It's a Wonderful Life is that one Christmas movie that makes you realize that the people in your life matter for a reason, a season or a lifetime. George Bailey learns this lesson the hard way...but at least he learns it and so do all the people whose lives he has touched and vice-versa.
It's a Wonderful Life, produced and directed by Frank Capra, is based on the short story "The Greatest Gift", which Philip Van Doren Stern wrote in 1939 and published privately in 1945. The film is now considered one of the most popular films in American cinema and due to numerous television showings in the 1980s has become traditional viewing during the Christmas season.
Despite initially performing poorly at the box office because of high production costs and stiff competition at the time of its release, the film's break-even point was $6.3 million, approximately twice the production cost, a figure it never came close to achieving in its initial release.
It's a Wonderful Life was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture and has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made...making it one of the most inspirational American films of all time. Capra revealed that this was his personal favorite among the films he directed and that he screened it for his family every Christmas season.
Let's take a look back to George Bailey and his wonderful life...