The time has come for the annual tradition of the NBC’s Christmas Eve broadcast of the 1946 holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life.
NBC will televised It’s a Wonderful Life at 8 p.m. ET/PT. If you don’t have cable, you can watch the movie live as it airs or on-demand on your computer, phone, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV or other streaming device via one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming subscription services:
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If you’re not interested in watching the NBC broadcast of It’s A Wonderful Life, the movie is also available on Amazon Prime Video.
If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber or want to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch It’s a Wonderful Life on your computer via the Amazon website, or you can watch on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or other streaming device via the Amazon Video app.
NBC (live in most markets) is one of 95-plus live TV channels included in the main FuboTV bundle.
Once signed up for FuboTV, you can watch a live stream of It’s a Wonderful Life on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast or other supported device via the FuboTV app.
If you can’t watch live, It’s a Wonderful Life is currently included in FuboTV’s on-demand library.
AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now) offers six different channel bundles. They range from 45 to 125 live TV channels, and they all include NBC (live in most markets). The “Plus” and “Max” packages come with a free seven-day trial:
Once signed up for AT&T TV Now, you can watch a live stream of It’s a Wonderful Life on your computer via the AT&T TV Now website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, or other compatible streaming device via the AT&T TV app.
If you can’t watch live, AT&T TV Now — no matter what channel package you choose — comes with included cloud DVR.
NBC (live in most markets) is included in Hulu With Live TV, which comes with 60-plus live TV channels and Hulu’s extensive on-demand library of TV shows and movies:
Once signed up for Hulu With Live TV, you can watch a live stream of It’s a Wonderful Life on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Echo Show or other streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch live, “Hulu with Live TV” comes with both its extensive on-demand library (which includes It’s a Wonderful Life) and 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
It’s a Wonderful Life Preview
The gist of It’s a Wonderful Life is that regular guy George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) has big dreams of leaving his small town of Bedford Falls to become an architect. But various things keep him from leaving, like his father dying and George needing to take over the family’s Building and Loan.
Over the years, his life never quite plays out like he wanted it to and then on Christmas, the Building and Loan gets into serious trouble when George’s absentminded Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell) misplaces $8000. In despair and out of fear of going to jail for fraud, George attempts suicide and is saved by his guardian angel, Clarence (Henry Travers). Clarence shows him what a tremendously positive effect his self-perceived small little existence has had on so many people over the years and what life would have been like for them if George had never been born.
He rushes home with a renewed sense of love and appreciation for his life, and then the townspeople come together to help George and the Building and Loan stay out of trouble. It may be a cliche, but it is a truly heartwarming movie about what is most important in life — helping people, being a good friend and neighbor, and that the smallest kind gestures might have the greatest impact on those around us. As Clarence says, “No man is a failure who has friends.”
This Frank Capra classic has become a holiday tradition, but did you know that when it was first released, the reviews were mixed? TIME called it a “pretty wonderful movie,” but the New York Times said its “weakness” was “the sentimentality of it.” But over the years, it has become a beloved holiday staple. In 2000, renowned movie critic Roger Ebert wrote, “What is remarkable about It’s a Wonderful Life is how well it holds up over the years; it’s one of those ageless movies, like Casablanca or The Third Man, that improves with age.”
Even though critics were mixed on the movie initially, that didn’t stop it from receiving five Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Director for Capra, Best Actor for Stewart, and Best Editing and Sound Recording. It also received a special Technical Achievement Award for the way the film simulated falling snow on a motion picture set.
It’s a Wonderful Life airs Tuesday, December 24 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
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