Now you had to know with the holiday season I’d review It’s a Wonderful Life. It released in 1946 in the post-war days and in many ways was an effort for Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra to resurrect careers that stalled while they fought in various roles during World War II.
The basic story is a classic. A man believes his family and town would be better off if he’d never been born. An angel who is trying to earn his wings keeps him from committing suicide and then grants his wish. It’s as if he’d never been born. The balance of the film is filled with George Bailey getting to see the many ways he did impact the world. His problems don’t disappear, but his perspective shifts. And in the process he is changed forever.
Ranked #3 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre “Fantasy” in June 2008.
The movie was nominated for five Oscars, but walked away without a single win.