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.
James Stewart's performance as George Bailey is ranked #8 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006). And this was Donna Reed's first starring role in a movie.
Grab a blanket, light a fire, and pop some popcorn. Watch this movie to remind you in the middle of a crazy season of what really is important. This is a movie you'll add to your holiday traditions -- though it can be viewed anytime of year.
If you've seen the movie, what's your favorite scene?
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.