Clarence: Your brother, Harry Bailey, broke through the ice and was drowned at the age of nine.
George Bailey: That's a lie! Harry Bailey went to war! He got the Congressional Medal of Honor! He saved the lives of every man on that transport!
Clarence: Every man on that transport died. Harry wasn't there to save them, because you weren't there to save Harry.
Nick: Hey look, mister. We serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast, and we don't need any characters around to give the joint "atmosphere." Is that clear, or do I have to slip you my left for a convincer?
George Bailey: Nick, hold on. Just give him the same as mine. He's no trouble.
George Bailey: What's the matter with him? I never saw Nick act like that before.
Clarence: You'll see a lot of strange things from now on.
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!
Annie: I been savin' this money for a divorce, if ever I got a husband.
Mr. Potter: Look at you. You used to be so cocky. You were going to go out and conquer the world. You once called me a warped, frustrated, old man! What are you but a warped, frustrated young man? A miserable little clerk crawling in here on your hands and knees and begging for help. No securities, no stocks, no bonds, nothin' but a miserable little $500 equity in a life insurance policy. You're worth more dead than alive! Why don't you go to the riffraff you love so much and ask them to let you have $8,000? You know why? Because they'd run you out of town on a rail. But I'll tell you what I'm going to do for you, George. Since the state examiner is still here, as a stockholder of the Building and Loan, I'm going to swear out a warrant for your arrest. Misappropriation of funds, manipulation, malfeasance...
[sees George runs off.]
Mr. Potter: All right, George, go ahead! You can't hide in a little town like this!
Ernie Bishop: Just a minute! Quiet everybody! Quiet, quiet. Now get this, it's from London.
Ma Bailey: Oh!
Ernie Bishop: Mr. Gower cabled you need cash, stop. My office instructed to advance you up to twenty-five thousand dollars, stop. Hee Haw and Merry Christmas! Sam Wainwright.
George Bailey: Mary Hatch, why in the world did you ever marry a guy like me?
Mary: To keep from being an old maid!
George Bailey: You could have married Sam Wainright, or anybody else in town...
Mary: I didn't want to marry anybody else in town. I want my baby to look like you.
George Bailey: You didn't even have a honeymoon. I promised you...your what?
Mary: My baby!
George Bailey: Your, your, your, ba- Mary, you on the nest?
Mary: George Baily Lassos Stork!
George Bailey: Lassos a stork? What're'ya... You mean you're... What is it, a boy or a girl?
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
Join the mailing list
Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.