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It's a Wonderful Life (Special RiffTrax Edit)

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Everyone can agree that It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most famous Christmas movies of all time, nearly on par with Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, Spunky the Snowman, and Feeders 2: Slay Bells.

We at RiffTrax have known and loved It’s a Wonderful Life for decades: we’ve enjoyed the amazing, classic performances; we’ve wept and prayed at its beautiful message. So now it’s time to make fun of it!

...But not all of it. This RiffTrax special edit features most of the original movie but not ALL of the original movie. As some of you know, It’s a Wonderful Life was in the public domain for decades, then back out again — it’s a complicated history. The main copyrighted stuff comes down to 1) material from the short story "The Greatest Gift" that part of the film was based on, and 2) some musical rights for background songs.

Well, since we wanted to offer this Christmas treat to you as a video on demand, we have meticulously excised all such parts. Which leaves... quite a bit, as it turns out!  One hour and forty-six minutes worth, in fact. You may not even notice any difference at all — unless you’re a big fan of depressing Pottersville. And it turns out that there’s more than one way for Clarence the Angel and his weird old-lady underwear to help George Bailey have a Wonderful Life. 

We had a great time roasting this justly beloved movie. So enjoy! Merry Christmas to all you wonderful old buildings and loanses!! In jail!!! We will not say "hee-haw!"-- aww crap we just did!!!!


Written by: Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, Conor Lastowka, and Sean Thomason

Contributing writers: Jason Miller and Zachary Shatzer

This film has been modified from its original version (so we could riff it)

Digital Video file formats

Legacy devices (415.68 MB)
Low (699.58 MB)
Medium (1.24 GB)
Burnable DVD Image (2.82 GB)
High (TV) (1.98 GB)

Digital HD Video file formats

Legacy devices (415.68 MB)
Low (699.58 MB)
Medium (1.24 GB)
High (TV) (1.98 GB)
HD Low (1.27 GB)
HD Medium (2.01 GB)
HD High (11.3 GB)
Burnable SD DVD Image (2.82 GB)

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Poster art by <a rel="_blank" href="">Jason Martian</a>
Poster art by Jason Martian

RiffMeter rating

Average: 8.8 (124 votes)

Content Rating



Movie Decade

Release date

December 18, 2020


107 minutes
Captions (Streaming Video)