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Purchase It's a Wonderful Life (1946) Movie Online and Download - Frank Capra 🎥
Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Family
IMDB rating:
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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When a man isn't around he leaves an awful hole, isn't he?
Voted as the "Most Powerful Movie of All Time" by the American Film Institute in 2006, Capra's masterpiece now seems redeemed once and for all after it had been considered a major disappointment at the box office back when it was released. Due to a clerical error (or should we better choose to say, divine intervention?) the film even went into public domain, and well, now that it can be shown by every station on the planet it has turned into the ultimate Christmas classic, all ages aboard. The picture might look a tad dated in parts, but on the other hand this is exactly what embeds this fantastic journey even better between fairy-tale and harsh reality. And thus it hits home when it is holiday season again, the Christmas tree is being decorated and the smell of ginger bread hangs in the air.

"It's a Wonderful Life" is about standing up for the community, for principles, for family and friends, for those things that are important in life. Now that all might sound commonplace, but every now and then we need a serious reminder, so it might as well be in the Christmas season. The movie builds up magnificently to its final third, when everything goes downhill at the same time, and America's most favorite son-in-law James Stewart as George Bailey finally loses it. At this moment an already great character-driven movie turns magical when all threads come together and lead up to a breathtaking finale one isn't likely to get tired of. The climax is engaging, uplifting, heart-warming, and the all around great photography further enhances the effect. I can't say if Jimmy Stewart got his wings with this one, and he's probably already immortal anyway for many a reason. For sure he got his place in the audience's hearts with the film, and someone up there gave us the chance to revisit his struggle every year and teach us that after all one's better off being alive. Just remember: When a man isn't around he leaves an awful hole, isn't he?
Life's Not Always So Wonderful
My apologies to all of you "It's a Wonderful Life"-ers out there. Please believe me when I say that I've tried multiple times to develop warm feelings for this movie. But it's just not meant to be. I've seen this film a couple of times, and I never want to see it again.

I want to beat James Stewart's George Bailey about the head and shoulders every time I watch the movie. Perhaps the most passive-aggressive hero in motion picture history, George Bailey spends half of his time sacrificing his own happiness for the sake of others, and the other half whining about his hard luck. No, George, it's not hard luck...it's the result of your own decision making skills. Either be selfless and stop complaining, or be a bastard and screw everyone else. But make up your mind, and don't take two hours to do it.

Ahhh, perhaps I now live in too cynical and jaded a world to tolerate George's namby-pamby indecision. But maybe that's a reason better than any other to keep this film around. Character aside, however, the one thing I can unequivocally praise about this film is the performance of Stewart. He provides a welcome bitter edge to combat Capra's sugary-sweet corn. His breakdown scene in a bar, where he desperately prays to God to help him keep himself together, is a tour-de-force.

Drag it out every Christmas and enjoy...I won't begrudge you that small pleasure. Just don't expect me to join along.

Grade: B-
There should be more movies like this.
It's a Wonderful Life is an epic story of the life of a man named George Bailey. George spends this life living in a small town, with his nose deep in the lives and problems of its other citizens. He dreams of seeing the world, of conquering it, but somehow always postpones that in order to battle his arch-nemesis - the ruthless local businessman Mr. Potter. Potter perpetually has his sights set on utterly dominating the town's cash flows and, effectively, its life. The idealistic and charitable Bailey family, especially George, are the one thing that persistently prevents Potter from succeeding.

However, George has his share of troubles, and they eventually begin to take their toll on his good nature and optimistic outlook. It's now up to his guardian angel, Clarence Goodbody, to open George's eyes to how wonderful his life really is.

IAWL promotes friendship, empathy, optimism, and love of life. You can't but admire the excellent way in which it does this. The story, the sets, the actors, the dialogue, the music are all top-notch. Highly recommended!

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.
Ageing Beautifully
I had fond memories of "It's A Wonderful Life" but, somehow, it never made my top ten. The other night I felt the urge to see it again, from beginning to end, after that fun compilation from the AFI, 100 movies, 100 Cheers. The most surprising thing about this perennial classic is that it's not just a good movie but a sort of miracle. Age has made it more relevant, more powerful. Frank Capra is, without question, its miracle worker. His narration style was a first and in a way unsurpassed. As you may very well know, the film wasn't an instant success. A peculiarity it shares with most of the great works of art. The truth is something that needs time to be confirmed even recognized. James Stewart's performance lived from a 2006 stand point is, quite simply, extraordinary. Capra's films were known as "capracorn" in their day. Strange to think about it now because its sentimentality wasn't really sentimental but a need to find goodness in the darkest places. The great Capra not only found it, it unmasked it with the same relish that he unmasked evil and greed. My only regret is that on this times of technical prowess we'll never see again the likes of "It's Wonderful Life" But, trying to look on the bright side in the most Capraesque kind of way. "It's A Wonderful Life" will be around for ever.
My favourite film
No other film comes anywhere near to getting people to find out what things would have been like if an event had or had not taken place - Groundhog Day comes close (my second favourite) and Sliding Doors tries.

For sheer emotion this film has the lot. I have watched it over 40 times now and I still get tearful towards the end of the film. If anyone wants to find out why life is worth living, this is the one to watch.
Thought-provoking, heart-warming, and tear-shedding
Without a doubt, this is one of the greatest movies of all time. When you are unhappy, watch it. When you are in trouble, watch it. When you think of suicide, watch it. It will make you happy immediately.

Act 1 shows that George Bailey helps a lot of people, starting from his childhood. In the second act, George gets married. These two acts are the build-ups. It becomes tense in the third act, where Uncle Bailey loses eight thousand bucks and George faces bankruptcy and imprisonment. Act 4 comes the climax, in which an angle shows to George how others' lives would be different without George. When all the people in town give money to help George through the crisis, I am moved and burst into tears.
Highly recommended
The film has what I love most about films, "Inspiration". The story really is built up in such a way that you'll eventually get inspired by it. Acting by James Stewart is superb. The story is about a man who wanted to do a lot of things, but circumstances changed his fate. He never lost hope, but one day things get really out of controlled and he loses faith in everything. It is very interesting to see how the story reaches to its ending.


One of the best acting performances I had seen recently. The whole film rests on its beautiful story. The film is a very fine example of what we expect from life and what we actually get. The life of our hero seems to be frustrating a lot of times but than in the end, you are finally going to get convinced that IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.


I admit that the whole angel thing did not impress me much and I was hoping for more realistic kind of thing. Also the editing at some later part of the film looked bad. It was nominated for the best editing Oscars, but just my opinion. But when you have a very fine story, you have to overlook these small glitches.

MESSAGE: "It's a wonderful life."

VERDICT: "A must watch for all."
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)
an enduring classic that has only gotten better with age
James Maitland Stewart was one of the most inspirational and admirable actors who ever lived. Although his range of talents allowed him to effectively play whatever kind of role he wanted, he is remembered most for the roles where he stole the audiences hearts. He was nominated several times for an Academy Award, but won it only once and at that time felt that his friend Henry Fonda deserved it more. In my opinion, James Stewart should have won the Oscar at the very least three times. He deserved the one who received for "The Philadelphia Story" (1940). And he should have won it for his performances in "Vertigo" (1958) and his most beloved classic, "It's a Wonderful Life." This improving-with-age classic is generally marketed as a Christmas classic, but that's very one-dimensional. Yes, the perfect season to view it is during the said holiday season, but it's about much more than that. It's about life itself and the ups and downs of life and no matter how heavy the latter may be at times, it's well, it's a wonderful life.

In the film, James Stewart plays an ambitious young businessman who would rather do nothing but travel the world and build cities (perhaps a reference to Stewart's early ambitions to be an architect?) but his generous heart and the constant shortcomings of his friends continually puts him behind in his own life. When his troubles become so heavy and so depressing to the point where he ponders over suicide, he is visited by a strange man (Henry Travers) who turns out to be an angel wanting to show him how the world would have been if he'd never been born.

I guarantee you that most if not all storytellers of the past sixty-some years wanting to generate a character that would win over the hearts of the audience have used this masterpiece for reference. Jimmy Stewart was just warming up at winning over your heart with another collaboration with Frank Capra, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," here he just steals your sympathy with every scene he's in.

As for Stewart's supporting cast, well, let's just say he had a great collaboration to work with. The enchanting actress Donna Reid is fantastic as his love interest, Lionel Barrymore is superb as the conniving greedy businessman Mr. Potter, the great Thomas Mitchell gives another fantastic performance as Stewart's bumbling uncle, Ward Bond is terrific in his supporting role as the kindly town sheriff, and of course, I cannot leave out Henry Travers who is absolutely lovable as the guardian angel who comes to teach Stewart about the gift of life.

"It's a Wonderful Life" is one of those rare films. Like "Casablanca", it does not wear down even as decades go by. It's only gotten better with age. James Stewart said it was his personal favorite out of all of the movies that he made in his illustrious career in Hollywood. Is it my favorite Jimmy Stewart movie? No. But I will tell you this. It is so sweet and moving and enchanting and wonderful that I held back a lot of what I wanted to say in this review because I don't want to give any more away than what is necessary. There's only a handful of movies that I will do that for. Because there is so much to be seen here and every minute is absorbing and beautiful.

And one more thing. You know that feeling you get—that really, really good feeling in your soul—whenever you see a really, really good movie? If you want to revisit that sensation, see "It's a Wonderful Life" as soon as you can. And the beauty of it is, you don't even necessarily have to wait for the Christmas season to do that.

Rating: 4/4
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