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Encyclopedia > It's a Wonderful Life
It's a Wonderful Life
Directed by Frank Capra
Produced by Frank Capra
Written by Screenplay:
Frances Goodrich
Albert Hackett
Jo Swerling
Frank Capra
Short Story:
Philip Van Doren Stern
Starring James Stewart
Donna Reed
Lionel Barrymore
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s) Flag of the United States December 20, 1946
Running time 130 min
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3,180,000[1]
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American film produced and directed by Frank Capra and based on the short story, "The Greatest Gift" written by Philip Van Doren Stern. Its a Wonderful Life may refer to: Its a Wonderful Life, a 1946 Frank Capra film, starring Jimmy Stewart, which ranks 20th on AFIs list of the greatest American films It may also possibly refer to:- Its a Wonderful Life (1994 film) a 1994 Hong Kong... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 404 × 599 pixels Full resolution (470 × 697 pixel, file size: 162 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This is an image of the movie poster for the film Its A Wonderful Life This is a fair use image for use on the... This article is about the film director. ... Albert Hackett (February 16, 1900 – March 16, 1995) was an American dramatist and screenwriter. ... Albert Hackett (February 16, 1900 – March 16, 1995) was an American dramatist and screenwriter. ... Jo Swerling (April 8, 1897 - October 23, 1964) was an American theatre writer and lyricist and a screenwriter. ... This article is about the film director. ... Philip Van Doren Stern (September 10, 1900 - January 29, 1980) was an author and Civil War historian whose story The Greatest Gift inspired inspired the classic film Its a Wonderful Life, which in turn inspired It Happened One Christmas. ... For other persons named James Stewart, see James Stewart (disambiguation). ... Main title caption from Dallas. ... Lionel Barrymore (born Lionel Herbert Blythe on April 28, 1878 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – November 15, 1954 in Van Nuys, California) was an American Academy Award Winning actor of stage, radio and film. ... The classic logo of RKO Radio Pictures. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... is the 354th day of the year (355th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full 1946 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... USD redirects here. ... This article is about motion pictures. ... This article is about the film director. ... Philip Van Doren Stern (September 10, 1900 - January 29, 1980) was an author and Civil War historian whose story The Greatest Gift inspired inspired the classic film Its a Wonderful Life, which in turn inspired It Happened One Christmas. ...


The film takes place in the fictional town of Bedford Falls shortly after World War II and stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man whose attempted suicide on Christmas Eve gains the attention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers) who is sent to help him in his hour of need. Most of the film is told through flashbacks spanning George's entire life and narrated by Franklin and Joseph, unseen Angels who are preparing Clarence for his mission to save George. Through these flashbacks we see all the people whose lives have been touched by George and the difference he has made to the community in which he lives. Bedford Falls is the fictional city in Frank Capras 1946 cinematic classic Its a Wonderful Life. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... For other persons named James Stewart, see James Stewart (disambiguation). ... Its a Wonderful Life is a 1946 Frank Capra film, released originally by RKO Radio Pictures. ... Guardian Angel (Schutzengel) (1840), by Matthäus Kern. ... Henry Travers (March 5, 1874 – October 18, 1965), born Travers Heagerty, was a British-born actor. ...


The film is regarded as a classic and is a staple of Christmas TV around the world, although due to its high production costs and high standard of competition at the box office it failed to return a profit on release and financially was considered a flop.[2] Mark Eliot writes, "Although it was not the complete box-office failure that today everyone believes, ...it was a major disappointment and confirmed, at least to the studios, that Capra was no longer capable of turning out the populist features that made his films the must-see money-making events they once were." The film failed to turn a profit in its initial release due to high production costs. The film's break-even point was actually $6.3 million, approximately twice the production cost, a figure it never came close to achieving in its initial release.[3] Although not an Oscar winner at the time it has been since named by the American Film Institute one of the best films ever made and was placed number one on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers list of the most inspirational American films of all time. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The first of the AFI 100 Years. ... 100 Years. ...

Contents

Plot

The story begins on Christmas Eve, 1946 and George Bailey is in a dark place. Faced with the loss of his business and the scandal of bankruptcy, and wanted by the police for misappropriation of funds, he is on the verge of suicide. The prayers of his family and friends alert Heaven to George’s state of mind, and Clarence Odbody, an Angel Second Class, is sent to Earth to save George. Clarence later reveals that he is also being tested; after over 200 years of trying, he still has not earned his wings. In preparing for his mission, Clarence is brought before Joseph, the head angel, to see a review of George's life. Subsequently, most of the film is flashback spanning George Bailey's entire life to date and highlighting all the good he has done for others. The Christmas Eve (1904-05), watercolor painting by the Swedish painter Carl Larsson (1853-1919) Christmas Eve, the evening of December 24th, the preceding day or vigil before Christmas Day, is treated to a greater or a lesser extent in most Christian societies as part of the Christmas season. ...


As a boy, in 1919, George saved his brother Harry’s life in an ice sledding accident, a heroic act that cost him his hearing in his left ear. About six months later, George was working for Mr. Gower, the local pharmacist, (H.B. Warner), and prevented him from accidentally killing a child when he inadvertently put poison in the child’s medicine bottle, due to suffering from the death of his son. George's most compelling ambition is to see the whole world; he is a member of the National Geographic Society. He plans to become an architect and design magnificent bridges and skyscrapers in cities around the world. Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... H. B. Warner (26 October 1875, London - 21 December 1958, Woodland Hills, California) was a British actor, born Henry B. Warner. ... This article is about the organization. ...


As George grows and matures he continues to extend help to whoever needs it. He puts off going to college until Harry graduates from high school so that Harry can take his place in the family business, the Bailey Building and Loan Association, on which many of the people of Bedford Falls depend to keep a roof over their heads. But on Harry's graduation night their father suddenly dies and George is left with no choice but to stay. The avaricious and opportunistic owner of the bank (and most of the town), Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), is on the board of directors of the Building and Loan, and intent on gaining control of it and putting an end to the "nonsense" of home loans for the working poor. George is the only hope the company has of staying independent. Harry goes on to college, and George's hopes of being able to leave Bedford Falls on Harry's return are dashed when Harry unexpectedly brings home his new wife Ruth, whose father has given Harry a well-paying job in his company. School friend Sam Wainwright has also gone on to wealth and success in the plastics industry, and is doing much of the traveling George always wanted to do. A savings and loan association is a financial institution which specializes in accepting savings deposits and making mortgage loans. ... Lionel Barrymore (born Lionel Herbert Blythe on April 28, 1878 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – November 15, 1954 in Van Nuys, California) was an American Academy Award Winning actor of stage, radio and film. ...

Henry Travers as Clarence after "saving" George
Henry Travers as Clarence after "saving" George

George marries his childhood sweetheart Mary Hatch (Donna Reed), but on the day of their wedding a run on the bank leaves the Building and Loan in serious danger of going under. George and Mary offer money from their honeymoon fund, lending the townspeople enough to sustain them. As time passes, George and Mary have four children, and he starts an affordable-housing project. George is unable to fight in the war due to his bad ear, but stays at home to play a minor role in the war effort, while his brother Harry becomes a Navy pilot and is awarded the Medal of Honor for shooting down 15 enemy planes, saving the lives of many men on a Navy transport ship.[4][5] Image File history File linksMetadata Guardian_angel_clarence. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Guardian_angel_clarence. ... Main title caption from Dallas. ... A poster for the 1896 Broadway melodrama The War of Wealth depicts a typical 19th century bank panic in the U.S. A bank run (also known as a run on the banks) is a type of financial crisis. ... The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. ...


On Christmas Eve, entering the bank lobby to make an $8,000 deposit for the Building and Loan, Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell) encounters Mr. Potter and, bursting with pride, shows him the newspaper article about his nephew Harry, who is to be honored by the President. Absent-mindedly, he leaves the deposit money in the newspaper that he drops in Potter's lap. Potter finds the money moments later but does not tell anyone. This is also the day the bank examiner has come to inspect the Building and Loan's records, and arrives to find the money missing and George and Billy ransacking the place looking for it. George even appeals to Mr. Potter, telling him he (not Billy) lost the money; Potter asks if George has any collateral, and on hearing that he has a $15,000 life insurance policy, Potter laughs mockingly and says "You're worth more dead than alive!" Thomas Mitchell (July 11, 1892 – December 17, 1962) was an Academy, Emmy, and Tony award winning American film actor as well as a screenplay writer. ...


Returning home, almost out of his mind with fear and anger, George perceives his entire life as a massive failure. His children, exuberantly preparing for the evening's festivities, send him into a rage. George talks to Zuzu's teacher on the phone, unfairly chastising her for ZuZu getting sick. He leaves the house and goes to the local bar where he prays for guidance, admitting he is not a praying man. The school teacher's husband, upon discovering George in the bar, punches him in the face, cutting George's lip. George leaves the bar and, in a snow storm, crashes his car into a tree. He runs to the nearby bridge over the river, intending to commit suicide.


Before George can jump in, Clarence, George's guardian angel, jumps in the river. George jumps in after Clarence to save him. Clarence soon reveals himself to be George's guardian angel and states that he saved George from committing suicide. Clarence pleads with George to allow him to help, since he is only a second-class angel and has no wings; if he succeeds with George, he'll have earned them. George proclaims that killing himself wasn't going to make things better and states that he wishes instead that he had never been born. At that moment it stops snowing outside, and Clarence allows George to see life as it would have been if George Bailey was never born. Bedford Falls is called Pottersville and is mostly a slum. The Main Street is dominated by pawn shops and sleazy bars. George sees the people he knows and loves, but none of them recognize him. In this alternative world, George sees that their lives are hard and grim. Among other things, his mother, now a widow eking out an existence from running her house as a room-and-board, and Mary, a spinster librarian, are both lonely, embittered women. Uncle Billy has been in an insane asylum for years, and Harry has been dead since he fell through the ice in childhood, since George wasn't there to save him (and consequently the men on the transport ship he saved from a kamikaze attack were all killed). His friend Violet has become a dancer whom George sees when she is arrested for pickpocketing. Mr. Gower was convicted of poisoning the child that George had saved and is now a pan-handler. Ernie and Bert are much darker characters, and are suspicious of George, thinking he is insane when he claims to know them. Bailey Park was never built and remains a desolate cemetery. George's home is still a run-down, abandoned mansion. George Bailey stands in awe in front of the sign marking the alternate Bedford Falls. ... USS Bunker Hill was hit by Ogawa (see picture left) and another kamikaze near Kyūshū on May 11, 1945. ...


After seeing Mary as an unmarried woman and finally realizing that she doesn't remember him, George flees to the bridge over the river once more and calls upon Clarence, and then to God, to let him live again. It begins to snow again as George returns to himself and to Bedford Falls on Christmas Eve, where his friends and family have rallied to collect money to save the Building and Loan and George from scandal and ruin. Mr. Gower has telegraphed Sam Wainwright in London, who sends an additional $25,000; in the midst of the festivities, Harry returns. Seeing how many lives he has touched, and the difference he has made to the town is enough for George Bailey to realize that despite his problems he really has a wonderful life. The film ends with George finding Clarence's Tom Sawyer book, inside which is inscribed: "Remember that no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings." After George reads the message, his daughter Zuzu hears a bell ring on their Christmas tree, exclaiming, "Look, daddy! Teacher says, every time a bell rings, an Angel gets his wings".[6] "Auld Lang Syne" rings out. (Original edits ended with "Ode to Joy", not "Auld Lang Syne".) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain, is a popular 1876 novel about a young boy growing up in the Antebellum South on the Mississippi River in St. ...


Production

Background

The original story "The Greatest Gift" was written by Philip Van Doren Stern in November 1939. After being unsuccessful in getting the story published, he decided to make it into a Christmas card, and mailed 200 copies to family and friends in December 1943.[7][8] The story came to the attention of RKO producer David Hempstead, who showed it to Cary Grant's Hollywood agent and, in April 1944, RKO Pictures bought the rights to the story for $10,000 hoping to turn the story into a vehicle for Grant.[9] RKO created three unsatisfactory scripts before shelving the planned movie with Grant going on to make another Christmas picture in The Bishop's Wife.[10][11] At the suggestion of RKO studio chief Charles Koerner, Frank Capra read "The Greatest Gift" and immediately saw its potential. RKO, anxious to unload the project, sold the rights in 1945 to Capra's production company, Liberty Films, which had a nine-film distribution agreement with RKO, for $10,000,[12] and threw in the three scripts for free.[7] Capra along with writers Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett (Jo Swerling, Michael Wilson and Dorothy Parker were also brought in to "polish" the script)[13] turned the story and what was worth using from the three scripts into a screenplay that Capra would rename "It's a Wonderful Life."[7] The Bishops Wife is a 1947 romantic comedy film which tells the story of an angel who comes to earth to help a bishop to reconnect with his family. ... Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was an American writer and poet, best known for her caustic wit, wisecracks, and sharp eye for 20th century urban foibles. ...


Filming

It's a Wonderful Life was shot at the RKO studio in Culver City, California and the RKO Ranch in Encino, where "Bedford Falls" was a set covering four acres, assembled from three separate parts with a main street stretching 300 yards (three city blocks), with 75 stores and buildings, a tree-lined center parkway and 20 full grown oak trees. Due to the requirement to film in an "alternate universe" setting as well as during different seasons, the set was extremely adaptable.[14] Filming started on April 15, 1946 and ended on July 27, 1946 (exactly on deadline for the 90-day principal photography schedule).[10] Motto: The Heart of Screenland Location of Culver City in Los Angeles County, California Coordinates: , Country State County Los Angeles Incorporated (city) 1917-09-07 [2] Government  - City Manager Jerry Fulwood [1] Area  - City  5. ... Encino is a neighborhood of the City of Los Angeles, California located in the San Fernando Valley. ...


The RKO ranch in Encino, the filming location of Bedford Falls, was razed in the mid-1950s. Because of this there are only two filming locations still remaining from the film. The first is the swimming pool that was unveiled during the famous dance scene. The pool is located in the gymnasium at Beverly Hills High School, 241 Moreno Drive in Beverly Hills, California.[5]


The second location is the Martinis' new home and neighborhood in the fictional Bailey Park. The Martini house is located at 4587 Viro Road in La Canada Flintridge, California. The roofline, window layout (including the front bay window), front path and chimney are all the same as they appear in the film.[15]


During filming, in the scene where Uncle Billy gets drunk at Harry and Ruth's engagement party, George points him in the right direction home. As the camera focuses on George, smiling at his uncle staggering away, you hear a crash and hear Uncle Billy say, "I'm all right! I'm all right!" However, this was actually a crash on the set; Thomas Mitchell's comedic ad lib was left in.


The full extent of Mr. Potter's deviousness is never revealed to the other characters in the film, and he is never brought to account for sequestering the $8,000, although Capra filmed an alternate ending that was subsequently cut wherein Potter receives a "comeuppance."[16] Later a Saturday Night Live skit reprised the scene, this time with Potter brought to account for the $8,000. This article is about the American television series. ...


A lapse in film editing is obvious in the scene in which Uncle Billy loses the money. George comes into the Building and Loan office with a wreath on his arm, and sets it on a desk. Moments later, when he picks up the telephone, the wreath re-appears on his arm. A wreath is a ring made of flowers, leaves, and sometimes fruits, used as an ornament, hanging on a wall or door, or resting on a table. ...


While George sees what life would be like without him, Harry's would-be grave displays the dates 1911–1919, contradicting Clarence's statement that Harry died at the age of nine.


Featured cast

George Bailey (James Stewart), Mary Bailey (Donna Reed) and their youngest child Zuzu (Karolyn Grimes).

Download high resolution version (1024x768, 87 KB)Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in Its a Wonderful Life. ... Download high resolution version (1024x768, 87 KB)Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in Its a Wonderful Life. ... James Stewart is the name of: // Actors James Stewart (actor) (1908–1997), Hollywood movie star, widely known as Jimmy Stewart. ... Main title caption from Dallas. ... Karolyn Grimes is an actress, born in 1940. ... For other persons named James Stewart, see James Stewart (disambiguation). ... Main title caption from Dallas. ... Lionel Barrymore (born Lionel Herbert Blythe on April 28, 1878 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – November 15, 1954 in Van Nuys, California) was an American Academy Award Winning actor of stage, radio and film. ... Mr. ... Thomas Mitchell (July 11, 1892 – December 17, 1962) was an Academy, Emmy, and Tony award winning American film actor as well as a screenplay writer. ... Henry Travers (March 5, 1874 – October 18, 1965), born Travers Heagerty, was a British-born actor. ... Beulah Bondi (May 3, 1888 – January 11, 1981) was an Oscar-nominated American actress, born Beulah Bondy in Chicago, Illinois. ... American movie and television actor Frank Faylen (December 8, 1905-August 2, 1985) began his acting career as an infant appearing with his vaudeville acting parents on stage. ... Ward Bond (April 9, 1903 - November 5, 1960) was an American film actor. ... Gloria Grahame (November 28, 1923 - October 5, 1981) was an Academy Award-winning American film actress. ... H. B. Warner (26 October 1875, London - 21 December 1958, Woodland Hills, California) was a British actor, born Henry B. Warner. ... Samuel S. Hinds (April 4, 1875 - October 13, 1948) was an actor who was best known for the role as Peter Bailey in Its a Wonderful Life (1946). ... Frank Albertson (February 2, 1909 - February 29, 1964) was an American character actor. ... Sheldon Leonard (February 22, 1907 – January 10, 1997) was a pioneering American film and television producer, director, writer, and actor. ... Charles Halton (16 March 1876 - 16 April 1959) was a stern-faced character actor who appeared in over 180 films. ... Charles Lane (born as Charles Gerstle Levison January 26, 1905 – July 9, 2007[1] ) was an American character actor seen in many movies and TV shows, and at the time of his death was the oldest living American actor. ... Karolyn Grimes is an actress, born in 1940. ... Joseph Kearns (born February 12, 1907; died February 17, 1962) was an American actor, who is best remembered for his role as Mr. ... You Cant Take It with You is a Pulitzer Prize winning comedic play in three acts by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, and was the basis for the 1938 Academy Award winning film directed by Frank Capra. ...

Reception

It's a Wonderful Life premiered in New York on December 20, 1946 at the Globe Theatre[10] and opened to mixed reviews.[22] Time magazine said, "It's a Wonderful Life is a pretty wonderful movie. It has only one formidable rival (Goldwyn's The Best Years of Our Lives) as Hollywood's best picture of the year... Director Capra's inventiveness, humor and affection for human beings keep it glowing with life and excitement."[23] Bosley Crowther, writing for The New York Times, complimented some of the actors, including Stewart and Reed, but concluded that "the weakness of this picture, from this reviewer's point of view, is the sentimentality of it — its illusory concept of life. Mr. Capra's nice people are charming, his small town is a quite beguiling place and his pattern for solving problems is most optimistic and facile. But somehow they all resemble theatrical attitudes rather than average realities."[24] One motion picture industry source reported to the FBI in 1947 that the movie resembled Communist propaganda in its making a banker the most despised person in the story.[25] “TIME” redirects here. ... The Best Years of Our Lives is a 1946 movie about three servicemen (an air force officer, an infantry sergeant, and an ordinary sailor) trying to piece their lives back together after coming back home from World War II. It is based on a novel by MacKinlay Kantor, Glory for... Bosley Crowther (July 13, 1905 – March 7, 1981) was an American film critic. ... The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed internationally. ... F.B.I. and FBI redirect here. ...


The film, which went into general release on January 7, 1947, placed 26th in box office revenues for the year (out of more than 400 features released), one place ahead of another Christmas movie, Miracle on 34th Street. It received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. Miracle on 34th Street (also titled The Big Heart in the UK) is a 1947 film written by Valentine Davies, directed by George Seaton, and starring Maureen OHara, John Payne, and Edmund Gwenn. ...


Awards and nominations

Prior to the Los Angeles release of It's a Wonderful Life, Liberty Films mounted an extensive promotional campaign which included a daily advertisement highlighting one of the film's players, along with comments from reviewers. Jimmy Starr wrote, "If I were an Oscar, I'd elope with It's a Wonderful Life lock, stock and barrel on the night of the Academy Awards". The New York Daily Times also wrote an editorial in which it declared the film and James Stewart's performance, to be worthy of Academy Award consideration.[26] Liberty Films was an independent production company founded by Frank Capra. ... Jimmy Starr (1904 – August 13, 1990) was an American screenwriter. ...


It's a Wonderful Life received five Academy Award nominations:

The Best Years of Our Lives, a gritty and topical drama about servicemen attempting to return to their pre-World War II lives, won most of the awards that year, including four of the five for which It's a Wonderful Life was nominated. (The award for "Best Sound Recording" was won by The Jolson Story). The Best Years of Our Lives was also an outstanding commercial success, ultimately becoming the highest grossing film of the decade, in contrast to the more modest box office returns of It's a Wonderful Life. [27] The Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the awards given to actors working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... The Academy Award for Film Editing was first given for films issued in 1934. ... The Academy Award for Directing is one of the awards given to directors working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. ... The Academy Award for Sound Mixing is an Academy Award that recognizes the finest or most aesthetic sound mixing or recording, and is generally awarded to the production sound mixers and re-recording mixers of the winning film. ... // The Academy Award for Best Motion Picture is one of the Academy Awards, awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which are voted on by others within the industry. ... The Best Years of Our Lives is a 1946 movie about three servicemen (an air force officer, an infantry sergeant, and an ordinary sailor) trying to piece their lives back together after coming back home from World War II. It is based on a novel by MacKinlay Kantor, Glory for... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The Jolson Story is a 1946 autobiographical film which tells the life story of singer and actor Al Jolson. ...


Capra won the "Best Motion Picture Director" award from the Golden Globes, and a "CEC Award" from the Cinema Writers Circle in Spain, for Mejor Película Extranjera (Best Foreign Film). Jimmy Hawkins won a "Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Young Artist Awards in 1994; the award recognized his role as Tommy Bailey as igniting his career which lasted until the mid-1960s. The Golden Globe Awards are American awards for motion pictures and television programs, given out each year during a formal dinner. ... The Young Artist Award is an award which is presented yearly by the Young Artist Foundation. ...


In 1990, It's a Wonderful Life was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry. Construction of the Thomas Jefferson Building, from July 8, 1888 to May 15, 1894. ... The National Film Registry is the registry of films selected by the United States National Film Preservation Board for preservation in the Library of Congress. ...


Ownership and copyright issues

The copyright for the film was accidentally allowed to lapse in 1974. Liberty Films was purchased by Paramount Pictures, and remained a subsidiary until 1951. Paramount owned the film until 1955, when they sold a few of their features and most of their cartoons and shorts to television distributor U.M.&M. TV. Corporation. This included key rights to It's a Wonderful Life, including the original television syndication rights, the original nitrate film elements, the music score and the story on which the film is based, "The Greatest Gift".[28] National Telefilm Associates (NTA) took over the rights to the U.M.&M. library soon afterward. However, a clerical error at NTA prevented the copyright from being renewed properly in 1974.


Despite the lapse in copyright, television stations that aired it still were required to pay royalties. Although the film's images had entered the public domain, the film's story was still protected by virtue of it being a derivative work of the published story "The Greatest Gift," whose copyright was properly renewed by Philip Van Doren Stern in 1971. By coincidence, the film became a perennial holiday favorite in the 1980s, possibly due to the advent of the home video era. It was sometimes mentioned during the deliberations on the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998. This montage of different images is an example of a derivative work In copyright law, a derivative work is an artistic creation that includes major, basic copyrighted aspects of an original, previously created first work. ... The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 – alternatively known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act or pejoratively as the Mickey Mouse Protection Act – extended copyright terms in the United States by 20 years. ...


In 1993, Republic Pictures, which was the successor to NTA, relied on the 1990 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Stewart v. Abend (which involved another Stewart film, Rear Window) to enforce its claim of copyright. While the film's copyright had not been renewed, it was a derivative work of various works that were still copyrighted. As a result, the film is no longer shown as much on television. (NBC is currently licensed to show the film on U.S. network television, and only shows it traditionally twice during the holidays, with one showing primarily on Christmas Eve from 8-11 Eastern time) and now Paramount (via parent company Viacom's 1998 acquisition of Republic's then-parent, Spelling Entertainment) once again has ancillary rights for the first time since 1955. Artisan Entertainment (under license from Republic) took over home video rights in the mid-1990s. Artisan was later sold to Lions Gate Entertainment, which continued to hold home video rights until late 2005 when they reverted to Paramount. Republic Pictures Corporation (aka Republic Entertainment) is an independent film, television, and video distribution company that was originally a movie production-distribution corporation with studio facilities, best known for its specialization in quality B pictures, westerns and movie serials. ... The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States... Holding Court membership Chief Justice: William Rehnquist Associate Justices: William J. Brennan, Byron White, Thurgood Marshall, Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day OConnor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy Case opinions Majority by: OConnor Joined by: Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, Kennedy Concurrence by: White Dissent by: Stevens Joined by: Rehnquist... For the 1998 remake, see Rear Window (1998 film). ... This article is about the television network. ... Viacom (NYSE: VIA) (NYSE: VIAb) is an American media conglomerate with various worldwide interests in cable and satellite television networks (MTV Networks and BET), and movie production and distribution (the Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks movie studios). ... Founded by Aaron Spelling, Spelling Television (also known as Spelling Entertainment and Aaron Spelling Productions) is a television production company that has produced popular shows such as Charmed, Beverly Hills 90210, 7th Heaven, Dynasty and Melrose Place. ... Artisan Entertainment was a privately held independent American movie studio that has been owned by Lions Gate Entertainment since 2003. ... Lions Gate redirects here, for other meanings see Lions Gate (disambiguation)‎. Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation, (usually renderred as Lionsgate), (NYSE: LGF) is an American entertainment company which originated in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ...


Belated success

The film's success decades after its release came as a welcome but unexpected surprise to those who worked on it, including Frank Capra. "It's the damnedest thing I've ever seen," he told the Wall Street Journal in 1984. "The film has a life of its own now and I can look at it like I had nothing to do with it. I'm like a parent whose kid grows up to be president. I'm proud… but it's the kid who did the work. I didn't even think of it as a Christmas story when I first ran across it. I just liked the idea."[29] This article is about the film director. ...


Colorization

Director Frank Capra met with Wilson Markle about having Colorization, Inc. colorize It's a Wonderful Life based on an enthusiastistic response to the colorization of Topper from actor Cary Grant.[30] The company's art director Brian Holmes prepared ten minutes of colorized footage from It's a Wonderful Life for Capra to view, which resulted in Capra signing a contract with Colorization, Inc., and his "enthusiastic agree[ment] to pay half the $260,000 cost of colorizing the movie and to share any profits" and giving "preliminary approval to making similar color versions of two of his other black and white films, Meet John Doe (1941) and Lady for a Day (1933)".[30] However, the film was believed to be in the public domain at the time, and as a result Markle and Holmes responded by returning Capra's initial investment, eliminating his financial participation, and refusing outright to allow the director to exercise artistic control over the colorization of his films, leading Capra to join in the campaign against the process.[30] A colorized image of Laurel and Hardy, from March of the Wooden Soldiers (formally Babes in Toyland). ... Topper is a 1937 comedy film which tells the story of a stuffy, stuck-in-his-ways man who is haunted by the ghosts of a fun-loving married couple. ... This article is about the British actor. ... Overview Meet John Doe is a 1941 film where a man needing money agrees to impersonate a nonexistent person who said hed be committing suicide as a protest, and a political movement begins. ... Lady for a Day is a 1933 film which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. ...


Two colorized versions have so far been produced. The first, released by Hal Roach Studios in 1986, was poorly received. The second was authorized and produced by the film's permanent owner Republic Pictures in 1989, with better results. They are widely considered by some as inferior to the black and white original, and are often held up by opponents of colorization as examples of the flaws associated with the process. For many years, television stations paid substantial royalties to show a colorized version, figuring that color would attract more viewers. Both Capra and Stewart lived long enough to take a critical stand on the colorized editions (Capra passed away in 1991, Stewart in 1997). The initial colorized versions of the film have since been withdrawn, and the only version shown on TV and available on the current Republic/Paramount DVDs is the original black and white version. On November 13, 2007, Paramount released a two disc special edition DVD of the film that contained both the original theatrical black and white version, newly restored, and a brand new third colorized version, the first in high definition, produced by Legend Films using the latest colorization technology. Harold Eugene Roach ( January 14, 1892 – November 2, 1992) was an American film and television producer from 1910s to 1980s, born in Elmira, New York. ... Republic Pictures Corporation (aka Republic Entertainment) is an independent film, television, and video distribution company that was originally a movie production-distribution corporation with studio facilities, best known for its specialization in quality B pictures, westerns and movie serials. ... Legend Films, a San Diego-based company, was founded in August 2001. ...


Popular culture

It's a Wonderful Life has been popularized in modern cultural references in many of the mainstream media. Due to the proliferation of these references, only a few examples will suffice to show the impact of this iconic film.

Back to the Future Part II is a 1989 film and the first sequel to the 1985 film Back to the Future. ... The Family Man is a 2000 Brett Ratner film starring Nicolas Cage (as Jack Campbell) and Téa Leoni, about a man who is given a glimpse at what could have been, if he had made a different decision 13 years ago. ... Mr. ... Sesame Street is an American educational childrens television series for preschoolers and is a pioneer of the contemporary educational television standard, combining both education and entertainment. ... Ernie and his rubber duckie with Bert in Sesame Street Bert and Ernie are two Muppets on the long-running PBS childrens television show Sesame Street. ... Jim Henson, born James Maury Henson (September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990), was the most widely known American puppeteer in modern American television history. ... This article, image, template or category should belong in one or more categories. ...

References

Notes
  1. ^ Cox 2003, p. 27. Note: The original budget had been set at $3 million.
  2. ^ Eliot 2006, p. 206.
  3. ^ "The Price of Liberty" Time, May 26, 1947
  4. ^ Review by Tim Dirks; Review by Robert L. Jones
  5. ^ Goodrich, Hackett and Capra 1986, p. 135, p. 200. Note: The original script has a production note indicating a photograph of the destroyer Harry Bailey has saved, but later, George describes the saving of a transport, obviously referring to a ship.
  6. ^ Goodrich, Hackett and Capra 1986, p. 215.
  7. ^ a b c Ervin, Kathleen. Some Kind of Wonderful. Failure Magazine. [1]. Access date: 2 June 2007.
  8. ^ Cox 2003, p. 29-31. Note: It was not a true "Christmas card" but rather, a 24-page manuscript sent as a pamphlet.
  9. ^ "Tempest in Hollywood." New York Times April 23, 1944, p. X3.
  10. ^ a b c Weems, Eric. Frank Capra online. [2], Access date June 2, 2007.
  11. ^ Cox 2003, p. 26. The project went through many hands including Howard Hughes who reportedly was interested.
  12. ^ Capra 1971, p. 376. Capra claims the script was purchased for $50,000.00.
  13. ^ Cox 2003, p. 23.
  14. ^ Cox 2003, p. 23-24. RKO created "chemical snow" for the film in order to preclude the use of dubbed dialogue when actors walked across the earlier type of movie snow, made up of crushed cornflakes.
  15. ^ The house can be viewed at this link: [3]. Click on the 'West' tab for the best view (the house appears in the lower center portion of the photo in this view). The house directly to the left (when facing the Martini house) is identical to how it appeared in the film. The house two doors to the left has been completely remodeled, although a portion of the roofline, and the chimney, are intact in relation to how they appear in the film. Click on the 'East' tab to see the homes that appear in the background while George and Mary are talking with Sam Wainwright after giving gifts to the Martinis. These are the homes that were located across the street from the Martini house.
  16. ^ Cox 2003, p. 6.
  17. ^ a b c Blockbuster MediaRoom It's a Wonderful Life. Blockbuster Inc. [4] Access date: June 2, 2007.
  18. ^ Cox, 2003, p. 6. Capra's only choice to play George Bailey is disputed by Cox, as he indicates that "Henry Fonda was in the running."
  19. ^ Cox 2003, p. 6. Although it was stated that Jean Arthur, Ann Dvorak and Ginger Rogers were all considered for the role of Mary before Donna Reed won the part, this list is disputed by Cox as he indicates that Jean Arthur was first offered the part but had to turn it down for a prior commitment on Broadway before Capra turned to Olivia de Havilland, Martha Scott and Ann Dvorak. Ginger Rogers was not considered.
  20. ^ Cox 2003, p. 6. Originally dubbed Herbert Potter, a long list of actors were considered: Edward Arnold, Charles Bickford, Edgar Buchanan, Louis Calhern, Victor Jory, Raymond Massey, Vincent Price and even Thomas Mitchell.
  21. ^ Cox 2003, p. 24. For months prior to principal photography, the mammoth set was populated by pigeons, cats and dogs in order to give the "town" a lived-in feel.
  22. ^ Capra 1971, p. 372-373. Note: Capra considered the contemporary critical reviews to be either universally negative or at best dismissive.
  23. ^ Time, New Picture (1946-12-23). Retrieved on 2007-06-08.
  24. ^ Crowther, Bosley (1946-12-23). The New York Times, Screen in Review. Retrieved on 2007-06-08.
  25. ^ Chen, Will. "FBI considered 'It's A Wonderful Life' Communist Propaganda". Living Large on a Small Budget (blog). FBI considered "It's A Wonderful Life" Communist Propaganda, December 24, 2006, Access date: June 8, 1007. Despite how Chen characterizes the contents of FBI memo, the FBI analyst does not take a stance on the question, only reporting without comment what his industry source claimed.
  26. ^ Wiley and Bona 1987, p. 163.
  27. ^ Finler 1988, p. 177.
  28. ^ Cox 2003, p. 12- 14. Capra's re-editing of the original score by Dimitri Tiomkin was restored to the Tiomkin version by Willard Carroll in the 1980s and released in a CD in 1988.
  29. ^ Cox 2003, p. 11. In a 1946 interview, Capra described the film's motif as "the individual's belief in himself" and to "combat a modern trend toward atheism."
  30. ^ a b c Edgerton, Gary R. (Winter, 2000). "The Germans Wore Gray, You Wore Blue". Journal of Popular Film and Television. Retrieved on 2007-10-05.
  31. ^ Bert and Ernie: It's a Wonderful Life Connection
  32. ^ Carroll, Jon. "A Few Tiny Errors." The San Francisco Chronicle January 3, 2000.
Bibliography
  • Capra, Frank. Frank Capra, The Name Above the Title: An Autobiography. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1971. ISBN 0-30680-771-8.
  • Cox, Stephen. It's a Wonderful Life: A Memory Book. Nashville, Tennessee: Cumberland House, 2003. ISBN 1-58182-337-1.
  • Eliot, Mark. Jimmy Stewart: A Biography. New York: Random House, 2006. ISBN 1-4000-5221-1.
  • Finler, Joel W. The Hollywood Story: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the American Movie Business But Didn't Know Where to Look. London: Pyramid Books, 1988. ISBN 1-855-10009-6.
  • Goodrich, Francis, Hackett, Albert and Capra, Frank. It's a Wonderful Life: The Complete Script in its Original Form. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986. ISBN 0-312-43911-3.
  • Jones, Ken D., McClure, Arthur F. and Twomey, Alfred E. The Films of James Stewart. New York: Castle Books, 1970.
  • McBride, Joseph. Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success. New York: Touchstone Books, 1992. ISBN 0-671-79788-3.
  • Michael, Paul, ed. The Great Movie Book: A Comprehensive Illustrated Reference Guide to the Best-loved Films of the Sound Era. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1980. ISBN 0-13-363663-1.
  • Wiley, Mason and Bona, Damien. Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards. New York: Ballantine Books, 1987. ISBN 0-345-34453-7.

is the 153rd day of the year (154th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... For other uses, see 5th October (Serbia). ...

External links


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DVDFILE.COM: IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE review (1880 words)
I was unfortunate with my copy of It's A Wonderful Life in receiving one of these ornaments, but if you are lucky enough to receive one, it is a nice touch to the DVD.
It's A Wonderful Life contains some of the best 2 channel mono sound I have heard yet, and I found it preferable to my usual switching over to Pro Logic mono sound of only the center channel.
It's A Wonderful Life has a wonderful ability to bring tears to a happy cheek.
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