'It's A Wonderful Life' Has Finally Found It's Way To The 21st Century

There are a few movies that Christmas wouldn’t be complete without, and It’s A Wonderful Life is definitely one of them. The 1946 classic about a man at his lowest point has been referenced and parodied in so many different ways it’s hard to keep them all straight, but nothing beats the original (though the recent Saturday Night Live opening sketch “It’s A Wonderful Trump” came awfully close). So when is It’s A Wonderful Life on this holiday season?

The good news is that there are plenty of different ways to watch. If you’re feeling traditional (as so many of us are this time of year), and you’ve got basic cable, NBC will air It’s A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. Here’s your chance to curl up on the couch with a blanket and your hot beverage of choice (and your family, if you’re so inclined), so you’re properly comforted when George Bailey sees what the world would be like if he had never existed.

But hey — not everyone is averse to change. The modern ways of watching movies, both modern and otherwise, can be pretty great, too. Even though the movie is 72 years old, it’s been brought into the 21st century now that It’s A Wonderful Life is streaming on Amazon Prime. It’s offered in both the original black and white and the colorized version, but Amazon has a clear preference.

This is the first year the film has been made available via streaming service, and it was snatched up by the media giant, along with plenty of other festive flicks. If you’re not a Prime user, first of all, how do you survive, but also, maybe now’s the perfect time to sign up?

There’s even a third option for those who are lucky and happen to live in the right places, because some theaters like to do special holiday events with screenings of Christmas classics. For example, Los Angeles residents can head to the New Beverly Cinema, a refurbished old theater in the West Hollywood area, to see It’s A Wonderful Life this weekend (Dec. 21 and 22). Fun fact: The theater is owned by acclaimed filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.

If your local art house theater isn’t hosting an event like this, that’s a bummer, but clearly, you’ve still got some pretty good options. And once you’re done bawling your eyes out and want to look for something lighter that pays homage to It’s A Wonderful Life, there are plenty of movies and TV shows to put on, from Bruce Almighty (“I’ll give you the moon, Mary”) to Home Alone to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Needless to say, you’ll definitely be getting your It’s A Wonderful Life fix this year.

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