, heartfelt and honest movie, about real characters in real life situations. The James Stewart character feels very humane and realistic and James Stewart was always a great choice for playing a sort of average Joe, everybody in the audience could relate and identify themselves with. It's also part of the reason why his character is often being voted one of the best out of movie history.

It's sort of funny how this movie has grown into being a sort of a Christmas classic, while about two-thirds of the movie are totally not Christmas related at all. It isn't until it last 30 minutes or so that the movie is suddenly all about Christmas and its themes and messages of giving and sharing with each other. It's definitely showing some parallels to Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'. It's what makes the movie a very warm one, even though the movie itself remains a drama and a quite heavy one as well.

The story itself is just great. It's really typical for its time, with all of its drama and developments but with a great twist to it as well. The movie has a fantasy theme in it, which is not typical for its time or genre at all. It perhaps even makes this movie feel a bit like a 'modern' fairytale. Needless to say, it makes the movie a very original one within its genre and its where the movie gets most of its charm and warmth from.

The movie is really a great example of some fine film-making and wonderful storytelling. It shows once more that you don't need all that much to create an unforgettable movie, that has an impact on a lot of people, even now days. The movie is about simple little things in life and perhaps that's the movie its greatest power. Everybody can relate to it, which causes them to be easily touched by the movie its themes and messages as well.

Big part of the reason why it all works out so well is James Stewart but you also need to give credit to some of the other actors as well. I for instance, also really liked Lionel Barrymore in this, as the villain. I'm normally a not too big fan of Lionel Barrymore, or any of the other old Barrymore's (John and Ethel) but I must say he was perfectly cast in this movie, as the tough, old, mean Mr. Potter.

Basically a wonderful made, simple, honest, heartfelt movie, with some great, effective and timeless themes in it, which all ensures that this is a perfect movie to watch over and over again.

9/10

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2011-12-17
An inspirational heartwarming experience. A Timeless Classic!
George Bailey is a man with goals, ambitions - a man of courage, integrity and pride. But all he has ever done his whole life is assist those in need, never for a second thinking about himself. Wanting to see the world before he sets off to college for an architect degree, he finds that he can't let his town crumble against the miserable, hateful, greedy and powerful 'Potter' and so he decides to stay. His father passes away, and so he must find a way to run the 'Loans' business that his father has kept from the mad man 'Potter'. All goes well for Bailey - a beautiful wife, a few children and a lot of friends. Although still handing out loans like his father before him, he pursues his dream of building and constructs a home village with affordable houses despite Potter's mass influence on the township. Unfortunately for Bailey, things begin to point downhill following the Depression and later bankruptcy where Bailey just can't handle the weight of burden of all the people's money he cannot repay. He comes to the harrowing conclusion that he should never have been born and decides to leave his family and friends and take his own life off a bridge. But the world cannot dispose of itself such a man, so god sends an Angel on a mission to get its wings, or better yet to save George Bailey's life. The Angel shows George what life would have been like had he not been born at all and of what became of the people he took dearly. Miserable under Potter's absolute influence, the town looks like an over indulgent, over spent, money making machine. George gets a glimpse of his own powerful influence on his friends and family and realises just what a wonderful life he really had.

Few films have portrayed the value (not the meaning) of life like 'It's a Wonderful Life' has. In contemporary times, we have been fed with recycled stories such as "The Family Man" and "It can happen to you", but none have captured the raw beauty of life like the original, "It's a wonderful Life"- its success partly due to its simplicity. And it sustains your attention from start to finish due to its simple and riveting storytelling. Sets aren't big, the story is quite small and the film is in black and white.

What makes this film stand taller than others is the great dialog between the characters which consistently remains on the story throughout the film and not on irrelevant topics - this is what keeps us glued to the screen (unlike with modern films, most of the dialog is blabber about nothing). The acting is superb from the whole cast, but you have got to hand it to James Stewart for one of the best performances of his career portraying the discouraged George Bailey - arguably his best performance - and one of the best performances you will see in any film. What I really love about this film is the lack of music, which gives a sense of realism to the story, like we are there with the characters in George Bailey's world.

Frank Capra creates an unforgettable atmospheric experience that remains tattooed in your memory years after viewing. The outdated effects aside, this film has stood the test of time as a timeless classic. The direction was subtle and superb - rarely equaled and I think this film is best in Black and White, even though they already had color in 1939, seven years before this masterpiece was released.

I recommend this film to anybody who feels down and depressed, sad and lonely. It really makes you think about the importance and beauty of this life in which you are living. All I can say is that I will be watching this film yearly until the day that I die due to its poignancy. A real classic in cinema history. It really is a wonderful Life!
2005-01-10
A wonderful film. One of best i've seen
This is one of my favorite movies of all time and a Christmas tradition in my household. This film is about sacrifice for the greater good. George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) having big ideas of the world around him and continually puts his desires behind the good of the town. Another thing this movie shows perfectly that no matter how insignificant we feel, we are all linked to each other and play a important part in each others lives. After George looses his way and a angel shows what the world would be like without him he soon realizes how important he was to the people and town around him. This will always be considered a classic in cinema and a great movie to watch every year during Christmas. So we can all remember the good and bad of the present year and when new years comes around we try to make the next year better for others and ourselves. This is a must see for any family or fan of cinema.
2012-11-08
like it
This film is a impressive movie. Firstly, it happens unhappy things. But happiness comes, finally. I realize that the most important thing in our life is friendship. In addition, consideration. If people have consideration and kindness, and act of kindness, people will be rewarded someday. I think that god doesn't betray great person. God looks people. Also, people look great person, too. After experiencing pain, happiness is waiting absolutely. If we do everything whole- heartedly, result follows us. This movie makes us realize that what is important in our life and life is wonderful if we spend the valuable life.
2015-09-04
Who are you, really?
Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like It's A Wonderful Life.

Does it take me back to that place in my heart, that makes me long for everything that once was great and it could be again? Does it remind me of my childhood, Christmas in my home? No. Maybe it's just simply what I always wanted from life and every man I want to be.

Everything about this film is well for lack of better words, perfect. No question to it any longer, the best performance by an actor I have ever seen. It's more than just beautiful, timeless or fair. All of Stewart is revealed. Everything coming together for Capra. Lionel Barrymore at his best, which seems to be his worst.

Sometimes I think there is a reason why somethings happen. And I'm pretty sure there is some magical reason why this film was made. I'm 27 years old and saw it for the first time Christmas Eve of this year. I've watched it 3 times since. The only movie to ever make me cry. I probably wouldn't have all the answers for you, if you asked me why. I'm still trying to figure Stewart out and just how beautiful was Reed.

What can I say? This movie is a life changing experience.

Makes me feel good to be alive. What a wonderful little world it is. And if I waited my entire life, it would not be a waste of time.
2007-01-27
Every Life Makes A Difference
For many this is a Christmas classic, watched every year and much beloved. For me, I've never seen it before. Heard of it; seen short clips of it; but never have I sat down and watched it straight through from beginning to end. Having now done that I can understand why it's such a beloved movie to so many people. It isn't necessarily a Christmas/holiday movie. The basic message would work at any time of the year; it just happens to be set (in its climax anyway) on Christmas Eve. And the message it presents is an important one that everyone needs to hear from time to time, in a world where it's so easy to feel discouraged: every person's life counts. Everyone makes a difference. That's the point here, and it's well made.

The movie revolves around George Bailey (James Stewart.) George starts out as a kid with big dreams of escaping his hum-drum (to him) home town of Bedfork Park and seeing the world. But it never works out. He ends up running the small savings & loan operation his father started, while his brother and his friends all seem to go on to bigger and better things - becoming heroes; becoming famous; becoming rich. George has a good life. He's married to a woman he loves (Donna Reed) and he has great kids and a lot of friends, but it just isn't what he always wanted. It's not completely satisfying for him. Eventually it all falls apart when the local ruthless banker (Lionel Barrymore) comes up with a way of bringing him down. With everything apparently out of control, George decides to kill himself, only to be rescued by the angel Clarence (Henry Travers) who shows him what Bedford Park would be like if he had never existed - and it's not pretty.

The story isn't complicated. It's simple and straightforward. Everybody does a good job in it. Personally, I thought there was perhaps a little too much emphasis on George's life and what brought him to the brink of suicide, and maybe not quite enough emphasis on George being confronted by the consequences of his non-existence. (And, in the alternative timeline, Bert the cop opening fire on George in the street seemed a bit - shall we say - excessive; not to mention dangerous!) Perhaps the opening, with God and the angels talking to each other as stars and other heavenly bodies was a bit too cute, but it's all within the expected standards of 1946.

It is a nice movie, and it does have a nice message. Your life does make a difference to a lot of people - probably more than you know, so be satisfied with it and rejoice in what you have. I can easily understand why so many consider it a classic. (8/10)
2012-12-09
A dissenting view
No folks, I promise not to do the same thing to the Wizard of Oz or Gone with the Wind, but this has got to be the most overrated movie of all time.

It took me a number of tries to watch it all the way through, because it is so incredibly boring. All the scenarios are exaggerated without a hint of the whimsy or joy that should mark a Christmas movie. NOBODY in it is likeable, including the hapless and almost hopeless hero. They even give Donna Reed an improbable scene in the alternate reality where she is a total... well, if I want this posted, I can't use the word.

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.

I've heard this movie praised to the highest heavens as one of the ten best ever made for most of my life. I'll give them credit for the body language between Donna Reed and James Stewart in the scene where he is on the phone, but not for much else.
2002-06-06
Download Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Family It's a Wonderful Life movie USA with english subtitles DVD-rip mpeg4 avi & mp4, download It's a Wonderful Life (1946) 1080p h264 mkv, iPhone xvid mov & mpeg4 mp4, James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Frank Faylen, Ward Bond, Gloria Grahame, H.B. Warner, Frank Albertson, Todd Karns, Samuel S. Hinds, Mary Treen, Virginia Patton.
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