It's Christmas Eve 1944 in the small town of Bedford Falls, New York. A despondent and suicidal Mary Bailey Hatch is praying for guidance on what to do about an incident no fault of her own which threatens her name and the community standing of her longtime family business, the Bailey Building and Loan, which she took over after the passing of her father. What Mary does not know is that most in town, including her husband George Hatch and their children, are also praying for her. All the prayers are heard by Joseph, God's gatekeeper of prayers. As there are no other angels available on such a busy day, Joseph assigns Clara Oddbody, angel second class (i.e. she has yet to receive her wings), to Mary's case, which he reluctantly does as Clara has never been assigned a case on her own in the two hundred years she's been in heaven for good reason. As Clara learns about Mary's case, she sees a selfless woman who always wanted to explore the world but never did, while others around her were... Written by
Did You Know?
plays the villain, Henry F. Potter. Potter was played in the original It's a Wonderful Life
(1946) by Lionel Barrymore
. Barrymore played the role of "Ebeneezer Scrooge" on annual broadcasts of "A Christmas Carol" on Welles' Campbell Playhouse radio show. Barrymore had to back out of the 1941 broadcast due to illness, and was replaced by Welles. See more
Mary (Marlo Thomas) refers to her family's Building and Loan as a savings and loan twice, once in the taxi in the in the "run on the bank" scene, and another time near the end in the "Merry Christmas Bedford Falls" scene. Other times in the film, she correctly refers to the company as the Building and Loan. Savings and loans did exist at the time period in which this film takes place. She just got the name wrong a couple of times. See more