It's a Wonderful Life

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: 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)

Super Grover Premium member

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)

Super Grover Premium member

Continuity mistake: While George is sprinkling coconut on Mary's ice cream he notices the telegram, and when he picks it up we see the lines of the message as well as the folds in the paper. In the next closeup the lines of the message and the paper's folds are entirely different. (00:07:15)

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

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)

Super Grover Premium member

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)

Super Grover Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Mr. Martini is asked if he is renting a new house, his position in front of the chicken wire cage on his truck changes as the scene cuts.

Scott215

Continuity mistake: In the scene after George and Mary's wedding, Annie suddenly appears between George's mom and Mary's mom as George and Mary make their way to Ernie's cab.

Scott215

Continuity mistake: When George sits down with Mary on the Davenport in her house's parlor, her left arm is in her lap, then the scene quickly cuts, showing her left arm now resting on the arm.

Scott215

Continuity mistake: George walks downtown to find Mary. He stops in the street as a man is walking the opposite direction. The man doesn't pass George at any point. The scene cuts to a closer angle and he has disappeared.

manthabeat Premium member

Continuity mistake: George throws a rock at the dilapidated house. He is talking about his wishes. Mary starts to turn in one angle and repeats the action in the next angle.

manthabeat Premium member

Continuity mistake: When George comes downstairs to eat with his parents, there's a lot of commotion including a barking dog. George looks down at it and the scene cuts instantly to a wider shot. He is no longer looking down.

manthabeat Premium member

Continuity mistake: When George is trying to open the gate to Mary's house, the walking stick in his right hand is pointed up, but the next shot it's pointed down.

Scott215

Continuity mistake: The walking stick carried by George as he wrestles with opening the gate to Mary's house is raised up in the closeup shot, then immediately down in the long shot when he finally is able to open the gate.

Scott215

Continuity mistake: In the run on the Building and Loan scene, Ernie approaches and stands close to Mary's left shoulder, but the long shot of George confronting the crowd shows Ernie further away from Mary and partially hidden by a column in the office.

Scott215

Continuity mistake: In the drugstore scene, young George is holding up his latest issue of National Geographic magazine for Mary to see, but the next shot shows George bending down to fill Mary's ice cream dish.

Scott215

Audio problem: When George and Mary are walking up to the dilapidated house (prior to throwing rocks at it), George is talking. At one point he is saying something and his lips aren't matching.

manthabeat Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Violet is leaving for New York, right before she says "I'm glad I know you George", the scene cuts. This is the same camera angle as before so the scene appears to be an edit splice. The jump cut is obvious. The reason for the rough edit is that a short sequence was cut where Violet asks George to run away with her to New York. It doesn't excuse the jump, but does help explain it.

manthabeat Premium member

Character mistake: In every scene George is with Mary, she never once wears glasses. However, when he meets her coming from the library after he was never born, she is wearing glasses. George is shown how he has influenced all the people in Bedford Falls over his lifetime, but having Mary's eyesight degrade to the point of needing glasses isn't one of them.

Mike Lynch

Mary: Bread, that this house may never know hunger. Salt, that life may always have flavor. And wine, that joy and prosperity may reign forever.

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.

DougM

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.

raywest Premium member

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

jle

More questions & answers from It's a Wonderful Life

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