At my house, it's not really Christmas until we watch the classic 1946 film 'It's a Wonderful Life'. I love it, and I love to watch it on television, even though I could probably own a copy of it, and view it anytime I want. We like old school at Christmas!

I had always heard that it wasn't really a hit when it came out, so I decided to do some investigating. I found out some really cool trivia, and since it's one of my favorite all time movies, I wanted to share these gems with you from Fame 10.

  • The movie is actually based on a 1939 story called 'The Greatest Gift'. When the story failed to sell, it was made into a Christmas card and sent to a Hollywood agent. RKO bought the rights for $10,000
  • In 1945 RKO sold the script to Frank Capra, who ended up being the director of the film, after it was renamed 'It's a Wonderful Life'. It was also revised by, among others, famed satirist and poet Dorothy Parker
  • There was a ton of behind the scenes drama, and  husband and wife co writers  Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett walked out because they thought director Capra was being disrespectful to them
  • Jimmy Stewart was not the first choice to play George Bailey, Henry Fonda was. Lionel Barrymore, who played Mr Potter in the film, convinced Stewart to play the part, and the rest is history. Olivia de Havilland, Martha Scott, Ann Dvorak,Ginger Rogers, and Jean Shepard were all offered the part of Mary Bailey before Donna Reed agreed to play the character of George Bailey's wife.
  • The Bedford Falls set was on an 89 acre RKO movie ranch in Encino, California. It was filmed from April 15,1946 through July 27,1946, and the set had to be shut down several times when workers suffered from heat exhaustion.
  • Snow in the film was actually a mix of foamite, sugar and water, and 6,000 gallons of it was used making the movie
  • Jimmy Stewart was suffering from PTSD, after serving in WW ll, and channeled some of his anger and frustration into the scenes of him having a meltdown as George Bailey
  • The movie was labeled as 'communist propaganda' because of it's unflattering portrayal of Mr Potter the banker
  • Lionel Barrymore lost a $50 bet to Donna Reed during the filming of the movie when he be that she couldn't milk a cow. She grew up on a farm, proved him wrong, and won the money.
  • Seneca Falls, New York claims that they are the actual inspiration for Bedford Falls. As a matter of fact, they have a 'It’s a Wonderful Life' festival and museum in the town.



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