It's a Wonderful Life

  • U
  • Frank Capra (1946)
  • US
  • 125 min
It's a Wonderful Life
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Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

This masterpiece from Frank Capra still has a lot to say about community spirit and is a film with much more to it than feel-good sentimentality. As the suicidal man who is shown the value of his life by his guardian angel, George Bailey is Mr Deeds, John Doe and Mr Smith rolled into one and only James Stewart could have given him the self-doubt that gnaws away at his essential decency. As with all good morality tales, the villain has to be exceptional, too, and Lionel Barrymore is at the peak of his powers as the villainous Potter. The term Capra-esque is too often misapplied: forget the imitations and revel in the genuine article.

Plot Summary

Frank Capra's classic fantasy drama, starring James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore. George Bailey is a small-town businessman who believes he has been a failure. Contemplating suicide, George meets his guardian angel and discovers what life in his home town of Bedford Falls would have been like had he never lived.

Cast and crew


George Bailey
James Stewart
Mary Hatch
Donna Reed
Mr Potter
Lionel Barrymore
Uncle Billy
Thomas Mitchell
Clarence Oddbody
Henry Travers
Mrs Bailey
Beulah Bondi
Frank Faylen
Ward Bond
Violet Bick
Gloria Grahame
Mr Gower
H B Warner
Harry Bailey
Todd Karns
Pa Bailey
Samuel S Hinds
Cousin Tilly
Mary Teen
Sam Wainwright
Frank Albertson
Little George Bailey
Robert J Anderson


Frank Capra

Other Information

Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
Park Circus
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Released 14 Dec 2007
Certificate U
Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd