The movie 'It's a Wonderful Life' is based on the short story 'The Greatest Gift', written by Philip Van Doren Stern. The film, directed by Frank Capra, was released in the year 1946. The script of the movie is based on the world after the end of WW II and is mainly seen through flashbacks. As you browse through this article, you will come across the summary/story of 'It's a Wonderful Life'.
The film is based in the fictional town of Bedford Falls, shortly after
the end of the World War II. It's Christmas Eve and George Bailey (James
Stewart) is frustrated with his life. He is suffering losses in his
business, is involved in the scandal of bankruptcy and on top of all
this, he is also wanted by the police for embezzlement of money.
Surrounded by all these disappointments in his life, George decides to
commit suicide. However, the prayers of his family and friends reach
heaven and God sends Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers), an Angel, to save
In order to know about George, Clarence goes through his past and this
way, the viewers get to see most of the film in flashback. George
Bailey's entire life comes in front of Clarence, along with all the
goods things that he has done in his life. He sees George saving his
brother Harry in an ice sledging accident and preventing the chemist he
works for, from accidentally putting poison in a child's medicine
bottle. With time, George becomes a mature person, but continues with
his good deeds. He gives up his own dreams to carry out his
responsibilities in Bedford Falls and instead, fulfills his brother's
dream of going to a college.
After the death of his father, George takes the responsibility of Bailey
Building and Loan Association, which provides a roof to many people. On
the day of his wedding with Mary (Donna Reed), George takes money from
their honeymoon fund to pull out the "Building and Loan Association"
from the danger of going under the hammer. With time, he is blessed with
four children. One day, Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell) loses $8,000 while
on his way to the bank. With police at his doorstep, George decides to
commit suicide by jumping in the river.
Clarence Odbody is waiting for him by the river. He hears George
proclaiming that he wishes he had never been born and decides to grant
him his wish. Clarence makes George see how life would have been, if he
had never been born. George is now in the Bedford Falls, which is devoid
of him. It has turned into a slum and is known as Pottersville. The
people of Pottersville are sad and grim and even Mary is a lonely woman.
Nobody recognizes him anymore. George rushes to the river once again and
calls upon Clarence to save him. Suddenly, he finds himself back in
Bedford Falls on Christmas Day.
The moment George enters into the town, he sees his friends and family
members rallying for his support and collecting money to save the
'Building and Loan Association' and him from being ruined. George
realizes how he has made a difference to the life of the people around
him and that even though, life is full of problems, it is still worth
living. Around the end, we come to know that even after 200 years of
trying; Clarence has still not earned his wings. The film comes to an
end with Zuzu (George's daughter) hearing a bell on their Christmas tree
and saying, "Teacher says, every time a bell rings, some Angel gets
'It's a Wonderful Life' is a beautiful movie, directed by Frank Capra. Read the summary & story/script of 'Its a Wonderful Life'.