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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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  • ladyjane1 profile image
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    ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

    Miss Paula I agree with you that there is always something new when I watch it again...so full of charm this movie is and they dont make em like this anymore..thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers.

  • Miss Paula profile image

    Miss Paula 6 years ago

    This is my favorite movie also I have it on DVD,I watch it every Christmas and every time I watch it, it seem like I see something I didn't see before. This was a great hub,I really in joyed it Thanks

  • ladyjane1 profile image
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    ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

    Koffeeklatch Gals thanks for reading and I know exactly what you mean no matter how many times I see it this movie will always be great. Cheers.

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    ladyjane1, I watch It's a Wonderful Life every year. It will never lose it's magic for me. Wonderful job.

  • ladyjane1 profile image
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    ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

    Thanks sis I think I will always watch this movie no matteter how old I get. Still one of my favs. Cheers.

  • Whidbeywriter profile image

    Mary Gaines 6 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

    My favorite movie too.....you did an awesome job at it's review....cheers sis.

  • ladyjane1 profile image
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    ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

    Sligobay and Tom thanks so much for your well wishes and I wish you both a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well. Cheers.

  • tom hellert profile image

    tom hellert 6 years ago from home

    LJ,

    merry christmas lady jane

    merry christmas geegee77

    merryChristmas your other sister who I forgot yje name of

    Merry Christmas hubpages

    Merry Christmas internet

    Merry christmas Bedford falls

    and a happy new year

    TH

  • sligobay profile image

    sligobay 6 years ago from east of the equator

    Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy ,healthy, and prosperous New Year, Ladyjane. I love this movie too. With the Banking crisis,the mean greedy banker featured in the film will have new resonance. Cheers.

  • ladyjane1 profile image
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    ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

    Hello Rick wow what a great milestone you have reached. I remember the Muppet Christmas and it was great. Thanks for the well holiday wishes and I look forward to reading your holiday hubs. Cheers.

    Lisa thanks for the great comment. Yes I understand what you mean about the movie and how it makes you feel great no matter what is going on around you. I too have watched this movie whether its Christmas time or not just to get that warm fuzzy feeling....Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to you and your family. Cheers.

    GmaGoldie thanks for reading and for the warm comments. I hope you have a great CHristmas and New Years as well. Cheers.

  • GmaGoldie profile image

    Kelly Kline Burnett 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

    Lady Jane1,

    I am still in love with Jimmy. The movie is timeless - a movie for generations to come. Great meaning and sentiment.

    GREAT Hub!

    Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy Hanukkah !

  • lisadpreston profile image

    lisadpreston 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

    I have to say, this is not only my favorite Christmas movie, but it is one my most favorite movies period. The lessons learned in this movie are far greater than just for Christmas. I must confess that I have held my 4 children hostage for many years to watch this movie during the holidays. It has now become a tradition for us and we all know every line. I always joke about the line, " Yea, you're about the kind of angel I'd get". This movie taught me and made me understand how that we are all connected as human beings and each of us do make a difference in the scheme of what happens. I have felt the panic George felt when he wanted to end his life and when I feel this panic or really down, I pop the movie in. This movie saved my sanity and life on more than one occasion. Thank you so much for bringing it o peoples awareness. P.S. Pottersville doesnn't seem fun to me at all. I would give anything to live in Bedford Falls. I would probably be right there with George, fighting that old, grimy, Mr. Potter. Loved this hub.

  • rickzimmerman profile image

    rickzimmerman 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio

    ladyjane1: Another surprisingly GREAT Christmas movie is (believe it or night) 'A Mupet Christmas Carol' with Michael Caine as Scrooge. I am also celebrating reaching my 500th Hub with a special holiday greeting to my followers! May this Festive Season bring you Warmth, Friendship and Happiness, no matter when or how or with whom you celebrate! To add to your holiday merriment, I offer all of my hubs devoted to this time of year: All About Santa; The Polar Bear; Kris Kringle, the College Years; An Alphabetical Christmas; All About the North Pole; Enjoy Reindeer; and, of course, Little-Known Santas No. 1 through No. 17! Enjoy!

  • ladyjane1 profile image
    Author

    ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

    Denise thanks for visiting I shall visit yours as well.

    Rhonda thanks for reading and for sharing. Cheers.

  • Rhonda Waits profile image

    Rhonda Musch 7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Great hub. It is one of my favorites ever. Thanks for sharing.

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

    Wonderful hub. I too, am a huge fan of this movie. Many a memory of watching it through the years. I enjoyed your hub and invite you to visit my hub: It's a Wonderful Life. Happy Holidays, Ms. LadyJane. Peace and Joy to you.

  • ladyjane1 profile image
    Author

    ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

    Martie its hard to believe that anyone hasnt seen this movie but I forget that it was really only big here in the states. If you do get to see it I sure hope you enjoy it as much as I have. After a kazillion times watching it,I still get that lump in my throat. Cheers and thanks.

    Drbj thanks for reading and to be honest I cant remember any movie where Jimmy Stewart actually played a bad guy before or after this movie. I think he just did the good guy thing too well and I think he was an all around good guy from the get go. I recently read the biography of Grace Kelly and as you know she was gorgeous and had all the men in hollywood after her and she went after plenty of men herself and she was quoted as saying that Jimmy Stewart was the only man she couldn't get into bed with her because he said he loved his wife and was a faithful man, so if a man can turn down somoene like Grace then they gotta be a great guy. Very rare back then and now. Anyway, thanks for stopping by. CHeers and Happy New year to you too.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

    What a great choice this was for a Christmas time hub, ladyjane. And you did a marvelous job in awakening everyone's interest in this one-of-a-kind film. I watch it every year at this time on one of the cable channels and never fail to enjoy it.

    I cannot remember any film in which Jimmy Steward played a villain after this movie. His all-around good guy persona had been established. Thanks for the deja vu and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year to you and yours.

  • MartieCoetser profile image

    Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

    I haven’t seen this movie yet, and thanks to this review of yours I know I will enjoy it. Merry Christmas to you too, LadyJane. May you be filled with peace and joy, not only during this festive season, but during the entire 2011.

  • ladyjane1 profile image
    Author

    ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

    Castlepaloma I believe that you are right, these movies are timeless and I hope that generations to come still enjoy them. Cheers.

  • Castlepaloma profile image

    Castlepaloma 7 years ago from Saskatchewan, Canada

    Pottersville still holds a threat today.

    Old Movies like Its a Wonderful Life and OZ are timeless.

    Enjoyed the hub.

  • ladyjane1 profile image
    Author

    ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

    Micky nice to see you again my friend your comments always make my day. Cheers.

    A. F. thanks for reading and I also like White Christmas they are all classics. Cheers.

    geegee77 I already knew this about you sister because we are alike in so many ways....ooh thats scary lol. Seriously though I already saw it once as well and plan to see it again. BTW your gift will be in the mail asap Cheers and Merry Christmas sis.

    Silvergenes thanks for reading, yes Pottersville looked like sin city didnt it, perhaps that is why it looked more interesting and yes I agree we do have to many of those nowadays. Thanks again, cheers.

    Sandyspider, pamela99 and looriamoore I agree with you all and appreciate you so much for reading my hubs all the time. Cheers and Merry Christmas to you all.

  • ladyjane1 profile image
    Author

    ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

    50 its hard to believe that you have never seen this movie before send me your address and I will send it to you asap for Christmas....you havent lived til you see it lol. It really is great. Thanks for reading and for your nice comments. Cheers.

  • profile image

    loriamoore 7 years ago

    You know what? I had never seen that movie until last year. Good movie.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    I love this movie also and watch it every year, but I appreciate your review. Very enjoyable hub.

  • Sandyspider profile image

    Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

    I love this movie too. A real classic.

  • geegee77 profile image

    geegee77 7 years ago from The Lone Star State!!

    Hey LJ I just saw this movie on Saturday, and I gotta say it's one of my favorite Christmas movies too. Great movie and great hub!!! love :) ge

  • profile image

    SilverGenes 7 years ago

    This movie is part of the Christmas celebration at our house, too. We watch it every year. Isn't is strange that it didn't do all that well when it was first made? Call me crazy but Pottersville never did look good to me. We have too many of them now in real life. I'd vote for Bedford Falls any day! Thanks for the warm, fuzzy hub :)

  • profile image

    A. F. Stewart 7 years ago

    It's definitely one of my favourite Christmas movies, along with White Christmas. They're always on the must watch list for the holidays.

  • Micky Dee profile image

    Micky Dee 7 years ago

    Yo 50! It's hard to believe 50 never saw it. God bless you and 50! This is another great hub. God bless!

  • 50 Caliber profile image

    50 Caliber 7 years ago from Arizona

    Lady Jane, I have not had the pleasure of watching this movie, you did a bang up job of making it sound fun. I was just going to ask about Drew being related and I see above she was indeed. Great review, I wish you and yours much Peace, Blessings and Love through this season, 50

  • moncrieff profile image

    moncrieff 7 years ago from New York, NY

    Good hub and I agree with Christoph Reilly, Pottersville surely looked like a lot more fun than Bedford Falls; it's only George's friends and his own very mother appeared to be complete assholes just because he was not born. Mr Potter (played by Drew Barrimore's grandfather, btw) is definitely a distinguished character. I always wanted to know how he reacted to what happened to George in the end. He was probably ripping his servant's hair off.

    Is it true that James Stewart became a hostage of his character in this movie and had to live up to his image, although he might have preferred a more fun way of living?

    Merry Chsitmas!!!!

  • ladyjane1 profile image
    Author

    ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

    I think you are right Christoph and I also think its funny how everyone is so nice at the beginning of the movie and then when it comes to the part where George gets his wish of not being born all the people he knew were arseholes if he had not been around whats up with that? lol Still my favorite and a great classic. Thanks for being my first reader. Merry Christmas and cheers.

  • Christoph Reilly profile image

    Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

    It is my favorite holiday movie as well, and it just doesn't seem like Christmas without it. Between you and me though, Pottersville looks like a lot more fun than Bedford Falls!