Now perhaps the most beloved American film, It's a Wonderful Life was largely forgotten for years, due to a copyright quirk. Only in the late 1970s did it find its audience through repeated TV showings. Frank Capra's masterwork deserves its status as a feel-good communal event, but it is also one of the most fascinating films in the American cinema, a multilayered work of Dickensian density. George Bailey (played superbly by James Stewart) grows up in the small town of Bedford Falls, dreaming dreams of adventure and travel, but circumstances conspire to keep... him enslaved to his home turf. Frustrated by his life, and haunted by an impending scandal, George prepares to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. A heavenly messenger (Henry Travers) arrives to show him a vision: what the world would have been like if George had never been born. The sequence is a vivid depiction of the American Dream gone bad, and probably the wildest thing Capra ever shot (the director's optimistic vision may have darkened during his experiences making military films in World War II). Capra's triumph is to acknowledge the difficulties and disappointments of life, while affirming--in the teary-eyed final reel--his cherished values of friendship and individual achievement. It's a Wonderful Life was not a big hit on its initial release, and it won no Oscars (Capra and Stewart were nominated); but it continues to weave a special magic. --Robert Horton [show more]
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Frank Capra directs this heartwarming Christmas fantasy. George Bailey (James Stewart) has spent his entire life in the small town of Bedford Falls. Despite his yearning to see the world, George has always sacrificed his personal ambitions for the sake of his family and the local community, settling down to marry his childhood sweetheart, Mary (Donna Reed), and raise a family. However, when a huge amount of money goes missing from the savings and loans company he panics and finds himself preparing to commit suicide. However, he is shown the error of this idea by Clarence (Henry Travers), an angel who has been sent to Earth in order to earn his wings. To this end, Clarence shows George just how badly Bedford Falls and its residents would have turned out had he never been born.
Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play Hollywood&39;s best-loved star teams up with America&39;s favourite director to create one of the world&39;s most popular films It&39;s A Wonderful Life is the ultimate &39;feel-good&39; film Starring the unforgettable James Stewart as George Bailey the man who receives the greatest Christmas gift of all A superb ensemble cast includes Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore this high-spirited Christmas tale is directed by the immortal Frank Capra and ranks as an all-time favourite of fans and critics alike It&39;s A Wonderful Life began as a short Christmas tale called &39;The Greatest Gift&39; The premise was simple A regretful man sees what would have become of his family and friends if he had never lived Yet various writers struggled to balance the story&39;s pathos and humour Only Capra&39;s painstaking polishing made the script filmable with enriched characters and plot adding hugely to its depth and drama When James Stewart first read the script he said &39;This is it! When do we start?&39;Actors James Stewart Donna Reed Lionel Barrymore Thomas Mitchell Henry Travers Beulah Bondi Frank Faylen Ward Bond Gloria Grahame HB Warner Frank Albertson Todd Karns Samuel S Hinds Mary Treen & Virginia PattonDirector Frank CapraCertificate Universal Suitable for AllYear 1946Languages English