Cactus Classic Cinema: “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946)
Wednesday, December 20, 2023
7:20 pm screening
“It’s A Wonderful Life“ is a 1946 American Christmas supernatural drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra. It is based on the short story and booklet The Greatest Gift self-published by Philip Van Doren Stern in 1943, which itself is loosely based on the 1843 Charles Dickens novella A Christmas Carol. The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his personal dreams in order to help others in his community and whose thoughts of suicide on Christmas Eve bring about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers). Clarence shows George all the lives he touched and what the world would be like if he did not exist.
Theatrically, the film’s break-even point was $6.3 million, about twice the production cost, a figure it did not come close to achieving on its initial release. Because of the film’s disappointing sales, Capra was seen by some studios as having lost his ability to produce popular, financially successful films. Although “It’s A Wonderful Life“ initially received mixed reviews and was unsuccessful at the box office, it became a Christmas classic after its copyright lapsed in 1974 and it fell into the public domain, which allowed it to be broadcast on television without licensing or royalty fees.
Today, “It’s A Wonderful Life“ is considered to be one of the greatest films of all time and among the best Christmas films. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made. Capra revealed that it was his favorite among the films he directed and that he screened it for his family every Christmas season. It was one of Stewart’s favorite films. In 1990, “It’s A Wonderful Life“ was designated as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
This film is not rated; holiday drama/comedy
Running time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
7:20 pm screening
Note: Vintage shorts begin at 7 pm.
All ages $7
General Admission Seating
Get our Visitor's Guide for all you need to know for your stay in Lubbock, Texas.REQUEST YOUR GUIDE