Every time I watch It’s a Wonderful Life, I wonder how they managed to get that ending past the Hays office.
For those unaware of the Hays code, it was a strict set of guidelines that was meant to ensure that American films were morally “acceptable.” One of the more important parts of the code was that criminal behavior could not go unpunished. Bad guys ended up in jail or dead. Period.
Quick aside: I know it is silly to warn about spoilers for a movie almost everyone has seen but if you haven’t actually seen the film yet and you don’t want the ending spoiled, I’d suggest you don’t read on.