September 11, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

About as sentimental as a slap in the face, the Frank Capra classic It’s a Wonderful Life is the movie saved by TV. But the public-domain prints shown over the years got mighty tattered. This strikingly beautiful remastering draws you in all over again, letting you relive George Bailey’s despair and take in details like the skull paperweight on the desk of twisted Mr. Potter. There’s also an old ”making-of” doc hosted by Tom Bosley and a remembrance by Frank Capra Jr. that both tread familiar ground. The original trailer is far more revealing: It never describes the offbeat plot, tries to pretend the film is a sweet romance, and desperately keeps repeating the word ”wonderful.” The movie: A+ The extras: C-

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