George Bailey, played by the fabulous James Stewart, is a man who gives up his dreams of seeing the world, to stay in his small hometown of Bedford Falls to help others. The film charts his life from being a young boy to a grown man. During the course of the film events take a turn for the worse and we see George contemplating suicide. He is stopped by his Guardian Angel, Clarence (Henry Travers). During a conversation George tells Clarence that he wishes he had never been born. Clarence grants him this wish and George gets to see how the lives of people would have turned out if he hadn’t been there to help them. The film has a touching sentimentality to it.
Surprisingly, upon initial release, It’s a Wonderful Life flopped at the box office. Today, it has become traditional Christmas viewing, alongside other movies such as; Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas.
James Stewart once declared that of all the movies he had made, this was his favourite, and it’s not hard to see why.