It's a Wonderful Life

Annie: Boys and girls and music. Why do they need gin?

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George Bailey: This is a very interesting situation!

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

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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!

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Mrs. Hatch: Who is down there with you, Mary?
Mary: It's George Bailey, mother.
Mrs. Hatch: George Bailey? What does he want?
Mary: I don't know! [to George.] What do you want?
George Bailey: Me? Nothing! I just came in to get warm, is all.
Mary: He's making violent love to me, mother!

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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.

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[Mary's robe has been caught by George's foot, and she's naked in the bushes.]
Mary: Please give me my robe.
George Bailey: A man doesn't get in a situation like this every day.
Mary: I'd like to have my robe.
George Bailey: Not in Bedford Falls anyway.
Mary: [Gets pricked by the bush.] Ouch! Oh!
George Bailey: Gazuntiet.
Mary: George Bailey!
George Bailey: Inspires a little thought!
Mary: Give me my robe.
George Bailey: I've read about things like this.
Mary: Shame on you! I'm going to tell your mother on you.
George Bailey: Well, my mother is way up on the corner.
Mary: I'll call the police!
George Bailey: Well, they're all the way downtown. They'd be on my side.
Mary: Then I'll scream!
George Bailey: Maybe I can sell tickets.

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George Bailey: Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter!
Mr. Potter: And Happy New Year to you, in jail! Why don't you go on home? They're waiting for you!

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Ma Bailey: First Harry, now George. Annie, we're just two old maids now.
Annie: You speak for yourself, Miss B.

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George Bailey: Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!

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George Bailey: Dear Father in heaven, I'm not a praying man, but if you're up there and you can hear me...show me the way...show me the way.

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George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I'll take it. Then what?
George Bailey: Well, then you can swallow it, and it'll all dissolve, see... And the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair... Am I talking too much?

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

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Man on Porch: Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?
George Bailey: You want me to kiss her, huh?
Man on Porch: Ah, youth is wasted on the wrong people.

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Clarence: Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?

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Clarence: Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.

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George Bailey: Well, just come back here, Mister. I'll give her a kiss that'll put hair back on your head!

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George Bailey: Well, you look about the kind of angel I'd get. Sort of a fallen angel, aren't you? What happened to your wings?
Clarence: I haven't won my wings, yet. That's why I'm called an Angel Second Class. I have to earn them. And you'll help me will you?
George Bailey: Sure, sure. How?
Clarence: By letting me help you.
George Bailey: I know one way you can help me. You don't happen to have 8,000 bucks on you?
Clarence: No, we don't use money in Heaven.
George Bailey: Well, it comes in real handy down here, bud!

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George: Well, then how do you know?
Mrs. Bailey: Well, I've got eyes, haven't I? Why, she lights up like a firefly whenever you're around.

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Mrs. Bailey: Did you know that Mary Hatch is back from school?
George: Ah-huh.
Mrs. Bailey: Came back three days ago. Nice girl, Mary. Kind that will help you find the answers, George.

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Best Christmas movie?

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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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