History Film / ItsAWonderfulLife

29th Sep '16 8:03:26 AM DaBradGuy
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** Harry's running around hitting on Annie (and Annie's threats to knock Harry out with her broom) is obviously meant as a joke, and one suspects both Harry and Annie banter like this all the time. Still, Harry is an 18-year-old white man flirting with a black woman twenty years his senior. Not something you'd see in a lot of movies in 1947.



* Harry's running around hitting on Annie (and Annie's threats to knock Harry out with her broom) is obviously meant as a joke, and one suspects both Harry and Annie banter like this all the time. Still, Harry is an 18-year-old white man flirting with a black woman twenty years his senior. Not something you'd see in a lot of movies in 1947.
29th Sep '16 8:02:33 AM DaBradGuy
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Added DiffLines:

* Harry's running around hitting on Annie (and Annie's threats to knock Harry out with her broom) is obviously meant as a joke, and one suspects both Harry and Annie banter like this all the time. Still, Harry is an 18-year-old white man flirting with a black woman twenty years his senior. Not something you'd see in a lot of movies in 1947.
7th Aug '16 1:22:52 PM Usagi1992
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* ExtremelyShortTimeSpan: Although the first two-thirds of the film covers the last thirty years or so of George's life, the flashbacks are shown to be Clarence's mission briefing. Even when Clarence steps in in the final act and we see time skips, they are each only about five or ten minutes. In all, the movie proper takes place over, at most, three or four hours on the evening of Christmas Eve.

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* ExtremelyShortTimeSpan: Although the first two-thirds of the film covers the last thirty years or so of George's life, the flashbacks are shown to be Clarence's mission briefing. Even when Clarence steps in in the final act and we see time skips, they are each only about five or ten six minutes. In all, the movie proper takes place over, at most, three or four hours on the evening of Christmas Eve.
8th Jul '16 7:09:12 PM Doug86
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Wandering around town, George soon discovers that Pottersville, the alternate Bedford Falls, is full of strip clubs and drinking dens. All his friends and acquaintances are miserable, his brother is dead (as are a number of soldiers whose lives Harry saved in WorldWarII), and his wife is a [[OldMaid spinster]]. Clarence then explains how George single-handedly prevented this dire fate. He, and he alone, kept Potter in check, preventing the town from descending into squalor and vice.

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Wandering around town, George soon discovers that Pottersville, the alternate Bedford Falls, is full of strip clubs and drinking dens. All his friends and acquaintances are miserable, his brother is dead (as are a number of soldiers whose lives Harry saved in WorldWarII), UsefulNotes/WorldWarII), and his wife is a [[OldMaid spinster]]. Clarence then explains how George single-handedly prevented this dire fate. He, and he alone, kept Potter in check, preventing the town from descending into squalor and vice.
29th Jun '16 5:41:52 PM nombretomado
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* NumberOneDime: Clarence's copy of ''TomSawyer''.

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* NumberOneDime: Clarence's copy of ''TomSawyer''.''Literature/TomSawyer''.
8th Jun '16 9:51:28 AM Morgenthaler
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** Which oddly suggests that he would more likely have been a fan of JohnMilton than MarkTwain.

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** Which oddly suggests that he would more likely have been a fan of JohnMilton Creator/JohnMilton than MarkTwain.
2nd Jun '16 1:06:43 PM eroock
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* NakedPeopleTrappedOutside: Mary. In 1946! (Or 1928, according to the movie's chronology.)

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* NakedPeopleTrappedOutside: Mary. In 1946! (Or 1928, according Happens to the movie's chronology.)Mary when George steps on her robe, leaving her naked in public but fortunately at night (and by accident on his part).



* ShamefulStrip: Happens to Mary when George steps on her robe, leaving her naked in public but fortunately at night (and by accident on his part). See the NakedPeopleTrappedOutside above.
26th May '16 6:23:29 AM longWriter
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* ForWantOfANail: The entire meaning of the alternate world.

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* ForWantOfANail: The entire meaning of the alternate world.world:
** Harry saving his brother as a child:



** It goes beyond that:
*** George prevented a grief-stricken Mr. Gower from accidentally poisoning a child.
*** George prevented the failure of the Bailey B&L, which would have closed after his father died, leaving Uncle Billy to end up in the nuthouse.
*** Mary never found love.
*** In-movie, George spends time trying to find the bar owner Martini, one of the last people he talked to before entering Pottersville. A deleted scene showed that Martini and his whole family had died in a massive fire that consumed Potter's slums.
** On the other hand, George goes deaf in his left ear as a result of a bad cold he caught after saving Harry from drowning. This results in him being unable to fight in World War II and enables him to stay in Bedford Falls, and possibly means that it is another stumbling block for Potter, because George is the only one seemingly able to keep him in check and prevent him from taking over the town.
** Thanks to a comment from George offscreen, Sam was able to set up a factory for making plastics out of soybeans and make a fortune from it. Without George there to make that comment (though we never see Sam during the scenes of Pottersville), he would likely have never built the factory.

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** It goes beyond that:
***
George prevented a grief-stricken Mr. Gower from accidentally poisoning a child.
*** ** George prevented the failure of the Bailey B&L, which would have closed after his father died, leaving Uncle Billy to end up in the nuthouse.
*** ** Mary never found love.
*** ** In-movie, George spends time trying to find the bar owner Martini, one of the last people he talked to before entering Pottersville. A deleted scene showed that Martini and his whole family had died in a massive fire that consumed Potter's slums.
** On the other hand, George goes deaf in his left ear as a result of a bad cold he caught after saving Harry from drowning. This results in him being unable to fight in World War II and enables him to stay in Bedford Falls, and possibly means that it is another stumbling block for Potter, because George is the only one seemingly able to keep him in check and prevent him from taking over the town.
** Thanks to a comment from George offscreen, Sam was able to set up a factory for making plastics out of soybeans and make a fortune from it. Without George there to make that comment (though we never see Sam during the scenes of Pottersville), he would likely have never built set up the factory.



* TheGreatDepression: George and Mary's wedding day was the day of a bank run on the Building and Loan.
** This is ''very'' fortuitous, as the $2000 that George withdrew for their honeymoon is what kept the BBL from going under.

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* TheGreatDepression: George and Mary's wedding day was the day of a bank run on the Building and Loan.
**
Loan. This is ''very'' fortuitous, as the $2000 that George withdrew for their honeymoon is what kept the BBL from going under.



* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Violet

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%% Violet was only implied to be a hooker in the Pottersville timeline, and her character was otherwise unexplored.
%%
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Violet



* HowWeGotHere

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* HowWeGotHereHowWeGotHere: the first half of the movie details George's life and how he got to be in the mental state he was in when Clarence first met him.



* IncorruptiblePurePureness: George Bailey.
** He loses his pureness in a few brief scenes, when he's freaking out about the missing money. But he always returns to his true self. He apologizes to his children after he yells at them. And he selflessly takes the fall for Uncle Billy, despite his earlier outburst.

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* IncorruptiblePurePureness: George Bailey.
**
Bailey. He loses his pureness in a few brief scenes, when he's freaking out about the missing money. But he always returns to his true self. He apologizes to his children after he yells at them. And he selflessly takes the fall for Uncle Billy, despite his earlier outburst.



* The Local Boy Done good - George Bailey is easily bailed out of financial trouble; and in fact, he has a number of bar patrons come to his aid at Martini's (before he receives the goodness of Bedford Fall's residents at end of film); when he gets into it with Frank Welch. Why? Forget the respected man about town (which he obviously is), he is responsible for just about every man in town having a good paying job (and becoming homeowners). George Bailey chides Sam Wainwright into building a plastics plant in Bedford Falls instead of Rochester (right after He and Mary moves Martini into his new home). George Bailey literally helped create a middle class in a town that had only the very rich and the mostly poor. This is why the "rabble" as Potter calls them come out of the woodwork to help George Bailey.

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%% Is this an actual trope?
%%
* The Local Boy Done good - George Bailey is easily bailed out of financial trouble; and in fact, he has a number of bar patrons come to his aid at Martini's (before he receives the goodness of Bedford Fall's residents at end of film); when he gets into it with Frank Welch. Why? Forget the respected man about town (which he obviously is), he is responsible for just about every man in town having a good paying job (and becoming homeowners). George Bailey chides Sam Wainwright into building a plastics plant in Bedford Falls instead of Rochester (right after He and Mary moves Martini into his new home). George Bailey literally helped create a middle class in a town that had only the very rich and the mostly poor. This is why the "rabble" as Potter calls them come out of the woodwork to help George Bailey.



* {{Mammy}}: Annie, with a healthy helping of humor and genuine affection toward and from her employers.



* MoodWhiplash: George's romping with Mary outside of their future home is interrupted by his Uncle Billy, with the news that George's father had a stroke.
** Actually, there's a lot of it all through the story.
* MorallyBankruptBanker: Averted and played straight.

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* MoodWhiplash: George's romping with Mary outside of their future home is interrupted by his Uncle Billy, with the news that George's father had a stroke.
** Actually, there's
stroke. There's a lot of it this all through the story.
* MorallyBankruptBanker: Averted with the Baileys, and played straight.straight with Potter.



* RealityIsUnrealistic: See the AluminumChristmasTrees entry. The scene was called "Movie fakery at its worst" despite there being a real one, since the real one was in Beverly Hills, Calif. Swimming pools under the floorboards were rare then. A small town in New York State which is being kept respectable by creative refinancing is not ''likely'' to have one back in the late 1920s. Who paid for that?
** We don't know who paid for it, but the idea was likely George's.
--> '''Principal Partridge.''' George, welcome back! Putting a pool under this floor was a great idea. Saved us another building.

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* RealityIsUnrealistic: See the AluminumChristmasTrees entry. The scene was called "Movie fakery at its worst" despite there being a real one, since the real one was in Beverly Hills, Calif. Swimming pools under the floorboards were rare then. A small town in New York State which is being kept respectable by creative refinancing is not ''likely'' to have one back in the late 1920s. Who paid for that? \n** We don't know who paid for it, but the idea was likely George's. \n--> '''Principal Partridge.''' George, welcome back! Putting a pool under this floor was a great idea. Saved us another building.
24th May '16 1:45:53 AM axle-k89
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* TheAlcoholic: Uncle Billy and then some. In the Georgeless universe, he's put in a sanitarium for it.

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* TheAlcoholic: Uncle Billy and then some. In the Georgeless universe, he's put in a sanitarium for it.it, and Gower, who was imprisoned for poisoning the child whose life George was have saved. Nick even calls him a "rumhead".



* BarBrawl: Zuzu's teacher's husband, Mr. Welsh, finds George at Martini's bar and punches him in the jaw. Martini then kicks Welsh out of the bar.

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* BarBrawl: Zuzu's teacher's husband, Mr. Welsh, Welch, finds George at Martini's bar and punches him in the jaw. Martini then kicks Welsh out of the bar.



* BigDamnHeroes: George saving Harry from drowning at the start of the film.
** George indirectly stopping a sick boy from being accidentally poisoned by Gower.
** Actually, pretty much everything George does to stop Potter taking over Bedford Falls counts as this in the long run. If he hadn't been there to stop it (as we see during the Pottersville sequence), the result would have been horrifying.



* ButterflyEffect: When George saves Clarence from the river, it is snowing quite heavily. After his wish, there is none falling. When he is "restored," the snow immediately falls at the same rate. Somehow George not being there altered the weather patterns for upstate New York.

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* ButterflyEffect: When George saves Clarence from the river, it is snowing quite heavily. After his wish, there is none falling.falling (a harsh wind is blowing instead). When he is "restored," the snow immediately falls at the same rate. Somehow George not being there altered the weather patterns for upstate New York.York.
* CallBack: Mary's comment to George when she reveals she's pregnant ("George Bailey lassos stork!"), refers back to him saying he would lasso the moon for her years before, and her embroidery of him doing just that.


Added DiffLines:

* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** Lampshaded by Joseph's voiceover before Harry (as a boy) almost drowns after breaking through the ice: "Something happens here you'll have to remember later on." This is because, when George wishes he'd never been born, Harry did drown because George wasn't there to save him.
** During the scene in Gower's drugstore, Little Mary says that Little Violet likes every boy, as well as George. Little Violet sees no problem with it. This statement follows her into adulthood as it is implied she ReallyGetsAround, and is made even worse later, taking on quite a harsh turn when she is implied to have become a prostitute in Pottersville.
** When George is about to throw a rock at the old Granville house, Mary says she would one day like to live in it. George says he wouldn't live in it as a ghost. George and Mary later marry and move into the house exactly as Mary wished when she throws her rock, and in the Georgeless universe, of course the house is still empty and devoid of life because George wasn't there to move in.
** Sam says over the phone to George and Mary his father wants to build a factory for making plastics out of soybeans (thanks to an offscreen comment from George). During the war montage, it's revealed the factory was indeed built and Sam made a fortune from it. This may also explain where he got the money to send to George at the end.


Added DiffLines:

** On the other hand, George goes deaf in his left ear as a result of a bad cold he caught after saving Harry from drowning. This results in him being unable to fight in World War II and enables him to stay in Bedford Falls, and possibly means that it is another stumbling block for Potter, because George is the only one seemingly able to keep him in check and prevent him from taking over the town.
** Thanks to a comment from George offscreen, Sam was able to set up a factory for making plastics out of soybeans and make a fortune from it. Without George there to make that comment (though we never see Sam during the scenes of Pottersville), he would likely have never built the factory.


Added DiffLines:

* InfantImmortality: Almost averted twice at the start, played straight thanks to George. He saves Harry's life as well as that of a sick boy who would have been poisoned with cyanide-laced capsules. Averted with both cases in the alternate world, for obvious reasons.
23rd May '16 10:55:06 AM axle-k89
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