It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) on 35mm

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

About the film:

It’s Christmas, but businessman George Bailey has so many problems that he wishes he hadn’t been born. About to jump from a bridge, he is rescued by his guardian angel, Clarence, who shows George what his town would have looked like if it hadn’t been for all of his good deeds over the years.

Considered one of the greatest and most inspirational films of all time, It’s A Wonderful Life 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:

Italian-born American film director, producer and writer Frank Capra’s iconic stories often celebrate idealist underdogs who triumph against overwhelming odds. It Happened One Night was the first movie to ever sweep the five major Academy Award categories, and Capra also won Best Director for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and You Can’t Take It with You and was nominated for Lady for a Day and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. 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. 

Capra wanted his first film after serving during WWII, It’s a Wonderful Life, to be 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. Read more here.

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