Clarence: You've been given a great gift, George: A chance to see what the world would be like without you.
"They're making memories tonight!"
How to even start to describe It's A Wonderful Life. I guess I should start with the biggest and most obvious detail; it is a complete masterpiece and probably the only Christmas masterpiece ever made. It is in a world all by itself when it comes to not only holiday films, but films in general. I'll make this bold statement here; while It's A Wonderful Life isn't my number one favorite film(definitely top 10), I still believe it to be THE best movie ever made. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind. Yeah The Godfather is great, sure 2001 is magnificent, but nothing touches this film.
When it comes to storytelling, this is unmatched in its brilliance. Every time I watch this, which is every Christmas Eve, plus one or two more times during the year; I am astonished at how engrossed I am with every detail of the story. From the beginning where Joseph is showing Clarence George's life from when he was a kid to the final heartwarming scene, every detail is pure magic. Frank Capra and James Stewart are both not only on the top of their game with this one, but are out of this world.
I'm sure you know the story as this is the most famous holiday film of all-time, but I'll touch on it slightly just in case. George Bailey takes on his father's business at a crummy little loan business. This isn't what George wanted for himself; he wanted to travel the world and build skyscrapers. Instead, he is carrying out his father's work, which is helping the people who would otherwise be taken advantage of by Potter. Things go very bad in George's life on Christmas Eve and he wishes he were never born. From there it is film history.
Never have I watched a movie where my emotions were on as hilly a ride as this. At one moment, you'll be laughing, then you'll just be enjoying the great character of George, the you'll be saddened, and ultimately you'll feel extreme joy. I can't think of a better shot to some up the Christmas season then the ending of this film, where George holds his youngest daughter Zuzu in his arm, with his wife by his side and the Christmas tree in the background while they all sing. If the ending of this movie doesn't make you feel good then there is something seriously wrong with you.
If for some reason you haven't seen this movie for any reason watch it as soon as possible. It doesn't matter if it is the Christmas season or not; just watch it. Definitely on the list must see movies.
Zuzu Bailey: Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.