Movie poster for It's a Wonderful Life, 1947.
Close Window

Movie poster depicting Donna Reed and James Stewart

Credit: From Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine, Winter 1997, David Mallery.

Heralded by the American Film Institute as one of the best films ever made, It's a Wonderful Life also tops the Institute's list of the most inspirational movies of all time. The film, however, did have its critics. After its release in 1947, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover received a memo condemning the film for its pro-Communist, negative depiction of the town banker, played by Lionel Barrymore, and the triumph of common man George Bailey, a role for which Stewart received an Academy Award nomination. Philip Van Doren Stern, the author of the story upon which the film was based, was born in Wyalusing, PA, in 1900.

Back to Top