The Christmas classic 'It's a Wonderful Life' opened in theaters 70 years ago today

Tom Hinde

The holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life" premiered in theaters across America 70 years ago today in 1946. The movie was based on Philip Van Doren Stern's 1939 short story "The Greatest Gift." The film stared James Stewart as George Bailey and Henry Travers as his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody.

Directed and produced by Frank Capra, the movie became one of the most acclaimed films ever made. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture. The American Film Institute (AFI) named the movie as one of the 100 best American films ever made. Spoiler alert, Clarence earns his wings!