George Bailey (James Stewart) is forced to replace his father in a family business . He loses his freedom and he is forced to abandon his dreams of traveling around the world. He will then meet Mary (Donna Reed) and create a happy family.
But an accounting error led him to despair: the Christmas Eve George Bailey, ready to commit suicide, will meet his guardian angel, Clarence (Henry Travers).
And it is here that after 1:30 flashback on the life of George, will operate the magic of Capra with the meeting between George and Clarence This scene will evolve quickly and dive George in a scene from a nightmare.. Clarence will make him live a traumatic experience, showing him how the city and the people he loves would be without its existence.
George realizes the importance of his past. This sequence looks like a film within the film.
George asks Clarence to live again, to be born.
It's like a re-birth.
It is this reversal that gives hope. This is what gives us the feeling of magic in the film.
Upset George is reunited with his family and friends. It will no longer think about suicide, it will revive and all of that in the night of 24 December.
Capra signs here a real Christmas story, to watch again and again to enjoy all aspects of this family Entertainment.