It's a Wonderful Life

It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas, family fantasy, drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra, based on the short story and booklet The Greatest Gift, which Philip Van Doren Stern self-published in 1943 and is in turn loosely based on the Charles Dickens novel "A Christmas Carol".[4] The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his personal dreams, in order to help others in his community, and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers). Clarence shows George how he, George, has touched the lives of others and how different life would be for his wife Mary and his community of Bedford Falls if he had not been born. On Christmas Eve 1945, in Bedford Falls, New York, 38-year-old George Bailey contemplates suicide. The prayers of his family and friends reach heaven, where Angel 2nd class Clarence Odbody is assigned to save George to earn his wings. Clarence is shown flashbacks of George's life. He watches 12-year-old George save his brother, Harry, from drowning; as a result, George loses his hearing in his left ear. Later, George prevents the distraught town druggist, Mr. Gower, from accidentally poisoning a child's prescription. In 1928, George plans a world tour before college and is reintroduced to Mary Hatch, who has always had a crush on him. The attraction becomes mutual at her high school dance. When his father suffers a stroke and dies, George postpones his travel to sort out the family business, Bailey Brothers Building and Loan, which avaricious board member Henry F. Potter, who controls most of the town's businesses, seeks to dissolve. The other board members vote to keep the Building and Loan open if George will run it. George acquiesces and works alongside his absentminded uncle, Billy, and gives his tuition to Harry, with the understanding that Harry will run the business when he graduates. Harry returns from college married and with an excellent job offer from his father-in-law. George is dejected but doesn't stand in Harry's way and continues running the Building and Loan. Immediately following their wedding, George and Mary witness a run on the bank, and use their $2,000 honeymoon savings to keep the Building and Loan solvent. Under George's leadership, the company eventually establishes Bailey Park, a modern housing development to rival Potter's overpriced slums. Potter offers George $20,000 a year to be his assistant, but, realizing that Potter's true intention is to shut down the Building and Loan, George rebuffs and rebukes him. During World War II, George is ineligible for service because of his deaf ear. Harry becomes a Navy pilot and earns the Medal of Honor for shooting down two kamikaze planes headed for a troop transport. On Christmas Eve 1945, as the town prepares a hero's welcome for Harry, Billy goes to the bank to deposit $8,000 of the Building and Loan's cash. Billy taunts Potter with a newspaper headline about Harry, but unintentionally wraps the envelope of cash in Potter's newspaper and hands it to Potter. Potter finds the envelope but says nothing, while Billy cannot recall how he misplaced the cash. With a bank examiner reviewing the company's records, George realizes scandal and criminal charges will follow. Fruitlessly retracing Billy's steps, George berates him and takes out his frustration on his family. More on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Wonderful_Life

LicensePublic Domain

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