1937, U, Directed by Frank Capra
Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers
This classic, which sees James Stewart’s suicidal George Bailey restore his faith in the world with the help of Clarence the Angel, is as much a part of Christmas as pulling crackers… and what a cracker this is. Truly a film for the ages, this is one of those rare treats that you do not just have to sink your teeth into at the festive time of year. To say this is dated in a detrimental manner would be an atrocity – intriguingly, this was a flop on release – but part of the film’s charm lies in the fact that it was made in the thirties. Capra manages to deliver on such a level that It’s a Wonderful Life has slotted into generational status; deliciously heart-warming without ever resorting to over-sentimentality.