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It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Drama, Family, Fantasy

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George's modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George's Uncle Billy loses the business's $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, finally allowing Potter to take over the town. Thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off with him dead, he contemplates suicide. But the prayers of his loved ones result in a gentle angel named Clarence coming to earth to help George, with the promise of earning his wings. He shows George what things would have been like if he had never been born. In a nightmarish vision in which the Potter-controlled town is sunk in sex and sin, those George loves are either dead, ruined, or miserable. He realizes that he has touched many people in a positive way and that his life has truly been a wonderful one. (Read More)

Themes:christmas,  greed,  depression,  drunkenness,  marriage,  friendship,  revenge
Locations:wheelchair,  cemetery,  snow,  bar
Characters:maid,  friend
Period:1910s,  1920s,  1930s
Story:guardian angel,  angel,  christmas eve,  bell ringing,  flower petal,  angel on earth,  advice from bartender,  jumping off a bridge,  business,  great depression,  man in a wheelchair,  rescue from drowning,  taxi driver,  christmas decorations,  christmas carol,  christmas tree,  dancing couple,  marriage proposal,  falling into swimming pool,  grabbed by the lapels,  belief in destiny,  property seizure,  jumping into a pool with clothes on,  partial deafness,  change history,  framed butterfly,  saved from drowning,  throwing a stone at a window,  butterfly collection,  property owner,  audio flashback,  holiday film,  reference to tom sawyer,  double take,  property rights,  punch into the camera,  man on the verge of tears,  common cold,  mislaid trust,  lost money,  auld lang syne,  film blanc,  absent mindedness,  do over,  window smashing,  wipe,  needing money,  developer,  small town life,  graduation party,  jitterbug,  house warming,  making a wish,  sledding,  populism,  reference to mark twain,  financier,  contemplating suicide,  fund raising,  what if,  cash register,  dedication,  falling through ice,  rich snob,  board meeting,  job offer,  generosity,  concealed nudity,  manhood,  wish fulfillment,  dance contest,  boarding house,  renovation,  drugstore,  lifting person in air,  sitting,  suitor,  financial problem,  wedding night,  two brothers,  sick child,  family man,  newlywed,  contraction in title,  african american woman,  second chance,  telegram,  alternate history,  bathrobe,  falling into water,  bell,  stroke,  librarian,  old dark house,  war hero,  remorse,  happy ending,  handshake,  weather,  ethnic slur,  alienation,  snowing,  rainstorm,  frustration,  heaven,  despair,  job interview,  loss of son,  attempted suicide,  ambition,  railway station,  lifting someone into the air,  claim in title,  freeze frame,  sacrifice,  ex convict,  flower,  loss of father,  prank,  bank,  suitcase,  poison,  bartender,  four word title,  bridge,  new york,  time travel,  river,  prayer,  apostrophe in title,  death of father,  taxi,  rescue,  small town,  face slap,  car accident,  police officer,  swimming pool,  pregnancy,  world war two,  punctuation in title,  brother brother relationship,  cult film,  dancing,  african american,  mother daughter relationship,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  father son relationship,  family relationships,  based on novel,  flashback

Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Biography, Crime, Drama

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

New Rochelle, the 1960s. High schooler Frank Abagnale Jr. idolizes his father, who's in trouble with the IRS. When his parents separate, Frank runs away to Manhattan with $25 in his checking account, vowing to regain dad's losses and get his parents back together. Just a few years later, the FBI tracks him down in France; he's extradited, tried, and jailed for passing more than $4,000,000 in bad checks. Along the way, he's posed as a Pan Am pilot, a pediatrician, and an attorney. And, from nearly the beginning of this life of crime, he's been pursued by a dour FBI agent, Carl Hanratty. What starts as cat and mouse becomes something akin to father and son. (Read More)

Themes:christmas,  revenge
Locations:snow,  bar
Characters:maid
Story:christmas eve,  christmas tree,  marriage proposal,  mislaid trust,  war hero,  rainstorm,  job interview,  ex convict,  loss of father,  bank,  suitcase,  prayer,  death of father,  taxi,  police officer,  swimming pool,  cult film,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  mother daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  father son relationship,  flashback

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The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)
Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-fi

The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)

When Henry DeTamble meets Clare Abshire in a Chicago library they both understand that he is a time traveler, but she knows much more about him as he has not yet been to the times and places where they have already met. He falls in love with her, as she has already with him, but his continuing unavoidable absences while time traveling - and then returning with increasing knowledge of their future - makes things ever more difficult for Clare. (Read More)

Themes:christmas,  marriage,  friendship
Locations:wheelchair,  snow
Story:christmas tree,  marriage proposal,  film blanc,  librarian,  loss of father,  time travel,  apostrophe in title,  death of father,  face slap,  car accident,  police officer,  pregnancy,  punctuation in title,  father daughter relationship,  mother daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  father son relationship,  family relationships,  based on novel

Click (2006)
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Click (2006)

Michael Newman (Sandler) is a hard working family man, who must please his boss (Hasselhoff), in order to get promoted. Problem is he gets less time with his family, and wishes for a remote in which he can control his life. This soon comes true for Newman, when he meets Morty (Walken), a crazy sales clerk, who has the ultimate remote. A remote in which he can do anything, including muting, skipping and dubbing his life. He finds this to be the opportunity in which he can not only skip every argument, but also skip to his promotion. He sees this as a good idea, until the remote goes horribly wrong. (Read More)

Themes:christmas,  friendship
Locations:cemetery,  snow,  bar
Characters:friend
Story:common cold,  absent mindedness,  populism,  what if,  rich snob,  wish fulfillment,  lifting person in air,  family man,  second chance,  bathrobe,  stroke,  frustration,  despair,  sacrifice,  loss of father,  angel,  bridge,  time travel,  death of father,  face slap,  swimming pool,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  mother daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  father son relationship,  family relationships,  flashback

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Musical

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

A retelling of the classic Dickens tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, miser extraordinaire. He is held accountable for his dastardly ways during night-time visitations by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and future.

Themes:greed,  christmas
Locations:snow
Story:christmas carol,  christmas eve,  rich snob,  second chance,  happy ending,  snowing,  four word title,  time travel,  cult film,  based on novel

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Citizen Kane (1941)
Drama, Mystery

Citizen Kane (1941)

A group of reporters are trying to decipher the last word ever spoken by Charles Foster Kane, the millionaire newspaper tycoon: "Rosebud." The film begins with a news reel detailing Kane's life for the masses, and then from there, we are shown flashbacks from Kane's life. As the reporters investigate further, the viewers see a display of a fascinating man's rise to fame, and how he eventually fell off the top of the world. This is why Citizen Kane (1941) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946). (Read More)

Themes:depression,  drunkenness,  christmas,  marriage,  friendship
Locations:snow
Characters:maid,  friend
Period:1920s,  1930s
Story:great depression,  mislaid trust,  rich snob,  manhood,  boarding house,  alternate history,  alienation,  rainstorm,  frustration,  attempted suicide,  ambition,  lifting someone into the air,  business,  bank,  new york,  taxi,  car accident,  cult film,  dancing,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  father son relationship,  flashback

The Family Man (2000)
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance

The Family Man (2000)

A modern-day Frank Capra story. Jack Campbell, a successful and talented businessman, is happily living his single life. He has everything, or so he thinks. One day he wakes up in a new life where he didn't leave his college girlfriend for a London trip. He's married to Kate, lives in Jersey and has two kids. He, of course, desperately wants his life back for which he has worked 13 years for. He's president of P. K. Lassiter Investment House and not a tire salesman at Big Ed's. He drives a Ferrari and not a mini-van that never starts. And most importantly he doesn't wake up in the morning with kids jumping on the bed. After a bad start, day by day he's more confident in his new life and starts to see what he's been missing. Turns out money's good to have but that's not everything. (Read More)

Themes:greed,  christmas,  marriage
Characters:friend
Story:angel on earth,  christmas eve,  do over,  rich snob,  family man,  happy ending,  job interview,  angel,  time travel,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  family relationships

Little Women (1994)
Drama, Family, Romance

Little Women (1994)

'Louisa May Alcott' (qv)'s autobiographical account of her life with her three sisters in Concord, Massachusetts in the 1860s. With their father fighting in the American Civil War, sisters Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth are at home with their mother, a very outspoken women for her time. The story tells of how the sisters grow up, find love and find their place in the world. (Read More)

Themes:christmas,  marriage
Locations:snow
Characters:maid
Story:christmas decorations,  christmas carol,  christmas eve,  christmas tree,  marriage proposal,  falling through ice,  boarding house,  telegram,  pregnancy,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  mother daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  family relationships,  based on novel

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There Will Be Blood (2007) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Drama, History

There Will Be Blood (2007)

The intersecting life stories of Daniel Plainview and Eli Sunday in early twentieth century California presents miner-turned-oilman Daniel Plainview, a driven man who will do whatever it takes to achieve his goals. He works hard but also takes advantage of those around him at their expense if need be. His business partner/son (H.W.) is, in reality, an "acquired" child whose true biological single-parent father (working on one of Daniel's rigs) died in a workplace accident. Daniel is deeply protective of H.W. if only for what H.W. brings to the partnership. Eli Sunday is one in a pair of twins whose family farm Daniel purchases for the major oil deposit located on it. Eli, a local preacher and a self-proclaimed faith healer, wants the money from the sale of the property to finance his own church. The lives of the two competitive men often clash as Daniel pumps oil off the property and tries to acquire all the surrounding land at bargain prices to be able to build a pipeline to the coast, and as Eli tries to build his own religious empire. (Read More)

Themes:greed,  marriage
Locations:bar
Period:1910s,  1920s,  1930s
Story:great depression,  renovation,  sitting,  family man,  ambition,  railway station,  lifting someone into the air,  claim in title,  ex convict,  loss of father,  business,  prayer,  small town,  face slap,  brother brother relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  father son relationship,  based on novel,  flashback

Conviction (2010)
Biography, Drama

Conviction (2010)

Betty Anne Waters (Swank) is a high school dropout who spent nearly two decades working as a single mother while putting herself through law school, tirelessly trying to beat the system and overturn her brother's (Rockwell) unjust murder conviction.

Themes:christmas,  marriage,  friendship
Locations:bar
Characters:friend
Story:christmas decorations,  christmas tree,  audio flashback,  despair,  attempted suicide,  sacrifice,  bartender,  prayer,  death of father,  face slap,  police officer,  brother brother relationship,  dancing,  mother daughter relationship,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  father son relationship,  family relationships,  flashback

Scrooged (1988)
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Scrooged (1988)

Frank Cross runs a US TV station which is planning a live adaptation of Dickens' Christmas Carol. Frank's childhood wasn't a particularly pleasant one, and so he doesn't really appreciate the Christmas spirit. With the help of the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, Frank realises he must change. This is why Scrooged (1988) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946). (Read More)

Themes:greed,  christmas,  friendship
Characters:friend
Story:christmas carol,  christmas eve,  remorse,  lifting someone into the air,  face slap,  cult film,  dancing,  based on novel

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The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946)
Drama, Romance, War

The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946)

The story concentrates on the social re-adjustment of three World War II servicemen, each from a different station of society. Al Stephenson returns to an influential banking position, but finds it hard to reconcile his loyalties to ex-servicemen with new commercial realities. Fred Derry is an ordinary working man who finds it difficult to hold down a job or pick up the threads of his marriage. Having had both hands burnt off during the war, Homer Parrish is unsure that his fiancee's feelings are still those of love and not those of pity. Each of the veterans faces a crisis upon his arrival, and each crisis is a microcosm of the experiences of many American warriors who found an alien world awaiting them when they came marching home. (Read More)

Themes:drunkenness,  marriage
Locations:bar
Characters:maid
Story:taxi driver,  marriage proposal,  audio flashback,  window smashing,  manhood,  drugstore,  bathrobe,  war hero,  handshake,  job interview,  bank,  bartender,  taxi,  world war two,  dancing,  mother daughter relationship,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  father son relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  based on novel

The Matador (2005) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Comedy, Crime, Drama, Thriller

The Matador (2005)

A chance encounter between a travelling salesman and a lonely hitman triggers a strangely profound relationship which provokes each to act in ways neither would have imagined possible. Fate steps in to form a friendship between two men from irreconcilable worlds that will alter the lives of both forever. (Read More)

Themes:drunkenness,  christmas,  friendship
Locations:cemetery,  snow,  bar
Characters:friend
Story:christmas decorations,  christmas tree,  weather,  snowing,  business,  suitcase,  bartender,  taxi,  car accident,  swimming pool,  dancing,  husband wife relationship,  father son relationship,  mother son relationship,  flashback

A Hologram For The King (2016)
Comedy, Drama, Romance

A Hologram For The King (2016)

Themes:depression,  drunkenness
Locations:snow
Story:taxi driver,  stroke,  handshake,  freeze frame,  business,  suitcase,  bridge,  taxi,  swimming pool,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  mother daughter relationship,  father son relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  based on novel,  flashback

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Rocky III (1982)
Drama, Sport

Rocky III (1982)

Three years and 10 successful title defenses after beating Apollo Creed, with whom he has become great friends, a now wealthy Rocky Balboa is considering retirement. Fame and complacency soon cause Balboa to lose his title to Clubber Lang, who inadvertently causes the death of Rocky's trainer Mickey. Rocky sinks into a depression, and Apollo decides to train Rocky for a rematch against Lang so Rocky can try to win the title back. (Read More)

Themes:depression,  drunkenness,  christmas,  marriage,  friendship,  revenge
Locations:bar
Story:christmas tree,  lifting person in air,  second chance,  ethnic slur,  freeze frame,  bartender,  bridge,  swimming pool,  cult film,  african american,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  father son relationship,  flashback

Giant (1956)
Drama, Western

Giant (1956)

Texan rancher Bick Benedict visits a Maryland farm to buy a prize horse. Whilst there he meets and falls in love with the owner's daughter Leslie, they are married immediately and return to his ranch. The story of their family and its rivalry with cowboy and (later oil tycoon) Jett Rink unfolds across two generations. This is why Giant (1956) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946). (Read More)

Themes:drunkenness,  christmas,  marriage,  friendship
Locations:cemetery,  bar
Characters:friend
Period:1920s,  1930s
Story:christmas tree,  marriage proposal,  sick child,  newlywed,  handshake,  ethnic slur,  railway station,  business,  prayer,  swimming pool,  pregnancy,  world war two,  african american,  mother daughter relationship,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  father son relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  based on novel

Born On The Fourth Of July (1989) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Biography, Drama, War

Born On The Fourth Of July (1989)

The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.

Themes:drunkenness,  friendship
Locations:wheelchair,  cemetery,  bar
Story:rainstorm,  loss of son,  railway station,  prayer,  taxi,  small town,  face slap,  brother brother relationship,  father son relationship,  mother son relationship

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Jack Frost (1998)
Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Jack Frost (1998)

Jack Frost is a singer who's on the road most of the time so he can't spend a lot of time with his son Charlie, although they love each other very much. When Jack dies in a car accident, Charlie becomes a very sad young man, until... Jack returns as a snowman! Now they can do all the things they've missed when Jack was human, but what will people think when they see Charlie talking to a snowman and what will happen when the weather gets warmer? (Read More)

Themes:christmas,  friendship
Locations:snow
Characters:friend
Story:christmas eve,  audio flashback,  wish fulfillment,  weather,  alienation,  loss of father,  car accident,  husband wife relationship,  father son relationship

Ladder 49 (2004)
Action, Drama, Thriller

Ladder 49 (2004)

Under the watchful eye of his mentor Captain Mike Kennedy, probationary firefighter Jack Morrison matures into a seasoned veteran at a Baltimore fire station. Jack has reached a crossroads, however, as the sacrifices he's made have put him in harm's way innumerable times and significantly impacted his relationship with his wife and kids. Responding to the worst blaze in his career, he becomes trapped inside a 20-story building. And as he reflects on his life, now Deputy Chief Kennedy frantically coordinates the effort to save him. (Read More)

Themes:drunkenness,  christmas,  marriage,  friendship
Locations:cemetery,  snow,  bar
Characters:friend
Story:christmas eve,  loss of father,  death of father,  rescue,  pregnancy,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  mother daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  father son relationship,  family relationships,  flashback

The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Crime, Drama

The Godfather: Part II (1974)

The continuing saga of the Corleone crime family tells the story of a young Vito Corleone growing up in Sicily and in 1910s New York; and follows Michael Corleone in the 1950s as he attempts to expand the family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba.

Themes:drunkenness,  christmas,  marriage,  revenge,  friendship
Locations:wheelchair,  bar
Characters:friend
Period:1910s,  1920s
Story:business,  sick child,  ethnic slur,  alienation,  frustration,  railway station,  new york,  brother brother relationship,  dancing,  family relationships,  based on novel,  flashback

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The Night Of The Hunter (1955) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Crime, Drama, Film-noir, Thriller

The Night Of The Hunter (1955)

It's the Great Depression. In the process of robbing a bank of $10,000, Ben Harper kills two people. Before he is captured, he is able to convince his adolescent son John and his daughter Pearl not to tell anyone, including their mother Willa, where he hid the money, namely in Pearl's favorite toy, a doll that she carries everywhere with her. Ben, who is captured, tried and convicted, is sentenced to death. But before he is executed, Ben is in the state penitentiary with a cell mate, a man by the name of Harry Powell, a self-professed man of the cloth, who is really a con man and murderer, swindling lonely women, primarily rich widows, of their money before he kills them. Harry does whatever he can, unsuccessfully, to find out the location of the $10,000 from Ben. After Ben's execution, Harry decides that Willa will be his next mark, figuring that someone in the family knows where the money is hidden. Despite vowing not to remarry, Willa ends up being easy prey for Harry's outward evangelicalism; she is a pious woman who feels she needs to atone for her sins which led to Ben doing what he did, especially as Harry presents himself as the preacher who worked at the prison and provided salvation to Ben before his death. Harry quickly figures out that John and Pearl know where the money is. Conversely, John doesn't trust Harry, John who first tries not to show to Harry that he indeed does know where the money is, and then second constantly reminds a more-trusting Pearl of their promise to their now-deceased father. With Willa devoted to her new husband, John and Pearl need some other adult assistance in evading Harry's veiled threats, an adult who not only can see the honesty and goodness in children but who can also see a true wolf in sheep's clothing like Harry. This is why The Night Of The Hunter (1955) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946). (Read More)

Themes:depression,  drunkenness,  christmas,  marriage,  friendship
Locations:snow
Period:1930s
Story:great depression,  wedding night,  snowing,  lifting someone into the air,  ex convict,  loss of father,  bank,  river,  death of father,  small town,  face slap,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  mother daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  father son relationship,  family relationships,  based on novel

Das Weisse Band - Eine Deutsche Kindergeschichte (2009)
Drama, Mystery

Das Weisse Band - Eine Deutsche Kindergeschichte (2009)

From July, 1913 to the outbreak of World War I, a series of incidents take place in a German village. A horse trips on a wire and throws the rider; a woman falls to her death through rotted planks; the local baron's son is hung upside down in a mill; parents slap and bully their children; a man is cruel to his long-suffering lover; another sexually abuses his daughter. People disappear. A callow teacher, who courts a nanny in the baron's household, narrates the story and tries to investigate the connections among these accidents and crimes. What is foreshadowed? Are the children holy innocents? God may be in His heaven, but all is not right with the world; the center cannot hold. (Read More)

Themes:christmas,  revenge
Locations:snow
Characters:maid
Period:1910s
Story:christmas tree,  marriage proposal,  suitor,  snowing,  heaven,  bridge,  prayer,  death of father,  small town,  face slap,  police officer,  brother brother relationship,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  father son relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships

K-pax (2001)
Drama, Sci-fi

K-pax (2001)

Themes:marriage,  friendship
Locations:wheelchair
Characters:friend
Story:second chance,  attempted suicide,  railway station,  river,  death of father,  pregnancy,  cult film,  mother daughter relationship,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  father son relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  based on novel

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The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Comedy, Drama

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Three grown prodigies, all with a unique genius of some kind, and their mother are staying at the family household. Their father, Royal had left them long ago, and comes back to make things right with his family.

Themes:depression,  marriage,  friendship
Locations:cemetery
Story:attempted suicide,  new york,  death of father,  taxi,  car accident,  police officer,  swimming pool,  brother brother relationship,  mother daughter relationship,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  father son relationship,  family relationships,  flashback

Gone With The Wind (1939) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Drama, History, Romance, War

Gone With The Wind (1939)

Scarlett is a woman who can deal with a nation at war, Atlanta burning, the Union Army carrying off everything from her beloved Tara, the carpetbaggers who arrive after the war. Scarlett is beautiful. She has vitality. But Ashley, the man she has wanted for so long, is going to marry his placid cousin, Melanie. Mammy warns Scarlett to behave herself at the party at Twelve Oaks. There is a new man there that day, the day the Civil War begins. Rhett Butler. Scarlett does not know he is in the room when she pleads with Ashley to choose her instead of Melanie. (Read More)

Themes:drunkenness,  christmas,  marriage,  friendship
Characters:maid
Story:christmas tree,  marriage proposal,  audio flashback,  fund raising,  rich snob,  african american woman,  loss of son,  railway station,  loss of father,  business,  four word title,  prayer,  death of father,  rescue,  face slap,  pregnancy,  brother brother relationship,  dancing,  african american,  mother daughter relationship,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  family relationships,  based on novel

Ondskan (2003)
Drama

Ondskan (2003)

Erik is expelled from school for fighting. He ends up at a private boarding school where the senior students control the young ones. Erik finds a friend in Pierre, his room mate. The story revolves around Erik who just wishes to be left alone and graduate. He doesn't listen to what the seniors have to say and they don't like it. This is why Ondskan (2003) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946). (Read More)

Themes:christmas,  friendship,  revenge
Characters:friend
Story:christmas tree,  snowing,  suitcase,  prayer,  death of father,  face slap,  swimming pool,  pregnancy,  cult film,  father son relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  based on novel

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In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Thriller

In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)

Set in the kingdom of Ehb, the story follows Farmer ('Jason Statham' (qv)), who was adopted by his village. When Farmer's wife, Solana ('Claire Forlani' (qv)), and his son leave to sell vegetables at the town of Stonebridge, Farmer's farm is attacked by creatures called Krugs. With the help of his friend and neighbor Norrick ('Ron Perlman (I)' (qv)), he travels to Stonebridge where his wife and son are. Before he arrives, the Krugs, controlled by the wizard Gallian ('Ray Liotta' (qv)), kill his son and capture his wife. Farmer, with the help of Bastian ('Will Sanderson' (qv)), his brother-in-law, and Norrick sets out to find and rescue his wife. The King's nephew Fallow ('Matthew Lillard' (qv)) is conspiring with the wizard Gallian to take over the kingdom led by King Konreid ('Burt Reynolds'). (Read More)

Themes:greed,  revenge,  friendship
Characters:friend
Story:bell ringing,  audio flashback,  loss of son,  poison,  bridge,  death of father,  rescue,  pregnancy,  cult film,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  father son relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  flashback

The Color Purple (1985)
Drama

The Color Purple (1985)

This film follows the life of Celie, a young black girl growing up in the early 1900's. The first time we see Celie, she is 14 - and pregnant - by her father. We stay with her for the next 30 years of her tough life...

Themes:drunkenness,  christmas,  friendship
Period:1910s,  1920s,  1930s
Story:newlywed,  rainstorm,  loss of father,  prayer,  face slap,  african american,  father daughter relationship,  father son relationship,  based on novel

Mysterious Skin (2004) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Drama, Mystery

Mysterious Skin (2004)

Brian Lackey is determined to discover what happened during an amnesia blackout when he was eight years old, and then later woke with a bloody nose. He believes he was abducted by aliens, and N. McCormick, a fellow player on Brian's childhood baseball team, may be the key as to exactly what happened that night. As Brian searches for the truth and tries to track him down, Neil McCormick takes up hustling and moves to New York, in attempts to forget childhood memories that haunt him. Together, the two of them uncover the terrible truth of the scars they share. (Read More)

Themes:drunkenness,  christmas,  friendship
Locations:snow,  bar
Characters:friend
Story:christmas carol,  christmas eve,  christmas tree,  snowing,  rainstorm,  prank,  angel,  new york,  small town,  face slap,  mother son relationship,  father son relationship,  family relationships,  based on novel,  flashback

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Blue Valentine (2010)
Drama, Romance

Blue Valentine (2010)

Dean Pereira and Cindy Heller Pereira are a young, working class married couple - Dean currently working as a painter, and Cindy working as a nurse in a medical clinic - with a young daughter named Frankie. Despite their relatively tender ages, they are both ravaged by the life they've eked out together and by the experiences they've had leading into their marriage. Dean, a high school drop out, comes from a broken home, where he never really had a mother figure. He never saw himself getting married or having a family despite falling in love at first sight with Cindy. He doesn't have any professional ambition beyond his current work - which he enjoys since he feels he can knock off a beer at 8 o'clock in the morning without it affecting his work - although Cindy believes he has so much more potential in life. Cindy also comes from a dysfunctional family, with her own mother and father not setting an example of a harmonious married or family life. One of her previous serious relationships was with Bobby Ontario, that relationship which has a profound affect on many aspects of her marriage to Dean. Dean and Cindy head off on an overnight getaway together without Frankie, the getaway which may provide a clearer picture if their marriage can survive its many issues. (Read More)

Themes:depression,  drunkenness,  marriage
Locations:wheelchair
Story:man in a wheelchair,  taxi driver,  job interview,  ambition,  suitcase,  bridge,  prayer,  taxi,  face slap,  pregnancy,  dancing,  african american,  father daughter relationship,  mother daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  family relationships,  flashback

Alfie (2004)
Comedy, Drama, Romance

Alfie (2004)

In Manhattan, the British limousine driver Alfie is surrounded by beautiful women, most of them clients, and he lives as a Don Juan, having one night stands with all of them and without any sort of commitment. His girl-friend and single-mother Julie is quite upset with the situation and his best friends are his colleague Marlon and his girl-friend Lonette. Alfie has a brief affair with Lonette, and the consequences of his act forces Alfie to reflect and wonder about his life style. This is why Alfie (2004) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946). (Read More)

Themes:drunkenness,  christmas,  marriage,  friendship
Locations:cemetery,  snow,  bar
Characters:friend
Story:christmas eve,  freeze frame,  flower,  business,  river,  taxi,  pregnancy,  dancing,  african american,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  flashback

Live By Night (2016)
Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Live By Night (2016)

Boston, 1926. The '20s are roaring. Liquor is flowing, bullets are flying, and one man sets out to make his mark on the world. Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbringing. Now having graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city's most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the spoils, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw. But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. In a time when ruthless men of ambition, armed with cash, illegal booze, and guns, battle for control, no one-neither family nor friend, enemy nor lover-can be trusted. Beyond money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems most likely for men like Joe: an early death. But until that day, he and his friends are determined to live life to the hilt. Joe embarks on a dizzying journey up the ladder of organized crime that takes him from the flash of Jazz Age Boston to the sensual shimmer of Tampa's Latin Quarter to the sizzling streets of Cuba. Live by Night is a riveting epic layered with a diverse cast of loyal friends and callous enemies, tough rumrunners and sultry femmes fatales, Bible-quoting evangelists and cruel Klansmen, all battling for survival and their piece of the American dream. At once a sweeping love story and a compelling saga of revenge, it is a spellbinding tour de force of betrayal and redemption, music and murder, that brings fully to life a bygone era when sin was cause for celebration and vice was a national virtue. (Read More)

Themes:friendship,  revenge
Locations:cemetery,  snow,  bar
Characters:friend
Period:1920s,  1930s
Story:great depression,  ethnic slur,  ambition,  ex convict,  loss of father,  bank,  bridge,  death of father,  rescue,  face slap,  car accident,  police officer,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  father son relationship,  family relationships,  based on novel

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Out Of The Furnace (2013) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

Out Of The Furnace (2013)

Russell and his younger brother Rodney live in the economically-depressed Rust Belt, and have always dreamed of escaping and finding better lives. But when a cruel twist of fate lands Russell in prison, his brother becomes involved with one of the most violent and ruthless crime rings in the Northeast - a mistake that will cost him everything. Once released, Russell must choose between his own freedom, or risk it all to seek justice for his brother. (Read More)

Themes:revenge
Locations:cemetery,  bar
Story:two brothers,  ex convict,  flower,  bartender,  four word title,  bridge,  death of father,  small town,  face slap,  car accident,  pregnancy,  brother brother relationship,  african american,  father son relationship,  family relationships,  flashback

The Shipping News (2001)
Drama

The Shipping News (2001)

An inksetter in New York, Quoyle returns to his family's longtime home, a small fishing town in Newfoundland, with his young daughter, after a traumatizing experience with her mother, Petal, who sold her to an illegal adoption agency. Though Quoyle has had little success thus far in life, his shipping news column in the newspaper "The Gammy Bird" finds an audience, and his experiences in the town change his life. Then he meets the widow Wavey... (Read More)

Themes:drunkenness,  marriage
Locations:snow,  bar
Story:weather,  job interview,  bartender,  bridge,  river,  rescue,  small town,  car accident,  pregnancy,  mother daughter relationship,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  father son relationship,  based on novel,  flashback

Cinderella Man (2005)
Biography, Drama, Sport

Cinderella Man (2005)

During the Great Depression, a common-man hero, James J. Braddock--a.k.a. the Cinderella Man--was to become one of the most surprising sports legends in history. By the early 1930s, the impoverished ex-prizefighter was seemingly as broken-down, beaten-up and out-of-luck as much of the rest of the American populace who had hit rock bottom. His career appeared to be finished, he was unable to pay the bills, the only thing that mattered to him--his family--was in danger, and he was even forced to go on Public Relief. But deep inside, Jim Braddock never relinquished his determination. Driven by love, honor and an incredible dose the ones who are do of grit, he willed an impossible dream to come true. In a last-chance bid to help his family, Braddock returned to the ring. No one thought he had a shot. However Braddock, fueled by something beyond mere competition, kept winning. Suddenly, the ordinary working man became the mythic athlete. Carrying the hopes and dreams of the disenfranchised on his shoulders, Braddock rocketed through the ranks, until this underdog chose to do the unthinkable: take on the heavyweight champ of the world, the unstoppable Max Baer, renowned for having killed two men in the ring. (Read More)

Themes:depression,  marriage,  friendship
Locations:snow
Characters:friend
Period:1920s,  1930s
Story:great depression,  financial problem,  second chance,  snowing,  despair,  father daughter relationship,  mother daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  father son relationship,  family relationships,  flashback

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Groundhog Day (1993)
Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Groundhog Day (1993)

A weather man is reluctantly sent to cover a story about a weather forecasting "rat" (as he calls it). This is his fourth year on the story, and he makes no effort to hide his frustration. On awaking the 'following' day he discovers that it's Groundhog Day again, and again, and again. First he uses this to his advantage, then comes the realisation that he is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in the same place, seeing the same people do the same thing EVERY day. This is why Groundhog Day (1993) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946). (Read More)

Themes:drunkenness,  friendship
Locations:snow,  bar
Story:marriage proposal,  sitting,  alternate history,  happy ending,  weather,  snowing,  frustration,  attempted suicide,  lifting someone into the air,  business,  time travel,  small town,  face slap,  car accident,  cult film,  dancing

Brooklyn (2015) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Drama, Romance

Brooklyn (2015)

In late 1951, Eilis Lacey, a young Irish girl, emigrates to Brooklyn. Sponsored by Father Flood, a priest from her native town Enniscorthy, she is assured to find a full-time job there. But the early days are tough, seasickness being soon replaced by loneliness and homesickness, two feelings all the more acutely felt by Eilis for having had to leave behind her widowed mother and her dear sister Rose. She nevertheless little by little manages to find her footing by adapting to her job as a salesgirl, by studying bookkeeping at Brooklyn College as well as with a little help from both Father Flood and Mrs. Kehoe, the owner of the boarding school she now lives in. And not only does graduation follow but love shows its face in Tony, an Italian-American plumber, full of adoration and respect for her. They end up marrying, although keeping the thing secret. It is at that point that tragedy strikes inciting Eilis to return to Enniscorthy to support her mother morally. And there a strange thing happens : she gradually gets lured by the charms of her native place, going far as to let herself be wooed by Jim Farrell, a young local. (Read More)

Themes:christmas,  marriage,  friendship
Locations:cemetery,  snow,  bar
Characters:friend
Story:christmas tree,  marriage proposal,  boarding house,  snowing,  freeze frame,  suitcase,  river,  prayer,  taxi,  brother brother relationship,  dancing,  mother daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  father son relationship,  mother son relationship,  based on novel

Bad Santa (2003)
Comedy, Crime, Drama

Bad Santa (2003)

Willie T. Stokes is a convicted con man who's led a miserable life. He drinks heavily and constantly embarrasses himself publicly. He only works once a year dressed as Santa. But then come Christmas Eve, he and his pint-sized helper dwarf Marcus stage elaborate robberies and take their department stores for everything they got. This year, they hit a mall in suburban Phoenix, Arizona. This time around, Willie gets distracted by having sex with large women, a bartender who is attracted to Santas, and a kid who's convinced he's the real deal. However, this time around Marcus must once again put up with Willie's heavy drinking and a series of incidents that constantly shoot themselves in the foot. Not to mention a nosy department store security guard who's onto them and wants his cut of the loot. Will Willie and Marcus make it to next Christmas? Or will this be the year the dynamic duo finally face justice? (Read More)

Themes:christmas,  drunkenness
Locations:snow,  bar
Story:christmas eve,  bartender,  christmas carol,  christmas tree,  mislaid trust,  car accident,  brother brother relationship,  cult film,  dancing,  african american,  father son relationship,  mother son relationship

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Don't Say A Word (2001)
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Don't Say A Word (2001)

A group of thieves steal a rare gem, but in the process, two of the men double cross the leader of the thieving group, Patrick, and take off with the precious stone. Ten years later, prominent psychiatrist Nathan Conrad is invited to examine a disturbed young woman named Elisabeth. Patrick immediately kidnaps Nathan's daughter, forcing Nathan to attempt to get Elisabeth to reveal a secret number which will ultimately lead Patrick to the whereabouts of the precious gem that has eluded him. (Read More)

Themes:greed,  friendship,  revenge
Locations:cemetery
Story:ethnic slur,  claim in title,  ex convict,  loss of father,  bank,  bridge,  river,  death of father,  rescue,  police officer,  father daughter relationship,  mother daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  based on novel,  flashback

Legend (2015)
Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Legend (2015)

The true story of London's most notorious gangsters, twins Reggie and Ronnie Kray. As the brothers rise through the criminal underworld, Ronnie advances the family business with violence and intimidation while Reggie struggles to go legitimate for local girl Frances Shea. In and out of prison, Ronnie's unpredictable tendencies and the slow disintegration of Reggie's marriage threaten to bring the brothers' empire tumbling to the ground. (Read More)

Themes:drunkenness,  christmas,  marriage
Locations:cemetery,  bar
Story:marriage proposal,  throwing a stone at a window,  snowing,  heaven,  freeze frame,  business,  suitcase,  taxi,  face slap,  brother brother relationship,  dancing,  mother daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship

On The Road (2012) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Adventure, Drama, Romance

On The Road (2012)

Shaken by the death of his father and discouraged by his stalled career, writer Sal Paradise goes on a road trip hoping for inspiration. While traveling, he is befriended by charismatic and fearless Dean Moriarty and Moriarty's free-spirited and seductive young wife, Marylou. Traveling across the American southwest together, they strive to break from conformity and and search the unknown, and their decisions change the very course of their lives. This is why On The Road (2012) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946). (Read More)

Themes:christmas,  friendship
Locations:cemetery,  snow,  bar
Characters:friend
Story:christmas tree,  snowing,  new york,  river,  death of father,  police officer,  pregnancy,  dancing,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  based on novel,  flashback

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Seabiscuit (2003)
Drama, History, Sport

Seabiscuit (2003)

It's the Depression, and everyone needs to hold onto a dream to get them through the bad times. Car maker Charles Howard is no different, he who is trying to rebuild his life after the tragic death of his only child and the resulting end of his first marriage. With second wife Marcela at his side, Charles wants to get into horse racing and ends up with a team of underdogs who are also chasing their own dream. The first is trainer Tom Smith, who has a natural instinct to spot the capabilities of horses. The second is the horse Tom chooses for Charles, 'Seabiscuit' (qv), an unconventional choice as despite his pedigreed lineage, Seabiscuit is small at fifteen and a half hands tall with a slight limp. But Tom can see something in Seabiscuit's nature to make him a winner, if only Seabiscuit can be retrained from his inbred losing ways. And third is the jockey they decide to hire, Johnny "Red" Pollard, so nicknamed because of his hair color. Like Tom, Red has always shown a natural way with horses, but a difficult upbringing due solely to the Depression has made Red an angry young man, which has gotten him into trouble both on and off the track. And he is large for a jockey, and thus he always feels the need to battle the weight issue. Another common trait between Tom, Seabiscuit and Red is that they have been called crazy by those in traditional horse racing circles. Against the odds, Seabiscuit, with his human team behind him, does show his winning abilities and captures the imagination of all those others wanting to believe in a dream. But Seabiscuit's victories are at smaller races. As such, Charles aims high and wants Seabiscuit to race Triple Crown winner 'War Admiral' (qv), who by all accounts is a winner and should be a winner. If given the chance to race against War Admiral (whose owner doesn't want to race as he feels he has nothing to prove), will Seabiscuit and his team continue to keep the dreams of the common Americans alive? Through the good and the bad, especially as Red and Seabiscuit face mirroring problems, they all have to decide what is in their collective best interest. (Read More)

Themes:depression,  marriage,  friendship
Locations:wheelchair,  cemetery
Period:1910s,  1920s,  1930s
Story:great depression,  populism,  second chance,  bell,  loss of son,  railway station,  rescue,  car accident,  dancing,  african american,  husband wife relationship,  father son relationship,  mother son relationship

The World's Fastest Indian (2005)
Biography, Drama, Sport

The World's Fastest Indian (2005)

For 25 years in Invercargill at the south end of New Zealand, Burt Munro (1899-1978) has been working on increasing the speed of his motorcycle, a 1920 Indian. He dreams of taking it to the Bonneville Salt Flats to see how fast it will go. By the early 1960s, heart disease threatens his life, so he mortgages his house and takes a boat to Los Angeles, buys an old car, builds a makeshift trailer, gets the Indian through customs, and heads for Utah. Along the way, people he meets are charmed by his open, direct friendliness. If he makes it to Bonneville, will they let an old guy on the flats with makeshift tires, no brakes, and no chute? And will the Indian actually respond? (Read More)

Themes:christmas,  friendship
Locations:cemetery,  bar
Characters:friend
Story:taxi driver,  bell,  handshake,  ambition,  bartender,  apostrophe in title,  taxi,  police officer,  punctuation in title,  dancing,  father son relationship,  mother son relationship

The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

When Waring Hudsucker, head of hugely successful Hudsucker Industries, commits suicide, his board of directors, led by Sidney Mussberger, comes up with a brilliant plan to make a lot of money: appoint a moron to run the company. When the stock falls low enough, Sidney and friends can buy it up for pennies on the dollar, take over the company, and restore its fortunes. They choose idealistic Norville Barnes, who just started in the mail room. Norville is whacky enough to drive any company to ruin, but soon, tough reporter Amy Archer smells a rat and begins an undercover investigation of Hudsucker Industries. (Read More)

Themes:greed,  drunkenness,  christmas
Locations:snow,  bar
Story:taxi driver,  board meeting,  second chance,  snowing,  business,  angel,  face slap,  cult film,  dancing,  husband wife relationship,  flashback

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Fantasia 2000 (1999) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Music

Fantasia 2000 (1999)

In this update of Disney's masterpiece film mixture of animation and music, new interpretations of great works of music are presented. It begins with an abstract battle of light and darkness set to the music of Beethoveen's Fifth Symphony. Then we see the adventures of a Humpback Whale calf and his pod set to "The Pines of Rome." Next is the humourous story of several lives in 1930's New York City, scored with "Rhapsody in Blue." Following is a musical telling of the fairy tale, "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" set to Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2. Then a goofy Flamingo causes havoc in his flock with his yo-yo to the tune of the finale of "Carnival of the Animals." This is followed by the classic sequence from the original film, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" starring Mickey Mouse and followed by "Pomp and Circumstance" starring Donald Duck as a harried assistant to Noah on his Ark. Finally, we see the awesome tale of the life, death and renewal of a forest in a sequence featuring the composition, "The Firebird." (Read More)

Locations:snow
Period:1930s
Story:flower petal,  great depression,  falling into water,  remorse,  handshake,  weather,  despair,  railway station,  river,  taxi,  rescue,  police officer,  swimming pool,  dancing,  father daughter relationship,  mother daughter relationship

Harvey (1950)
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Harvey (1950)

The classic stage hit gets the Hollywood treatment in the story of Elwood P. Dowd who makes friends with a spirit taking the form of a human-sized rabbit named Harvey that only he sees (and a few privileged others on occasion also.) After his sister tries to commit him to a mental institution, a comedy of errors ensues. Elwood and Harvey become the catalysts for a family mending its wounds and for romance blossoming in unexpected places. This is why Harvey (1950) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946). (Read More)

Themes:drunkenness,  friendship
Locations:bar
Characters:maid
Story:taxi driver,  lifting someone into the air,  flower,  bartender,  taxi,  police officer,  dancing,  mother daughter relationship

Dragonfly (2002)
Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

Dragonfly (2002)

Dr. Joe Darrow is a recently widowed doctor. He is grieving due to the death of his pregnant wife in a Red Cross mission in Venezuela. Although being atheist, he began to believe that his dead wife wants to communicate with him, through her young patients in the Pediatrics of a Chicago hospital.

Themes:friendship
Locations:wheelchair,  bar
Characters:friend
Story:rescue from drowning,  rainstorm,  heaven,  attempted suicide,  freeze frame,  river,  car accident,  pregnancy,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  father son relationship,  mother son relationship,  family relationships,  flashback

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Lovelace (2013)
Biography, Drama

Lovelace (2013)

Themes:marriage,  friendship
Characters:friend
Story:marriage proposal,  audio flashback,  financier,  prayer,  taxi,  face slap,  police officer,  swimming pool,  dancing,  mother daughter relationship,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  mother son relationship,  flashback

The Good Son (1993) is one of the best movies like It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Drama, Horror, Thriller

The Good Son (1993)

Following his mother's death, Mark is sent to Maine to visit his aunt and uncle while his father goes on a business trip to Tokyo. Mark meets his cousin, Henry, and the two quickly form a friendship. However, Henry begins to show signs of violent behavior that worry Mark.

Themes:friendship
Locations:snow
Characters:friend
Story:rescue from drowning,  falling through ice,  loss of son,  lifting someone into the air,  business,  rescue,  small town,  face slap

What Dreams May Come (1998)
Drama, Fantasy, Romance

What Dreams May Come (1998)

After Chris Nielsen dies in a car accident, he is guided through the afterlife by his spirit guide, Albert. His new world is beautiful and can be whatever Chris imagines. Even his children are there. But, when his wife, Annie, commits suicide and is sent to hell, Chris ignores Albert's warnings and journeys there to save her. Upon arrival, Chris finds that rescuing Annie will be more difficult than he'd imagined. (Read More)

Themes:marriage
Story:heaven,  despair,  guardian angel,  car accident,  rescue,  angel,  father daughter relationship,  husband wife relationship,  father son relationship,  family relationships,  based on novel,  flashback

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