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

Trivia: Many if not all of the wintry scenes were shot in a record breaking heatwave. It got so bad once, that Capra gave people a day off to recuperate.

Trivia: The scene in the bar where Jimmy Stewart is crying and saying "please God" was originally not shot as a close up. Capra shot the scene, then asked Stewart to act the scene again for the close up shots. Stewart didn't think he could reproduce the emotion, so Capra actually blew the scene up frame-by-frame.

Trivia: The film was nominated for several Oscars, but won for "Technical Achievement" for the realistic falling snow effect.

Scott215

Trivia: During the scene where a drunken Uncle Billy walks home, a loud crashing sound is heard. The crashing sound was due to a crew member dropping a large tray of props. Thomas Mitchell quickly ad-libbed the line that he was all right. The crew member who dropped the tray was afraid he would be fired but instead director Frank Capra gave the crewman a ten dollar bonus for "improving the sound."

Continuity mistake: When George is giving Violet the character reference and loaning her money, the pipe suddenly disappears from George's mouth. (01:21:50)

Spiritfire
More mistakes in It's a Wonderful Life

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

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.