🎦 It's a Wonderful Life full movie HD download (Frank Capra) - Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Family. 🎬
It's a Wonderful Life
Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Family
IMDB rating:
Frank Capra
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
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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Smile to life and life will smile to you ...
"It's a Wonderful Life" speaks the most universal truths about the kind of values humanity should stand for to make life that wonderful. It's Frank Capra's Christmas gift to Cinema and one of the all-time greatest classics.

Indeed, what we use to define as 'classics' in the Cinematic Dictionary is probably the kind of movies that look and sound familiar to movie fans BEFORE the first viewing. And for me, the great classics as those we're familiar with before watching them and without this parameter affecting the magic of the first experience. We know that Marion Crane will be murdered; that Michael Corleone will become the Don, and that George Bailey will reunite with his family but it NEVER affects the enjoyment.

I've seen enough parodies from "Simpsons" episodes or TV Christmas specials to know the very basis of Frank Capra's immortal classic, I even remember James Stewart's final wink from the movie "Look Who's Talking", and I was so aware of the film's plot that the first viewing probably consisted on spotting all the references I had. Not that it ruined the whole experience though but I didn't really grasp the inner greatness of the film until the second viewing, and now I do. Yes, it's very positive, very "good-vibrations inducing", something that definitely justifies its top spot on AFI's 100 Most Inspirational list, but there is more to that. There is more.

You see, I've always thought the film to be a Christmas story and nothing else, expecting a 'message'; an obligatory happy ending established by the Family reunion, I expected that and well, I got it. BUT it's surprising how dark it really gets for a Christmas film and even by today's standards, 2000's TV specials can't elevate themselves to this gutsy change of tone. And James Stewart carries it quite spectacularly in "It's a Wonderful Life", powerfully transcending the initial atmosphere of the film. I would never have expected such genuine and authentic displays of sheer anger and Stewart is really scary here. I recall one line in Ebert's review where he regretted the colorization of the film precisely because it didn't visually fit these dark undertones. I can't imagine myself watching the film in color either.

And Stewart's anger is very significant, because it illustrates the overall sentiment conveyed by his character, George Bailey, toward his life. The man considers himself a failure because he didn't fulfill all his dreams of travels and explorations. Sure, all his achievements helped the community, but never did he expect to stay in his modest natal hometown, Belford Falls. Bailey exemplifies the notion of being victim of circumstances, something I could relate to who spends my whole time dreaming of what I wish to do, instead of appreciating what I already did. Seriously, could it be more frustrating than dreaming of the world and be forced to live in a dull small town? Logically, Bailey becomes a bitter man with the eyes so turned to the future that he can't turn his back and consider the extent of his achievements and his popularity.

George Bailey reminded of one of my friends' sayings: "we don't spend our lives writing the future, but writing the past" It's even truer for Bailey whose past (understand: achievement) helped people to build their future. Following the death of his father, he took over the "Loan and Building" affair and played a significant role in the lives of all the people of Belford Falls by selling houses lower than the prices they would normally rent it, thus providing them the most precious thing in America: a land, a home, with prices low enough to be able to sustain to the other obligations. He naturally made himself an enemy through Lionel Barrymore as the infamous half-tyrant half-tycoon Mr. Potter, a fitting 'Capraesque' villain as the morally corrupted rich man who tyrannizes and despises little people. (Interestingly, both Bailey and Potter are in AFI's Top 10 Heroes and Villains)

Frank Capra is one of the few directors whose style became instantly identifiable and "It's a Wonderful Life" is the opportunity to culminate his own standards but not with the usual emotional bias this time. Here it's Bailey, the very protagonist of the film who takes distance from the little people, too real, too down-to-earth while he is a man who dreams, who writes the future in big, bold letters. This time, the enemy is not just the rich, the powerful, the corrupted, but the hero's inner demons, unknowingly celebrating Capra's humanistic vision: a world of solidarity, brotherhood, goodness and compassion. It's also, cinematically-speaking, the incarnation of a lost era through these characters forever graved in our memories, Mary Bailey (Donna Reed), Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell), Clarence (Henry Travers) and all these unforgettable faces.

"It's a Wonderful Life" is the coming to realization of a man that he's better than what he thinks he is, and whose achievements speak something more important about him than his dreams. The trick was to allow him to see what his life would've been hadn't he be born: a frightening alternate reality (just noticed where "Back to the Future II" took its inspiration from). This little spice of fantasy conducts the atmosphere of the climax. And its darkness is perfect because the scarier it'll get, the more convinced Bailey will be. And he finally learns it the 'hard way' but this is the fate of all Capra's heroes, they all struggle, they're all licked and desperate before triumphing. Why so hard? Why the harder it is, the louder the 'YAAY' will be and so will the 'Merry Christmas' shouted while George Bailey is running out of joy, probably the most communicative of Cinema's history.

And we wouldn't have had one of the truly happiest happy endings of cinema's history, immortalized by the sight of James Stewart smiling, with little Zuzu, Mary and a thought for his guardian angel.
It WAS a wonderful life
There are movies that we like so much we will watch them to the point of redundancy and never get tired of them. It's A Wonderful Life used to be one of mine, but not anymore. In fact, I can't remember the last time I actually watched it in its entirety. I realize the reason why now...it's Frank Capra's populist message. It had finally gotten under my craw.

The message, that having money is EVIL but being altruistic and broke is GOOD, served Capra well during the depression when everyone was broke (ironically, Capra got rich off this message). By 1946, Americans had money again and populism had worn out its welcome, which might explain the movie's dismal box office take.

George Bailey is altruism squared. He willingly becomes a doormat to townfolks who can't spoonfeed themselves, forgoing his goals and dreams of making his own life better. Sorry George, but I eventually lost sympathy for you. Your desires are equally important.

Other characters I got even more fed up with: Uncle Billy...what a drunken bonehead! Cmon, George, I don't care if he is family. Either fire this rumdum or make him into a harmless janitor or something so he won't go losing $8000 at a clip. Harry Bailey, you're next! You have no intention of ever paying back George for your college education, am I right? And finally, Clarence Oddbody,AS2. No wonder you haven't gotten your wings, you doofus. You knew about the $8000, so tell George that Potter stole the money so he, Mary, and the rest of the family could storm the bank and clean his clock like in the Saturday Night Live skit from 1986. Yes, I know that last part was played for laughs, but wouldn't that be your gut response, though?

Maybe my criticism is a bit harsh, but it's towards the populist message and story line. I still like the acting in it, and the special effects were very good for the time...Capra's fake snow all over Bedford Falls still looks realistic to this day. And as goofy and manipulative as it seems, I'm glad George's deadbeat customers finally paid him back in the end.

(P.S.: George, this would be a good time to remind your brother, Harry The War Hero, that he owes you four years of college tuition and the cost of a long distance phone call!)
Arguably James Stewart best performance
To be honest before I watched It's a Wonderful Life, I really don't like James Stewart. I watched him in Vertigo, Rear Window, and other Hitchcock's movie, and I don't like him at all, I think he was so typical and 1 dimensional. After I watched him in this movie, I start to like him, especially when he acted in the last part. Well I guest I just hate Hitchcock as a director, not Stewart as an actor.

Back to the movie, at first I don't like it because Stewart looks so older when he was playing as teenager Bailey -.-". After half of the movie I don't really care, I guess I am such a sucker for Christmas family movie, the golden part of this movie is the last part after Bailey met the angel, Stewart showed that he is good actor in this part. In the end this is good family movie if you like Christmas film.
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.
Great movie
This movie is one of the best (for an American film). Taking into consideration that it originally flopped. Couldn't believe they even have an phone App for the movie: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wonderful-life/id403653223?mt=8

Either way, this movie will go down in history as one of the best and you will enjoy it every year. The movie has some excellent quotes like:

George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.

Zuzu Bailey: Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.

George Bailey: There they are! Bert, what do you know about that! Merry Christmas!
A dissenting view
No folks, I promise not to do the same thing to the Wizard of Oz or Gone with the Wind, but this has got to be the most overrated movie of all time.

It took me a number of tries to watch it all the way through, because it is so incredibly boring. All the scenarios are exaggerated without a hint of the whimsy or joy that should mark a Christmas movie. NOBODY in it is likeable, including the hapless and almost hopeless hero. They even give Donna Reed an improbable scene in the alternate reality where she is a total... well, if I want this posted, I can't use the word.

But the worst flaw? THEY NEVER GET BACK THE MONEY THAT WAS STOLEN. It is morally unacceptable that this guy doesn't get punished and the townspeople have to rush in with a bailout.

I've heard this movie praised to the highest heavens as one of the ten best ever made for most of my life. I'll give them credit for the body language between Donna Reed and James Stewart in the scene where he is on the phone, but not for much else.
Superb. Few films touch the heart like this one.
I saw this movie when I was much younger than I am today and I rated it about a 7/10 back then. Having just recently seen it again, it stands in my top 10. This film really does hit home on so many levels, it's sentimental and heart warming. Times were different back then but I think as we get older this film really stands as a testament to how we should cherish life. Older audience's will understand this film at its very core as opposed to a younger generation, no doubt.
Masterclass in Movie-making
The first time I am aware of seeing IAWL I managed to catch the last 5 Min's of the movie. It seemed to feature a character running around shouting 'Merry Christmas' at everybody, followed by a party where everyone handed over money To be frank, I wasn't in a hurry to see the rest of the movie.

Then several years later, I started to watch IAWL from the beginning, unaware that it was the same movie. I was struck by how comprehensive the character study of George Bailey was. He was a good man, but his ambitions were frustrated at every turn. He wanted an Education, that was just outside his grasp. He wanted to travel, life conspired against him. At every step of the way, one person saw George 'rolling with the blows', that was Mary Hatch. This woman loved George and wanted to stand at his side, so they can face the slings and arrows of misfortune together. This is love of the purest kind.

But even Mary's love cannot prevent George contemplating suicide. A single bad day that sees George on the top of the World at the beginning and thinking that taking his own life is the only way out by 10.45 pm.

I was stunned when the ending turned into the movie I had seen some time before. But this time I understood, this wasn't just sentiment for it's own sake. To understand the ending you need to have gone on the same dark journey that George Bailey had been on.

Many others have commented on the feel good aspects of the movie, so I won't. What I would like to say is that there are a number of scenes which live in the memory long after the end credits.

Young George trying to persuade Mr Gower that he had prescribed poison (with young Mary Hatch Looking on).

George hurrying home when he heard his father had had a stroke (with Mary Hatch looking on).

George waiting at the station with Uncle Billy for Harry to come back from college (only to find Harry is already married and has a job that will keep him away from Bedford Falls).

That kiss (I have to check that I am earthed, there is so much electricity in the air).

Mary giving up their honeymoon money, to keep the Building and Loan out of Potters grasp.

The Bridal Suit (with Ernie & Bert).

Trying to talk to Mary in the alternate reality, but managing frighten her.

The Ending.

I don't think I have seen a better character study, or for that matter a better movie.
Highly recommended
The film has what I love most about films, "Inspiration". The story really is built up in such a way that you'll eventually get inspired by it. Acting by James Stewart is superb. The story is about a man who wanted to do a lot of things, but circumstances changed his fate. He never lost hope, but one day things get really out of controlled and he loses faith in everything. It is very interesting to see how the story reaches to its ending.


One of the best acting performances I had seen recently. The whole film rests on its beautiful story. The film is a very fine example of what we expect from life and what we actually get. The life of our hero seems to be frustrating a lot of times but than in the end, you are finally going to get convinced that IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.


I admit that the whole angel thing did not impress me much and I was hoping for more realistic kind of thing. Also the editing at some later part of the film looked bad. It was nominated for the best editing Oscars, but just my opinion. But when you have a very fine story, you have to overlook these small glitches.

MESSAGE: "It's a wonderful life."

VERDICT: "A must watch for all."
The ultimate in feel-good
Upon first inspection it is easy perhaps to understand why when first released, Frank Capra's Christmas movie, inspired by a simple seasonal card, was not well received. It is a movie that opens with a fantastical scene of a star, later revealed to be an angel, talking to a faceless God, the voice-over obvious, stilted in sweet humour, and immediately suggesting the film is going to be one that is too saccharine a pill to swallow. The thing is, beyond that, "It's A Wonderful Life" is the ultimate exercise in feel-good cinema, its virtue as such much parodied and referenced in TV and other films.

The film presents George Bailey, played by James Stewart who would go on to refer to the film as his own favourite, who stifles his lifelong dreams of travelling and discovery in order to save and run his father's Building And Loan Association. It has long been responsible for the affordable housing in his hometown Bedford Falls and he cannot see it lost to the scoundrel of the piece, Henry F. Potter, who is a major shareholder in the Building And Loan and the only man residents could otherwise turn to. After a run at the bank leaves the Building And Loan on the brink of financial ruin, and George's Uncle Billy misplaces $8000, in an act of desperation he attempts suicide, at which time he is saved by the angel Clarence. Understandably confused, he wishes he had never been born, and so his wish is granted.

If the plot seems familiar even though you have not seen "It's A Wonderful Life", it is probably because you saw the idea loosely re-worked in the Nicolas Cage film "The Family Man". For all its up to date technique, its colour, modern setting, etc, this version could not capture what made the original.

So, what did make the original? What could surprise people is how Capra clearly believed in the notion that you have to suffer the low to get the high. The second act of the movie gets really quite dark, with Bailey seeing what the world would be like without his birth, coming to understand just how important a person is to everybody else's existence, and bringing him to a full appreciation of his worth as a husband, father and friend. The finale is obviously that classic scene that we all know, even if we do not realise it, with his daughter's famous, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings", and despite how much you might think the whole thing sounds cheesy, silly, saccharine and sentimental, the power of the film is to bring a genuine tear of pure enjoyment to your eye regardless; for a while you are full of the joy of life and completely happy, no matter what.

A lot of the film's success comes down to how believable James Stewart makes the plight, and for any flaws you may find with it, its colourful characters, its tremendous performances, humour, heartbreaking moments, perfectly pitched highs and lows, and its' unabashed final sequence make this an inexplicably perfect film.

No wonder it remains at the top spot of many people's favourite Christmas films, and so it should.
See Also
📹 It's a Wonderful Life full movie HD download 1946 - James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Frank Faylen, Ward Bond, Gloria Grahame, H.B. Warner, Frank Albertson, Todd Karns, Samuel S. Hinds, Mary Treen, Virginia Patton - USA. 📀