Thursday, March 5, 2015

Still Making Discoveries After 800 Views

People have a hard time believing me when I say I have watched It's a Wonderful Life more than 800 times. I wrote a college paper about the film and watched it two or three times every day my senior year of college to help in that effort.

Since then, I have worked on changing that 40-page paper into a 257-page book. It's finished. I'm looking for a publisher. But in order to do it, I watched the film multiple times every single year. And I graduated from college a long time ago.

During the National Geographic scene in Gower's Drug Store when George and Mary are kids, Mary comments about the magazine, "I never saw it before." To which George replies, "Of course you never."

I felt the same as Mary when I watched It's a Wonderful Life in color for the first time on Feb. 28, 2015. Every time I watch it, I find one or two details that I had never noticed before. But less than 10 minutes into my maiden voyage with the newest colorized version, my mind was ready to explode with 13 new discoveries. And they just kept coming. Those discoveries are listed here:
  • There are Christmas lights on the the tree outside of Martini's bar.
  • There is a skull and crossbones on George's hat during the sledding scene.
  • I have read bout a sign next to the sledding hill, but I had never seen it until I watched the colorized version. The sign says: 
Violators will be 
prosecuted to the fullest extent 
of the law 
Henry F. Potter
  • There are Camel cigarettes on the counter behind the cigar lighter.
  • The business names during the street scenes are clearly visible.
  • I got a better feeling for the layout of the Gower's Drug Store.
  • There is a piece of tape on the counter when Mary leans down to whisper in George's ear. Is that a marker for the actor?
  • The carpet pattern on the floor in the back room of Gower's Drug Store is beautiful.
  • I think there is a picture of Jimmy Stewart as a child on a trike on Peter's desk. I remember seeing that same photo in one of Stewart's biographies. There also appears to be a picture of the child actor (Bobby Anderson) who plays the young George Bailey, on Peter's desk.
  • There is an American soldier outside of the window when George is in the luggage store.
  • Most of the transportation in Bedford Falls is by automobile. The only exceptions to that are Potter's carriage and a horse-drawn wagon that passes by when George is in the luggage store.
  • There is a traffic cop at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Genesee Street.
  • Bert the Cop is reading a newspaper with a banner headline that reads "Smith wins nomination." Not sure if that is referring to something in true American History, or if it is a reference to another Capra/Stewart film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
  • Annie carries plates of salad into the Bailey dining room during the last supper scene.
  • There is a picture of Annie on the wall beneath the stairs in George and Mary's wedding scene.
  • The interior walls of the Building and Loan are dirty and have a lot of water damage.
  • Potter has gas-lit chandeliers in his office (seen during the bank run).
  • There is a stock certificate on Potter's desk during the bank run scene.
  • Potter's office looks even more ornate in color
  • George says "this thing isn't as black as it appears." Just then, the sirens go past and you can see George deflate.
  • Bert the cop and the travel agency employee take travel posters out of the paddy wagon.
  • There is an advertisement poster for Fisk Tires (picture of a toddler carrying a tire and a candle at the bottom of the staircase next to the first floor bedroom at 320 Sycamore on their honeymoon night. I have put a photo of the poster at the bottom of this page.
  • The honeymoon suite at 320 Sycamore later becomes the dining room, seen when Tommy follows George around the house saying, "'Scuse me."
  • There are TWO huge pictures of Potter. One in the bank lobby and another one - a duplicate of the same painting - in his office at the bank.
  • There is a baby crib in Zuzu's bedroom for Tommy. They share a room.
  • George's tie looks tattered or like it has fringe on it after he kicks over his work area on Christmas Eve. At minimum, the back of the tie hangs lower than the front of the tie.
  • There is a hutch with plates on it in the background at Martini's bar, giving it the feel of a dining room or restaurant instead of a bar.
  • George doesn't have his headlights on when he crashes into the tree.
  • There is a sign on the bridge's toll booth that says "Avoid delay. Have exact fare ready."
  • It's late at night on Christmas Eve and the gates are not pulled across the entrance at the Bailey Building and Loan when George returns from Pottersville.
The Fisk Tire sign at the foot of the stairs of the Granville House during the honeymoon scene. Romantic.
Here is a similar poster I found online.
Here is another poster that I found on Google.

1 comment:

  1. This blog entry has been edited (regarding the baby crib) thanks to the insight of Karolyn Grimes who reached out to correct me. Thank you Karolyn!


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