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Christmas Movies: It's a Wonderful Life

Updated on July 19, 2015

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Christmastide is a time for family, charity, meals, and tradition. We come together as a family to celebrate, eat, and be merry. Being with our loved ones is one of the greatest parts of the holiday season. Of course, there are other aspects of the holiday which turn out almost as well.

One of my favorite traditions during this time of year is the tradition of watching movies as a family.

Movies traditionally watched during Christmas time are A Christmas Story, Charlie Brown's Christmas, Rudolph, and Frosty the Snowman. Actually, every year there are new movies coming out in hopes of becoming the next big classic holiday film.

Even though there are many to choose from, my favorite year in and year out is It's a Wonderful Life. It is somewhat of a family tradition, yet still always makes me shed a tear now and then. (Shhhhh don't tell the guys.)

Image is in the Public Domain since it is a movie poster.

It's a Wonderful Life

What it's about

(No spoilers, don't worry!)

The story follows the life of a man in Bedford Falls before, during, and after World War II. This man spends his life helping others and in the process is unable to fulfill his own dreams. He takes over his father's loan business in hopes of returning to school and traveling after his brother is finished with his own schooling.

Due to some unforseen circumstances, this man is stuck contemplating his entire life and the possibility of suicide.

His earlier actions in life helped angels take notice and attempt to save him.

A Great Movie Quote

from It's a Wonderful Life

“Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?

~ Man on porch, to George Bailey

Black & White vs Color - A choice

During the 1980s there was a push to make classic black and white films into color. One of these classic films happened to be It's a Wonderful Life. There were many opponents to it, including James Stewart. Nevertheless, the decision went through and It's a Wonderful Life is now available in color.

Which version of It's a Wonderful Life do you prefer?

It's a Wonderful Story

A glowing review

The story is absolutely amazing. There's love, romance, hardships, drama, and a great moral.

If you've ever wondered what life is like to someone who is unselfish and spends his/her life helping others, this is the film you need to check out. Being kind and caring doesn't always mean the individual has the best life. It has its own hardships. Of course, luckily, it also has benefits as seen at the end of the film.

This film includes amazing actors and actresses, including my all-time favorite James Stewart. Stewart's voice and acting style are unique yet perfect for this role (as well as many of his others). He does a fantistic job. Nevertheless, the script itself is virtually perfect thus it would be difficult for any actor to do a horrible job. However, Stewart is, in my opinion, the perfect fit for the role.

Buy It's a Wonderful Life - Watch it over and over

George Bailey - It's a Wonderful Life
George Bailey - It's a Wonderful Life

Meet George Bailey

Acted by James Stewart

George Bailey is the main character in It's a Wonderful Life. The film follows him, from being a little boy to being a grown man. The part is played by James Stewart.

George is a lovable guy. He's clever, caring, thoughtful, giving, a center of the community, and frankly, he's what I would define as Christmas if it were a human.

Mary Hatch - It's a Wonderful Life
Mary Hatch - It's a Wonderful Life

Meet Mary Hatch

Acted by Donna Reed

Mary Hatch may not be the main character, but she is definitely the strength behind him. She is played by Donna Reed.

From the beginning, you can easily find Mary as a loving and caring woman. She's a bit shy at first, but she opens up and finally becomes the strength and love behind George.

Even though she has dreams of her own, like George, she is willing to give it all up for the better of the community. She makes due with what she has and never complains.

While George finally has a break down, she doesn't break down on her own. She holds her strength and fights for her man.

Henry F. Potter - It's a Wonderful Life
Henry F. Potter - It's a Wonderful Life

Henry F. Potter

Acted by Lionel Barrymore

Henry F. Potter may not be shown often in the film, but off screen his role is an enormous part of the overall movie. Mr. Potter is played by Lionel Barrymore.

Henry F. Potter, referred to as Mr. Potter throughout the film, is the prototypical evil character of a movie. He's un-thoughtful, un-caring, and only cares about one thing: money. His wildness and un-caring may very well undue the town of Bedford Falls. You'll have to find out!

My Family Tradition

When and how we watch it

When I say "family," I don't mean only my conjugal family, I mean my extended family as well.

During the holiday season, we would have an extended-family gathering. We would have a large meal (pot luck), play pitch, play 8-ball or snooker (if held at the Senior Center), watch football, and watch It's a Wonderful Life.

Why It's a Wonderful Life? Well, to be honest, other than it being a fantastic movie I have no idea. But I enjoy it just the same, as does everyone else. The film gives the true meaning of Christmas and not just the meaning that corporations wish us to know.

My Favorite Clip - I'll give you the moon, Mary

What's Your Favorite Holiday Film? - Mine is obvious, but what's yours?

Choose your favorite holiday movie:

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What's Your Favorite Part of Christmas? - Movies, traditions, food?

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