Corrected entry: When George is drunk and crashes into the tree, the homeowner comes out and yells at him. The man says that his great-grandfather planted that tree, therefore this man and his family would have lived in Bedford Falls for generations. It is also apparent from the movie that George's family has also lived there for a generation or two. However, the homeowner doesn't know who George is. It is mentioned time and time again that Bedford Falls is such a small town. It would be impossible for George and this man not to know each other. (01:37:00 - 01:38:00)
Corrected entry: In the scene when George and Clarence head towards town from the bridge, George is looking for his car, which crashed into a tree. George asks the owner of the house, "Where's my car? My car. I crashed it into this tree." And the home owner responds, "You must mean two other trees." There is only one tree.
Corrected entry: George is in a life crisis that leads him to contemplate suicide at a bridge. Clarence shows George how much George's life means by showing him how the world would be. if George wasn't born. But Clarence doesn't show George what the world would be like if George completed his suicide. Clarence gave reasons why George should have lived up to the bridge scene. But Clarence doesn't give reasons for George staying alive beyond the bridge scene. Life insurance and remarriage are already two benefits to the family's problems. According to the plot, George's dilemma is whether to jump off the bridge or not.
Corrected entry: When George goes back to look for his car after his wish is granted, and the car is gone, if you look closely, there's actually a scratch in the tree that looks like the one his car put there.
Corrected entry: The chronology is inaccurate in places. Harry's high school graduation takes place in either 1928 or 1929 (I can't remember the exact date, but it is posted on the banner in the gym). More than four years later, after Harry has returned from college and on the day of George's wedding, the stock market crash occurs.
Corrected entry: When the board of directors are meeting at the Building and Loan, Mr Potter says that Harry Bailey was not a business man. George replies "You're right, my father was no business man. Why he started this building and loan I'll never know. What did you say a few moments ago the people save their money, save their money for what?" Mr Potter never said anything about saving money.
Corrected entry: In the drugstore scene at he beginning part of the film, young George serves Mary, who is sitting at the counter, a glass bowl of chocolate ice cream. George is then suddenly ordered by Mr. Gower to deliver a box of pills to a sick boy. George is aware the pills are poison and instead rushes off to speak to his father at the Building & Loan. When George returns to the drugstore with the undelivered pills, Mr. Gower is heard on the telephone saying that the pills should have been delivered an hour ago when George left the drugstore. There is then a shot of Mary, sitting at the counter with the same glass bowl of ice cream, untouched and unmelted, within the hour that George was gone.
Corrected entry: In the scene where George gives his speech in the board room at the Building & Loan just after his father dies, he tells Potter how not having the Building & Loan "gnaws" at him. If you listen, James Stewart pronounces the word "gnaw" phonetically as "ga" "naw", as though he had never used the word at all.
Corrected entry: In the 1930's the Bailey Building and Loan finances the construction of "Bailey Park", a housing development. It is made clear that it is built on previously vacant land (one of Potter's henchmen says: "I used to shoot rabbits up there"). In the "Pottersville" sequence George Bailey goes to the location of Bailey Park and finds a cemetary where his brother, who died in 1919, is buried. If the land was already in use as a cemetary no later than 1919 it couldn't have been available for use as a housing development in the 1930s. And it's hard to see how George never having been born would have prevented the land from being used as a cemetary in what would have been his childhood.
Corrected entry: The scene at the party for Harry and his new bride, when Uncle Billy is three sheets to the wind and is leaving, there is a crashing sound. During the shooting of the scene, someone dropped the film reel containers. They kept it in and made it sound like he had run in to the trash cans - great ad libbing!
Corrected entry: The names of the Muppet charaters Bert and Ernie come from this movie, the cop and the taxi driver.
Trivia: The opening credits list a copyright date of 1947, but distributor RKO rushed IAWL into theaters December 20 1946, to replace 'Sinbad the Sailor' whose Technicolor prints were not ready. It went into general release January 1947. The rush probably cost Capra and his partners their indie studio Liberty Films, whose first production opened in a record blizzard back east and failed to make back its money; it also wound up losing out at the Oscars against a powerful postwar drama 'The Best Years of Our Lives' rather than facing a much weaker Oscar field in 1947. Then again, confusion over its copyright date seems to have allowed it to slip into public domain for about 20 years from 1973, leading to its constant (cost-free) play at Christmas time, cementing its reputation as America's favorite holiday movie.DougM
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