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It's a Wonderful Life


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It's a Wonderful Life

A holiday classic for the whole family! Frank Capra (Arsenic and Old LaceMr. Smith Goes to Washington) directs this holiday classic about bank manager George Bailey (James Stewart, Vertigo) who, facing financial ruin and possible jail time, contemplates jumping off a bridge on Christmas Eve. Intervening at the last second is Clarence (Henry Travers, Shadow of a DoubtThe Bells of St. Mary’s), a bumbling guardian angel looking to get his wings after 200 years with no such luck. In order to earn them, Clarence must help George see the error of his ways and set him back on the right path. To do this, Clarence shows George what life in his picturesque hometown of Bedford Falls would look like had George never been born. What follows is a journey to an alternate hellscape where most of George’s friends and family have either died or don’t recognize him as they slog through miserable lives in a town now run by the evil Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore). This timeless film, one that audiences mainly remember for Stewart’s compassionate, heartbreaking performance, also features great supporting turns from legendary Hollywood figures such as Barrymore, Donna Reed, and Gloria Grahame.

Tickets: $8 (members), $13 (nonmembers)

The most well-loved of all Christmas movies.
The epiphany of movie sentiment and a transcendent experience.
As the hero, Mr. Stewart does a warmly appealing job, indicating that he has grown in spiritual stature as well as in talent during the years he was in the war. And Donna Reed is remarkably poised and gracious as his adoring sweet-heart and wife.
What is remarkable about It's a Wonderful Life is how well it holds up over the years; it's one of those ageless movies, like Casablanca or The Third Man, that improves with age.

This film is part of the Retro Revival series.

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