Write descriptive essay about It's a Wonderful Life movie 1946, write an essay of at least 500 words on It's a Wonderful Life, 5 paragraph essay on It's a Wonderful Life, definition essay, descriptive essay, dichotomy essay.
It's a Wonderful Life
Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Family
IMDB rating:
Frank Capra
James Stewart as George Bailey
Donna Reed as Mary Hatch
Lionel Barrymore as Mr. Potter
Thomas Mitchell as Uncle Billy
Henry Travers as Clarence
Beulah Bondi as Mrs. Bailey
Frank Faylen as Ernie
Ward Bond as Bert
Gloria Grahame as Violet
H.B. Warner as Mr. Gower
Frank Albertson as Sam Wainwright
Todd Karns as Harry Bailey
Samuel S. Hinds as Pa Bailey
Mary Treen as Cousin Tilly
Storyline: George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George's modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George's Uncle Billy loses the business's $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, finally allowing Potter to take over the town. Thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off with him dead, he contemplates suicide. But the prayers of his loved ones result in a gentle angel named Clarence coming to earth to help George, with the promise of earning his ...
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Overall Point of View
This movie teaches you how to appreciate and enjoy your life and surroundings you currently have. It is a beautiful story and this movie keeps your eyes glued to the screen. There was never a dull moment. I would recommend everyone watch this movie because it is a very important lesson to be learned in life.
An inspirational heartwarming experience. A Timeless Classic!
George Bailey is a man with goals, ambitions - a man of courage, integrity and pride. But all he has ever done his whole life is assist those in need, never for a second thinking about himself. Wanting to see the world before he sets off to college for an architect degree, he finds that he can't let his town crumble against the miserable, hateful, greedy and powerful 'Potter' and so he decides to stay. His father passes away, and so he must find a way to run the 'Loans' business that his father has kept from the mad man 'Potter'. All goes well for Bailey - a beautiful wife, a few children and a lot of friends. Although still handing out loans like his father before him, he pursues his dream of building and constructs a home village with affordable houses despite Potter's mass influence on the township. Unfortunately for Bailey, things begin to point downhill following the Depression and later bankruptcy where Bailey just can't handle the weight of burden of all the people's money he cannot repay. He comes to the harrowing conclusion that he should never have been born and decides to leave his family and friends and take his own life off a bridge. But the world cannot dispose of itself such a man, so god sends an Angel on a mission to get its wings, or better yet to save George Bailey's life. The Angel shows George what life would have been like had he not been born at all and of what became of the people he took dearly. Miserable under Potter's absolute influence, the town looks like an over indulgent, over spent, money making machine. George gets a glimpse of his own powerful influence on his friends and family and realises just what a wonderful life he really had.

Few films have portrayed the value (not the meaning) of life like 'It's a Wonderful Life' has. In contemporary times, we have been fed with recycled stories such as "The Family Man" and "It can happen to you", but none have captured the raw beauty of life like the original, "It's a wonderful Life"- its success partly due to its simplicity. And it sustains your attention from start to finish due to its simple and riveting storytelling. Sets aren't big, the story is quite small and the film is in black and white.

What makes this film stand taller than others is the great dialog between the characters which consistently remains on the story throughout the film and not on irrelevant topics - this is what keeps us glued to the screen (unlike with modern films, most of the dialog is blabber about nothing). The acting is superb from the whole cast, but you have got to hand it to James Stewart for one of the best performances of his career portraying the discouraged George Bailey - arguably his best performance - and one of the best performances you will see in any film. What I really love about this film is the lack of music, which gives a sense of realism to the story, like we are there with the characters in George Bailey's world.

Frank Capra creates an unforgettable atmospheric experience that remains tattooed in your memory years after viewing. The outdated effects aside, this film has stood the test of time as a timeless classic. The direction was subtle and superb - rarely equaled and I think this film is best in Black and White, even though they already had color in 1939, seven years before this masterpiece was released.

I recommend this film to anybody who feels down and depressed, sad and lonely. It really makes you think about the importance and beauty of this life in which you are living. All I can say is that I will be watching this film yearly until the day that I die due to its poignancy. A real classic in cinema history. It really is a wonderful Life!
Is it a Wonderful Life?

God and angels, depicted as endearing little flickering stars and galaxies, are listening to the prayers of the tiny town of Bedford Falls -- and they quickly realize that George Bailey, one of the most well-liked people in town, is about to take his life. They decide to send Clarence, George's newly-assigned guardian angel, to help George -- but first we and Clarence must relive George's life, because "if you're going to help a man, you want to know something about him, don't you?"

Thus begins and unfolds the film "It's a Wonderful Life", which is all at once, entertaining, uplifting, and sad -- and at its core, a story about a man giving up his dreams, and the consequences. It also forces the viewer to examine one's own existence, and asks us the question "what is truly important in life?"

George is a likable but tragic hero (or anti-hero?) from the beginning, starting with his taking a blow and going deaf in one of his ears (which we see later is symbolic of his not ever quite experiencing life to its fullest), to staying in Bedford falls to run the family lending business instead of pursuing his grand dreams "building airfields… skyscrapers a hundred stories high", and giving away his honeymoon money to keep the family business open – all while his little brother goes off to live the sweeping and grand life he could have had (again, on George's dime -- George gave up his own college experience to pay for his brother's).

The story is told deftly by director Frank Capra, and gives us a priceless view into 40's culture – from cheesy town dance scenes to colorful writing ("Georgie, have you gone crazy? Walk in the grass in my bare feet!?") that you can only find from this era in American history. Young Jimmy Stewart is cast perfectly and at his best as George Bailey, with a great supporting performance from Donna Reed who plays Bailey's wife. The film is an absolute classic, and for the most part enjoyable to watch – but I found the process of observing a man slowly compromising on his aspirations, in return for something that isn't quite clear (even to George), to be saddening to watch.

"It's a Wonderful Life" communicates some beautiful and important messages, like reveling in the blessings that we do have (such as friends), and not spending our time wanting what we don't. It also shows us the positive impacts that we can have in others' lives, and the satisfaction that can bring us. But one of the last lines of the movie – "You see George, you really did live a wonderful life" -- really stuck with me – and I believe it was Capra's intention to leave no doubt in the viewer's mind that this was the case. I also believe that it was Capra's intention to prove to us that the love of the people in town justified George giving up every last one of his dreams and experiencing life to its fullest -- but I think this is up to the viewer to decide.
An incredible revelation
Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed are terrific as the main leads in this Frank Capra movie. Set very close to his own working class roots ( supporting cast and characters bear this out) and some nasty people thrown in to boot, this film holds the viewer's attention without getting overly sentimental.. Ever said to yourself " I wish I had never been born?" This film will clearly answer that question.

It just goes to show that movies do not have to have all the special effects bells and whistles, deafening sound track and Dolby digital to capture viewer interest. Movies like this were made in a time when violence was often only suggested, not played in grizzly detail. There are certainly some dark themes. However you can't help being uplifted by the ending..
I have seen some very good films in my life, of that there is no doubt. This one though, Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" I remember the first time I watched it, it was the holiday season I think my sophomore year of High School. Being a high schooler I tried extremely hard not t let my tears show, but it was no use, and I could see similar failures around the classroom. I haven't seen a movie that could reach such an emotional level with me since, probably the only one that ever came close was Lion King, when I was 5. This movie will always be on my top 5 list, and so far no contender has got even close to removing it from the #1, and 64 years after this movie has been made there still isn't, that is really saying something.
It's a wonderful film
Based on the 1945 short story "The Greatest Gift" by Philip Van Doren Stern, this is a quintessential Christmas classic that I never saw before today. It is not only a wonderful life but a wonderful film. Its excellent script by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett and Frank Capra chronicles the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. The film serves as a reminder that the most important thing in life is other people and that no one is truly a failure so long as they have friends, which is the perfect Christmas message. I had never previously seen one of Capra's films but I was very much impressed by his direction and his superb handling of the material. I was expecting to love the film as I'm a big softie who loves old, sentimental films but I loved it even more than I thought I would.

The film stars Jimmy Stewart in perhaps his best performance as George Bailey, a much loved institution in the small town of Bedford Falls who is contemplating suicide on Christmas Eve 1945. We are introduced to George as a 12-year-old boy in 1919 when he saves his younger brother Harry from drowning after he falls through the ice. In the process, he loses the hearing in his left ear, something which becomes symbolic of the sacrifices that he makes for others. For many years, he entertains the dream of exploring Europe and South America in order to escape the monotony of Bedford Falls where everyone knows everyone else. Over the years, he displays his propensity for selflessness time and time again. His dream dies a death and he never leaves home. On that fateful Christmas Eve, he comes to believe that he has accomplished nothing in his life. Thankfully, however, he is proved wrong after he wishes that he had never been born. Without knowing it, he has single-handedly prevented the town and many of its inhabitants from falling into darkness and despair. George is a great character who, in spite of being a thoroughly decent man, is not perfect as he falls victim to the same depression that anyone else in his position on Christmas Eve 1945 would. He thinks of himself before others but these scenes serve to humanise him. Except for Henry Fonda and Gregory Peck if he were a few years older, I don't think that anyone other than Stewart could have played this role so well.

Donna Reed is excellent as George's incredibly loyal, supportive and understanding wife Mary Hatch Bailey, who has harboured a crush on him from the time that they were children. Although George initially does not seem to be interested in her and tells her that he never wants to get married, he realises that he is in love with her. Mary is a kind, somewhat shy woman who is a perfect partner for George. They are like two peas in a pod. She tells George that she would have ended up an old maid without him and this is proved to be the case in the reality where George was never born. I think that Mary could have easily married someone else in the other reality as I am sure that she would had her fair share of suitors but George was the only man for her and she was the only woman for him. Crucially, Stewart and Reed have great chemistry. The scene in which George and Mary are listening to the phone while standing very close together is one of the best romantic scenes that I have ever seen in a film. It is so simple but it works so well.

Lionel Barrymore is suitably vile as Bedford Falls' wealthiest and most immoral citizen Henry F. Potter, a "warped, frustrated old man" who sees the Baileys as a thorn in his side. Consistent with the film's thematic links to "A Christmas Carol", Mr. Potter is similar to Scrooge prior to his redemption but I found him to be even more despicable. He is a great film villain who almost succeeds in crushing George's spirit, telling him that he is worth more alive than dead. He is not seen in the other reality but he has gained control of the town and has renamed it Pottersville, turning it into a den of iniquity. Henry Travers has very little screen time but he is fantastic as George's eccentric, whimsical guardian angel Clarence Odbody. His manner serves as a very effective contrast to George's depression before he realises that he has a great deal to live for. The film also features great performances from Thomas Mitchell as the sweet but scatterbrained Uncle Billy Bailey, H.B. Warner as Mr. Gower, Frank Faylen as Ernie Bishop, Gloria Grahame as Violet Bick and Todd Karns as Harry Bailey. It also features small appearances from Charles Lane, Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer and the future television producer Sheldon Leonard.

Overall, this is a sublime film which shows that one man can make more of a difference to the lives of others than he ever through possible. I have to admit that I cried at the end. I honestly cannot remember the last time that I cried because of a film and I have watched over 500 in less than two years. I plan to watch this every Christmas season from now on. There is talk of a sequel in which Karolyn Grimes will reprise her role as George's daughter Zasu (now a guardian angel herself) but, since it is unlicensed, it is unlikely to materialise. In any event, I would not be terribly interested. Without Jimmy Stewart, what's the point?
Best feel good movie there is
I had heard of It's a Wonderful Life for years, however had never watched it. This Christmas I sat down to watch it and was taken aback by the phenomenal film. The acting was spot on and the filming was perfect despite how old the movie is. This film made me sad, mad, and happy all at the same time. The actors show emotion well enough to make the viewers feel the same way. Throughout the movie you question why you would want to see such a story, however the end scene brings it all full circle. It's a great movie to watch during Christmas to give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside. This movie fortifies faith in human generosity and is the best feel good movie I have ever seen. A must watch for all!
an enduring classic that has only gotten better with age
James Maitland Stewart was one of the most inspirational and admirable actors who ever lived. Although his range of talents allowed him to effectively play whatever kind of role he wanted, he is remembered most for the roles where he stole the audiences hearts. He was nominated several times for an Academy Award, but won it only once and at that time felt that his friend Henry Fonda deserved it more. In my opinion, James Stewart should have won the Oscar at the very least three times. He deserved the one who received for "The Philadelphia Story" (1940). And he should have won it for his performances in "Vertigo" (1958) and his most beloved classic, "It's a Wonderful Life." This improving-with-age classic is generally marketed as a Christmas classic, but that's very one-dimensional. Yes, the perfect season to view it is during the said holiday season, but it's about much more than that. It's about life itself and the ups and downs of life and no matter how heavy the latter may be at times, it's well, it's a wonderful life.

In the film, James Stewart plays an ambitious young businessman who would rather do nothing but travel the world and build cities (perhaps a reference to Stewart's early ambitions to be an architect?) but his generous heart and the constant shortcomings of his friends continually puts him behind in his own life. When his troubles become so heavy and so depressing to the point where he ponders over suicide, he is visited by a strange man (Henry Travers) who turns out to be an angel wanting to show him how the world would have been if he'd never been born.

I guarantee you that most if not all storytellers of the past sixty-some years wanting to generate a character that would win over the hearts of the audience have used this masterpiece for reference. Jimmy Stewart was just warming up at winning over your heart with another collaboration with Frank Capra, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," here he just steals your sympathy with every scene he's in.

As for Stewart's supporting cast, well, let's just say he had a great collaboration to work with. The enchanting actress Donna Reid is fantastic as his love interest, Lionel Barrymore is superb as the conniving greedy businessman Mr. Potter, the great Thomas Mitchell gives another fantastic performance as Stewart's bumbling uncle, Ward Bond is terrific in his supporting role as the kindly town sheriff, and of course, I cannot leave out Henry Travers who is absolutely lovable as the guardian angel who comes to teach Stewart about the gift of life.

"It's a Wonderful Life" is one of those rare films. Like "Casablanca", it does not wear down even as decades go by. It's only gotten better with age. James Stewart said it was his personal favorite out of all of the movies that he made in his illustrious career in Hollywood. Is it my favorite Jimmy Stewart movie? No. But I will tell you this. It is so sweet and moving and enchanting and wonderful that I held back a lot of what I wanted to say in this review because I don't want to give any more away than what is necessary. There's only a handful of movies that I will do that for. Because there is so much to be seen here and every minute is absorbing and beautiful.

And one more thing. You know that feeling you get—that really, really good feeling in your soul—whenever you see a really, really good movie? If you want to revisit that sensation, see "It's a Wonderful Life" as soon as you can. And the beauty of it is, you don't even necessarily have to wait for the Christmas season to do that.

Rating: 4/4
Thought-provoking, heart-warming, and tear-shedding
Without a doubt, this is one of the greatest movies of all time. When you are unhappy, watch it. When you are in trouble, watch it. When you think of suicide, watch it. It will make you happy immediately.

Act 1 shows that George Bailey helps a lot of people, starting from his childhood. In the second act, George gets married. These two acts are the build-ups. It becomes tense in the third act, where Uncle Bailey loses eight thousand bucks and George faces bankruptcy and imprisonment. Act 4 comes the climax, in which an angle shows to George how others' lives would be different without George. When all the people in town give money to help George through the crisis, I am moved and burst into tears.
Haven't we all at some point on the way home ...
... arrived at our exit on the freeway and wondered, "What if I just kept driving?". That very modern - and yet timeless - feeling is at the heart of this film, before life was so complex, when the U.S. was dotted with small towns in which it was possible to be born, make a good living, and die, without ever leaving, save for military service.

George Bailey is both an extraordinarily lucky and unlucky guy. He's unlucky because none of the plans he made for himself as a young man ever worked out - his loyalties to family and to his hometown always kept him pinned there. He's extraordinarily lucky because he has a wife and children that adore him. But one Christmas Eve when he is in his late 30's a crisis brought about by his uncle's stupidity is the last straw that causes him to wish that he was never born, and he gets that wish granted to him - to see the world as if he had never been born, and he does not like the view.

It turns out over his life, George did a series of good deeds - some large some small - that changed the course of just about every life in his hometown. Basically, without the Bailey Savings and Loan, which without George would have collapsed in the 1920's at the death of his father, the only source of financing is Mr. Potter's bank, which makes Citibank look like a charitable institution. The town has thus been thrown into chaos, a place where alcoholism, prostitution, and broken homes abound. Now I could sympathize with George's horror at seeing the bad fate of just about everybody he knew save Mary, his wife. When George inquires about her fate he is told - "You won't like it. She's an OLD MAID"! Oh the horror! She in fact is the town librarian. To quote someone else on this subject - "in a town thrown into chaos she's an educated woman with a job - what's the problem?". Mary, before she even married George, is full of life and has a sense of style, but just subtract George from her existence and she becomes someone who dresses like a woman twenty years her senior and is deathly frightened of men? Pleeeease! Oh well, if I am going to watch the films of 1946 I'd better be prepared to deal with the values of 1946, but I digress.

The fact is George probably WOULD have been better off without these ties that bind. He could have seen the world and done big things and slept like a baby without a worry. But the fact is he realized he cared about these people whose lives would be ruined without him, and that is probably why so many of us don't just keep driving when we hit our exit on the highway. We go home to the people we love and the problems that come with them.
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