Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life

Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life

DVD - 2006 | 60th anniversary edition, full screen edition.
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A man is saved from a suicide attempt by an angel and is then shown how important he is to the people who love him. A Christmas classic.
Publisher: Hollywood, Calif. : Paramount Home Entertainment, [2006]
Edition: 60th anniversary edition, full screen edition.
Copyright Date: ©2006
ISBN: 9781415719107
1415719101
Branch Call Number: DVD ITS FRA
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (130 min.) :,sound, black & white ;,4 3/4 in.

Opinion

From Library Staff

A classic that is worth watching every year at Christmas. (Also available on Blu-ray)

This movie has become a television staple during the Christmas season. Jimmy Stewart stars as George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others. Angel Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community would be had he never been born... Read More »

"What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary."


From the critics


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t
TheSandoz
Aug 25, 2017

As many times as I've seen this over the holidays, I never tire of it- every time I watch the film it pulls me in. Great performances by Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed ( the whole cast is great actually ). Love this.

m
mammothhawk229e
Aug 24, 2017

Glorified saccharine rose-tinted myth.
Unfortunately, we all live in what if glum Potterville thanks to the Savings & Loan Crisis in the 1980s & 1990s compounded by 2009 global financial crisis on sub-prime mortgages & derivatives.
Mr. Potter rightly seen as poster boy of 1%.
Sigh.

AL_KIMBERLY Dec 19, 2016

It’s a Wonderful life George Bailey has become infamous, and for a good reason. When I was much younger, this movie always made me feel sad because all I understood was how difficult life was for George and how it seemed that all of his dreams were never going to come true. As an adult, I am finally able to appreciate what George comes to appreciate when Clarence the angel grants him the Christmas wish of seeing what life would have been like had he never been born. He sees all of the lives that his life touched and affected. In his own life he struggled and made sacrifices to support others. Through this unconventional gift, he gets a glimpse of all the lives that were saved, all the people that had a much better, richer life because of him. He realizes that his childhood dreams have become the wonderful life that he shares with his family and town, just in time for Christmas.

d
Derringer
Dec 11, 2016

You know, at first I thought that this 1947 picture was a heart-felt story about good, old George Bailey and how he was driven (through certain escalating circumstance) to the absolute brink of desperation on Xmas eve.

But, I now realize that this film's Christian-driven storyline was actually all about a calculating angel named Clarence who wanted to earn his wings. And so - With that agenda in mind - Clarence is sent down from heaven in order to assist George Bailey. And if he does so this will put him in favour with god and allow him to earn his wings.

So, in other words - Clarence helping George has nothing to do with any apparent kindness, charity, or good will towards man - No. It doesn't - It's all just a selfish, self-serving act on Clarence's part to earn those wings that he covets so much.

And so - With that in mind - I think that this covetous scenario reduces this manipulative, little tear-jerker to the slimy level of showing us all just how hypocritical and pretentious angels really are.

m
ManMachine
Dec 01, 2016

Believe me - This decidedly heavy-handed, Christianity-driven, tear-jerker (from 1947) is so loaded down with underlying religious propaganda that (depending on which side of the bible your "daily bread" is buttered on) it's either gonna warm your heart, or else it's sure to freeze it.

This film's storyline also preached (and I quote) "No man is a failure who has friends" - (Yeah? - Isn't that nice to know?) - But, with that in mind - (I ask you) - What about all of those out there who have no friends? Does that render them as failures?

Anyway - From my critically observant point of view - "It's A Wonderful Life" was so incredibly over-sentimental and highly manipulative (as it zeroed in on the idealism of small-town, American life in the late-1940s) that its storytelling repeatedly veered right off the radar into the stratosphere of pure surrealism.

And, as a result - This film ended up coming across like an extended (and very creepy) 2-hour-10-minute episode of The Twilight Zone. This was especially so during the film's "Pottersville" sequence - As well as in its final climatic moments of total jubilation.

(*Watch "Listen To Your Heart" music-video*)

v
VASILIA A BOYACI
Jan 03, 2016

I love this movie! I watch it every year, and it brings me nearly to tears....

v
VV17
Dec 19, 2015

This is a great Christmas through New Year film! The characters are wonderful and the message timeless. The angel Clarence is sure to delight all the children, and Donna Reed's charming spirit will also be loved. Then, dear Jimmy Stewart will tug on the viewer's heart strings as he battles whether he means anything to the people around him. Frank Capra does a wonderful job creating the message: each life is worth something because each life will effect other people's lives. This is a film the whole family can sit down and enjoy.

a
ANABELLE H. PORTER
Dec 14, 2015

Wonderful, Classic movie! I know it is old, but you can never mess with the classics! Always watch this movie on Christmas Eve, never get tired of this charming story!

b
bigdoug
Mar 04, 2015

Good stuff.

c
cattlekids7
Jan 20, 2015

George Bailey is a synonym for creepy. eeeeeekkkk!

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Quotes

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a
ANABELLE H. PORTER
Dec 14, 2015

" When a bell rings, an angel gets it's wings".

m
Monolith
Dec 07, 2012

Annie: "Boys and girls and music -- why do they need gin?"

m
Monolith
Dec 07, 2012

George Bailey: "I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I'm gonna build things. I'm gonna build airfields, I'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I'm gonna build bridges a mile long..."

m
Monolith
Dec 07, 2012

George Bailey: "Just a minute... just a minute. Now, hold on, Mr. Potter. You're right when you say my father was no businessman. I know that. Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan, I'll never know. But neither you nor anyone else can say anything against his character, because his whole life was... why, in the twenty five years since he and his brother, Uncle Billy, started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn't that right, Uncle Billy? He didn't save enough money to send Harry away to college, let alone me. But he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mr. Potter, and what's wrong with that? Why... here, you're all businessmen here. Doesn't it make them better citizens? Doesn't it make them better customers?" (cont'd)

m
Monolith
Dec 07, 2012

George Bailey: "...You... you said... what'd you say a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they're so old and broken down that they... Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about... they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him. But to you -- a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well in my book, my father died a much richer man than you'll ever be!"

m
Monolith
Dec 07, 2012

Ernie (welcoming George home to his honeymoon suite): "Entré, mon-sewer. Entré."

m
Monolith
Dec 07, 2012

Mary Bailey (embracing George): "Remember the night we broke the windows in this old house? This is what I wished for."

m
Monolith
Dec 07, 2012

Mr. Potter: "George... I am an old man and most people hate me -- but I don't like them either, so that makes it all even."

m
Monolith
Dec 07, 2012

George Bailey: "...It's this old house. I don't know why we all don't have pneumonia. Drafty old barn! (kicks kitchen chair) Might as well be living in a refrigerator... Why do we have to live here in the first place, and stay around this measly, crummy old town..." Mary Bailey: "George, what's wrong?" George Bailey: "Wrong? Everything's wrong. You call this a happy family -- why do we have to have all these kids?"

m
Monolith
Dec 07, 2012

Clarence: "Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"

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Age Suitability

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v
VV17
Dec 19, 2015

VV17 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

b
britprincess1
Jan 16, 2013

britprincess1 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

b
bdls206
Jul 19, 2011

bdls206 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

n
NanaPat
Mar 14, 2011

NanaPat thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Summary

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b
bdls206
Jul 19, 2011

An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.

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