It's A Wonderful LIfe (1947)
What else can you say about this movie? Directed by Frank Capra and starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, this perennial favorite was shown every year on just about every station in America about 100 times every Christmas and people never grew tired of it.
The story for this movie was originally a short story written by Phillip Van Doren Stern. He had about 200 printed up as Christmas cards and sent to family and friends. RKO pictures got a hold of the idea and bought the rights for $10,000. They had writers work on the story but nothing ever really developed out of the three of four scripts. Frank Capra heard about the idea and decided he wanted a crack at it. So, he bought the idea from RKO for the same $10,000 they paid. He even got the scripts thrown in for free. Capra began work on the film and came up with "It's a Wonderful Life". He wanted Jimmy Stewart right away and also wanted his co-star from two previous Capra films, Jean Arthur. Jean was already committed to a Broadway show and had to turn the role down. So Capra settled on a fresh-faced MGM contract player named Donna Reed. The rest, as they say, is history.
The story of George Bailey is a story that resonates within each of us. If you've ever felt useless or unimportant to people, then you can appreciate George as he sees what life would really be like without him. We never realize how we affect the people and, thereby, the world around us for good or evil. Each person is important and makes a difference.
From horrible old Mr. Potter to ZuZu's petals, this is probably the favorite Christmas movie of all time.