In the 2nd of my series of Classic Christmas films, you already know that one of my all time favourite films is the 1946 classic "It's A Wonderful Life" by Frank Capra.
Every year I make a point of watching it, (with the Kleenex handy of course!) It's wonderfully funny, sad, poignant and romantic.
Here's a clip:
It's quite a long film, at 130 minutes, with James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore. Despite being set around Christmas, it was filmed during a heat wave. It got to be so hot that Frank Capra gave everyone a day off to recuperate.
The story of George Bailey, who feels useless and decides the world will be a better place without him, is a strange choice for a Christmas film. However, this film has a real and important message about how our lives touch others, and it deals with issues like poverty and freedom and sacrifice.
I haven't seen the recently released colourised version, and I'm not such a purist that I think it should have been left alone. Having said that, whether black and white or colour, it is beautifully written and directed, and the arrival of Clarence, and his 'mini story' really brings it together.
Nominated for 5 Oscars at the 1947 Academy Awards, including Best Actor (James Stewart), Best Director and Best Picture; it never actually won; but that doesn't detract from the film that it is.
With wonderful characters, great cast and uplifiting message, this truly is a Wonderful Christmas Classic.