It's a Wonderful Life: Merry Christmas
James Stewart - It's a Wonderful Life
On Christmas Eve 1946, George Bailey (James Stewart) is deeply depressed, even suicidal. Prayers for George are heard by the angels. Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers), an Angel Second Class, is sent to Earth to save him—and thereby earn his wings. Joseph, the head angel, reviews George's life with Clarence.
As a 12-year-old boy in 1919, George (Bobby Anderson) saved the life of his younger brother Harry (Todd Karns) after he fell through the ice on a pond, though George got an ear infection that impaired his hearing in one ear. Later, as an errand boy in a pharmacy, George stopped his boss, local druggist Mr. Gower (H.B. Warner), from mistakenly filling a child's prescription with poison while grief-stricken over the death of his son from influenza.
From childhood, George's greatest ambition has been to see the world and design bridges and skyscrapers. However, he repeatedly has to sacrifice his dreams for the well-being of others. He puts off going to college to help in the family business until Harry graduates from high school and can replace him at the Bailey Building and Loan Association, vital to many of the disadvantaged in town. On Harry's graduation night in 1928, George discusses his future with Mary Hatch (Donna Reed), who has had a crush on him since she was a little girl. Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell) and Harry then break the news to George that his father has had a stroke. Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), a heartless slumlord, seizes the opportunity to try to convince the board of directors to end the "sentimental hogwash" of providing home loans for the working poor. George persuades them to reject Potter's proposal, but they agree only on condition that George himself run the Building and Loan. He reluctantly stays in Bedford Falls and gives his school money to his brother.
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