Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1946. Liberty Films. Screenplay by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra, additional scenes by Jo Swerling, from a story by Philip Van Doren Stern. Cinematography by Joseph F. Biroc, Joseph Walker, Victor Milner. Produced by Frank Capra. Music by Dimitri Tiomkin. Production Design by Jack Okey, William Cameron Menzies. Costume Design by Edward Stevenson. Film Editing by William Hornbeck. Academy Awards 1946. Golden Globe Awards 1946.
Perennial Christmas classic that director Frank Capra’s name is most often attached to and that really is as good as its reputation would have it. James Stewart is a depressed husband and father on Christmas Eve who, thanks to all his personal and financial problems, wishes the world had been created without him, because he’s pretty sure it would have been better that way. A visiting angel begs to differ, giving him a magical glimpse of the way things would be if he had never come along. The film was dismissed as ‘Capracorn’ upon its release by critics, but later television viewers recognized it for the feel-good classic that it really is. Stewart’s personality fits into Capra’s idealistic world with the comfort of a well-worn glove.