In this classic 1946 holiday film, a lost and downtrodden George Bailey is prepared to kill himself to give his family the payout on a life insurance policy. Luckily, he meets an angel who wants to help him see the good he’s done.
As George stood on the bridge prepared to jump into the ice cold river, an angel appeared to him.
“George, my name is Clarence, and I’m your guardian angel,” said Clarence. “I’m here to help you.”
“Great, an insane lunatic old man. You should be in an insane asylum. I don’t suppose you’ve got $10,000, do you?” asked George.
“No, George, I don’t have $10,000,” replied Clarence.
“Well this is just perfect. I wish I had never been born,” said George. A smile broke out on Clarence’s face.
“Your wish is my command,” said Clarence. He’d show George exactly what the world would look like without a man as kind and pure of heart as George Bailey. With a snap of his fingers, George’s wish came true.
Before them stood a glistening utopia. Rolling hills of green ran up to the edge of a city decorated with spires that shot into the clouds. Even from the outskirts of the city, George and Clarence could hear the laughter of children and the cheering of crowds.
“Oh,” said Clarence.
“What the hell did you do?” remarked George as a car whizzed silently by them emitting nothing but water into the atmosphere. The pair made their way into the city to see what a world without George Bailey would really look like. Where the Building & Loan had stood was now a business that provided free shelter and healthcare for the homeless. George approached the woman at the front desk.
“Real homelessness problem in this city, huh?” he asked.
“Not really,” she said.
George and Clarence walked the streets, followed by two people who swept the dirt from their shoes into compost bins. Suddenly, they came upon a man with one leg, crying at the pain from his fresh injury.
“George, look at the pain that man is in! Things would be different if you were around,” said Clarence.
“No I know that guy and he’s way more injured than that in real life,” said George. They continued all the way to George’s house. Through the window, they could see George’s wife with her arm around an extremely handsome man. His children held hands and danced as he sang a song about what he imagined war would be like if it existed. George sprinted into the house and tried to kidnap his daughter Zuzu, but the new husband caught him before he could get to the door and told him not to try any funny business like that again.
They had seen enough. A stranger offered George and Clarence a free car ride back to the bridge. They sat in silence until they arrived.
Clarence began, “George I–”
“Don’t. It’s fine,” George cut in. He sadly climbed onto the edge of the bridge and jumped. Immediately his fall was stopped by a safety net. The authorities rescued him and gave him the proper care. George lived out the rest of his days as the beloved janitor at the public high school where all the teachers had full benefits and made $300,000 per year.