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4.6 out of 5 stars132
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(3 star).Show all reviews
on June 7, 2015
I've seen this so many times, and its still so depressing, and its overacted.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2011
Purchased this DVD as "used". Watched the color version once and found the DVD to be alright. When I went to view it a second time, it stopped and started and skipped. I then tried it in another device and found the same result. I will purchase "new" from now on.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2002
Don't worry,I'm not going to insult a classic!It's a great story and message,only I think it needs to be remade to get young people interested in it again.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2013
Found it to be a little on the dull side...felt the same about both the black/white and colour versions ...preferred some of the other Christmas movies
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2001
I suppose that, the first time one watches this rather excessively sweet film, even the most hardened cynic would shed a tear at the ending, when George is revealed as one who has a matchless wealth of friends and support. James Stewart indeed portrays George Bailey superbly, but I found that, beyond the first viewing, this becomes rather an annoying film.
Of course, the contrast between George (the sort of man anyone would like on sight, and love all the more with acquaintance), and the dreadful Potter, who makes the pre-converted Ebenezer Scrooge look cuddly, provides much of the action - trouble is, the premise really is not that realistic. The idea that being good-natured, and having a spirit of self-sacrifice that goes from heroic to excessive, benefits one's community is taken to too great an extreme. The Baileys are always on verge of bankruptcy, yet manage to be the saviours of all of the rather poor people who want to fulfil the mid-century dream of owning their own homes. Intending no blasphemy, I found it annoying that George becomes something of a Christ figure... yet never is allowed to think of himself or his family in the process.
George seems a wonderful man, but it became difficult to see his as a "wonderful life." It seemed that everyone was entitled to fulfil their dreams except George... indeed, that he had to make certain that he sacrificed every aspiration (college, honeymoon trip, travelling) entirely so someone else could have them. Considering how, when George sees what the town would be like had he never lived, everyone is in miserable straits, the 'saviour' business is rather macabre, as are the people resident in Bedford Falls!
Romantic though I am at heart, the cynical part of me sighed, knowing full well that, no matter how good anyone was to others, the first accusation of embezzlement would be more likely to make the others think, "now we know how he really is!" Miserable though Potter is, it does not ring true that one with his resources could be totally unsuccessful in acquiring potential homeowners as customers because a good-hearted, impoverished sort simply was more pleasant.
Certainly, watch this once... but don't go back for repeated viewings, since the memory of the first viewing will be far more pleasant than the cloying effects of repeat performances.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2000
George Bailey had one dream in life, to get out of the small town of Bedford Falls, see a few new sights, and have a few adventures. His first shot of this was to be his college years. This fell through, he stayed in Bedford Falls and his brother had the college career. Throughout his entire life, every attempt to get away from Bedford Falls, even for a week or two, was thwarted by some business or family responsibility. The poor guy never even got to go on his own honeymoon!
Others came and went, but not poor old George Bailey. Finally, on one Christmas Eve, as a result of the chicanery of a nasty old grinch type businessman in town, George's business problems, on top of all of his thwarted ambitions, got so bad and he became so despondent that he was on the verge of suicide.
Along came an angel named Clarence who had been a bit of a failure in his own right. He'd never been able to earn his wings and his absolute last chance to earn them was to keep Bailey from committing suicide. In a sort of reverse version of Dickens' tale of Scrooge seeing the ghosts of his past, present, and future, Bailey's angel showed him what miserable lives his (Bailey's) friends and families would have had had there been no George Bailey...
Do you really think that the description of a wonderful life is one in which you never even got a trip around the block and the absolute high point is that you didn't commit suicide? Doesn't meet my definition.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 1999
Largely dismissed by critics and audiences alike at the time of its release, It's A Wonderful Life has found popularity primarily through sheer repetition. Various copyright battles kept the film from the public eye for several decades, at which point the film was deemed of no commercial value. The copyright was then allowed to lapse, putting It's A Wonderful Life into public domain and creating a situation in which any television station in the world can run the film without having to pay royalities to the owners. And play the film they did, over and over and over, to a point at which virtually every man, woman, and child in the English-speaking world has seen all or part of the movie.
And make no mistake: it IS a likable movie. The story is charming, if rather contrived and excessively sentimental; Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and the supporting cast are effortlessly appropriate; and director Capra handles his material with skill. But it is unlikely that this film would have ever received a place of honor were it not for the fact that it has more or less been played to death on every television station in the country.
Generally speaking, good though the film may be, it simply doesn't compare well with the rest of Capra's work, which includes such knock-out critical and audience favorites as It Happened One Night, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Meet John Doe; it lacks any significant wit in script; and the cast is hardly challenged by the material.
It's A Wonderful Life is enjoyable, yes, and makes for pleasing viewing around the holiday season. But if you've seen it one time too many, you may be happier with Meet Me In St. Louis, a holiday musical which can actually bear the repeated showings that It's A Wonderful Life can not.
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