It's a Wonderful Life

Continuity mistake: While George is sprinkling coconut on Mary's ice cream he notices the telegram, and when he picks it up there are folds in the paper, but in the closeup the folds are different, such as the left vertical fold being gone. (00:07:15)

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Continuity mistake: In the confrontation scene between Peter Bailey and Old Man Potter, Peter moves from behind his desk about four feet away from Potter, to sitting on the edge of the desk about 18 inches away from Potter. Also the coat on the coat rack behind Potter changes from hanging from the collar loop to just the collar itself. (00:09:25)

Spiritfire

Continuity mistake: In the scene at the railway station where George and Uncle Billy are waiting for Harry, Billy reaches in the bag of peanuts and pulls one out. As the camera angle changes slightly, Billy's hand is suddenly back in the bag and pulls out another peanut. Also the man in the background wearing coveralls and a locomotive cap changes his position, and has lost the pamphlet he had just placed in his back pocket. (00:35:20)

Spiritfire

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Violet and George talk about going up to Mount Bedford, they start their walk down the promenade, close to the intersection where Gowers Drugs and The Bijou theater are visible in the background, along with a tree with no visible branches and a Caucasian couple seated on a park bench facing screen right. At the cut to the closeup, they have moved about 50 to 75 feet further down the promenade, the drug store and theater are no longer visible, the tree behind them now has a branch, the couple is now African American and the park bench is facing screen left. (00:41:30)

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Old Man Potter is offering George a job, nearly all of the items on Potter's desk - skull, lighter, eye glasses, small ink blotter and magnifying glass - change position as POV shots change from Potter to George. In some cases items disappear completely then reappear, ie. eyeglasses, ink pot and two pens, the liquor case and bells on the corner of the desk, and the pencils beside Potter go from none to one to two, and then none again. (01:07:30 - 01:12:40)

Spiritfire

It's a Wonderful Life mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In a scene near the end of the movie, George enters the Building and Loan with a Christmas wreath on his arm. On hearing that he has a phone call from his brother Harry, he tosses the wreath on a table and picks up the phone. In the next second, the wreath is back on his arm. (01:17:35)

Continuity mistake: After George shows the bank examiner the newspaper and tells him about Harry's honor, George leads Mr. Carter to his office while holding the pipe in his left hand, but it cuts to the semi-closeup and the pipe is suddenly in George's right hand. (01:18:45)

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Continuity mistake: When Billy is at the bank to make the deposit he writes the date on the slip, and as he starts to take the cash out of the envelope he's still holding the nib pen between his fingers (behind the inkwell), but in the closeup the pen is gone, then in the next shot it's back between his fingers. (01:19:00)

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Continuity mistake: When George is giving Violet the character reference and loaning her money, the pipe suddenly disappears from George's mouth. (01:21:50)

Spiritfire

Continuity mistake: After George retraces Billy's steps before he went to the bank, George yells at Billy that he will not be the one to go to jail, and when Billy starts sobbing his right arm is over his left in the wide shot, but in the semi-closeup it's the opposite way, with Billy's left arm over his right. (01:24:20)

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Continuity mistake: After George rails at Uncle Billy for losing the bank deposit, when George gets home he removes his scarf and Mary tosses it onto the table beside the telephone. The scarf is still there when George and Mary head to the kitchen, but then it's suddenly gone and it's not on the floor either. Also, Pete jumps off the chair and is behind his parents, then two shots later jumps down again from that chair. (01:25:10)

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Continuity mistake: After Clarence saves George from suicide, while they're both inside the bridge tollhouse, a photo suddenly appears tucked behind the thermometer between the two windows which was not in the first interior shot, and then it keeps disappearing and reappearing during this scene. Other changes occur within these shots, such as the window shade to the left of the door and Clarence's book position on the line. (01:39:50)

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It's a Wonderful Life mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the scene after Bailey becomes nonexistent and they go to the bar, Clarence and Bailey are thrown out, but when they land they have switched positions. (01:50:20)

Continuity mistake: When Bert the cop is struggling with Clarence and Clarence disappears, you can see Ernie's shadow which shows him pointing and gesturing with his hand before he actually does it. (01:56:20)

It's a Wonderful Life mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When George first finds his brother's grave the death date is visible, but after arguing with Clarence he has to wipe snow from the base of the stone to reveal the date. (01:58:35)

Continuity mistake: While Clarence and George are at the Pottersville cemetery George asks about Mary, and in the shot facing Clarence he's holding his book upside-down with its spine facing him, but it cuts to the closeup and now the book is right-side up, with its spine facing the opposite way. (01:59:20)

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Continuity mistake: In a scene early on in the film, where George Bailey (James Stewart), Bert (Ward Bond) and Ernie (Frank Faylen) chat in the street, they suddenly stop due to the appearance of Violet (Gloria Grahame) in her "this is what I wear when I don't care how I look" dress. The camera cuts back to them and we see a dark haired woman in a hat pass in front of Ernie's taxi. As Violet crosses the street and gets honked at, we see another shot of the boys staring after her - and the dark haired woman passes in front of the taxi again.

Continuity mistake: When George Bailey crashes his car into the tree after leaving "Martini's Place", notice its position against the tree; an upward angle. In the ending scene when he's running home he cheers and taps the hood of the same car, now at a downward angle.

Continuity mistake: When George crashes his car into the tree, the front of the vehicle is against the tree, but the next shot of George exiting the car shows the vehicle off to the side of the tree.

Scott215

It's a Wonderful Life mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When George Bailey is going to jump off the bridge, watch the snow carefully. In one of the shots where Clarence is shouting in the water the snow all of a sudden quits, then it goes back to snowing when George jumps in.

Other mistake: Clarence tells George that his brother died at the age of 9 because he wasn't there to save him from falling through the ice, but when you see the tomb stone, it shows Harry Bailey was born in 1911 and died in 1919. That would make Harry only 7 or 8 years old.

More mistakes in It's a Wonderful Life

George Bailey: Just a minute... Just a minute. Now, hold on, Mr. Potter. You're right when you say my father was no businessman. I know that. Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan, I'll never know. But neither you nor anyone else can say anything against his character, because his whole life was... Why, in the 25 years since he and his brother, Uncle Billy, started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn't that right, Uncle Billy? He didn't save enough money to send Harry away to college, let alone me. But he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mr. Potter, and what's wrong with that? Why... Here, you're all businessmen here. Doesn't it make them better citizens? Doesn't it make them better customers? You... You said...what'd you say a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they're so old and broken down that they... Do you know how long it takes a working man to save $5,000? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about...they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him. But to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well in my book, my father died a much richer man than you'll ever be!

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Trivia: When Mr. Gower berates a young George for not delivering the medicine, H.B. Warner was drunk and the slaps he gave to Robert Anderson were real. The slapping caused Robert's ear to actually bleed.

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Chosen answer: We know that Tilly (Matilda) Bailey is not Uncle Billy's daughter, because when Billy "loses" the deposit money and rushes back to BBB&L, George tells him that Harry's on the telephone and we hear Tilly say, "Hurry up Uncle Billy, long distance from Washington," so presumably she's George's cousin and Uncle Billy's niece. (When there's the run on the bank we see her desk, and there are a few photographs of men, one of which may be her father).

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