Mary Hatch Bailey
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Biography for
Mary Hatch Bailey (Character)
from It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

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Mary Hatch is one of the most famous female characters in movie history. She grows up with George Bailey as the little sister of one of his childhood friends. She has loved him for years. When they are both young, Mary whispers into George's deaf ear (he lost his hearing in the ear after jumping into an icy river to save his brother Harry's life), "George Bailey, I will love you 'till the day you die." They get reacquainted as young adults at a high school dance. George begins to return her affection in a scene where he tells Mary he will pull the moon down with a lasso.

Mary is bubbly, smart, deeply goodhearted, and not without a clever streak. Though she is in most ways the definition of a proper lady, she has a lighthearted spirit and occasionally enjoys being shocking. At first, George doesn't want Marys affections, though he cares for her deeply. He has never wanted the married life, and has always snobbishly seen it as best fit for those with no other ambition. However, he cant stay away from her. In one scene, he walks into Marys mothers home to visit her, but wont admit that he desperately wants to see her and shuffles around her house aimlessly, grumbling in disgust of his own weakness. Mary is being courted by a wealthy suitor named Sam, someone her mother loves, and when her mother demands to know what George Bailey is doing in the house, Mary calls out, "Hes making violent love to me, Mother!" and enjoys the look of embarrassment on Georges face. Near the end of the scene, George holds Mary's arms very tightly and tells her that he never wants to get married. Mary starts to cry because of the way George is lashing out at her. George notices that Mary is crying and stops and kisses her on the lips.

A few months later, they get married in Bedford Falls and plan to leave for a honeymoon in Europe, but it never happens as there is trouble in the Building and Laws building George and his uncle own. After people threaten to go and put their money in the bank, which George doesn't want them to do, Mary gives George their honeymoon money to loan to their customers. Later that evening, George is welcomed into his new house, the Old Granville house, where George and Mary went after their high school dance and threw stones at the windows to make a wish. The house they are now living in is falling apart with holes all over the place where water is rushing in from the rain outside. As George and Mary kiss, their friends Bert and Ernie Bishop sing "I Love You Truly" in the rain. In the next few years, George and Mary work on repairing the house.

Mary becomes a housewife, as George stays at his job at the Building and Loan Association. Over the years, Mary and George have four children (Pete, Janie, Tommy, and Zuzu). Mary becomes a volunteer for the war effort and makes as many contributions to the community as she can. George can't go to war because of his deaf ear, but stays in Bedford Walls as an Air-Raid Warden. Near the end of the movie, George becomes very depressed and thinks about committing suicide after his uncle misplaces $8,000. This loss will put George and his uncle in prison if they don't come up with the money. George's guardian angel then shows George how brilliant his life is and how much he should appreciate Mary.

Mary gets very worried that George has disappeared and gets her family and friends to collect enough money to pay off the $8,000 his uncle lost (Mr. Potter actually has the money, which George's uncle, misplaced in his newspaper, but doesn't return it in the hope that they will go to jail). George is reunited with his family and enjoys Christmas Eve with his family and friends.

"Written by Morgan Rhys"

Page last updated by mt_rhys, 4 years ago
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