Some stories are timeless and It's a Wonderful Life happens to be one of those tales, only with an exact time in mind – Christmas. This is a classic Christmas tale that's both uplifting and magical in equal measures.
It's a Wonderful Life - fact file
Run time: 135 mins
Director: Frank Capra
Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%
This Christmas classic captures James Stewart at the peak of his acting career in a magical tale about a man who thinks the world would be better of if he were dead. The result is a visit from Clarence the guardian angel who shows him just how the lives of other were affected if he had never lived past childhood.
This has comedy, it has romance, it has heart-string tugging emotions to reduce the even the grumpiest scrooge to tears. This black-and-white classic will draw you into its world and leave you feeling moved, if you've not seen it before. If you have it as a Christmas regular, like us, then you already know what to expect and just want to know how to watch it.
We've rounded up the best ways to stream It's a Wonderful Life this year, no matter where you are in the world. And here's one spoiler we don't mind telling you, Amazon Prime Video is looking like the place to be.
Can I watch It's a Wonderful Life on Netflix?
To coin a phrase from the era this film originates from, no dice darling. Netflix hasn't got the rights this year (unlike in the past) but there are lots of other ways to enjoy It's a Wonderful Life listed below.
Can I watch It's a Wonderful Life on Amazon Prime Video?
Amazon Prime subscribers in the US and Australia, you're in luck as this year you get It's a Wonderful Life for free as part of your package. That means you can enjoy the movie on your device of choice, streamed over the internet for free as part of your Prime membership. If you're not a subscriber in a supported region check out the other viewing options below.
But don't get disheartened if you have Prime (or like the look of it) but want to watch from somewhere else. You can try using a VPN to relocate the IP address of your laptop, mobile, tablet or streaming device to the US or Down Under, and watch as if you were there. It's easier to do than it sounds - scroll to the bottom of the page for full details and our pick of the best VPN service.
Where to stream It's a Wonderful Life in the US
Aside from streaming It's a Wonderful Life on Amazon Prime Video there are lots of other ways to enjoy the black and white brilliance - including TCM on December 22 and Christmas Day. Here are some of the best pay per view options that you can stream online this Xmas:
- PlayStation - $9.99 (buy)
- YouTube - $13.99 (buy)
- Apple TV - $3.99 (rent)
- Google Play - $13.99 (buy)
- Vudu - $2.99 (rent)
Where to stream It's a Wonderful Life in the UK
This year Sky has nabbed the right to show It's a Wonderful Life, meaning any Sky or NOW TV subscribers with the right deals can enjoy the movie for free. If you don't have either of those there are lots of options to pick from below:
- Sky Cinema (subscribers only, or £3.49)
- Now TV - £11.99 for one month
- PlayStation - £2.49
- Sky Store - £3.49
- Amazon - £1.99
- Google Play - £1.99
- YouTube - £1.99
- TalkTalk TV - £3.95
- Rakuten TV - £2.49
- Apple - £3.49
- Microsoft - £2.49
Where to stream It's a Wonderful Life in Canada
Unfortunately Canadian subscription services don't have It's a Wonderful Life this year. But here are all the options that let you stream the movie to any device you like:
- Cineplex - $3.99
- PlayStation - $3.99
- YouTube - $3.99
- Apple TV - $4.99
- Google Play - $3.99
Where to stream It's a Wonderful Life in Australia
This year Australians are in luck, well, those of you with Amazon Prime Video subscriptions are since that will offer It's a Wonderful Life for free as part of the deal. For everyone else these are your online viewing options:
- Apple TV - $4.99
- YouTube - $3.99
- Google Play - $3.99
How to stream It's a Wonderful Life from anywhere in the world
We know that we can't let a Christmas go by without watching It's a Wonderful Life. That's all very well and good, but not if it's not being shown or streamed in the country where you live.
It might be that the only way to watch it in your country is to download and install a VPN. That's because it let's you virtually change your IP address to one that's in a country that is showing the film. Of all of the major VPN services we've tested (and there have been over 100) we rank ExpressVPN as the absolute best. It supports most streaming services and ranks amongst the fastest. You can also install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox and PlayStation. So for a one-stop shop, you can't go wrong with Express.
Streaming with a VPN is really easy to do, as well. Just follow the three steps below...
Step one: Download and install one of our top rated VPNs
1. ExpressVPN the best all-round VPN for streaming, comes with 30-day trial and 3 months free when you sign up
2. IPVanish supports up to 10 devices, so great for the family
3. NordVPN SmartPlay tech makes Nord a great choice for streaming
- Read more: The best VPN service for 2019
Step two: Connect to a server where the film is streaming
You'll need to open your new VPN app, hit 'choose location' and select the appropriate location. It's super easy to do.
Step three: Head to the streaming service you want to watch on
If you're already subscribed to the service (e.g. Prime), then you're good to go. Otherwise you'll need to sign up - and don't miss out on any free trials. But bear in mind that you'll probably need a debit or credit card from that region to do so.
Where can I watch using a VPN?
A VPN will enable you to watch the film from literally anywhere. So that obviously includes: US, UK, Israel, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Denmark, India, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Belgium, Romania, Mexico, France, Sweden, Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic, Ireland, Poland, Kenya, Hungary, South Africa, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, Japan, Egypt and more!