“It’s a Wonderful Life”
Director: Frank Capra
Length: 130 minutes
Cast: James Stewart (George Bailey), Donna Reed (Mary Hatch Bailey), Lionel Barrymore (Mr. Potter), Thomas Mitchell (Uncle William “Billy” Bailey), Henry Travers (Clarence Oddbody), Beulah Bondi (Ma Bailey), Frank Faylen (taxi driver Ernie Bishop), Ward Bond (Officer Bert), Gloria Grahame (Violet Bick), H.B. Warner (druggist Mr. Gower), Frank Albertson (Sam Wainwright), Todd Karns (Harry Bailey), Samuel S. Hinds (Pa Peter Bailey)
Why it’s my favorite holiday movie: Every year at Christmas, my husband, sons and I watch this holiday favorite together. It always brings tears to my eyes. Have you ever thought about what life would be like if you had never been born? This is what businessman George Bailey gets to experience through the help of an angel named Clarence, who after 200 years has yet to earn his wings. George, who considers himself a failure and is contemplating suicide so his family can benefit from a life insurance policy, gets to see what the town he lives in, Bedford Falls, would have been like without him. What George learns is that each one of us makes a difference. He learns that it’s not what we have but how we live our lives each day that counts, and that we often are unaware of the impact our actions have on others.
There are so many great lines in the movie, but my favorite is when Clarence tells George, “Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.” George learns that friends and family make us wealthy beyond our wildest expectations. And that’s what I want my children to understand. That it’s not materialistic things that make us rich, but the love that comes from family and friends — something that can’t be bought in a store and wrapped in shiny red paper. Just as George discovers, it’s family and friends who embrace us and help us cope with life’s cruelest and darkest moments. And it’s family and friends who rejoice with us as we celebrate God’s incredible blessings. It truly is a wonderful life!
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