December 12, 2016 5 min to read

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) – Inspirational Holiday Movie Monday/Review

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“Remember, George: No man is a failure who has friends.”

It may come as a shock to most of the readers of this blog, as many films as I have seen in my 25 years of life… I haven’t seen everything, and I haven’t seen many of the “Classics” that people have told me about, or I have read about. I’m slowly catching up to really check out all these classic films, as I love the history of cinema and its a very interesting to me to see how film has grown over the years and how they’ve changed.

I have had numerous people, my father mainly, my buddy Mitch and Dan who has expressed their dismay at the fact that I haven’t seen It’s A Wonderful Life Yet, they both watch it every year. So this year, as part of my Holiday film watching to get into the festive spirit, to get the holidays in your bones, I finally can say I have watched It’s A Wonderful Life. So grab yourself a tea, a coffee, hot chocolate (if you’re Shivers) or you know Egg Nog, and snuggle in for a review.

I didn’t expect to enjoy this movie as much as I did. Which sounds bad, but I expected it to be overhyped by people. I can honestly say it sat just right with me, and I will want to watch this once a year at Christmas Time. No doubt about it, its been added into the holiday rotation. I also didn’t expect to get an Inspirational Movie Monday out of it, but bah, humbug I left this film feeling empowered and full of wonder…or wonderful (sorry I’ll see myself out).

It’s A Wonderful Life is a Drama, Family, Fantasy film about an angel who helps a compassionate but frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.

The film is directed by Frank Capra. His directing filmography consists of For the Love of Mike (1927), So This Is Love? (1928), Platinum Blonde (1931), American Madness (1932), It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes To Town (1936), Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939), Pocketful Of Miracles (1961). I have never watched any of Capra’s other films, but I’d like to ask my father to see what else he would recommend as I remember him being a big fan of the Mr. Smith movies. I thought Capra did a great job directing It’s A Wonderful Life. I thought that Capra got the best possible performances out of his actors and it was just a heart warming film. The directing was simple, but I think in turn that added to the film. It wasn’t flashy, but the story is what stuck with you.

The screenplay of It’s A Wonderful Life was written by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett and Frank Capra. Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett’s filmography consists of Father Of The Bride (1950), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), and The Diary Of Anne Frank (1959). I thought that the characters, especially James Stewarts portrayal of George was exceptionally well written. As I previously said, I think the story for this movie is definitely the stand out element of this film, with great actors who are giving the film excellent performances.

I don’t want to bog down the review/Inspirational movie monday with a whole lot of actors so I’m going to omit everyone except for one. James Stewart plays George Bailey. His filmography consists of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939), It’s A Wonderful World (1939), Rear Window (1954), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Vertigo (1958), and Anatomy of a Murder (1959). This was my first James Stewart film that I have watched, but I’ve always wanted to watch the Alfred Hitchcock movies he has been in, so I’ll definitely watch a couple of those down the road. I thought James Stewart was amazing in this role, he played the character so well and he was very easy to associate with, like I saw a lot of myself in George Bailey. He was Mr. Everyman, and he definitely was awesome in this role. I feel bad omitting people in this movie, but I wanted to give James Stewart the real stand out in the film, but every actor in this film was fantastic.

I felt really inspired after watching this film. I think everyone could get something out of this film other than a great story/christmas movie. But theres always those times where you feel like what if you didn’t exist, how would people you’ve known for years react? how would your family react? what would be changed around you? what would become of everything you knew? how would the people you consider your best friends be changed and shaped without you? its just an interesting question and it left me inspired in a weird sense. I like helping people, and talking to people. I like to know what makes people tick and I like to leave a lasting impression on people, at least I like to think I have made a lasting impression on people and I like to think I have changed their lives and made a difference. This movie also inspired me that even small acts of kindness can make a huge difference in peoples lives, nothing to small goes unnoticed.

Honestly, I can’t praise this film or say anything more about this film than what has been said over the number of years its been released. All I can add is my 2 cents on the ways I felt inspired after this film.

It’s A Wonderful Life gets a 5/5 from me.

Its a wonderful story (damn I made that joke two times this blog post), its extremely well acted and directed, so much so that I’d like to check out other Frank Capra and James Stewart films. Its a film that I will be watching once a year around christmas…and I’m kicking myself for not watching it way earlier.

Hey Hollywood… NEVER REMAKE THIS MOVIE, YOU CANT REMAKE PERFECTION…STAY AWAY!

Until Next Monday, Stay Inspired!

-Andrew

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