If ever there was a movie that could make generations cry with tears of happiness, it’s the Frank Capra holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life. Films like A Christmas Story and A Charlie Brown Christmas are also popular Christmas movies, but It’s a Wonderful Life is on another level. This is one of the greatest movies ever made, and it’s a genuinely moving story about George Bailey, as played by Hollywood icon Jimmy Stewart.
It’s a Wonderful Life arrived in theaters in 1946, just a year after World War II ended. And for most of the movie, it paints a pretty bleak picture of George’s life. He had dreams and ambitions beyond his small town, but George sacrificed them all for the sake of his family’s Building and Loan business, and for the town of Bedford Falls. On Christmas Eve in 1945, George faces financial ruin and likely prison time through no fault of his own. That’s when an angel named Clarence (Henry Travers) intervenes and prevents George from committing suicide by showing him a world where he had never been born at all.
“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings” may be the most famous line from the movie, but in my opinion, the most impactful statement is the written message that Clarence leaves for George at the conclusion: “Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.” That sentiment, and the story behind it, are the reasons why this film has endured for nearly eight decades. And this holiday season, you’ll be able to stream It’s a Wonderful Life any time that you like, or you can wait for its annual broadcast on TV.
If you want to watch It’s a Wonderful Life and see James Stewart discover the magic of Christmas, and the joy being alive, there are two main platforms where you can watch it for free with a subscription. Amazon Prime Video and Plex are the current streaming homes for It’s a Wonderful Life.
Prime Video has a considerable library of its own with originals like The Tomorrow War, The Peripheral, Fleabag, Jack Ryan, and the worldwide hit The Lord of thee Rings: The Rings of Power. Prime’s library also includes classic films like the James Bond movies and The 40-Year Old Virgin.Stream It’s a Wonderful Life on Prime Video
Plex gives you one place to find and access all the media that matters to you. From personal media on your own server, to free and on-demand movies and shows or live TV, to streaming music, you can enjoy it all in one app, on any device.Stream It’s a Wonderful Life on Plex
It’s a Wonderful Life is currently streaming on both platforms. Note that Prime Video has both the original black-and-white version and a colorized version. We advise you to stick with the original.
For Amazon Prime Video, it costs $9 a month just for the Prime Video service — it’s also free with a Prime membership. For Plex, a monthly subscription costs $5, an annual subscription costs $40, and a lifetime subscription costs $120. You can also check out these details on what each plan has to offer.
For now, Plex is offering It’s a Wonderful Life for free on its platform without the need for any subscription. The only catch is the film occasionally pauses for advertisements.
Yes! NBC traditionally airs the movie on Christmas Eve. The exact time for this broadcast has yet to be revealed, but stay tuned for further updates as more information is revealed.
Does an angel have wings? Yes, it’s worth it! It’s a Wonderful Life is dated in the best possible way. They don’t make movies like this anymore, and that’s just one of the many reasons why people like it. Despite its reputation as a squeaky clean Christmas classic, the film is surprisingly dark and brutal. The movie deals with depression and, for much of its runtime, is unsentimental.
James Stewart gives one of his best performances ever as George Bailey, who gets his wish that he was never born and sees the dark results. The movie also stars Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Ward Bond, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, and a young Gloria Grahame as Violet. The movie was directed by Frank Capra and runs 130 minutes.
The movie has a Rotten Tomatoes critics score of 93% and an audience score of 95%.
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