Oscar Movies: It's a Wonderful Life

RKO Radio (Liberty Films)

(Oscar Nominations: 5

Picture, produced by Frank Capra
Director: Frank Capra
Actor: James Stewart
Sound Recording: John Aalberg
Film Editing: William Hornbeck

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context

In 1946, Frank Capra's “It's a Wonderful Life,” competed for the Best Picture Oscar with “The Best Years of Our Lives,” which won, Olivier's Shakespearean film “Henry V,” “The Razor Edge,” based on Somerset Maugham's novel, and Clarence Brown's family melodrama “The Yearling,” co-starring Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman.

“The Best Years of Our Lives” was the most honored film in 1946, receiving the largest number of awards to date, 7 regular and a Special Oscar. It captured the mood of post-War America so effectively and so realistically, that even the more critical reviewers failed to see its flaws at the time.

The big loser was Capra's fable, which was a commercial failure at the time, but in later years came to be recognized by film critics as his masterpiece.

The Sound Recording Oscar went to John Livadary for “The Jolson Story.”