We also don’t stop to realize how important we are in the lives of others and we don’t take the time to let our angels know how important they have been to us throughout the year.
This timeless classic speaks for itself and anything I would write here wouldn’t do it any justice. So please enjoy watching the short video as well as some trivia facts I found on the internet and have included below.
Lastly, maybe this holiday season you’ll be inspired to say ‘thank you’ to all the wonderful angels who have touched your life in some special way during 2011. And don’t forget how a simple smile or a ‘hello’ to a stranger, or that by offering a helping hand to someone or giving some words of encouragement, or maybe giving a much needed hug or just lending an ear, can possibly change their life.
Storyline for It’s A Wonderful Life
Did You Know? Trivia Frank Capra strove to make scenes as real as he could for actors. Thus the first kiss between Stewart and Reed was shot at the same time as the other end of the phone conversation, with Sam Wainwright (Frank Albertson) on a different set (Wainwright's New York office) at RKO's Pathe studio. Lionel Barrymore convinced James Stewart to take the role of George, despite his feeling that he was not up to it so soon after World War II.
Originally ended with "Ode to Joy", not "Auld Lang Syne".
Films made prior to this one used cornflakes painted white for the falling snow effect. Because the cornflakes were so loud, dialogue had to be dubbed in later. Frank Capra wanted to record the sound live, so a new snow effect was developed using foamite (a fire-fighting chemical) and soap and water. This mixture was then pumped at high pressure through a wind machine to create the silent, falling snow. 6000 gallons of the new snow were used in the film. The RKO Effects Department received a Class III Scientific or Technical Award from the Motion Picture Academy for the development of the new film snow.
As Uncle Billy is leaving George's house drunk, it sounds as if he stumbles over some trash cans on the sidewalk. In fact, a crew member dropped some equipment right after Uncle Billy left the screen. Both actors continued with the scene ("I'm all right, I'm all right!") and director Frank Capra decided to use it in the final cut. He gave the clumsy stagehand a $10 bonus for "improving the sound."
For the scene that required Donna Reed to throw a rock into the window of the Granville House, Frank Capra hired a marksman to shoot it out for her on cue. To everyone's amazement, Donna Reed broke the window with true aim and heft without the assistance of the hired marksman!
James Stewart was nervous about the phone scene kiss because it was his first screen kiss since his return to Hollywood after the war. Under Frank Capra's watchful eye, Stewart filmed the scene in only one unrehearsed take, and it worked so well that part of the embrace was cut because it was too passionate to pass the censors.
Jean Arthur was Frank Capra's first choice for the part of Mary. However, she declined the role since she was already committed to a Broadway play.
In 1947, an FBI analyst submitted, without comment, an addition to a running memo on "Communist infiltration of the motion picture industry," recording the opinion of an industry source who said that the film's "obvious" attempt to discredit bankers "is a common trick used by Communists."
The gym floor that opens up to reveal a swimming pool was real and was located at Beverly Hills High School in Los Angeles.
This was the first and last time that Frank Capra produced, financed, directed and co-wrote one of his films.
At $3.7 million, this was a very expensive independent production. In its initial box office run, it only earned $3.3 million.
James Stewart cited George Bailey as being his favorite character. The part was originally developed at another studio with Cary Grant earmarked for the role. When Frank Capra inherited the project, he rewrote it to suit Stewart.
Vincent Price was considered for the part of Mr. Potter.
It was Donna Reed's first starring role.
350,000 feet of film were used.
The set for Bedford Falls was constructed in two months and was one of the longest sets that had ever been made for an American movie. It covered four acres of the RKO's Encino Ranch. It included 75 stores and buildings, main street, factory district and a large residential and slum area. The Main Street was 300 yards long, three whole city blocks!
The Bailey Park scenes were filmed in La Crescenta, California.
While filming the scene where George prays in the bar, James Stewart has said that he was so overcome that he began to sob right then and there. Later, Frank Capra reframed the shot so it looked like a much closer shot than was actually filmed because he wanted to catch that expression on Stewart's face.
Actor and producer Sheldon Leonard said in an interview that the only reason he agreed to play Nick the bartender in this film was so that he would have money to buy Dodger baseball tickets.
Pharmacist Gower's son's death at college is attributed to "Influenza" in the telegram that Young George reads, dated May 3, 1919. Around that time, there was the "Spanish Flu" worldwide epidemic that claimed millions of lives.
The name of Bedford Falls was combined from Bedford Hills, in Westchester County, New York, and Seneca Falls, a small town midway between Rochester and Syracuse. The town of Elmira, mentioned by the bank examiner, is a real town in New York, not that far from the actual Seneca Falls.
The scene on the bridge where Clarence saves George was filmed on a back lot on a day where the temperature was 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why James Stewart is visibly sweating in a few scenes.
Frank Capra often said that this was his favorite of all his films.
Despite being set around Christmas, it was filmed during a heat wave. It got to be so hot that Frank Capra gave everyone a day off to recuperate.
According to an interview with Karolyn Grimes, the actress who played Zuzu, the name Zuzu comes from Zu Zu Ginger Snaps. George makes reference to this near the end of the movie when he says to Zu Zu at the top of the stairs, "Zuzu my little Ginger Snap!"
Ginger Rogers was offered the role of Mary, but turned it down.
Frank Capra strove to make scenes as real as he could for actors. Thus the first kiss between Stewart and Reed was shot at the same time as the other end of the phone conversation, with Sam Wainwright (Frank Albertson) on a different set (Wainwright's New York office) at RKO's Pathe studio.
Although credited as merely "Mr. Potter," it is revealed on the back of the glass on Mr. Potter's office door that his name is Henry F. Potter.