Written by Senora Bicho
The It’s A Wonderful Life 2-Disc Collector’s Set is being released in time for your holiday viewing pleasure. It is considered by many to be the best holiday film ever made and is one of the best films, in my opinion, of all time. It was originally released in January, 1947 and was not an instant success. Reviews were mixed as it ranked 26th at the box office that year. It was a financial failure, even though it was nominated for five Academy Awards and Frank Capra won the Golden Globe for Best Director.
In the 1980s it was revived thanks to broadcast television, where it aired on many channels throughout the holidays, and the introduction of the VCR. The film also got some attention when it was colorized. The original thought was that this would make it appeal to more viewers. It was not well received, and Capra and Stewart both strongly opposed this version. I did also and always removed the color from my set. Thankfully, the black-and-white version soon returned to TV.
It’s a Wonderful Life is the story of honest, hardworking family man George Bailey, played by James Stewart in perhaps the best and most well known performance of his career. The film begins with prayers from various people in the small town of Bedford Falls seeking help for George. Pan up to the heavens and Clarence (Henry Travers), an angel trying to get his wings, is assigned to the task. To prepare him for the assignment, he is shown pivotal events from George’s life.
From an early age, George is determined to get out of the town and make an exciting life for himself. After high school he plans to travel the world, go to college, and then start a career building something big. George saves money while working at his father’s Building and Loan. As he is about to start off on his adventure, his dad has a stroke and dies, which leads him back to his father’s business. He also finally finds romance with Mary (Donna Reed) who has loved him since childhood. Although he couldn’t follow his big dreams, he ends up married with four kids and running the Building and Loan in little Bedford Falls. He has accepted his life and is happy.