The Platinum Edition Blu-ray set of the 1946 holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” contains both the original black and white version and a colorized version. The story is about George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), a loveable family man and a friend to all. Unfortunately, George finds himself in a difficult and unforeseen situation and gets disillusioned with life. His despair leads him to contemplate suicide. After all, as he is told, he is worth more money dead than alive. His wife Mary (Donna Reed) is a loving and caring wife and mother.
An angel named Clarence (Henry Travers) appears and tries to help George. When George says everyone would have been better if he hadn’t been born, Clarence shows him what life would be like for his friends and family had there never been a George Bailey.
Most of us think at one time or another that our lives don’t amount to much and we have made no mark on the world. What George discovers is that he really did some good things in his life and helped others without his knowledge. The little things we do add up to big things in the end.
The town in which the story is set, Bedford Falls, has become synonymous with a quaint small town life. Like George, this film has had an effect on people through the years with its characters, location, and dialogue. “Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”
The disc includes a “Making Of” feature hosted by Tom Bosley. He describes various aspects of the film and how Capra’s stories are always uplifting and pleasant for all.
Bosley discloses a lot of behind the scenes information about making this timeless movie. For instance, the 1946 production code prohibited many words so the dialogue went through minor changes. Can you believe they weren’t allowed to use the word “jerk” in this film?
The movie was shot on a set in Encino, California in the middle of a heat wave. Think about that when you watch the cold, snowy scenes.
There are plenty more interesting tidbits disclosed in this documentary. The edition also includes collectible art cards of images and ads from the film, making this a great gift for any classic movie fan.
It’s a Wonderful Life, whether in black and white or color, is a wonderful experience for families to share especially during the holiday season.