It's a Wonderful Life

Question: Is cousin Tilly Bailey, the secretary at the Building and Loan, Uncle Billy's daughter?

Brian Katcher

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: 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?

Chosen 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: 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?

Chosen answer: There are two colourised versions. See for more information.

jle

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More for It's a Wonderful Life

Quotes

George Bailey: This is a very interesting situation!

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Mistakes

When George is giving Violet the character reference and loaning her money, the pipe suddenly disappears from George's mouth.

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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.

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