The film “It’s A Wonderful Life” directed by Frank Capra is considered one of the greatest and most successful works of the American cinematography in the twentieth century. The major focus of the movie was placed on the life path of its main hero George Bailey who always helped other people, sacrificing his own life and welfare. The importance of the work “It’s A Wonderful Life” is that it opens a wide variety of principal values to society. In essence, it shows how it is important to stay a righteous person despite the defeats and difficult circumstances. This movie is also about the invincibility of the human spirit, faithful unconditional love, and support.
The story begins on the Christmas Eve in the small American town Bedford Falls. The major character of the movie encountered numerous problems in his business, so he got disappointed in his life and decided to commit suicide. His wife Mary, children, and the people throughout the whole town started praying for him. Consequently, the prayers for Bailey were heard in heaven and God assigned the angel named Clarence to comfort him and prevent his desperate act. Clarence was the second class angel so he had no wings and could see neither past nor future of people. God promises Clarence that he will become the first class angel if he manages to save the man from the suicide. Clarence eagerly wanted to finally get angel’s wings and enthusiastically agreed to fulfill the Lord’s task. In order to prepare the angel for this mission, God showed him George’s life since the moment of his childhood till the moment when he experienced plight which subsequently stimulated him to think about the suicide.
Firstly, the angel saw how a 12-year-old Bailey was placing at risk his own life to save his younger brother from drowning. As a result, the boy lost hearing in one ear. Also, after the classes at school, he had a part-time job at the local pharmacy. One day, the boy found that his employer the chemist Mr. Gower lost his sanity. While suffering the grief of his son’s death, the latter had accidentally added dangerous substance to the prescription of one of his customers. George noticed that Mr. Gower added the poison to the prescription and interfered him to deliver it to the client. Thus, the boy saved the life of another person and did not allow Mr. Gower to break his own through committing a murder.
Bailey was an open-hearted, enthusiastic and curious individual. He considered that the person should live independently and he intended to travel the whole world before applying for college. However, Bailey gave the tuition to his brother so he could get a higher degree, and instead, he stayed in the town to help his mother and operate the bankrupt building company of his father he inherited after his death.
Bailey met his soulmate Mary Hatch at the graduation party of his brother. The girl was in love with him since the very childhood. The relationship between George and Mary is an example of the true, passionate, and devoted love. Mary supported her loved one in all his endeavors, and she preferred his success and welfare to her desires. For instance, when the building company of a father was on the edge of collapse, she offered her husband to pay people the money with the funds they saved for their honeymoon. In spite of the unstable financial condition and fact that George could not have spare time for family due to regular work, Mary sincerely loved him and worked hard for the welfare of her family and other people. She turned the abandoned and old house, where they moved to after marriage, into a cozy home. Mary also volunteered, helping needy people in Bedford Falls, and kept doing it during the war. George also never stopped helping people in the town. As soon as he married Mary, he launched the Bailey’s Park where there were established new comfortable houses. He offered these accommodations to the low income and huge families for the minimum fee. George Bailey did not receive high profits from his activity. Instead, he proceeded to work honestly for better lives of citizens in Bedford Falls.
On the eve of the holiday season, George got into the great trouble since the funds of $8000 he had to pay auditors were misplaced in the office, and no one could find them. Our hero had no extra savings to pay the money to auditors. He felt miserable and powerless after this accident, so a suicide seemed a single way to cope with this situation. On that fateful moment, he met the angel who teleported him to the reality where he did not exist. Thus, Clarence demonstrated what the world would become if George was not born in it. George Bailey faced broken lives of people he helped for the first time. For instance, he found that the chemist Mr. Gower spent 20 years in jail since no one interfered his unconscious crime.
As a result, the hero learned the truth that the world in which he lived before was worth living since his noble acts were important and fateful to others. Clarence proved that his life was wonderful and that he had nothing to regret. The angel made the man realize the value of his life by showing him what would be if he did not exist. In the end, George asked the angel to bring the world where he lived back. The angel fulfilled the last George’s desire and turned him back to his habitual days. The man was extremely happy to come back home and hug his children, so he did not pay attention to the auditors and police officers who came to arrest him. After that, Mary also came back home, bringing with her their neighbors and other citizens of the town who received George’s support at hard times. All these people joined their efforts and collected their savings to help George to pay his debt. This scene directly demonstrates that all the right things the person does always return. Thus, the film depicted the greatest value in life, that is, by helping others, we help ourselves, and that we always get what we give.
Considering the eventful plot, the play of actors, and the main idea, it is safe to conclude that the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” is definitely worth watching. Although this is the film that was produced many years ago, the meaning of it is still relevant to the contemporary society. The movie points out that human life is the greatest gift and only us, the people with our open heart, kindness, and generous acts, can make it wonderful. Similarly to the main hero Bailey, people frequently do not notice happy moments of their lives, they fall into despair and finally commit suicide. At this moment, it is quite important to look back at your life and recall all its remarkable moments to realize that it is worth living regardless any defeats.
- Allan, David G. “It’s A Wonderful Lesson.” CNN. N.p., 2016. Web. 20 Mar. 2018.
- Fraley, Jason. “It’S A Wonderful Life (1946)..” The Film Spectrum. N.p., 2011. Web. 20 Mar. 2018.
- Lewis, Matt K. “7 Enduring Lessons From It’s A Wonderful Life.” Theweek.com. N.p., 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2018.