Few filmmakers have rivaled director Frank Capra when it comes to examining the human heart, and IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE is a masterfully crafted exercise in sentiment, augmented by Capra's undying faith in community. Reed and Barrymore give excellent performances, as does a superb cast of character players, but this is Stewart's film--heart-stirring as the dreamer who sacrifices all for his fellow man.
Frank Capra and James Stewart, in returning to films after long years in uniform, endow the pic with its most telling contributions. Herewith, Stewart touches the thespic peak of his career. He hasn’t lost a whit of his erstwhile boyish personality (when called to turn it on) and further shows a maturity and depth he seems recently to have acquired.
The film is too sprawling in extent, too noisy as to background music and voices and much too obvious in the application of its social significance notes. But while it isn’t the best picture to come out of Hollywood this year, nor is it Capra’s masterpiece, it tells a good story and its conclusion has a heart-warming effect on the audience.
Capra is an old-time movie craftsman, the master of every trick in the bag, and in many ways he is more at home with the medium than any other Hollywood director. But all of his details give the impression of contrived effect...To make his points he always takes an easy, simple-minded path that doesn’t give much credit to the intelligence of the audience.
Probably one of the best, if not the best, Christmas movies of all time. The heartwarming story of George Bailey and his selfless, Wonderful Life is a timeless, emotional-rollercoaster of a tale and a true American classic. It displays friendship better than any other movie I’ve ever seen, throughout a humorous, eventful, and lovely plot. Every character is incredibly human, and when George wishes to never be born, only to be placed in a reality by his guardian angel where he really wasn’t born, is genius stuff and is an unforgettable part of this story. Tears of joy will come to almost any human with emotions who watches this movie all the way through. The true spirit of Christmas, joy, is truly captured in this story, and I will love this movie when I’m old even more than when I’m young.
The most wonderful film of all time. It's a Wonderful Life showcases outstanding cinematography, important themes, and beautiful messages in a love story which is done justice through a superbly acted film portrayed through heart and humor that mark it as the clear definition of a holiday classic.