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It's a Wonderful Life

CastJames Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Frank Faylen, Ward Bond, Gloria Grahame, H.B. Warner, Mary Treen, Argentina Brunetti, Sheldon Leonard, Charles Lane
Year released1947
Spoiler alert

Spoiler alert!

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We first hear from angels that businessman George is thinking about "throwing away his life." (0:03)

A savings and loan association board member asserts, "It's too soon after Peter Bailey's death to talk about chloroforming the Savings and Loan." (0:30)

George drives under the influence.
The owner of a tree he hits commands him, "Come back here you drunken fool." (1:37)

We see George starting to jump into the icy river on Christmas eve in despair over the apparent failure of his business, but instead he jumps in to save angel Clarence (or Clarence saves him).
Clarence answers George: "Suicide."
Bridge keeper: "It's against the law to commit suicide around here."
Clarence: "It's against the law where I come from too."
"Ridiculous of you to think of killing yourself for money."
"So you still think killing yourself would make everyone feel happier, right?" (1:39)

Two losses affect the story: George prevents intoxicated Mr. Gower the pharmacist, who has just received a telegram that his son has died, from inadvertently sending poison instead of medicine to a customer. George's father's death prevents him from leaving Bedford Falls.

Bartender Nick says, referring to Mr. Gower, "That rum head spent 20 years in jail..." (1:49)

George pokes Clarence to make sure he is real. Reality testing?
He askes Clarence, "You a hypnotist?"
"I'm seeing things here." (1:51)

George's mother tells George, referring to his uncle Billy, "He's been in the insane asylum ever since he lost his business. (1:57)

Cemetery: George sees his brother Harry's grave. (1:58)

A man in the crowd yells, referring to George, "You need a straight jacket." (2:00)

We know the experience of seeing how the world might have turned out had George never been born has changed him when he begs Clarence, "Get me back!" (2:01)

What led Frank Capra to feature Christmas eve suicide plans in at least two films (See Meet John Doe.)?

References in Bruce Almighty, Cinema ParadisoHome Alone, Jack and JillLook Who's TalkingLove the CoopersThe Exorcist IIIRentUshpizin

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