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The It's a Wonderful Life Book

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Tells the entire story of the film's production and presents us with an extraordinary wealth of original material. More than 200 photos.
Paperback, 365 pages
Published October 12th 1986 by Knopf
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4.25  · 
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 ·  57 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Greg Van Vorhis
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jeanine Basinger has put together the definitive collection of primary source information available about "It's a Wonderful Life."

Anybody who considers him or herself a "Lifer" (a fan of the movie, usually an extreme fan such as myself) needs to purchase this book.

Almost everything you want to know is in here, from the original story the film was based on to interviews with Stewart, an introduction by Capra, pictures galore, the final script, script revisions, notes about suggested censorship, a
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Even if you don't like this movie (there may be 2 or 3 Scrooges out there), this book is a fascinating read. It includes fascinating trivia, like the creation of fake snow that looks like the real thing. (They shot the winter scenes in the San Fernando Valley in the middle of the summer.) It has a wealth of original pictures and other items, such as the casting notes. And it includes both the original short story as well as the full shooting script. This is a sterling look behind the scenes at h ...more
Leslie Goddard
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the essential book for die-hard fans of It’s a Wonderful Life, though casual fans might find it a bit overwhelming. I found it outstanding for two compelling reasons:

1) It includes a vast amount of primary source materials. You can read the original Christmas-card story that provided the outline. You can compare some scenes as originally scripted with the final version as it appears in the film. You can read interviews with not just Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra but also the cameraman, e
Tom Santopietro
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The definitive history of Frank Capra's classic film, one which still stands as the ultimate cinematic Dickensian tale of the common man. From the story's beginnings on a Christmas card to the multiple drafts of a screenplay- one of the writers was Clifford Odets!- the reader is granted a full understanding of the entire production process and just why the film has become a Christmas classic which still speaks to Americans today.
One other note: in researching my new book "Why To Kill a Mockingb
Stacey Rose
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My Favorite Movie Of All Time. It isn't Xmas without a classic. This book updates the movie scene by scene word for word!!! AWESOME!!! A must read if U love the Xmas Classics. Merry Xmas Yall!!!!
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-need-to-buy
Adorable Christmas Story.
Stephanie Baldwin
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It was a quick read
Don LaFountaine
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a book about the making of the fantastic movie "It's A Wonderful Life", with Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, and Henry Travers. Admittedly, this book is really only for movie buffs and aficionado's of the movie. (Though why anyone who is not a fan of the movie would read this is beyond me.) As a huge fan of this classic, my 4 star rating of this somewhat biased.

Basically, this is a behind the scenes archive of the making of "It's A Wonderful Life". It talks
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

It's very interesting getting the behind-the-scenes story (or as clear a version of it as possible) for one of the most beloved films of all time. There's a lot of diving into the Capra archives for information, as well as interviews with the final cameraman on the film (it went through three) as well as George Bailey himself, James Stewart. This book also contains the short story that inspired the film, The Greatest Gift: The Original Story That Inspired the Christmas Classic It's a Wo
This is one of the greatest movies of all-time [honest - it really is!].

The book details the history of the film from conception to completion. Full of amazing stills and off-camera images. A must for any fan of the film.
Nancy Loe
Aug 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
I admit I'm nostalgic for the day when this was a little seen, overlooked gem. Now it's turned into televised holiday wallpaper.
Allison Dunlap
Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had the same emotional experience reading this as watching the movie. It always gives me a keener appreciation for my life and my blessings!
Dec 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My father used to read through the script with me when I was a little girl. One of my fondest memories. He lost his copy so I just bought him a copy the other day.
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Jeanine Basinger holds a BS and MS from South Dakota State University. She is a film historian, professor of Film Studies at Wesleyan University and curator and founder of The Cinema Archives at Wesleyan University. In addition, she is a trustee emeritus of the American Film Institute, a member of the Steering Committee of the National Center for Film and Video Preservation, and one of the Board o ...more