It's A Wonderful Life (Capra, 1946): Hampstead Theatre, Eton Avenue, London NW3 3EU, 7.30pm
Here's a screening with a difference. The Flicker Club begin the evening by introducing a surprise guest who will read the original story, ‘The Greatest Gift’, from which this legendary film is adapted, Jackanory for adults if you like. But who will their mysterious narrator be this year? Last year it was Tom Hollander and the year before Bill Nighy… All will be revealed on the night, but suffice to say the Flicker Club assure us we will be in the hands of a real master.
And as it's Christmas all who turn up will not leave empty handed. On top of their usual goody bag there will be a Secret Santa DVD sack. All you have to do is bring a wrapped copy of a film you'd like to share and you will leave with a new one . . .
Chicago Reader review:
'The film Frank Capra was born to make. This 1946 release marked his return to features after four years of turning out propaganda films for the government, and Capra poured his heart and soul into it. James Stewart stars as a small-town nobody, on the brink of suicide, who believes his life is worthless. Guardian angel Henry Travers shows him how wrong he is by letting Stewart see what would have happened had he never been born. Wonderfully drawn and acted by a superb cast (Donna Reed, Beulah Bondi, Thomas Mitchell, Lionel Barrymore, Gloria Grahame) and told with a sense of image and metaphor (the use of water is especially elegant) that appears in no other Capra film. The epiphany of movie sentiment and a transcendent experience.' Dave Kehr
Here's the phone scene. Gets me every single time.