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My Favorite Christmas Movie Its a Wonderful Life

Updated on December 12, 2010
George and Mary Bailey played by James Stewart and Donna Reed
George and Mary Bailey played by James Stewart and Donna Reed
George interogates uncle Billy
George interogates uncle Billy
The miserly Mr. Potter played by Lionel Barrymore
The miserly Mr. Potter played by Lionel Barrymore
An anguished George
An anguished George
The angel who doesn't have his wings yet.
The angel who doesn't have his wings yet.
Happy Ending
Happy Ending

Now that we are smack dab in the middle of the holidays there are so many holiday movies on television including those great old Christmas shows for children from the 60’s, where the animation is so primitive, like Rudolph, Santa Clause is Coming To Town. I love those old shows but my all time favorite Christmas movie is definitely It’s a Wonderful Life.

This movie was not a huge mega hit when it was first released in 1946, but took a life of its own when they started to show it on cable channels years later. That’s when I saw it for the first time of course and I absolutely fell in love with this movie. Yes it is as sticky as a honey bun when it comes to being sappy, but that’s a huge part of it’s charm, because for a couple hours you are transported to a different, much simpler and gentler place and time, even if it is an imaginary place.

The movie stars James Stewart in the role that was according to him his favorite movie that he ever made. He plays George Bailey, a man with too much responsibility and many dreams of traveling the world…according to George he wants to see the world and build things. He isn’t thinking about staying in his hometown and living a boring life; such as how he describes his father. A man that he respects very much but doesn’t want to end up like.

George’s fathers untimely death however changes Georges plans and he ends up taking over his fathers business, the dreaded Building and Loan. Years keep rolling by and George marries and has children and seems to be contented to stay where he is and life seems to be good for George.

Then his uncle loses the banks money on Christmas Eve and puts George in a tether to find it or else as he puts it, there will be scandal that he doesn’t want any part of. He goes to his nemesis the evil Mr. Potter played by Lionel Barrymore, (great uncle to Drew Barrymore) and he pretty much dismisses George, even though he was the one to blame for the money being lost in the first place and doesn’t help poor George.

In a fit of desperation, George goes to a bridge where he is prepared to commit suicide because he doesn’t know what else to do and makes a wish that he had never been born. Well George gets his wish and throughout the rest of the movie is shown how life would be like had he not been born. His clumsy guardian angel Clarence shows him how void and miserable things would have been if George was not around and soon George realizes how much he is loved and how much of a difference he actually made in the lives of his friends and family.

My favorite part of the movie is the ending when George wants to live again and his wish is granted once again. He sees things through clear new eyes and realizes how petty and insignificant his troubles really are. His friends and family all come over and donate gobs of money to George and of course his little brother Harry makes a toast to George and says, “To my big brother George, the richest man in town”. Then they all sing Auld Lang Syne. What a great ending to a great movie.

The holidays are not the same unless I get to view this movie at least once during the season, to me it puts things in perspective for me and makes me grateful for all the blessings that I do have in my life.

When you really think about it, how many lives have we all touched just by having been born? It kind of boggles the mind to think about how everyone’s lives would be if you or I were not here. I think everyone can really identify with this movie because not only is it a great movie but it really makes you think, and when the movie is over you walk away with a sense that all is well with the world. Even for just a little while. Merry Christmas.


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