It's a wonderful life

This 1946, post depression, classic is probably as good as movie making gets. It has all the essential elements to make it one of the great all time films.

James Stewart is a small town bumpkin in search of validation -- to bring some meaning to his seemingly disappointing life.

The movie is basically about how hope survives in the worst of situations and goodness is paid sometimes.

Can't think of anybody who would have played George Bailley other than James Steward. Excellent performance.

Frank Kapra's direction is minimal -- you hardly feel it because you are too busy with the movie.