It's a Wonderful Life

Question: After George convinces the board to keep the Bailey Building and Loan open, why did they decide they'll only leave it open if George runs it but will shut it down if he refuses? Why not just let Uncle Billy run it?

Answer: Because Uncle Billy is a known alcoholic who has shown on multiple occasions that he is incapable of running anything; the board, justifiably, has no confidence in him.

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).

Super Grover Premium member

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."

Question: Towards the end when George is at the bridge looking to jump in to kill himself it's snowing. However, after Clarence shows him what the world would have been like without him, he runs back to the bridge and it is not snowing. George is then begging Clarence to let him live again, and just like that it starts snowing just as it was when George was looking to jump in and kill himself. What did George's life have to do with changing the weather?

DrLoomis1978

Answer: It's just a cinematography thing. It's snowing in the real world, the weather is clear in the alternate world. When the snow resumes, it shows us that he's returned to his real life.

Brian Katcher

Answer: Most likely it had nothing to do with it. This is probably a plot inconsistency.

raywest Premium member

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 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

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

Question: I heard the reason this movie is so popular and gets shown on TV a lot is that due to a copyright error it is free for TV stations to show. Is this true?

Answer: Essentially, the answer is no. While there was indeed a clerical error in 1974 that caused a lapse in the copyright television stations were still required to pay royalties. While a box-office flop the film was lauded critically from the start and was nominated for multiple Academy and Golden Globe Awards. Its popularity grew over the years as the movie gained the status of a Classic Holiday Favorite and won the favor of new generations through annual airing of the movie and the success of DVD sales.

OneHappyHusky

Question: Who are the people praying for?

Answer: At the start, we specifically hear Mr. Gower, Mr. Martini, George's mother Ma Bailey, Bert, Ernie, George's wife Mary and his children Janie and Zuzu, amidst other voices all praying for George's welfare. Although it's not until later in the movie that we are shown the moments in time all these prayers start taking place. After George berates Uncle Billy and then loses his temper at home, Mary calls Uncle Billy on the telephone and she tells her children to pray for their father, that's when all those prayers for George begin.

Super Grover Premium member

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)

More mistakes in It's a Wonderful Life

Little Violet: I like him.
Little Mary: You like every boy.
Little Violet: What's wrong with that?

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

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