The Wonderful Life of George Bailey

Review by J1 Reporter Naomi Delkamiller


The night before Christmas I sat around the fire with my family and watched the 1946 classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” This well known drama is produced and directed by Frank Capra and based on the book “The Greatest Gift,” by Philip Van Doren. The film’s original black and white display didn’t exactly peak my interests, but the colorful story of George Bailey did.

George Bailey, played by James Stewart, is a middle aged man who feels like he has settled for a lesser life. He regrets not leaving his hometown of Bedford Falls and believes his life has had little impact on the community. Bailey married his high school sweetheart and lives a poor man’s life as a banker with three children. 

After almost taking his own life, George Bailey meets an angel who shows him a world without him in it. The consequences of his absence are large and Bedford Falls is unrecognizable. “It’s a Wonderful Life” follows Bailey through his eye opening experience and eventual realization of how precious life is. 

While this plot line has expanded well beyond this film alone, this was the first production to introduce the concept and has been nominated for five Academy awards. It is recognized by the American Film Institute and is considered one of America’s most inspirational films by the same foundation. The movie is available for viewing on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video. It can be purchased in stores as well. 

Tears were falling down my cheeks throughout the film and by the end I was contemplating the ways in which I have made a difference and what the world would look like if I hadn’t. This movie is an ageless teacher of valuable life lessons and a reminder of how much color every life adds to the universe.

Inquiry by Naomi: 5/5


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