Every year I make a point of watching it, (with the Kleenex handy of course!) It's wonderfully funny, sad, poignant and romantic.
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. It's these messages that makes it a perfect film to watch at Christmas.
I haven't seen the 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.