It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas film produced and directed by Frank Capra. Starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, the film tells the story of George Bailey, a man who forsakes his dreams for the people of his town, Bedford Falls. When George is brought to the very edge of his sanity and almost commits suicide, his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody, intervenes and shows him what Bedford Falls would look like without George Bailey.
Despite initially performing poorly at the box office because of stiff competition at the time of its release, the film has become regarded as a classic. The film is considered one of the most loved films in American cinema, and has become traditional viewing during the Christmas season. It’s a Wonderful Life is considered one of the most critically acclaimed films ever made. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made.