It's a Wonderful Life

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)

Correction: There is no evidence in the film this man has lived in Bedford Falls all his life and would have known who George Bailey was. Just because he said his great grandfather planted that tree is not proof he was a resident of Bedford Falls in years past. It is just as plausible he inherited the house and property and recently moved to Bedford Falls, and was told through family lore which relative planted the tree.


Correction: Not everyone in Bedford Falls knows George. His daughter's teacher's husband doesn't know him by sight.

Brian Katcher

Corrected entry: In the money contribution scene at the end, when Violet Bick drops in some money, Jimmy Stewart says her name. You can read his lips, but there is no voice track of it.

Correction: Don't understand this as an audio problem, as George was most likely pleasantly surprised to see Violet Bick not only cancel her plans to leave Bedford Falls for New York City, but return the cash George had given her earlier. With all the noise from the cheering and laughing, George's voice most likely was drowned out by the cacophony or he was so taken aback by her gesture he could only whisper or mouth her name when he saw her.


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.

Correction: You're missing the point by a parsec or so. Clarence is there to SAVE George's life, to give him a reason to go on living; indeed, Clarence's future as an angel depends on him doing so. He's not there to just dispassionately show him the options and let him kill himself if he still wants to; that wouldn't exactly be very angelic, would it.


So true and I think this plot was done in a Christmas story.

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.

Correction: George doesn't use the word "gnawing." What George says to Potter is "You're talking about something you can't get your fingers on, and it's galling you." (meaning it's annoying, irritating or infuriating him).

Corrected entry: Bailey Building & Loan is on the second floor. There is only ONE entrance, and it has stairs. How does wheelchair-bound Mr. Potter get up there? The old codger that pushes him around couldn't do it!

Correction: How do you know it only has one entrance? We never see the back or sides. Plus- knowing Potter- he probably did have his henchman bring him up the stairs.

Corrected entry: When George 'never was born' it stops snowing. How does George's existence affect the weather?


Correction: It doesn't but any being powerful enough to create a world where George was never born could easily stop the snow (to add to the effect if nothing else) without having to explain why.


Correction: Well, also the butterfly effect. A lot of things can affect the weather. Maybe his existence meant there were more particulates of pollution in the air on this specific day.

Corrected entry: When Mary is helping the children with spelling she begins to spell Frankenstein and spells it wrong, with an I after the K, instead of an E.

Correction: Pete does not ask about the spelling of Frankenstein. Pete asks how to spell "frankincense" for his Christmas play, which Mary begins to spell correctly (01:27:35 and 01:27:55) before it cuts to Zuzu.

Super Grover

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.

Correction: This is certainly not a mistake, another car may have crashed into the tree.


Corrected entry: The names of the Muppet charaters Bert and Ernie come from this movie, the cop and the taxi driver.

Correction: This is an urban legend that was explained in a book about the movie by Stephen Cox. Jim Henson's staff swears it is nothing more than a coincidence.

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.

Correction: Even though the stock market crash took place in 1929, a run on the bank could have happened at any time. In fact, Harry came back in 1933, and a run on the bank would more likely happen in 1933 than in 1929.

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.

Correction: The owner thinks George is drunk - he figured that George was seeing double and crashed his car somewhere else.


I've wondered about this for years and found this conversation tonight as I googled the question while watching the movie. Thank you so much for this answer. I could never get why the man said "two other trees" when there was one tree.

Why would he think George is drunk for simply asking where his car is? It's a major stretch to say the man thought George was seeing double. This line is a bona fide movie mistake.

Watch the scene. 1) George is raving about hitting the tree even though there is no damage. 2) The Home Owner is trying to smell George's breath. 3) "You must mean two other ***s" is a standard punchline indicating someone is drunk.

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!

Correction: Per Tom Bosley on added extras on DVD I purchased of the movie 1990. He states it was a crewmember mistake dropping equipment and director decided to leave noise in the movie.

Correction: I hate to say it but this is false; in a book by Stephen Cox about the movie, he says that the crashing noise off-camera was already written into the script before the scene was even shot.

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.

Correction: Why is this impossible? Cemetaries are relocated all the time. All we know is that in 1919 it was a cemetary. Perhaps sometime in the 20s, the cemetary was relocated to accomodate Bailey Park. In between the relocation and the first hose being built, Potter's henchman could have hunted rabbits on the land. Furthermore, who is to say that the man didn't hunt rabbits IN the cemetary. A little creepy, but so is Potter. So his help would likely be a bit creepy too.

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.

Correction: Mr. Gower may have been sitting on the delivery before sending George out. He was drunk and grieving and he may have thrown George under the bus for the majority of the delay.

Correction: How can you be so sure it's the same ice cream? Maybe when he was gone she asked Mr. Gower for a new bowl of ice cream.

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.

Correction: You have characters mixed up: Potter and George were talking about George's father, Peter Bailey, not being a businessman. Harry Bailey is George's younger brother.


Correction: We didn't hear the whole meeting we only heard the last parts of it. So when he said a few minutes ago he could have been referring to the part we never heard.

Correction: Bert shouts "stand back!" then fires once, then three times in quick succession, then twice more. Six total.

Correction: I played it multiple times. Bert only fires six shots.


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

Harry Bailey: A toast. To my big brother George. The richest man in town.

More quotes from It's a Wonderful Life

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.


More trivia for It's a Wonderful Life

Question: Does anyone know if the film has ever been released in colour and if it has was it ever as successful as the black and white version?

Answer: There is a DVD with colour and black and white.

Answer: There have been three colorized versions of the film. Determining whether the colorized version or the original black and white film is more successful is difficult. The original B&W film, released in theaters in 1946, flopped at the box office and the studio lost money. It was only after it started being shown on TV (in B&W) decades later that it became popular. The first colorized version came out in the early 1980s and was released on VHS. Most sales would have been the colorized version, so in that respect, it could be considered more successful. The B&W version is available on DVD.


Answer: There are two colourised versions. See for more information.


More questions & answers from It's a Wonderful Life

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