Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘It’s A Wonderful Life’: Where to Watch the Christmas Classic This Holiday Season

‘It’s A Wonderful Life’: Where to Watch the Christmas Classic This Holiday Season

With the Christmas season upon us, it can only mean that we are going to get a chance to see It’s A Wonderful Life again. This Frank Capra-directed flick has been a holiday tradition for a long time. The movie’s story is filled with ups and downs for George Bailey, played by James Stewart. Yet the power of redemption makes its presence felt at the end.

Besides Stewart, others in the cast include Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Ward Bond, Sheldon Leonard, Thomas Mitchell, and Henry Travers. Seeing good old Bedford Falls turn into Pottersville is quite a shock to the system. Then again, seeing an angel struggle to get his wings can be shocking to some, too.

Watch this great movie on Saturday night at 9 p.m. Eastern, USA Network; Friday, Dec. 15, at 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Bravo; Wednesday, Dec. 20, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern; Sunday, Dec, 24, at 8 p.m. Eastern, NBC; and Monday, Dec. 25, a 24-hour marathon from 6 a.m. to Dec. 26 at 6 a.m., E!

‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ Wasn’t A Hit At First

When It’s A Wonderful Life first came out in 1946, it did not set the box office on fire. The movie didn’t garner a great amount of wealth or movie theater visitors. But the film did receive five Oscar nominations. They were for Best Picture, Best Actor In A Leading Role, Best Director, Best Sound Recording, and Best Film Editing.

At one time, you could see It’s A Wonderful Life on numerous television channels. That’s because the film was in the public domain. In fact, back in the 1980s, you also could see a “colorized” version of this 1946 gem. (Yeah, that “colorized” version left a bad taste in my mouth).

Then NBC picked up the sole movie rights. They’ve been showing it on Christmas Eve in the past few years. Other networks associated with the NBCUniversal family have been putting the movie on their airways. So, in essence, you have more than one day and time to see It’s A Wonderful Life.

James Stewart Offers Thoughts On Movie’s Message

Back in 1987, Stewart wrote a piece for Guideposts Magazine. He summarized the movie this way: “It’s simply about an ordinary man who discovers that living each ordinary day honorably, with faith in God and a selfless concern for others, can make for a truly wonderful life.”

Countless scenes come to mind when thinking about this impressive movie. Remember a young George getting smacked upside his head, losing his hearing in one ear? What about George and Mary dancing at the gymnasium? Of course, you cannot leave out George (with Clarence in tow) hitting up Martini’s for a drink. That’s where George and Clarence both getting tossed, too.

This movie’s closing scenes give viewers hope and George some guts. First-time viewers think when George falls into the water, well, that’s it. Alas, it’s not. George, after meeting Clarence, starts to think he’s a little off his rocker. But Clarence reassures George that everything will be alright.

And, in a way, the wonderful story starts to unfold.