Christmas wouldn’t be complete without Frank Capra’s classic film It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).
Perhaps more than any other Hollywood director, Sicilian emigrant Capra has been celebrated for his unique ability to capture the joys and sorrows of small-town American life on screen. It’s a Wonderful Life was the first film that Capra made after World War II, and it also marks Jimmy Stewart’s return to Hollywood after being stationed with the 2nd Air Division at Tibenham and Old Buckenham.
It’s a Wonderful Life is arguably darker than Capra’s other movies, but its conclusion is one of the most uplifting sequences in American cinema. As we look ahead to the new year, it’s heartening to remember that “no man is a failure who has friends.”
(Our UEA American scholar is writing her PhD thesis on Frank Capra. She is happy to go on — at length! — about It’s a Wonderful Life or any of Capra’s other films if you want to stop in for a chat!)