The best '40s fantasy movies have all the elements to make a classic make-believe film: ghosts, angels, the real Santa Claus, and puppets who come to life. A common theme throughout is the concept of coming back to life, or redeeming one's self through reinvention.
Though unsuccessful in its original release, It’s a Wonderful Life has gone on to become a perennial classic shown every Christmas. Directed by Frank Capra, It's a Wonderful Life tells the story of George Bailey, a suicidal man who attempts to kill himself on Christmas. His guardian angel comes down to rescue him, and shows him how many people in his life he has saved through his kind words and actions. Bailey decides to live, and returns to his family a new man. Miracle on 34th Street deals with a child's belief in Santa Claus - is he real, or isn't he? A skeptical little girl named Susan is convinced that Santa was made up by her parents. But when she meets the Macy's department store Kris Kringle, she's suddenly not so sure.
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