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Lesson Transcript

Top 10 American Movies - It’s a Wonderful Life
"It's a Wonderful Life" begins in Bedford Falls, home to George Bailey. Family and friends are praying for George, and we see their prayers are going up to God. An angel named Clarence is assigned to George's case. Clarence can earn his wings if he helps George. He is told George is considering giving up his life. Clarence reviews George's life and finds George is a giving man who has repeatedly sacrificed his ambitions for the good of others.
George's enemy is Harry F. Potter, a majority shareholder in the business George runs. When Potter tries to convince the Board of Directors to stop making loans to the working poor, George talks them into rejecting Potter's proposal, but only on the condition that George run the business.
On Christmas Eve, George gives his absent-minded uncle $8,000 to deposit for the business. Billy runs into Potter and accidentally gives him the money. Potter keeps the money and swears out a warrant to have George arrested for bank fraud. A despondent George gets drunk and considers jumping off of a bridge and committing suicide.
Clarence steps in, jumps into the water, and pretends to be drowning. George rescues Clarence, who reveals himself as George's guardian angel. George tells Clarence he wishes he had never been born. Clarence shows George how Bedford Falls would have turned out without him. The revelation shows a down and out Bedford Falls, with his family and friends doing horribly.
George then realizes the value of his life. He goes home and finds the police there ready to arrest him. Just then, George's family and many townspeople arrive with donations to save George and his business. In the last scene, Clarence sends George a note, thanking him for the wings and reminding him that "no man is a failure who has friends."