Classic Review : It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s been a while of featuring recommended classic films. Now we have one movie that you definitely should see, It’s A Wonderful Life (1946). This also a chance to introduce our new contributor, Febrian Andhika. Febrian also writes for Indonesian film bulletin called Montase. Also, we shared much appreciation to the same movies. Check out his first review, here in :

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“You see George, you’ve really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be just throw it away?”


Everyone wants a wonderful life, as they imagine. Careers, dreams and ideals become principal thing that will bring us to the life we ​​want. But what if our live is far from what we expect? Especially if we are worthy, and has been widely credited in the society. Is that fair?

George Bailey (James Stewart) is a smart man with a good heart. His entire life is devoted to maintaining savings and loan company called Bailey Building and Loan in Bedford Falls. That small company have been successfully helped the poor in the city, especially to get a decent house in times of distress. George Bailey is also willing to bury his dream since childhood to go to Europe for the sake of the people who need him. George is married to his childhood friend Mary Hatch (Donna Reed), a beautiful woman who loved him so much and always supported George in any condition. After marriage, George and Mary have four children which makes them a perfect family. As there antagonist Henry F. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), a greedy businessman who always wanted to get rid of the Bailey Building and Loan which always hinder his business. Lifelong Potter do everything they can to get rid of the company that has long pioneered by Bailey family, as long as it also, Bailey family must be endure. One day on Christmas Eve, Uncle Billy Bailey (Thomas Mitchell) made ​​a mistake by eliminating corporate money as much as $8000 cash which can make George Bailey be in jailed. Everyone knew George was in trouble, and they started to pray for him. Hear the prayers while snow storm, when George is desperately trying to commit suicide. Will he end his life?

It’s A Wonderful Life is one of the best films ever produced in the history of cinema. Brilliant story and the depth themes that makes this movie so special. Clever dialogue and universal moral message has managed to lift this film at the level that is difficult to surpass by other films ever produced. This film gives us hope to face of difficult times in the community. Invites us to address the issues together as a united society. And I think it worked so well.

In addition, other issues that are the strength of the film is the success of the players in playing every character. Famous Hollywood actor such as Henry Travers, Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart and Donna Redd able to show the quality of the acting is charming. It’s a movie that touches the humanity.

A particular scene very brilliant to me and I love so much is when Clarence came to Earth to save George. What do we expect when an angel came to help George? Is he going to do with the magic scene gave George $8,000 to resolve the problem? Of course not. The movie is not that cheap like that. Capra gives us a scene, as well as the lessons are very touching and classy. George demonstrated how horrible Bedford Falls without him. He saw it all became worse, especially those closest to him. As happened in Mr. Gower, his brother Harry who died after falling into a river, Uncle Billy who was in a mental hospital, the cities are filled with Potter buildings. And the worst of course was Mary Hatch who had a grim life as a spinster. We can feel what George feel, frustration and sadness are very deep and so real (very impressive performance from James Stewart). George realized how bad Badford Falls without him, and after that he understood how meaningful his life. So what about us?

Its A Wonderful Life provides a great experience for all of us about how to appreciate life and how to love it. especially for me, this film has been able to influence my paradigm of looking a life. And furthermore, this film gives us a big question about the purpose of human life itself. Together with friends around us all the problems would be easily solved, and when the problem becomes very complicated and far from our ability, at least we still have God to pray.

Movie Score :

bintang 5