The iconic Christmas movie, "It's A Wonderful Life," has warmed the hearts of people for many years. The movie, which premiere in 1946, starred Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey. Bailey, who has given up his dreams to run his father's bank, contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve when it appears that the bank will become insolvent due to his negligence. His guardian angel, Clarence, shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life would be in Bedford Falls if he were never born. The movie is now considered one of the greatest movies of all-time! I found some interesting facts about the movie that I thought I would share. Here they are!
- The movie was filmed in July in the scorching heat. Heavy coats and winter scenes were filmed during a heat wave! Frank Capra, the film's director, had to give everyone the day off after a particularly hot day of filming!
- In the iconic prayer scene, Stewart was so caught up in the moment that he actually broke down. Capra wanted the scene up close, but hadn't zoomed in on Stewart. As a result, the scene looks grainy because Capra had to re-frame it.
- Carl Dean Switzer appeared in the movie as Mary's date to the graduation dance. Who was Switzer? Well he is best know for playing Alfalfa in the classic shorts, "The Little Rascals!"
- Actress Beulah Bondi played George Bailey's mother. She was very familiar with Jimmy Stewart as she played alongside him in "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington," "Of Human Hearts," and " Vivacious Lady." No wonder she was able to play the sweet and lovable mother to Stewart's character
- RKO originally wanted Cary Grant to play the role of George Bailey. Now Grant was a fine actor in his own right, but I can't envision George Bailey being played by no other actor that the great Jimmy Stewart!
- Cornflakes were used prior to "It's A Wonderful Life" to create simulated snow. However, they crunched when walked upon. So a new effect was created using a fire extinguisher chemical, soap, water, and a wind machine!
- Finally, Sheldon Leonard, who played bartender Nick, wasn't really enthralled with working on the movie. He only did the movie to earn some money to buy baseball tickets! Interesting!
Some great stuff here! Hope you enjoyed the facts and will think of them when you watch the movie this year!