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Download It's a Wonderful Life 1946 Movie Legally
Year:
1946
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Family
IMDB rating:
8.7
Director:
Frank Capra

 

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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
It's a Wonderful Life 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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Reviews
This Film is a Life Changer
Everyone has heard of this film, and if you haven't seen it, it's probably because you live in Antarctica or you have purposely avoided watching an old corny rerun in black and white.

I command you to watch it, and if you have a heart, you will cry with joy. This film has endured as a timeless classic for 70 years for good reason. This film is pure art because it taps into the human experience in such an effective way. The message that we are all important is simply and beautifully brought to life.

Jimmy Stewart's performance is human, funny, poignant and brilliant. Do not look for subtlety, clever meanings, high drama, modern art, political correctness, special effects, sex scenes, or car chases. You won't even see any color (avoid the colorized version at all costs), but what you will find is a perfect little film that will stay with you forever. This film represents the very best of what America wants to be at its core.

I appreciate high brow multi-million dollar productions as much as any other film geek/ movie buff, but this film always brings me home because it reminds me of what really matters in life.

Watch it and savor every wholesome corny second of it. If you don't feel something, you are not human.
2015-12-06
It's Really A Most Wonderful Film!
"It's A Wonderful Life" is the most wonderful film I have ever seen. It's most inspirational movie I have ever watched and it's very perfectly made movie in my opinion. Performances, script and dialogs are so perfectly done that you don't have enough words to appreciate them. This film by Frank Capra is a gift to the world. Strange enough it was a box office flop when it was released and it failed to win an academy award.

The performance by James Stewart who plays George Bailey is one of the greatest on big screen by anyone anytime in the history. George Bailey makes you so engrossed with his emotions that it naturally calls for your empathy and you start living moments with him and start thinking for him. Even if you don't believe in the angels and God, the part where that comely angel starts alleviating suffering of George Bailey makes a profound impression on you and instills feelings of goodness in you. The second half just emphasizes the importance of life whereas the first one underscores the great character of George Bailey right from his childhood.

You witness some instant karmic clean up in the second half and you see how the good deeds George Bailey had done come back to him saving him and making him realize the importance of life he had. Prior to that he lives with the impression of having sacrificed a lot for everyone else and that had some inner lack of satisfaction in his life and the accident which renders bankruptcy to him and his organization just evokes this karmic burden to the fore and then it seems that all the wrong things start happening with him, but then his good deeds come to his rescue. There are so many well-wishers who pray for him and then he realizes importance of life and accepts it the way it's and with this acceptance miracles start happening and money for which was about to end his life; comes rolling on its own and his brother says "To George, the richest man in the town". The colored restored version made it look even more exquisite than it would have been when it was made. It's indeed a most wonderful film with a most inspiring climax.
2012-01-26
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.
2006-06-20
Perspective!!!!
This will be my 100th comment on this website, and, it stands to reason that I should pick an all time classic movie such as "It's A Wonderful Life"!! This film is Frank Capra's best film ever... A statement of this nature tells you how remarkable this movie truly is!! Jimmy Stewart was voted by one magazine as the second best performer ever in the history of Hollywood!! Only second behind Katherine Hepburn, making him rated the best actor in the history of movie making!! While some people may question this assessment of Jimmy Stewart, due to Jimmy Stewart's innocuous Huckelberry Finn disposition, I can empathize with this verdict of Stewart's acting on account of his precisely executed latent tendencies which ultimately resonated into an articulated anger!! Jimmy Stewart's acting is very itemized, and thus, it establishes emotions which are genuine, these emotions relegate Stewart to a vulnerability which was pertinent to the fact that his feelings which could no longer be bottled up inside of him, would make him obtusely erupt!! Donna Reed is in this movie, and her performance is very believable as well!! Lionel Barrymore is extremely adept at playing the role of the ogre (Mr Potter) who is metaphorically writhing in his acquisition of the Baily Building and Loan!! This movie is the classic Christmas movie of all time!!, "Miracle on 34th Street" and "Fantasia" as well as any other Christmas movie, do not capture the spiritual camaraderie related to the yuletide association with caring and benevolence that "It's A Wonderful Life" exemplifies so flawlessly!!What the film "It's A Wonderful Life" accomplishes is the ideology behind the true meaning of what Christmas signifies... This phrase in of itself sounds very rhetorical, however, with a movie like "It's A Wonderful Life" such an accolade is the genuine article!! "It's A Wonderful Life" resembles the movie "Best Years of Our Lives" in the manner by which a happy ending is attained the hard way!! Often times, we look at our lives and become demoralized at the uneventful banalities which perpetually plague us!! We are depressed at how money dictates virtually everything, and, as was the case with George Bailey, we become trounced by failure and despondence!! Adversities are what make us cohesive, considering that this film was made right after World War II concluded, we as Americans were thoroughly aware of such a fate!! The fatal predicament which besieges George Bailey in this movie arouses occasion for all of the good citizens of Bedford Falls to bond together and realize the importance of caring for each other!! Such a homespun philosophy was anything but an artificial panacea, and with it, Americans immersed themselves into a nationally guarded perspective of good will and compassion!! This film is outstanding!! The talent and the ideological premise to this film, has out-shined virtually every other movie made!! A socially responsible movie is entitled to the luxury of a heartfelt happy ending, especially if it has been earned!!! Films which make people feel fortunate are not breaking any rules which compromise the quality of a film!! All of these carefully devised components to this film make "It's A Wonderful Life" an absolutely magnificent movie!!
2007-08-16
One Of The Best Movie Ever Made
Absolutely, It's A Wonderful Life is in my top 5 movies of all time. Frank Capra also in my top 5 directors of all generation. Yet, James Stewart is one of my favorite actor. This was the best formation ever. Indisputably, Capra, without any serious contemplation, exalted as one of the most talented drama-director ever borne in this world. He was a master of film-maker. Any movies he touch, will always persist as classic for the next generation. It's A Wonderful Life, Casablanca, and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington was the prove. They were all masterpiece.

The performance by two leads was Hollywood's's classic. Yet the plot was magnificent, i know this movie will be something since i watch the prologue (the bell ringing and narration). This plot style is one of the best, wide and depth but simple in complexity. Then it is bonded with strong drama-background. A man regret his life because of the problems within him. This film has very high moral impact to the audience. Maybe this is one of the most influential movie ever. This movie is about thanking your life to god.

To be honest, this film was one of the most inspirational for me. This was one of movies that shaped my character. One of my good character and habits comes from this film. It shaped my moral. It taught me so many lessons in my life. How to struggle in the hard times, how to enjoy and share the happiness with others, how to become a good ones, how to diminish my bad feelings to others, and the most important thing is, how to always thanking my life, because without it, i wouldn't meet the person i truly love now, i don't know what is it to love and to be loved by someone you truly care, i wouldn't know of these feelings. Of course in our life, we will face the hard times sometimes, maybe for some people most of their live is hard times. But always remember, if you ever regret your life and choose not to live, you wouldn't feel the joy anymore. And don't forget, a small happiness can erase the whole pain you got before. Life is wonderfully beautiful.
2016-04-24
A lone dissenting vote on It's A Wonderful Life
I hate to be the lone dissenter here, but I think It's a Wonderful Life stands right up there as one of the most overrated movies of all time. Not that it is a particularly bad movie, but I cannot see how it rates on everyones top ten list. True, the story is interesting and a bit intriguing, and it has a couple of good scenes. But you take out the scene where Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed are dancing and they fall in the pool, and you take away the last five minutes of the movie, then there is not much left. And speaking of the last five minutes of the movie, that is the only reference in the whole movie to Christmas, yet this movie has been branded a Christmas movie. To me, in terms of Christmas movies, it does not belong in the same category (or class) as Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, A Christmas Story, and yes, Even Home Alone, Parts I and II. I will give it one thing, the ending to this movie is truly one of the best of any movie ever made. But to me, a movie has to have more than a good ending with a Christmas setting to be called either a classic movie or a Christmas movie. Oh well, the minority has spoken.
1999-02-25
It's a wonderful film
Based on the 1945 short story "The Greatest Gift" by Philip Van Doren Stern, this is a quintessential Christmas classic that I never saw before today. It is not only a wonderful life but a wonderful film. Its excellent script by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett and Frank Capra chronicles the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. The film serves as a reminder that the most important thing in life is other people and that no one is truly a failure so long as they have friends, which is the perfect Christmas message. I had never previously seen one of Capra's films but I was very much impressed by his direction and his superb handling of the material. I was expecting to love the film as I'm a big softie who loves old, sentimental films but I loved it even more than I thought I would.

The film stars Jimmy Stewart in perhaps his best performance as George Bailey, a much loved institution in the small town of Bedford Falls who is contemplating suicide on Christmas Eve 1945. We are introduced to George as a 12-year-old boy in 1919 when he saves his younger brother Harry from drowning after he falls through the ice. In the process, he loses the hearing in his left ear, something which becomes symbolic of the sacrifices that he makes for others. For many years, he entertains the dream of exploring Europe and South America in order to escape the monotony of Bedford Falls where everyone knows everyone else. Over the years, he displays his propensity for selflessness time and time again. His dream dies a death and he never leaves home. On that fateful Christmas Eve, he comes to believe that he has accomplished nothing in his life. Thankfully, however, he is proved wrong after he wishes that he had never been born. Without knowing it, he has single-handedly prevented the town and many of its inhabitants from falling into darkness and despair. George is a great character who, in spite of being a thoroughly decent man, is not perfect as he falls victim to the same depression that anyone else in his position on Christmas Eve 1945 would. He thinks of himself before others but these scenes serve to humanise him. Except for Henry Fonda and Gregory Peck if he were a few years older, I don't think that anyone other than Stewart could have played this role so well.

Donna Reed is excellent as George's incredibly loyal, supportive and understanding wife Mary Hatch Bailey, who has harboured a crush on him from the time that they were children. Although George initially does not seem to be interested in her and tells her that he never wants to get married, he realises that he is in love with her. Mary is a kind, somewhat shy woman who is a perfect partner for George. They are like two peas in a pod. She tells George that she would have ended up an old maid without him and this is proved to be the case in the reality where George was never born. I think that Mary could have easily married someone else in the other reality as I am sure that she would had her fair share of suitors but George was the only man for her and she was the only woman for him. Crucially, Stewart and Reed have great chemistry. The scene in which George and Mary are listening to the phone while standing very close together is one of the best romantic scenes that I have ever seen in a film. It is so simple but it works so well.

Lionel Barrymore is suitably vile as Bedford Falls' wealthiest and most immoral citizen Henry F. Potter, a "warped, frustrated old man" who sees the Baileys as a thorn in his side. Consistent with the film's thematic links to "A Christmas Carol", Mr. Potter is similar to Scrooge prior to his redemption but I found him to be even more despicable. He is a great film villain who almost succeeds in crushing George's spirit, telling him that he is worth more alive than dead. He is not seen in the other reality but he has gained control of the town and has renamed it Pottersville, turning it into a den of iniquity. Henry Travers has very little screen time but he is fantastic as George's eccentric, whimsical guardian angel Clarence Odbody. His manner serves as a very effective contrast to George's depression before he realises that he has a great deal to live for. The film also features great performances from Thomas Mitchell as the sweet but scatterbrained Uncle Billy Bailey, H.B. Warner as Mr. Gower, Frank Faylen as Ernie Bishop, Gloria Grahame as Violet Bick and Todd Karns as Harry Bailey. It also features small appearances from Charles Lane, Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer and the future television producer Sheldon Leonard.

Overall, this is a sublime film which shows that one man can make more of a difference to the lives of others than he ever through possible. I have to admit that I cried at the end. I honestly cannot remember the last time that I cried because of a film and I have watched over 500 in less than two years. I plan to watch this every Christmas season from now on. There is talk of a sequel in which Karolyn Grimes will reprise her role as George's daughter Zasu (now a guardian angel herself) but, since it is unlicensed, it is unlikely to materialise. In any event, I would not be terribly interested. Without Jimmy Stewart, what's the point?
2015-12-21
An inspirational heartwarming experience. A Timeless Classic!
George Bailey is a man with goals, ambitions - a man of courage, integrity and pride. But all he has ever done his whole life is assist those in need, never for a second thinking about himself. Wanting to see the world before he sets off to college for an architect degree, he finds that he can't let his town crumble against the miserable, hateful, greedy and powerful 'Potter' and so he decides to stay. His father passes away, and so he must find a way to run the 'Loans' business that his father has kept from the mad man 'Potter'. All goes well for Bailey - a beautiful wife, a few children and a lot of friends. Although still handing out loans like his father before him, he pursues his dream of building and constructs a home village with affordable houses despite Potter's mass influence on the township. Unfortunately for Bailey, things begin to point downhill following the Depression and later bankruptcy where Bailey just can't handle the weight of burden of all the people's money he cannot repay. He comes to the harrowing conclusion that he should never have been born and decides to leave his family and friends and take his own life off a bridge. But the world cannot dispose of itself such a man, so god sends an Angel on a mission to get its wings, or better yet to save George Bailey's life. The Angel shows George what life would have been like had he not been born at all and of what became of the people he took dearly. Miserable under Potter's absolute influence, the town looks like an over indulgent, over spent, money making machine. George gets a glimpse of his own powerful influence on his friends and family and realises just what a wonderful life he really had.

Few films have portrayed the value (not the meaning) of life like 'It's a Wonderful Life' has. In contemporary times, we have been fed with recycled stories such as "The Family Man" and "It can happen to you", but none have captured the raw beauty of life like the original, "It's a wonderful Life"- its success partly due to its simplicity. And it sustains your attention from start to finish due to its simple and riveting storytelling. Sets aren't big, the story is quite small and the film is in black and white.

What makes this film stand taller than others is the great dialog between the characters which consistently remains on the story throughout the film and not on irrelevant topics - this is what keeps us glued to the screen (unlike with modern films, most of the dialog is blabber about nothing). The acting is superb from the whole cast, but you have got to hand it to James Stewart for one of the best performances of his career portraying the discouraged George Bailey - arguably his best performance - and one of the best performances you will see in any film. What I really love about this film is the lack of music, which gives a sense of realism to the story, like we are there with the characters in George Bailey's world.

Frank Capra creates an unforgettable atmospheric experience that remains tattooed in your memory years after viewing. The outdated effects aside, this film has stood the test of time as a timeless classic. The direction was subtle and superb - rarely equaled and I think this film is best in Black and White, even though they already had color in 1939, seven years before this masterpiece was released.

I recommend this film to anybody who feels down and depressed, sad and lonely. It really makes you think about the importance and beauty of this life in which you are living. All I can say is that I will be watching this film yearly until the day that I die due to its poignancy. A real classic in cinema history. It really is a wonderful Life!
2005-01-10
It's a wonderful movie!
This is indeed a wonderful Christmas movie, where James Stewart plays George Bailey, who has dreams of moving out of his town (Bedford Walls) going to college, having an established career and seeing the world. However, after his father's demise, he reluctantly takes on the family business (a loan company), indefinitely putting his dreams on hold.

This is a classic story that definitely reminds you of the more innocent times in America and reminds you things will always turn out all right at the end if you have enough hope and faith. The plot keeps you engaged from start to finish as you follow George Bailey's life, from his times as a preteen to him taking on the family business, and finally to him getting married and raising a family of his own - all the while seeing his dreams fade away. However, when things get too down in the dumps for him, an angel tries to help him out of despair and lets him see what would life be like in George's town without him being born. This reminds you to never take anything for granted and to always appreciate what you have.

It's a great movie with heartwarming moments and great acting. James Stewart and leading lady Donna Reed had great chemistry together. And, the rest of the cast, from Lionel Barrymore as the villainous Mr. Potter to Henry Travers as the angel Clarence, all did a wonderful job.

Even as a movie made in the 1940s, it holds up very well through the test of time and is surely one of the greatest to watch during Christmas time. Highly recommend!

Grade A
2015-12-18
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