PG | | Drama, Family, Fantasy
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.
The WWII experiences of Bert, Ernie, Harry Bailey and Marty Hatch are described during a montage of combat scenes. The audience is told that, during the war, Ernie the cab driver parachuted into France. In the final scene, Ernie is wearing a shirt with the insignia from the then-Army Air Force on his left sleeve, NOT specifically the 8th Air Force as originally posted. He would not necessarily have parachuted into France only as a member of the 8th Air Force aboard a B-17 or B-24 that was about to crash. While it is possible that the reason why Ernie is wearing a dress NCO's shirt from the Air Force is a backhanded salute to James Stewart, who was a decorated pilot of a B-24 in the "Mighty Eighth" Air Force during WWII, it is also possible that he jumped into France as an Air Force NCO as a radioman accompanying an Air Force Forward Air Controller, a fighter pilot attached to a paratroop unit to coordinate tactical air support from the ground.
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.
When George crashes his car into the tree at 1:37:38 (2007 DVD), there's not much snow on it. When he gets out of the car at 1:37:40 to have a look at the damage, there's lots of snow on the car.
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.
The film was colorized three times. The first colorized version of the film was produced by Hal Roach Studios (now Hallmark Entertainment), the second by Republic Pictures. A third colorization of the film was produced by Legend Films for Paramount, the film's current copyright holder, in 2007.
£49,845 (UK) (19 December 2008)
$7,270,000 (USA) (31 December 1947)
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