IMDb > It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
It's a Wonderful Life
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It's a Wonderful Life (1946) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 65 | slideshow) Videos (see all 6)
It's a Wonderful Life -- An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would had been like if he never existed.
It's a Wonderful Life -- Clip: I don't want to get married (colorized)
It's a Wonderful Life -- Clip: You want the moon?
It's a Wonderful Life -- Clip: Warped, frustrated old man (colorized)
It's a Wonderful Life -- Clip: I want to live again

Overview

User Rating:
8.7/10   205,914 votes »
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Up 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Frances Goodrich (screenplay) &
Albert Hackett (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for It's a Wonderful Life on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 January 1947 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Frank Capra's..."It's a Wonderful Life". See more »
Plot:
An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 6 wins See more »
User Reviews:
A Wonderful Film and Timeless Classic See more (640 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Stewart ... George Bailey

Donna Reed ... Mary Hatch

Lionel Barrymore ... Mr. Potter

Thomas Mitchell ... Uncle Billy

Henry Travers ... Clarence

Beulah Bondi ... Mrs. Bailey

Frank Faylen ... Ernie

Ward Bond ... Bert

Gloria Grahame ... Violet

H.B. Warner ... Mr. Gower
Todd Karns ... Harry Bailey
Samuel S. Hinds ... Pa Bailey
Mary Treen ... Cousin Tilly

Frank Albertson ... Sam Wainwright
Virginia Patton ... Ruth Dakin
Charles Williams ... Cousin Eustace
Sarah Edwards ... Mrs. Hatch (as Sara Edwards)
William Edmunds ... Mr. Martini (as Bill Edmunds)
Lillian Randolph ... Annie

Argentina Brunetti ... Mrs. Martini
Robert J. Anderson ... Little George (as Bobbie Anderson)
Ronnie Ralph ... Little Sam
Jean Gale ... Little Mary
Jeanine Ann Roose ... Little Violet
Danny Mummert ... Little Marty Hatch
Georgie Nokes ... Little Harry Bailey

Sheldon Leonard ... Nick
Frank Hagney ... Potter's Bodyguard
Ray Walker ... Joe - Luggage Shop

Charles Lane ... Real Estate Salesman (as Charlie Lane)
Edward Keane ... Tom - Bldg. & Loan (as Edward Kean)
Carol Coombs ... Bailey Child - Janie (as Carol Coomes)
Karolyn Grimes ... Bailey Child - Zuzu
Larry Simms ... Bailey Child - Pete

Jimmy Hawkins ... Bailey Child - Tommy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jean Acker ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Ernie Adams ... Ed (uncredited)
Monya Andre ... (uncredited)
Stanley Andrews ... Mr. Welch (uncredited)
Sam Ash ... Nervous Banker (uncredited)
Jack Bailey ... One of Vi's Suitors (uncredited)
Mary Bayless ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Beth Belden ... (uncredited)
Brooks Benedict ... Military Officer in Montage (uncredited)
Joseph E. Bernard ... Townsman (uncredited)
Al Bridge ... Sheriff (uncredited)
Buz Buckley ... (uncredited)
Marian Carr ... Jane Wainwright (uncredited)

Adriana Caselotti ... Singer at Martini's (uncredited)
Lane Chandler ... (uncredited)

Michael Chapin ... Young George's Friend (uncredited)
Tom Chatterton ... Townsman (uncredited)
Jack Cheatham ... Cop Arresting Violet (uncredited)
Harry Cheshire ... Dr. Campbell (uncredited)
Edward Clark ... Building & Loan Board Member (uncredited)
Tom Coleman ... Building & Loan Customer (uncredited)

Ellen Corby ... Ms. Davis (uncredited)
Jimmy the Crow ... Crow in Bank (uncredited)
Bryn Davis ... (uncredited)
Lew Davis ... High School Teacher at Poolside (uncredited)
Harry Denny ... (uncredited)
Helen Dickson ... Woman at Graduation Dance (uncredited)
Dick Elliott ... Man on Porch (uncredited)
Tom Fadden ... Tollhouse Keeper (uncredited)
Frank Fenton ... Violet's Boyfriend (uncredited)
Eddie Fetherston ... Horace (uncredited)
Sam Flint ... Relieved Banker in Potter's Office (uncredited)
Lee Frederick ... (uncredited)
Dick Gordon ... Photographer with Sheriff (uncredited)
Jack Gordon ... Bar Patron (uncredited)
Herschel Graham ... (uncredited)
Joseph Granby ... (voice) (uncredited)
Charles Halton ... Carter (uncredited)
Carl Eric Hansen ... (uncredited)
Herbert Heywood ... Building & Loan Depositor (uncredited)
Harry Holman ... Mr. Partridge (uncredited)
Art Howard ... Building & Loan Board Member (uncredited)
Bert Howard ... Building & Loan Board Member (uncredited)
Arthur Stuart Hull ... Mr. Randall (uncredited)
John Indrisano ... Man in Fantasy (uncredited)
Eddie Kane ... Building & Loan Depositor (uncredited)
Carl Kent ... (uncredited)
Milton Kibbee ... Building & Loan Board Member (uncredited)
Effie Laird ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Building & Loan Customer (uncredited)
Harold Landon ... Marty Hatch (uncredited)
Meade 'Lux' Lewis ... Pianist in Nick's Place (uncredited)
Jack Lomas ... Bar Patron (uncredited)
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Man Whose Grandfather Planted Tree (uncredited)
Irene Mack ... (uncredited)
Wilbur Mack ... Building and Loan Customer (uncredited)
Charles Meakin ... (uncredited)
Priscilla Montgomery ... Student in Gym (uncredited)
Bert Moorhouse ... Man with Sheriff (uncredited)
Philip Morris ... Building & Loan Customer (uncredited)
George Noisom ... School Dancer (uncredited)
Bob O'Connor ... Bar Patron (uncredited)
Frank O'Connor ... Military Officer in Montage (uncredited)
Moroni Olsen ... Senior Angel (voice) (uncredited)
Garry Owen ... Bill-Poster (uncredited)
Netta Packer ... (uncredited)
Franklin Parker ... Photographer / Reporter (uncredited)
Suzanne Ridgeway ... Nick's Waitress (uncredited)
Mark Roberts ... Mickey (uncredited)
Constantine Romanoff ... Bar Patron (uncredited)
Cy Schindell ... Nick's Bouncer (uncredited)
Almira Sessions ... Potter's Secretary (uncredited)
Cedric Stevens ... (uncredited)
Brick Sullivan ... Man in Fantasy (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Nick's Bartender (uncredited)

Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer ... Freddie Othello (uncredited)
Max Wagner ... Cashier / Nick's Assistant Bouncer (uncredited)
Larry Wheat ... Building & Loan Board Member (uncredited)
Charles C. Wilson ... Charlie (uncredited)
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Directed by
Frank Capra 
 
Writing credits
Frances Goodrich (screenplay) &
Albert Hackett (screenplay) and
Frank Capra (screenplay)

Jo Swerling (additional scenes)

Philip Van Doren Stern (story)

Michael Wilson  contributor to screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Frank Capra .... producer
 
Original Music by
Dimitri Tiomkin (musical score written by)
 
Cinematography by
Joseph F. Biroc (director of photography) (as Joseph Biroc)
Joseph Walker (director of photography)
Victor Milner (director of photography) (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
William Hornbeck 
 
Art Direction by
Jack Okey 
 
Set Decoration by
Emile Kuri (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Edward Stevenson (costumes)
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arthur S. Black Jr. .... assistant director (as Arthur S. Black)
 
Sound Department
Clem Portman .... sound
Richard Van Hessen .... sound
John Aalberg .... sound (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Russell A. Cully .... special photographic effects
Daniel Hays .... special effects (uncredited)
Russell Shearman .... special effects supervisor (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Lila Finn .... stunt double: Donna Reed (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Joseph F. Biroc .... camera operator (uncredited)
Homer Plannette .... gaffer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Dimitri Tiomkin .... director: musical score
Herschel Burke Gilbert .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leigh Harline .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Alfred Newman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Nathan Scott .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leith Stevens .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
David Tamkin .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Dave Torbett .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Edward Ward .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Roy Webb .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life" - International (English title) (complete title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG for thematic elements, smoking and some violence (re-rating) (2012)
Runtime:
130 min | Spain:118 min (25 fps) (DVD edition)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (colorized) | Black and White
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Brazil:Livre | Canada:G (Manitoba/Nova Scotia/Quebec) | Canada:F (Ontario) | Finland:K-7 (2013) (TV rating) | Finland:S (1990) | Finland:K-16 (1946) | Germany:6 | Netherlands:6 (re-rating) | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | South Korea:12 | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:Approved (PCA #11656) | USA:PG (re-rating) (2012)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
George never does get the $8000 back from Mr Potter, nor does he learn he was the one who stole it.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: The banister in Mary's house wobbles slightly when her mother climbs the stairs.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Mr. Emil Gower:I owe everything to George Bailey. Help him, dear Father.
Giuseppe Martini:Joseph, Jesus and Mary. Help my friend, Mr. Bailey.
Ma Bailey:Help my son, George, tonight.
Bert:He never thinks about himself, God, that's why he's in trouble.
Ernie Bishop:George is a good guy. Give him a break, God.
Mary:I love him, dear Lord. Watch over him tonight.
Janie Bailey:Please, God, something's the matter with Daddy.
Zuzu Bailey:Please bring Daddy back.
See more »
Soundtrack:
The Stars and Stripes ForeverSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
How does George's non-existence change Bedford Falls in the alternate reality?
Why is George so upset Mary is an old maid? Wouldn't he be happy that she is not with another man, or happier without him there?
See more »
164 out of 190 people found the following review useful.
A Wonderful Film and Timeless Classic, 6 December 2000
Author: FlickJunkie-2 from Atlanta



This film has become a Christmas tradition in my family. We watch it every year and never tire of it. Frank Capra is a master of creating films with a message that reinforce strong values. This is probably his greatest film in that regard. Both he and Stewart have publicly stated that this is their favorite film.

The message in this film is one of courage and sacrifice for the greater good as George Bailey, a man with big ideas about seeing the world, continually forsakes his own desires to do what is right for the town. The second message is that each life important. No matter how insignificant we feel we are, we are all inextricably linked to each other and play an important part in the fabric of one another's lives.

Capra's direction is brilliant. His genius is bringing human stories to life in a ways that not only make a point, but that totally involve the audience in the lives of the characters. He is always extremely optimistic about the human condition. He is known for testing his characters with overwhelming adversity to make them struggle to triumph in a way that causes the world to change and the character to grow. For this reason his films were always crowd pleasers and this film was the best of all in that regard.

Led by Capra's understanding hand, the actors all did a magnificent job. Stewart's wide-eyed enthusiasm and boyish charm, coupled with an unbending strength of character made him the perfect folk hero. Donna Reed was lovely and charming and attained the right balance between being supportive and inspirational. The romantic chemistry between her and Stewart was subtle and charming. Lionel Barrymore was towering as the greedy old skinflint who was trying to take over the town. Thomas Mitchell plays one of my favorite characters, as the bumbling Uncle Billy in probably his most memorable role.

This film is number eleven on AFI's list of best films of the century. It was nominated for five academy awards and won none. It was swept in 1947 by `The Best Years of Our Lives', a great film that won seven Oscars that year but in my opinion was the lesser film. History has corrected that minor injustice by rendering `It's a Wonderful Life' an enduring classic that is viewed and loved by generation after generation. Of course, I rated it a 10/10. I can't wait to see it again this Christmas.

Was the above review useful to you?
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