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No doubt about it that Frank Capra was one of the best directors of all time and James Stewart was one of the best actors of all time, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that this is also one great movie to watch.

This movie always on a lot of top-lists and many well known and respected film-makers consider this to be one of their favorite movies, including director Frank Capra and actor James Stewart themselves. And really, it's not all that hard to see why. No, I won't call it one of the best movies of all time but its themes, the characters, the story and its message make sure that this is a movie to enjoy, over and over again.

Basically it's being a very warm, heartfelt and honest movie, about real characters in real life situations. The James Stewart character feels very humane and realistic and James Stewart was always a great choice for playing a sort of average Joe, everybody in the audience could relate and identify themselves with. It's also part of the reason why his character is often being voted one of the best out of movie history.

It's sort of funny how this movie has grown into being a sort of a Christmas classic, while about two-thirds of the movie are totally not Christmas related at all. It isn't until it last 30 minutes or so that the movie is suddenly all about Christmas and its themes and messages of giving and sharing with each other. It's definitely showing some parallels to Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'. It's what makes the movie a very warm one, even though the movie itself remains a drama and a quite heavy one as well.

The story itself is just great. It's really typical for its time, with all of its drama and developments but with a great twist to it as well. The movie has a fantasy theme in it, which is not typical for its time or genre at all. It perhaps even makes this movie feel a bit like a 'modern' fairytale. Needless to say, it makes the movie a very original one within its genre and its where the movie gets most of its charm and warmth from.

The movie is really a great example of some fine film-making and wonderful storytelling. It shows once more that you don't need all that much to create an unforgettable movie, that has an impact on a lot of people, even now days. The movie is about simple little things in life and perhaps that's the movie its greatest power. Everybody can relate to it, which causes them to be easily touched by the movie its themes and messages as well.

Big part of the reason why it all works out so well is James Stewart but you also need to give credit to some of the other actors as well. I for instance, also really liked Lionel Barrymore in this, as the villain. I'm normally a not too big fan of Lionel Barrymore, or any of the other old Barrymore's (John and Ethel) but I must say he was perfectly cast in this movie, as the tough, old, mean Mr. Potter.

Basically a wonderful made, simple, honest, heartfelt movie, with some great, effective and timeless themes in it, which all ensures that this is a perfect movie to watch over and over again.

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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