Frank Capra tells masterpiece the story of the good-natured George Bailey (James Stewart) who wants to take after a financial misfortune of the life. Before he can plunge from the bridge, saves him, the angel Clarence (Henry Travers) shows him how his small home town of Bedford would have looked like if he’d never been born.
1. “It’s a wonderful life?” was originally a Christmas card
The black and white classic goes back to the short story “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren stern. For the nearly 4000 words star needed just under four years, and as he was in 1943 that finally done, he found no publisher. So, Stern printed 200 copies out of his own pocket and sent it as a Christmas card to his friends. One of them fell into the hands of film producer David Hempstead. He bought the film rights in 1944, and continued to adapt the story into a movie. However, the implementation was too cumbersome. Therefore, the rights of 1945 were sold to Frank Capra’s company, Liberty Films. Capra renamed the movie to “It’s a wonderful life” – the Rest is history.
2. The Christmas classic was actually never plays as a Christmas movie
Even if “it’s a wonderful life” at Christmas, it was Capra rather the Message behind it, namely, that you can even have the smallest of acts, a huge positive impact on the lives of others. In an Interview with the “Wall Street Journal” in 1984, the Director said: “I have not understood at first as a Christmas story. To me the message was just behind”.
3. For the Film a new kind of artificial snow has been specially invented
One of the most beautiful Christmas movies, which was filmed during a heat wave in the summer. A Christmas mood to pretend, you had to have access to artificial snow. Previously, it has been painted with just Cornflakes and white. Capra found the crunch of the art snow too loud and so was made specifically for the Film, a special mixture of foam, water and sugar. Finally, 22’700 liters of this mixture turned the hot California into a winter Wonderland.
4. The set for Bedford Falls was one of the most expensive of its time
“it’s a wonderful life?” had for its time a huge movie budget of 3.7 million US Dollars. Accordingly, much time was put into the design of the fictional town of Bedford Falls – about 75 houses were built on an area of 16.2 square kilometers in California.
5. The Film was a huge Flop
Despite a brilliant critique of the big cinema success in the year 1946. Only mediocre reviews and the high production costs led to a loss of 525’000 US-Dollar. Although the Film in 1947 was nominated for the Oscar categories of Best Film, Best Director, Best actor (Stewart), Best editing and Best sound went out but a total blank.
6. In the 70s, the Film became a television classic
The Film was such a Flop that the Studio renewed the rights for the Film – a godsend for long-distance channels in the 70s: A Frank Capra Film, free broadcast. The film historian Leonard Maltin (67) recalls: “one Christmas eve my wife and I television have played Roulette. We have changed the whole time the transmitter and constantly encountered on the Film.”
7. The actress of the little ZuZu has the Film until 34 years later
seen a Lot of Karolyn Grimes know in your first role at the age of six as ZuZu, the smallest Bailey-daughter with the braids. Her most famous movie quote “every Time a bell rings a angel his wings” heard of the actress but only 34 years after the initial publication.
Because your life is full of strokes of fate, no time left for a festive mood: your parents didn’t want the fame goes straight to her head, if you see yourself on the screen. As her sick mother, and a year later died, her father in a car accident, it took her completely the desire to see the movie. At the age of 15 years are orphaned, she was raised by her strictly religious aunt. Later, she married, had a divorce and was a single parent after her second husband in a hunting accident and died. Her son took 18-the life and shortly after her third husband died of cancer.
Grimes felt for the first time, the success of the film in the 70s, when the Film was everywhere on TV. Suddenly journalists appeared out of nowhere in front of your door, and tons of Fan letters a filled-in box in your letter. The rediscovery of the film led to a steep turning point in the career of the actress, who had not seen according to your specifications, in 1979, the “it’s a wonderful life” for the first Time.
8. Donna Reed was the best Kuhmelkerin on the Set
the charm of The Bailey pair is not none: Both Donna Reed as well as James Stewart grew up in a small rural town. Reed, the oldest of five children, lived on a Farm in Iowa. Lionel Barrymore, playing the rich villain, Mr. Potter, not wanted to believe, Reed, that you could milk a cow. Barrymore bet to $ 50 (now around 675 U.S. dollars) that you would not do. In retrospect, regretted Barrymore this bet, for Reed, however, was “the easiest money I ever earned.”
9. Frank Capra broke the moral code of Hollywood
at the time of the production of “Is life beautiful?,”documents of American films to a strict production code, or Hays Code as it is called. Until 1967, these strict rules on sets for the representation of crime, sexual and political content in American films. The objective is to be a moral example for the society. In “Is life beautiful?” enriches the already rich Mr. Potter on the poor, George Bailey, around 8000 US dollars. According to the Codex, had to be punished for criminal activities – but not always- as in the movie, Mr. Potter, without penalty, received by the Director Frank Capra later, threatening letters from the morality of the apostles.
10. The Film was labeled by the FBI as a Communist
The presentation by Mr. Potter was also in the FBI. Allegedly negative portrayal of a wealthy banker of Communist Propaganda was. Because the movie showed such subversive tendencies, came to the FBI to the conclusion that the Film is absolutely anti-American. (chj)