A holiday favourite for generations... George Bailey has spent his entire life giving to the people of Bedford Falls. All that prevents rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town is George's modest building and loan company. But on Christmas Eve the business's $8,000 is lost and George's troubles begin.
It's practically an American tradition to watch this film with family at Christmas time each year. I just saw it for the first time myself a couple weeks before last Christmas, and I loved it. It's an uplifting, inspiring, dramatic, and at times laugh-out-loud funny story, with a cast that probably couldn't be improved upon if you tried. And, of course, it's directed by the superb Frank Capra, whose work I greatly admire. James Stewart gives a raw, totally honest performance, as the unforgettable George Bailey, who on Christmas Eve is shown exactly why the world, or at least Bedford Falls, can't do without him. And, there is my favorite line in the whole movie, out of so many memorable quotes, delivered perfectly by Lionel Barrymore, as the evil Mr. Potter: "And a happy new year to you. In jail!"