When this film first came out in theatres it was practically a flop. But as the years have gone by, people have realized what a treasure it is. And now it's one of the most watched Christmas movies ever! Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and many other talented actors, this is a must-see! Not only does it hit close to home for many of us at one point or another, it shows the importance of family and friends, and the blessings we receive from helping others. It's guaranteed to lift your spirits!
Read on for the full review and behind the scenes trivia.
Years later, after George is grown and ready to leave for college, he goes with his brother to his highschool graduation party and meets Mary Hatch, an attractive young woman from his school days. They hit it off well but when news comes that his father has had a stroke, life changes for him. Against his will, he is elected manager of his father's business, but he still hopes that one day his brother will take over and he'll have the chance to travel the world. Time goes by and he marries Mary Hatch hoping to spend their honeymoon in Europe. Then the stock market crashes and George saves the Bailey Bros. Building and Loan business by the skin of his teeth.
Time goes on and through the Building and Loan's generosity and good faith many of Bedford Falls citizens are able to move to nicer homes than their current one's owned by the towns iron fist, Mr. Potter. This angers the old man more and more and he works harder to bring the Bailey's down than ever before.
World War Two comes and goes, making heroes of many of the town's own, such as Bert the cop, Ernie the cab driver, and even George's own brother, Harry. But due to his injured ear, George is left stateside.
One day, right before Christmas, news of the Bailey's wartime success is all over town because of Harry's return. George is thoroughly proud of his brother, but then something happens that turns the happy day to horror. Uncle Billy loses the Building and Loan's $8,000 while at the bank preparing to deposit it. With the bank examiner already there, George sees no way to save them from the inevitable.
George comes home that night in turmoil. Mary realizes something is wrong when his frustrated fits turn the house upside down. Leaving the house, he stops by Mr. Potter's to see if he can't help him somehow and the bitter old man calls to have him arrested. In utter despair goes to Martini's for a drink. With no one else to turn to, George begs God to help him. Now it's time for Clarence to go to work.
rdian angel. George doesn't believe him and eventually insists that he wishes he'd never been born. Seeing this statement as a chance to open George's eyes, jovial Clarence grants him his wish.
Suddenly things change for George. He is able to hear out of his ear, his busted lip is no longer bleeding, and his clothes are no longer wet. Confused, George says he needs a drink and he makes his way back to Martini's, with Clarence following. He finds Martini is gone, and a foul-tempered Nick in his place. Then Mr. Gower comes in. When George goes to him, Nick says he's nothing but a rummy, having spent time in prison after poisoning a child. George and Clarence eventually get kicked out.
You May Or May Not Know
In another scene, Mary Hatch throws a rock at glass in the old Granville place and actually hits her target. Originally, Frank Capra hired a marksman to shoot the glass at the right moment to appear as though she hit it. But the marksman never had to take a shot as Donna Reed, having played baseball and earned a strong throwing arm, hit it herself.
For more trivia, see IMDB. There's a lot more!
This is one of my most favorite Christmas movies. I don't know if it's because of the friendly atmosphere or the wonderful actors, or if it's because it makes me feel hopeful. Probably all of them combined. George does what he knows it right with a love for helping others. No, he never gets his dream but when you see how worthwhile all those years of thinking of others were it makes it seem more important. Maybe that's something we should think about. The idea of someone never achieving their dream is sad but what's more important is what they have achieved. What would you really like to achieve?
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my review and will come back for more. But in the meantime, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!