About LIFE It's A Wonderful LifeIt's an American holiday ritual: At Christmas time, families across the country gather to watch the beloved 1946 Hollywood classic, It's a Wonderful Life. Directed by Frank Capra, and starring Donna Reed and Jimmy Stewart, the story of a small-town banker who faces financial ruin and emotional despair until he is saved by an angel sent from heaven to show him how much he is loved by his family and fellow citizens of the fictional Bedford Falls, N.Y., is a milestone of American cinema. This LIFE special issue celebrates the 75th anniversary of the iconic movie (which earned three Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture) with an in-depth look at Capra's one-of-a-kind filmmaking and storytelling techniques, the making of the movie just after World War II and its lasting legacy, and why, 75 years later, it's still a heartwarming delight to watch.
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