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Poster for Holiday Classics: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) on 35mm film
Watch trailer for Holiday Classics: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) on 35mm film Watch trailer

Holiday Classics: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) on 35mm film

Opens on December 17

Director: Frank Capra Run Time: 130 min. Rating: PG Release Year: 1947

Starring: Donna Reed, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore

Country: United States
Language: English, French

Presented as part of the 2023 edition of Holiday Classics

Select screenings are in digital format with regular pricing, including screenings on December 25.

About the film:

George Bailey sets aside his dreams of world travel to run his father’s small community bank, and protect the people of Bedford Falls from greedy businessman Mr. Potter. When a costly mistake pushes George to the brink of despair, a visit from a kindly angel will show George how the life of one good man can change the world forever.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) was the first film Frank Capra directed after serving during WWII, and he wanted to create something special.

“a celebration of the lives and dreams of America’s ordinary citizens, who tried the best they could to do the right thing by themselves and their neighbors”

Roger Ebert

Now considered one of the greatest and most inspirational films of all time, It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) was based on Philip Van Doren Stern’s short story “The Greatest Gift,” itself loosely based on Charles Dickens’ classic tale “A Christmas Carol.” The film was nominated for five Academy Awards—including Best Picture and Best Director—and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 1990.

About the filmmaker:

Frank Capra was an Italian-born American film director, producer and writer whose iconic stories often celebrate idealist underdogs who triumph against overwhelming odds. It Happened One Night (1934) was the first movie to ever sweep the five major Academy Award categories. Capra also won Best Director for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and You Can’t Take It with You (1938) and was nominated for Lady for a Day (1933) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). One of the top directors in the industry, Capra served as the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and championed creative freedom as head of the Screen Directors’ Guild. He received a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1982. 

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