The grand-daddy of them all, Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life
finds George Bailey (James Stewart), a restless dreamer tied to his late father's struggling building and loan business, preparing to take his own life after $8,000 in company funds are lost. He's saved by an angel who forces him (and the rest of us) to consider what the world, and especially the lives of our loved ones, would be like without us. Despite the grim theme, there's humor in the film and in Stewart's performance. Kids can also get a lesson in economics from observing the ups and downs of Bailey's business. And in the film's conclusion, the town rallies to Bailey's side, evoking tears from young and old, whether its one’s first or fiftieth viewing.