It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Director: Frank Capra
Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers
Budget: $3.2 million
Domestic Box Office Gross: $3.3 million
That movie you watch every Christmas that isn't the one with the BB gun? Total bellyflop. When It's a Wonderful Life opened, director Frank Capra was painted as being painfully out-of-step with popular cinema. The evidence was an endearing film about realizing that life is tough but ultimately worth living.
Okay, put like that, the movie could be a guidance counselor's poster, but thanks to its great performances and beautiful images, It's a Wonderful Life avoided cloying sentiment. And now we line up at the couch to watch it annually!