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It's a Wonderful Life ()


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An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director:
Awards:
  • Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination.
  • See more »
Reviews:

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Cast verified as complete

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George Bailey
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Mary Hatch
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Mr. Potter
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Uncle Billy
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Clarence
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Mrs. Bailey
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Ernie
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Bert
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Violet
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Mr. Gower
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Sam Wainwright
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Harry Bailey
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Pa Bailey
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Cousin Tilly
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Ruth Dakin
Charles Williams ...
Cousin Eustace
Sarah Edwards ...
Mrs. Hatch (as Sara Edwards)
William Edmunds ...
Mr. Martini (as Bill Edmunds)
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Annie
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Mrs. Martini
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Little George (as Bobbie Anderson)
Ronnie Ralph ...
Little Sam
Jean Gale ...
Little Mary
Jeanine Ann Roose ...
Little Violet
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Little Marty Hatch
Georgie Nokes ...
Little Harry Bailey
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Nick
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Potter's Bodyguard
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Joe (Luggage Shop)
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Real Estate Salesman (as Charlie Lane)
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Tom (Bldg. & Loan) (as Edward Kean)
Carol Coombs ...
The Bailey Child - Janie (as Carol Coomes)
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The Bailey Child - Zuzu
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The Bailey Child - Pete
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The Bailey Child - Tommy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Townswoman (uncredited)
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Ed (uncredited)
Monya Andre ...
Elderly Woman (uncredited)
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Mr. Welch (uncredited)
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Nervous Banker (uncredited)
Jack Bailey ...
One of Vi's Suitors (uncredited)
Mary Bayless ...
Townswoman (uncredited)
Beth Belden ...
Young Girl (uncredited)
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Military Officer in Montage (uncredited)
Joseph E. Bernard ...
Townsman (uncredited)
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Sheriff (uncredited)
Buz Buckley ...
Young Boy (uncredited)
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Jane Wainwright (uncredited)
Adriana Caselotti ...
Singer at Martini's (uncredited)
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Policeman (uncredited)
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Young George's Friend (uncredited)
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Townsman (uncredited)
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Cop Arresting Violet (uncredited)
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Dr. Campbell (uncredited)
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Building & Loan Board Member (uncredited)
Tom Coleman ...
Building & Loan Customer (uncredited)
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Ms. Davis (uncredited)
Jimmy the Crow ...
Crow in Bank (uncredited)
Bryn Davis ...
Elderly Woman (uncredited)
Lew Davis ...
High School Teacher at Poolside (uncredited)
Harry Denny ...
(uncredited)
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Woman at Graduation Dance (uncredited)
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Man on Porch (uncredited)
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Tollhouse Keeper (uncredited)
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Violet's Boyfriend (uncredited)
Eddie Fetherston ...
Horace (uncredited)
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Relieved Banker in Potter's Office (uncredited)
Lee Frederick ...
(uncredited)
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Photographer with Sheriff (uncredited)
Jack Gordon ...
Bar Patron (uncredited)
Herschel Graham ...
Townsman (uncredited)
Joseph Granby ...
Elderly Man (uncredited) (voice)
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Carter (uncredited)
Carl Eric Hansen ...
(uncredited)
Herbert Heywood ...
Building & Loan Depositor (uncredited)
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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)
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Townsman (uncredited)
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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)
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Man Whose Grandfather Planted Tree (uncredited)
Irene Mack ...
Townswoman (uncredited)
Wilbur Mack ...
Building and Loan Customer (uncredited)
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Elderly Man (uncredited)
Priscilla Montgomery ...
Student in Gym (uncredited)
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Man with Sheriff (uncredited)
Evelyn Moriarty ...
Bar Patron (uncredited)
Philip Morris ...
Building & Loan Customer (uncredited)
George Noisom ...
School Dancer (uncredited)
Bob O'Connor ...
Bar Patron (uncredited)
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Military Officer in Montage (uncredited)
Lynn O'Leary-Jameson ...
Infant Janie Bailey (uncredited)
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Senior Angel (uncredited) (voice)
Garry Owen ...
Bill-Poster (uncredited)
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Elderly Woman (uncredited)
Franklin Parker ...
Photographer / Reporter (uncredited)
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Nick's Waitress (uncredited)
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Mickey (uncredited)
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Bar Patron (uncredited)
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Nick's Bouncer (uncredited)
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Potter's Secretary (uncredited)
Cedric Stevens ...
Townsman (uncredited)
Brick Sullivan ...
Man in Fantasy (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ...
Nick's Bartender (uncredited)
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Freddie Othello (uncredited)
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Cashier / Nick's Assistant Bouncer (uncredited)
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Building & Loan Board Member (uncredited)
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Charlie (uncredited)

Directed by

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Frank Capra

Written by

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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

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Frank Capra ... producer

Music by

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Dimitri Tiomkin ... (musical score written by)

Cinematography by

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Joseph F. Biroc ... director of photography (as Joseph Biroc)
Joseph Walker ... director of photography
Victor Milner ... director of photography (uncredited)

Film Editing by

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William Hornbeck

Art Direction by

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Jack Okey
William Cameron Menzies ... (uncredited)

Set Decoration by

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Emile Kuri ... (set decorations)

Costume Design by

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Edward Stevenson ... (costumes)

Makeup Department

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Gordon Bau ... makeup supervisor

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Arthur S. Black Jr. ... assistant director (as Arthur S. Black)

Sound Department

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Clem Portman ... sound
Richard Van Hessen ... sound
John Aalberg ... sound (uncredited)

Special Effects by

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Russell A. Cully ... special photographic effects
Daniel Hays ... special effects (uncredited)
Russell Shearman ... special effects supervisor (uncredited)

Stunts

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Lila Finn ... stunt double: Donna Reed (uncredited)
John Indrisano ... stunts (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... stunts (uncredited)
Bob O'Connor ... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Stoney ... stunts (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... stunts (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

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Joseph F. Biroc ... camera operator (uncredited)
Homer Plannette ... gaffer (uncredited)
Phil Stern ... still photographer (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Eugene Joseff ... costume jeweller (uncredited)

Music Department

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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

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George's modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George's Uncle Billy loses the business's $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, finally allowing Potter to take over the town. Thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off with him dead, he contemplates suicide. But the prayers of his loved ones result in a gentle angel named Clarence coming to earth to help George, with the promise of earning his wings. He shows George what things would have been like if he had never been born. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Keywords
Taglines Frank Capra's..."It's a Wonderful Life". See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • The Greatest Gift (United States)
  • Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (United States)
  • Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (World-wide, English title)
  • Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (United Kingdom)
  • La vie est belle (France)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 130 min
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $3,180,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

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Trivia For the scene that required Donna Reed to throw a rock through the window of the Granville house, director Frank Capra hired a marksman to shoot it out on cue. To everyone's amazement, Reed broke the window by herself. She had played baseball in high school and had a strong throwing arm. See more »
Goofs At one point George (James Stewart) calls Violet (Gloria Grahame), Gloria. See more »
Movie Connections Edited into Have Rocket -- Will Travel (1959). See more »
Soundtracks Buffalo Gal (Won't You Come Out Tonight) See more »
Crazy Credits A ringing facsimile of the Liberty Bell (without the crack) forms the backdrop for the studio logo, which is Liberty Films, and the opening credits are in a scrapbook with Christmas decorations. The bell reappears before the end credits, and the end credits have a Christmas card picture as a backdrop. See more »
Quotes Clarence: Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?
See more »

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