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“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings!”
The legendary James Stewart (HARVEY, VERTIGO) stars as George Bailey. George is a noble man who has spent much of his life on a crusade to stop shady local businessman Henry Potter (Lionel Barrymore – TREASURE ISLAND, DUEL IN THE SUN) from taking over the picturesque town of Bedford Falls. However, on a typically snow-covered Christmas Eve, George plays right into Potter’s hands when his uncle manages to lose a considerable amount of their family business’ money on the way to the bank. Ironically, Potter discovers the missing money and hides it, knowing that its disappearance will tarnish the Baileys’ white-than-white reputation. Taking responsibility for the shortage and realising that he faces prison, George attempts to kill himself but in a bizarre twist of fate is visited by a guardian angel. In true Dickensian style, George’s newfound friend gives him the opportunity to glimpse a world without him in it and the repercussions his absence has on his nearest and dearest.
Nominated for five Academy Awards (including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director) and ranking at number 7 on Film Four’s
100 Greatest Films of All Time and number 11 on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest movies, Director Frank Capra (MR. DEED’S GOES TO TOWN, LOST HORIZON) managed to create a poignant and feel-good film that has stood the test of time and is rightly considered to be the quintessential Christmas classic.