It's a Wonderful Life

Revealing mistake: When George is on the bridge and says "I wanna live again", and Burt drives up, in the shot where George hugs Burt, then Burt pats him on the back, you can see Burt's handprint in the fake snow that was used (a mixture of foamite soap and water) on the back of George's coat. (02:02:35)

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)

It's a Wonderful Life mistake picture

Continuity mistake: The old man's cigar disappears when he sends young George to deliver a prescription.

Factual error: In the closing scene Ernie the cab driver is wearing a military shirt with an Air Force insignia on the sleeve, but we were told earlier that Ernie parachuted into France. His shirt should have had a different patch.

Other mistake: During Harry's party, when George is outside talking to his mother she encourages him to see Mary and George says "Point me in the right direction." He then exits right and immediately returns. As he passes by, there is a glitch in the film and for a brief moment everything speeds up. This is most evident if you watch the people dancing in the house because they appear as though they clicked into "fast-forward motion" briefly and then return to normal.

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

Continuity mistake: The pen in Potter's right hand is instantly placed on his desk as the scene cuts from him to George Bailey when Bailey is begging for Potter's help in replacing the missing $8,000.

Scott215

Continuity mistake: When George is in the Bridge Tender's office, he says he wishes he had never been born while holding a coffee cup close to his mouth, but the next quick cut of him shows his arms in his lap with no coffee cup.

Scott215

Continuity mistake: Outside of Ma Bailey's Boarding House, Clarence is leaning on a mail box, holding his copy of Tom Sawyer. The position of the book changes in Clarence's hands as the shots quick cut from him to George Bailey and back.

Scott215

Continuity mistake: Potter's rent collector is showing Potter a map of the new houses George Bailey built, but a page is folded over on the desk, covering half of an ink pen set on the desk. When the rent collector prepares to leave, that page is now a few inches to the right of the ink pen set (viewer's perspective) and hanging off Potter's desk entirely.

Scott215

Visible crew/equipment: When Sam and his wife get into the car (heading to Florida) George and Mary watch as they drive away, and just as the couple turn around the actor's chalk T-mark is visible on the ground near George's feet. (01:07:10)

Super Grover Premium member

Continuity mistake: Ernie hangs out of the window of his cab as Violet Bick strolls by, then ducks into his cab after the car horn blast. A quick shot later and Ernie is again hanging out of the cab's window, watching Violet walk.

Scott215

Audio problem: When George is talking to Harry on the phone regarding being decorated with a medal of honor, he is at his office. The guy to the right of him starts to say "what is he saying?" but the audio cuts off just before he finishes "saying." The scene cuts to a closer shot of George talking, so why did the audio cut off?

Revealing mistake: When George comes home flustered, his kids are hanging on him. Right after Mary closes the door keeping the littlest boy out, she walks into the kitchen. Watch this scene carefully as the camera tracks backwards. A bad jump cut is obvious.

manthabeat Premium member

Continuity mistake: While George is in Potter's office begging for $8,000, the snow flakes hanging around on the shoulders of George's coat should have melted away immediately after he enters Potter's office.

Scott215

Continuity mistake: When Ernie is about to take George during his "never born" sequence, if you look at the building next to the taxi, there is the Indian Club. As Ernie is driving along around 20-30 seconds pass inside the cab. When we see outside the cab and Ernie signals to the policeman, you can see the cab has only traveled roughly 20 meters from the Indian Club.

Lummie Premium member

Factual error: When Clarence picks up his copy of "Tom Sawyer" to see if it is dry, the book is in perfect condition, despite their clothes being soaked. The pages of book that had been soaked in water would been swollen and wrinkled, and many pages would very likely have stuck together as the book dried.

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: 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)

Super Grover Premium member

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)

Super Grover Premium member

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!

More quotes from It's a Wonderful Life

Trivia: Many if not all of the wintry scenes were shot in a record breaking heatwave. It got so bad once, that Capra gave people a day off to recuperate.

More trivia for It's a Wonderful Life

Question: Why does George keep saying "Hot dog" after wishing for a million dollars and then using the lighter?

Answer: It was a common phrase at the time, like someone saying "oh boy!" or "hot damn."

More questions & answers from It's a Wonderful Life

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