It's A Wonderful Life: In Color!
by Phil Boatwright

One of the best films of all time is now in color!

With all due respect to the producers of Citizen Kane and Casablanca, my choice for best film of all time would be IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. The reason? Well, consider its theme: a man contemplating suicide is given the chance to see what life for others would be like if he had never been born. Perhaps the most important film Hollywood ever produced, it demonstrates how we can affect the lives around us. Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey reminds us that we touch so many people and can have a real influence on those souls. Director Frank Capra has given the world a great gift with this Christmas classic.

And now it's in color! Paramount Home Video has just released a 2-disc collector's set, which includes a documentary on the making of the film and a special tribute to Frank Capra narrated by his son. Plus, the box set has both a brand new color version, as well as a restored black and white version, (both in pristine shape).

I have never been a fan of colorization, because old black and white classics were lit with b&w film in mind. Shadows and texture added to the look and mood of a film and the addition of computer coloring seemed to detract from those qualities. But with an improved technique of colorization, some pictures have actually taken on a new exuberance. It's A Wonderful Life is one of those. The look is simply splendid, even to the point of enhancing the production.