in about 100 words or less
USA 130m, sound (B&W)
Director: Frank Capra: Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Jimmy Hawkins
It’s a Wonderful Life is practically the perfect movie in its portrayal of one man’s selfless sacrifices for family, friends and community. While it has become known as a “holiday classic” on the basis of its Christmas Eve setting, it wouldn’t seem out-of-place as an episode of Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone”. Capra masterfully reveals this story through a series of extended flashbacks which set-up both the plot and establish the important relationships which Stewart’s character, James Bailey has within the community of Bedford Falls. About to end his own life as a result of a series of unfortunate events, Bailey is afforded the opportunity to see what his world would have been like if he had not been born. Stewart’s masterful performance as James Bailey and his strong supporting cast are highly entertaining and most of all, genuinely likable (Klaus Ming December 2008).