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It's a Wonderful Life (1946) review

Posted : 2 years, 11 months ago on 2 January 2016 03:49

What a beautiful Christmas film! I cannot believe that it took me this long to see this one, but I am familiar with some of the scenes. I got to see this in 35mm. What an experience!

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Posted : 4 years, 6 months ago on 18 June 2014 07:53

The thing people nowadays don't get about Classics like this one is the fact that they last forever.
If you are used to watch movies from the 20th century (in general) they are flat and have no depth, there is no doubt that you'll enjoy them but that's that, you will forget them the minutes they're over.

And that's what makes this movie beautiful, aside from the beautiful performances and beautiful story, there's a great moral behind it, it gives you new meanings every time you think about it.

James Stewart is an awesome actor, the fact that he played a character that was supposed to be 27 years old while he was actually 10 years older really shows his performance.

And there isn't much to say about this movie other than the fact that it was beautiful and had a great moral behind it, That your life matters even if you don't feel that way, but you are connected to so many people and have so much influence on the environment around you that people around you won't be the same if you weren't there.

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It's a Wonderful Life (1946) review

Posted : 5 years, 5 months ago on 17 July 2013 05:04

Capra's Dickensian masterpiece... James Stewart is a vision of decency as the selfless guy George Bailey who finds himself deeply loved in the smalltown community he'd once dreamed of leaving: a redemptive discovery that follows his suicidal despair one snowy Christmas night. Every time I watch it, I am surprised afresh by how late in the story Clarence the angel appears, on his mission to show George how bad the world would have looked without him. The film is gripping enough simply with the telling of George's lifestory. A genuine American classic.

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Overrated, but nice

Posted : 5 years, 11 months ago on 30 December 2012 02:14

Well as the title says, it's overrated but it's still a nice family film to watch around the christmas time I guess.

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It's a Wonderful Life (1946) review

Posted : 5 years, 11 months ago on 29 December 2012 07:26

Superb movie of 1946, I watched the original version of the movie in black & white. A movie with a touching story of person named George Bailey, who has lots of big dreams of his own, he wanna go big but thrown in the circumstances and for the sake of the well being of others he adapted another path helping others in need. he managed to do it wonderfully when finally at a crucial juncture he broke down and wishes to take his life.

Nature intervenes to help him and make him realise through a guardian angel, how important his life is and how much difference his contribution has made. A beautiful movie, a must watch.

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It's a Wonderful Life (1946) review

Posted : 5 years, 11 months ago on 25 December 2012 08:34

Frank Capra's more timeless films seem to be the caffeine of classic Hollywood. They're peppy, fun to consume and leave you with a positive buzz until the cold hard realities of your world set in.

One of the finest examples of this Capra rush is the holiday classic "It's A Wonderful Life". The film adroitly tells the story of small-town hero George Bailey and the many lives he touches. It also throws in a miserable miser and an extended dream sequence ripped off from Dickens but does so in a way that almost outclasses "A Christmas Carol". Instead of spending time with a bitter old man you spend time with a genuinely kind soul as the world slowly crushes his spirit before building it back up again in a flurry of joy. The turns by James Stewart and Donna Reed are captivating in their kindness and humor. There is also some memorable supporting roles for the great Lionel Barrymoore and Gloria Grahame but the real star is the gloriously uplifting script. Sure, there are some cloying Hee-Haw moments and you don't get the satisfaction of seeing that miserable miser get his but the unfettered anti-cynicism is refreshing and makes this Capra's finest film this side of It Happened One Night.

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It's A Wonderful Story...

Posted : 6 years, 2 months ago on 14 October 2012 08:53

What does it take to make an immortal film?
Every time I get a chance to watch an old classic I feel compelled to search for an answer to this question. Honestly what it takes to make your work so timelessly beautiful that even after 60 years people would adore the work. I don't know the answer perhaps those were the golden days of storytelling. There are so many great stories told in the 40s and 50s era which still looks so relevant and beautiful. Never the less, as a lover of good cinema I am happy with so many pearls at my disposal.

It’s a wonderful Life even after 66 years of its release time still looks so breathtakingly beautiful. It being considered as one of the most inspirational American cinema does not conceal the fact that it bombed at box office in 1946 largely due to the high production cost and perhaps due the theme but still it is a classic in true sense because of an incredibly moving story and some spectacular acting.

The story looks at the life of George Bailey (James Stewart) confined in the mediocre life in Bedford Falls. He wants to travel the world and aspires to become an architect creating beautiful structures instead as his fate turns out he is struck with the old building and loan, a lending firm formed by his idealistic father. He also finds an enemy in Mr. Henry F. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), a slumlord who wants to take over everything in the city. Bailey the kind hearted city boy is the only one who can stop Potter through his compassionate heart and his father’s legacy – the Building & Loan.

The story takes us through an emotional ride through the entire life of George Bailey till we reach the D day on a Christmas Eve when Bailey almost loses it. Then enters his Guardian Angel Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers), Angel Second Class who intervenes his suicide attempt and shows him how his life connects that of so many people around him and wins him his life in the end while earning his own wings.

The story is very lively and moving and the direction by Frank Capra is very competent. He never interrupts the narrative and the screenplay remains free flowing through out. The humour is very subtle and real funny and there are certain heart worming scenes that truly touched my heart. The fact that I watched the colourised version adds brownie points ( Though the Critics hated it), the film looks spectacular on screen. The film also has a formidable star cast. The legendary James Stewart as George Bailey is energetic as usual and steals the show. Donna Reid as Mary Hatch Bailey, Bailey’s wife looks out of the world. She looked one of the best on screen ever. The supporting cast also looks brilliant. All in all what a movie experience it has been. I have watched it thrice so far and still it looks so fresh.
I am going with 10 out of 10 for this all time classic; I just love this one so much that this is in my list of all time favourites

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It's a Wonderful Life (1946) review

Posted : 6 years, 7 months ago on 19 May 2012 02:28

In 1945, the horrible World War had ended. It was this age when people had seen too much reality and they didn't care for entertainment that lived in fantasies or easy-going films. It's A Wonderful Life unfortunately suffered because of the same reason and it went unnoticed under the audiences' noses. But in 60's this films magic was revived making it an instant holiday classic.

It's A Wonderful Life is the story on the life of George Bailey (James Stewart). He has a perfect life but just one problem: nothing ever turned out he wanted to. George dreamed of exploring the world, going places. But his father's bank and the Notorious Mr. Potter, the antagonist whose after the bank and is the richest man of Bedford Falls, never gave him a chance. When George learns of Potter's interest of taking over the whole town, George tries hard preventing that situation. He spends half his life helping out his dear ones, even during the war. At one point, a terrible calamity befalls George that breaks him completely. Suddenly, out of nowhere, an angel named Clarence comes down to Earth to save George from committing suicide and makes George see his mistake in the epic half-hour conclusion.

Every American has seen this film at least once. It's a timeless classic with a beautiful message, so beautiful that it can inspire you. Some people think that this film is brilliant only in the last half-hour, that's the time when the angel comes to the rescue and shows George how wonderful his life actually was and is. That's not true though. The entire film is joyous, happy and wonderful but we don't see it because we lack the vision to see it. And it's Clarence who gives us this vision and proves the point. The film teaches us that one should not care what conditions he/she is in as long as he/she has people who care for him. George and the audience (That's us) don't see the point of everything that's happening in his life as it is a normal life that we all live: simple, honest and a sometimes a lot of struggle. When I watched it the second time, I got it and enjoyed it even more. Since then I have tried hard to appreciate all the small things that have come along my path, whether it's good or bad, because I know that I have friends and my parents who will always laugh with me and help me. I am not sentimental or gay or anything, it's just that It's A Wonderful Life is right...

About the performances, it were great. The film has great humor, a little spice, a little romance, a little serious stuff, a little of everything that life's made of. Frank Capra has timed everything perfectly and even Clarence the angel doesn't look silly as angels frequently are in reel life.

I will conclude saying that It's A Wonderful Life is a wonderful film, the one with a seriously thought-provoking message. Highly Recommended Classic...

Visit my facebook movie page: www.facebook.com/filmsthemostbeautifulart

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It's a Wonderful Movie!

Posted : 7 years ago on 5 December 2011 09:01

"Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"

A Christmastime staple, Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life is a rare film which has withstood the test of time and continues to touch millions of people through its themes, boundless appeal, and emotional power. Placed alongside such movies as Miracle on 34th Street or National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, It's a Wonderful Life is not exactly a typical Christmas movie since only its finale happens on Christmas Eve and it has nothing to do with Santa Claus or gift giving. Nevertheless, it encapsulates the true spirit of the holiday: the value of family and friends, and the importance of giving rather than receiving. On top of this, It's a Wonderful Life can be watched any time of the year because of its feel-good themes and the message it conveys about the significance of a single human soul.

The story kicks off on Christmas Eve, as a chorus line of prayers are heard coming from the small town of Bedford Falls pleading for the angels to assist the despairing George Bailey (Stewart). The unsung hero of Bedford Falls, George was anxious to travel the world and head to University when he was a young man, but was forced to relinquish his dreams and manage his late father's business to ensure that it won't fall into the hands of wealthy schemer Mr. Potter (Barrymore). George has always acted in the interests of others before serving himself, and in his adult life he marries the beautiful Mary (Reed) and has a handful of wonderful children. However, financial problems and personal issues suddenly begin to mount, overwhelming George and plunging him into a tragic abyss of despondency. Enter George's guardian angel Clarence (Travers), who is sent from heaven to heighten the depressed man's spirits. In order to achieve this end, Clarence shows George what the world would have been like if he had never existed.

The first two-thirds of It's a Wonderful Life are spent in flashback, with Clarence learning about George's background and seeing the events leading up to his suicide contemplation. Such a device is a structural masterstroke; it allows a chance for viewers to see George's past and it permits room for George's character to be meticulously developed while the knowledge of his depression sits at the back of our mind. Conveying enough material to constitute a separate movie on its own, Capra accommodated the full breadth of George's existence and treated it with the care it deserved. We become immersed in George's existence and we fall in love with the man, and it seems impossible that anything could threaten to destroy his life. This kind of gentle, enthralling character development is gratifying and essential, letting us see what's at stake when Clarence at long last travels down to earth to meet George. And since we grow to love George so much, the climax is all the more poignant (almost unbearably so).

It's a Wonderful Life is such an effective feel-good movie because it asserts the notion that everyone, regardless of how insignificant they may seem, has the capacity to make a difference. Life is described as "God's greatest gift", and the film delivers the message that worldly riches mean nothing compared to love, family, friends, honesty and integrity; qualities which are far more valuable than other fleeting items of value which are so often held in higher regard. All of this converges for the goosebump-inducing finale which never fails to leave this reviewer a blubbering mess. Anybody who isn't moved by the flick's final few minutes should wonder what the heck is wrong with them. Additionally, It's a Wonderful Life is so often referred to as cheesy and sentimental, but it's surprisingly dark at times. The imminent lead-up to George's depression is heart-wrenching in how bleak it is, and George's lurid odyssey through Pottersville - a community in which he was never born - contains noir-ish traces, as it's realistically gloomy.

With Capra having made the most of his estimated $3 million budget, It's a Wonderful Life is a technically impressive picture indeed. The fictional town of Bedford Falls seems completely real, as Capra's crew constructed an elaborate main street consisting of dozens of buildings and stores. It feels lived-in and real, not like something situated on a studio back-lot. Additionally, filming took place during summer months, meaning that snow had to be artificially created. Fake snow often fails to convince, but every flake of snow in It's a Wonderful Life looks authentic. If anything is to be criticised (though perhaps that's too strong of a word), it's that there are a few technical faults, like a wide shot not precisely matching a close-up. But such shortcomings don't matter at all, as Capra's direction is stunning. His sense of pacing is magnificent, and each shot is infused with enthralling visual flair. And while the film is vehemently a drama, gentle humour is scattered throughout, making the film even more of a delight.

While Frank Capra and his team of credited screenwriters deserve some of the recognition for It's a Wonderful Life's brilliance, it's James Stewart's immaculate performance that truly makes the film work. Stewart infused George Bailey with a deft mixture of innocence and veracity, not to mention humanity and fallibility that has viewers rooting for him from the outset. Stewart fits the role like a glove - he's amiable and convincing, and his desperation and despair is increasingly apparent when he's submerged into the vision of Pottersville. Equally excellent is Donna Reed in the role of Mary. Reed wasn't Capra's first choice, but it's hard to imagine anyone else in the role, as she embodies the sweetness that was required to capture George's heart. Meanwhile, as George's guardian angel, Henry Travers is completely charming. The rest of the supporting cast is just as excellent - Lionel Barrymore's performance as the wicked Potter is full of cunning and malice, while Thomas Mitchell was a great pick as the lovable (albeit incompetent) Uncle Billy. Capra never allowed a faulty moment of acting to sneak into his picture.

With It's a Wonderful Life's strong reputation and almost unanimous acclaim, it's difficult to believe that it wasn't a hit during its theatrical release. Reviews were mixed and the box office earnings were underwhelming, dooming Capra's newly established production company. It was nominated for a few Academy Awards, but won nothing. Subsequently, It's a Wonderful Life fell into relative obscurity until the picture's copyright expired and it entered the public domain, meaning that television stations could play it ad nauseum without having to pay royalties. Thus, it was used as a time-filler for the Christmas season, allowing it to be rediscovered by a whole new generation. At last, reviews were almost uniformly positive and It's a Wonderful Life became bestowed with the love and acclaim that it always deserved. Indeed, if It's a Wonderful Life was never born, the world would have been worse off for it.

"You see George, you've really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?"


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A classic

Posted : 7 years, 8 months ago on 19 April 2011 10:59

Since I kept hearing some great things about this flick, I was quite eager to check it out. Before watching the damned thing, I have to admit it, I was a little bit skeptical at first. Indeed, I had seen a couple of movies directed by Frank Capra such as ‘It Happened One Night’ and ‘Mr. Deeds Goes to Town’ and, to be honest, even though I did like those movies, I can’t say I was really blown away by them. Indeed, I have noticed that some classics don’t really age that well, at least, that’s my opinion and sometimes I have a hard time to connect with them. However, this movie was definitely an exception. Indeed, even though I’m just an old cynical bastard and there is no way something so cheesy should have worked with him, I was actually touched by the whole thing. Eventually, it must be the greatest classic directed by Frank Capra and even though I'm not a huge fan of his work, I have to recognize that this movie is a great achievement. To conclude, this story is really timeless and this feature is a must see for any film lover, especially if you like the genre.

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