Movies You Need To See – It’s a Wonderful Life

Movies You Need To See – It’s a Wonderful Life

By: Tyler Garling

You might think the ideal Christmas season consists of sitting by the fire listening to the sweet, soothing sounds of Andy Williams and just taking in all that holiday cheer. While that might sound like a terrific evening, watching the timeless holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life would make for a better evening.
It’s a Wonderful Life, directed by Frank Capra, was released on December 20th, 1946, just in time for Christmas. The film stars the incredible James Stewart as protagonist George Bailey, a selfless and generous man who everyone in the little town of Bedford Falls knows. However, right at the start of the film, George is in the worst shape of his life. His wife Mary (Donna Reed) and his children all pray for him. When the prayers reach Heaven, Clarence, (Henry Travers), an angel, is told to save George from making the biggest mistake of his life: suicide. When Clarence rescues George, George wishes that he had never been born. Clarence, for George’s own good, grants him his wish, and George learns a very important lesson.
After we learn of George’s big problem, we look back at George’s childhood. George’s generosity knows no bounds, as he saved his brother from drowning, saved his boss from accidentally poisoning a child, and helped everyone else in Bedford Falls. Frank Capra’s portrayal of human kindness and generosity is touching, and Stewart executes it perfectly, as he does in every other role he plays.
Out of every character I’ve ever seen, George Bailey remains one of my favorites. He doesn’t have any superpowers or extraordinary skills; he’s just a regular man who cares about the people around him and wants to make them happy. Anyone who watches It’s a Wonderful Life will no doubt root for Bailey and boo whenever the “meanest man in town,” Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), shows up onscreen.
Upon the movie’s release, It’s a Wonderful Life wasn’t cherished by critics like it is today. Many asked how Capra, director of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Lost Horizon, could make this movie about a common man with common struggles. However, Capra’s success in the film only shows how talented of a director he is. There aren’t many directors who can make a nail biting drama then follow it with a fantastic Christmas film. Capra did it, and he did it expertly.
It’s a Wonderful Life will touch the stoniest of hearts. The story of George Bailey is one of the most inspirational in film. Everyone loves Bailey, and everyone wants the best for him. It’s a Wonderful Life is the perfect Christmas movie and needs to be a part of anyone’s Christmas. Not only that, but it’s a great movie for every other time of the year. The film captures the Christmas spirit perfectly and has one of the most touching endings in film. If you haven’t seen It’s a Wonderful Life, you need to, and don’t forget to remember that no man is a failure who has friends.