It’s a Wonderful Life is a classic Christmas movie that starred actor James Stewart as George Bailey. George is a man, who in an attempt to help others, has given up on his own dreams.
On Christmas Eve, George wishes he was never born. During George’s imminent suicide, he is “rescued” by an angel named Clarence. Clarence shows George how the lives of those around him would have been affected if he had indeed never been born.
Even though the film performed somewhat poorly at the time of its original release, it has since become a yearly Christmas movie staple of the holiday season, with many viewing it as one of the best Christmas films of all time.
Below, we’ll show you where to watch It’s a Wonderful Life, how to stream it, when it’s on TV, and five fast facts about it for some fun trivia.
How to Stream It’s a Wonderful Life
Not everyone enjoys having their Rudolph time scheduled for them by the television networks. We get it, you’re busy, you’ve got plans, you make your own schedule! Don’t worry, we’ve got your streaming options covered below.
You can rent It’s a Wonderful Life online via Google Play for $2.99 or you can buy the digital download for $12.99.
You can stream It’s a Wonderful Life on iTunes for $3.99, or secure your own digital copy for $9.99.
Vudu gives you the option to rent It’s a Wonderful Life for $2.99 or own it for $7.99.
Is It’s a Wonderful Life on Netflix?
Unfortunately, It’s a Wonderful Life is not available to stream on Netflix.
Is It’s a Wonderful Life on Hulu?
No, it’s not on Hulu right now, either.
When Is It’s a Wonderful Life on TV?
Luckily, if you’re not looking to stream it, you can catch it on network TV in December if you have a cable subscription. Here’s when It’s a Wonderful Life will be on TV this month:
- December 24th: 8:00PM EST on NBC
It’s a Wonderful Life Trailer
5 Fast Facts About It’s A Wonderful Life
A Christmas Card Sealed The Deal
Philip Van Doren Stern, who penned the original “The Greatest Gift,” on which the film “It’s A Wonderful Life” was based, spent many unsuccessful years attempting to get publishers to notice his short story. He then decided one holiday to print up 200 copies of the 21-page story, and give this, his true gift of words, out to his closest friends, in the form of a Christmas card. A producer at RKO, by the name of David Hempstead, somehow got hold of one of the Christmas cards, and in turn, offered $10,000 for the movie rights. The rest is as they say history.
Grant Not Stewart As George
After having finalized their purchase to the movie rights of the short story, RKO set about getting production going on the film. Their original thought was that then well-known movie star Cary Grant would portray the lead as the character of George Bailey. However, as is usual to happen in Hollywood, the film’s production had its ups and downs, and production slowed to a stop. After going through rewrite after rewrite, RKO decided to cut its losses and sold the rights to Frank Capra. It is Capra who tapped Jimmy Stewart for the titular role of George Bailey.
Put Donna Reed On The Hollywood Map
Although Donna had been a household name in Hollywood for some time, having appeared in 20 previous projects, it wasn’t until “It’s A Wonderful Life” that she had her first starring role. Although Reed made the role her own, and to be honest it would be hard to think of anyone else doing the role justice, Reed did have some stiff competition for the job. Mary Owen, daughter of Jean Arthur, once stated that Capra had liked her mother from the beginning, and thought she would be perfect for Mary Bailey.
The Movie Was A Box Office Bomb
“It’s A Wonderful Life” may be a Christmas tradition for holiday viewing today, the fact is that it was not always so. When it first hit the box office back in the 40s, the film was not a very big hit with filmgoing audiences. The reality is that Capra experienced a massive loss of $525,000 on the production of the film. As a result of the failure, he found himself strapped and had to scramble around to find financing for the production of his next upcoming picture—State Of The Union
Bedford Wasn’t Built In A Day
The budget for the film was considered massive for its time. Within that budget was the $3.7 million that was dedicated to the building of the location of the story, Bedford Falls. Bedford was based on the real town of Seneca Falls, New York, however, for the production of the film, four acres of the Encino Ranch, owned by RKO, was used for the town’s movie set. The film proved to host one of the most elaborately built sets of its time. The set contained 75 storefronts and buildings, 20 actual oak trees that were fully grown, residential homes, and boasted a 300 yard long Main Street.