It's A Wonderful Life
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
From the manufacturer
It's a Wonderful Life
With the endearing message that “no one is a failure who has friends,” Frank Capra’s heartwarming masterpiece continues to endure, and after over 70 years, this beloved classic still remains as powerful and moving as the day it was made.
James Stewart as George Bailey
Donna Reed as Mary Hatch Bailey
Voted the #1 Most Inspiring Film of All Time by AFI;s 100 years...100 Cheers, It's a Wonderful Life has had just that. With the endearing message that "no one is a failure who has firends," Frank Capran's heartwarming masterpiece continues to endure, and after 70 years this beloved classic still remains as powerful and moving as the day it was made. 2-disc set. Rated PG. Dove family approved. Approx. 130 minutes. Disc One: Feature film - Original B&W version The Making of "It's a Wonderful Life": A documentary featurette hosted by Tom Bosley Original Theatrical Trailer English, French and Spanish Audio English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles Disc Two: Feature film - Colorized version English, French and Spanish Audio English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-6 of 3,088 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This was Jimmy Stewart's first film role after serving in, literally, heroic fashion as a bomber commander during World War II. Despite being a star and subject to assignment in "morale roles" if he had so chosen, Stewart went into the Air Corp and flew a complete tour of 25 bomber missions. He also flew a number of other live missions that were tallied as flights where he trained air crews. When offered the chance to have those missions count against his tour of 25, he declined. If you know anything about the history of WWII, you know that bomber crew duty in the European theater was pretty much the most dangerous combat assignment in the war.
This DVD presentation is extremely well done. Whether from a clean print or a masterful restoration (or a combination of the two), the movie is free of artifacts of the type you find in old film prints or a rushed digital transfer. When you compare the actual film to scenes shown as examples in the two included documentaries, you can see what I mean.
And mentioning the two documentaries, they are very satisfying. One is hosted by Frank Capra Jr., the son of the famous director of the film. He narrates interesting facts about his father and this film in particular in a warm tone that makes you feel part of the process. The second feature is hosted by Tom Bosley (the father on "Happy Days"). That documentary is, I believe, somewhat longer. It goes into some of the casting choices that could have been made, which I always find interesting. Both have tidbits of history and trivia about the film that are anywhere from interesting to fascinating ... including an explanation of how the film was actually shot during a record heat wave!
"It's a Wonderful Life" has become arguably the top Christmas classic, in part due to its heavy exposure on TV, and in part because the film is so good it holds up under that heavy exposure very well. It is a must see for our family every Christmas season, and I have to say that I'm happy to own a DVD with a presentation of this high quality, so that I'm not subject to the random quality of prints shown on TV broadcasts.
Not surprisingly, Hollywood has stolen from Frank Capra for years, but you can't recreate classy talents like Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. The former made a career out of projecting the everyday man. He is never better than he is here as George Bailey... An idealistic man with big dreams that always ends up sacrificing himself and his desires for the greater good of everyone. His friends and family go on to do bigger and "better" things while he sticks around to keep the small town afloat by running the bank and preventing the grouchy scrooge like character Mr. Potter from taking over the town and controlling all of it.
Eventually it gets to be too much and our hero contemplates suicide because he doesn't feel that he had accomplished anything. This period in the film is where Stewart really shows his depth as an actor. He is often known for his awww shucks characters, but he is really impressive during the characters darkest moments. His performance is so good that you forget that you're watching a film for a brief time despite the fact that you probably figured how this would end before even seeing the film. But the ability to make the audience suspend disbelief is the sign of good acting.
Donna Reed is great also. She is a great combination of sex appeal, classic, femininity, smarts and vulnerability. How could any man feel Mary Bailey as a wife? But, that's the point of the story, isn't it? Or hero George needs to learn to see what everyone else see's. The tale might seem predictable in retrospect, but the journey is still well worth taking. This is easily one of the best Holiday movies EVER. Perhaps even the best.
But, it's the Colorized version that blew me away... much better than older attempts, and good enough that you occasionally forget you are NOT watching the original film! Wow. I've seen IAWL over 60 times, but the color disc revealed things I've never seen before. Sometimes merely interesting background items (mounted butterflies on the wall at the family home), but other times more significant differences (the changes in Violet's outfits throughout the film). The color version more eloquently displays the difference in attire between the Bailey's and their wealthier friends the Wainwright's, and makes certain scenes entirely more lifelike (color travel posters and glowing fire in the "honeymoon suite").
I'm looking forward to watching IAWL again. And, next time, it will be the color version again.