Study Guide

It's a Wonderful Life Shock Rating

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Shock Rating


It's a Wonderful Life is family fare. The Hays Code made sure of that. It does contain Mary's line, "He's making violent love to me, Mother!" But, the meaning of that line isn't the same as in modern usage. And sure, there are some adult themes like suicide, but none of that really quite crosses over into PG territory. If Bambi's mom can get her brains blown out (albeit offscreen) and still keep a kid-friendly rating, we figure that George Bailey's self-destructive crisis can, too. Plus, there are angels on the job, something that's probably very reassuring for children from the outset. They're not gonna let anything happen to George.

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