It's a Wonderful Life also known as “Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life,” “La vie est belle,” “Ist das Leben nicht schön?,” “¡Qué bello es vivir!,” “¡Que bello es vivir!,” “A Felicidade Não Se Compra,” “Az élet csodaszép,” “Det er herligt at leve,” “Do Céu Caiu Uma Estrela,” “Ihmeellinen on elämä,” “La vita è meravigliosa,” “Livet är underbart,” “Mens, durf te leven,” “Mia yperohi zoi,” “Qué bello es vivir,” “Que bonic és viure!,” “Que la vie est belle,” “Sahane hayat,” “Subarashiki kana, jinsei!,” “To wspaniale zycie,” “Wat een mooi leven,” “Zycie jest cudowne”
Reviewed by: Ben McMaster
Better than Average
2 hr. 10 min.
Year of Release:
December 20, 2946 (NYC)
January 7, 1947 (wider)
How did Jesus greatly humble himself for us? Answer
SUICIDE—What does the Bible say? Answer
If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer
DEPRESSION—Are there biblical examples of depression and how to deal with it? Answer
What should a Christian do if overwhelmed with depression? Answer
Angels in the Bible
What else does the Bible teach about angels? Answer
Movie review: Veggie Tales: It's a Meaningful Life (2010)
“It's a wonderful laugh! It's a wonderful love!”
This film was a failure at the box office and at the time marked the beginning of the decline for Christian scientist-turned-director Frank Capra. Because of its failure in every sense of the term, it was discarded by its distributer, RKO (which would soon go bankrupt and pack it in), and fell out of distribution, allowing it to wander the mean streets of television's extra time slots. It then was aired on Christmas night and built up a cult following and pidgeonholed as a “Christmas movie”. I think this is for good reason.
I first saw this film on a Christmas night and saw it again a few months later. It has played a very strong part in my being born again with its easily relatable themes of ambition versus obligation. Everything in this film seems to be a struggle.
The story focuses around George Bailey, a man who has a worldly vision for his future that is constantly put aside because of his selfless devotion to the town he lives in and the people in it. The favour of God is upon his life, yet he does not realise it until he almost commits suicide. It is how he is saved from suicide that the film gets into the heavy and involved aspects of the themes portrayed.
I cannot convey enough how Christian this populist piece is. If ever there was a moment in cinema history where the hand of God and the magic of film combined to form a work of art, this is it. Frank Capra made films based primarily on democratic, American ideals. With this film, he explored even deeper ideals and pulled everything off masterfully. He deliberately included scenes involving mild family abuse, drunken behavior and pride to allow for a subjective insight into the workings of George Bailey. The dark side is there to contradict the light—not at the expense of.
This film is purely for the family, but parents may want to block their childrens' eyes during the later scenes. There seems to be such a strong timelessness about it that may mean the kids once older will be able to make educated opinions on these scenes, in particular. I get the distinct impression that God wants this film as a Christmas movie as a way for our present culture to celebrate Jesus Christ. Would that there could be more like this one. It could very well be the greatest film ever made.