It’s A Wonderful Life

Released in 1946, Frank Capra’s fable of Christmas despair in small town America has become – rather improbably – staple of festive television. Starring Jimmy Stewart as virtuous everyman George Bailey, It’s A Wonderful Life is not just a feelgood tale of moral redemption, but an insight into the shifting social terrain of post-war America.

Is it a film about capitalism? Angels? Individual liberty? The subversion of community values? The trauma of the second world war? James Butler, co-founder of Novara Media and a contributing editor at the London Review of Books, and host Eleanor Penny reflect on their very first viewing (!) of the movie.

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We’re up against huge power and influence. Our supporters keep us entirely free to access. We don’t have any ad partnerships or sponsored content.

Donate one hour’s wage per month—or whatever you can afford—today.