Voted the Number One most inspiring film of all time by AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers, "It's A Wonderful Life" has had just that. With the endearing message that "no one is a failure who has friends," Frank Capra's heartwarming masterpiece continues to endure, and after over 60 years this beloved classic still remains as powerful and moving as the day it was made. Based on a story by Philip Van Doren Stern. (Tricia Spears)
Special features include a colorized version of the film and the original, fully restored black-and-white version. There are no special features on the colorized version. The black-and-white version includes "The Making Of It's A Wonderful Life" (SD 22:45) and the original theatrical trailer.
The 1.33:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed in spherical format on 35 mm film stock. The 1.33:1 framed picture is nearly framed in the original 1.37:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The fully restored black-and-white film is incredibly sharp, clear, and detailed. The resolution is impressive throughout, with fine facial features, clothing, and object textures perfectly resolved. The gray scale is perfectly balanced with excellent contrast. Blacks are deep and solid, shadow delineation is nicely revealing, and highlights are nicely enhanced. This new 4K restored edition will not disappoint, and the film is sure to touch the emotions of everyone in the family. (Gary Reber)
The original monaural soundtrack is delivered in the DolbyTrueHD lossless 2.0 monaural format. This new lossless soundtrack delivers remarkable clarity with intelligent dialogue and sound effects. Of course, the sound is limited to the original source elements, and the sound is dated and compressed. As well, distortions are present throughout, and while undistinguished monaural, the sound is what it is and sets the mood for this wonderful classic film. (Gary Reber)