Scenes That I Love: George Bailey Tells Off Mr. Potter In It’s A Wonderful Life (Happy Birthday, Frank Capra!)

Today is the 124 anniversary of the birth of Frank Capra and, in honor of this day, here’s a scene from one of my favorite films of all time, 1946’s It’s A Wonderful Life. In this wonderfully acted and directed scene, George Bailey tells off Mr. Potter, for the first but certainly not the last time:

Scenes That I Love: The Phone Call From Sam Wainwright From It’s A Wonderful Life

Tonight, NBC will be airing It’s A Wonderful Life.

Watching It’s A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve is a tradition for many people.  It definitely is for me and my family.  I’ve watched It’s A Wonderful Life so many times that I’ve practically got the entire movie memorized.  It’s not only my favorite Christmas movie but also one of my favorite movies of all time.

Everyone knows, of course, that It’s A Wonderful Life is a film about a man named George (played by Jimmy Stewart) who gets a chance to see what the world would be like without him.  What I think is often overlooked is that it’s also a powerful and poignant love story and that the scenes between George and Mary (Donna Reed) are some of the most intensely romantic ever filmed.

In the scene below, George and Mary get a phone call from Mary’s ex, Sam Wainwright.  Sam has a business opportunity but George has more on his mind than staying in Bedford Falls and making money.  This scene, which begins with Mary upset and George feeling lost, ends with one of the most powerful kisses of the 1940s.

This is a scene that I love from a movie that I love and I look forward to watching it tonight!

The Lost Ending Of It’s A Wonderful Life!

Has it ever bothered you that, at the end of It’s A Wonderful Life, Mr. Potter basically gets away with nearly destroying George’s life?  It’s certainly bothers me!

Well, fortunately, the lost ending of It’s A Wonderful Life has been uploaded to YouTube!  Broadcast on a 1986 episode of Saturday Night Live and introduced by William Shatner (who, it must be said, really gets into introducing the clip), this clip gives George the revenge that he deserves!

As George Bailey put it: “You double-crossed me and left me alive!”

(Incidentally, I love the fact that Uncle Billy says that he talked to “Clarence at the bank.”  Obviously, Clarence put those wings to good use!)


Holidays Scenes That I Love: From It’s A Wonderful Life, George Bailey Wishes Bedford Falls A Merry Christmas

I love the pure joy of this scene.  Not even old Mr. Potter can bring George down.

Of course, for that matter, George can’t bring Mr. Potter down either.  It’s a Merry Christmas all around!

(Be sure to check out Case’s alternative reading about life under Mr. Potter, It’s A Wonderful, Pottersville!)

Scenes I Love: George Meets Mary Again in It’s A Wonderful Life

It may seem strange, on Valentine’s Day, to share a scene that I love from a Christmas movie.  Well, we’re all about being strange here at the Shattered Lens!

Add to that, George and Mary share one of the greatest romances ever put on the big screen.  It may be a Christmas movie but it’s also a love story.

So, for your viewing pleasure, here’s how it all started…

A Blast From The Past: The Making Of It’s A Wonderful Life (dir by Sandra Moiseeff)

Now that you’ve either seen the film or listened to the radio adaptation of It’s A Wonderful Life, how about a documentary about how this classic film came to be in the first place?

The Making Of It’s A Wonderful Life was apparently made for television and was broadcast in 1990.  Hosted by actor Tom Bosley, it’s a warm and appreciative look at a much beloved classic.

And here it is!


Did you miss It’s A Wonderful Life? Don’t worry, we got you covered!

Last night, NBC broadcast the classic 1946 film It’s A Wonderful Life and…


You missed it?

Well, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered!

Presented for your listening enjoyment, here is the 1947 radio version of It’s A Wonderful Life!  This was an episode of the Lux Radio Theater and it featured Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed recreating their film roles!

Holiday Scenes That I Love: The Ending of It’s A Wonderful Life

At this very moment, NBC is broadcasting the classic 1946 film, It’s A Wonderful Life!  They show it every Christmas Eve and every year, I watch.


Because I love this movie so much that I could watch it a million times and then a million times more!  There is no movie that makes me happier than It’s A Wonderful Life.  There is no movie that brings tears to my mismatched eyes as quickly as It’s A Wonderful Life.  I love this film so much that I even watch it outside of December.  If I’m depressed, this is the movie that I’m going to watch.

And who can blame me?  The scene below is one that I love but, to be honest, there’s not a single scene in It’s A Wonderful Life that I don’t love.  I even love those scenes with old Sam Wainwright going, “Hee haw!”  Sam may have been a jackass but he was a good guy underneath it all.

(Plus, he made a fortune in plastics!  Money can excuse all sorts of obnoxious behavior!)

As for the scene below, it’s the final ten minutes of It’s A Wonderful Life.  To me, nothing exemplifies the joy of the holidays better than Jimmy Stewart running down the snow-filled streets of Bedford Falls and shouting “Merry Christmas” to everyone, even mean old Mr. Potter.  (“And a happy new year to you — IN JAIL!”)  This is a great scene and wonderfully acted by James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Ward Bond, and everyone else in the film!

And here it is!

(For an alternative take on whether or not Bedford Falls would have been better off if George Bailey had never been born, check out this interview with Mr. Potter himself!)


4 Shots From 4 Holiday Films: Holiday Inn, It’s A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

4 Shots From 4 Holiday Films

Holiday Inn (1942, dir by Mark Sandrich)

Holiday Inn (1942, dir by Mark Sandrich)

It's A Wonderful Life (1946, dir by Frank Capra)

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946, dir by Frank Capra)

Miracle on 34th Street (1947, dir by George Seaton)

Miracle on 34th Street (1947, dir by George Seaton)

White Christmas (1954, dir by Michael Curtiz)

White Christmas (1954, dir by Michael Curtiz)

It’s A Wonderful Pottersville!


The following is a re-broadcast of the 1955 interview with David Brinkley and Mayor Potter of the eponymous Pottersville.

David Brinkley:  Ladies and Gentlemen this is a portrait of a town that came back.  The best example of which is the bustling Boffo town of Pottersville.   I am interviewing the man who brought this town back after a factory closing and 1920s financial collapse:  Mr… I mean Mayor Potter.

Mayor Potter:  Thank you, David.

David Brinkley:  Mr. Mayor, your town is synonymous with nightlife and culture.  Now, it is hosting it’s fourth International Film Festival.  It seems to stand out among so many New York factory towns.  What happened?

Mayor Potter:  HRHHPFM! It was a near run thing.

David: How so?

Mayor Potter: We had this flirtation with communism in the 19 teens and 20s.

David: *Gasps*

Mayor Potter:  It’s true.  We had this bolshevik style building and loan.

David: A building and what?

Mayor Potter:  It was a bank … of sorts.  This guy “Pa” Bailey *Uses air quotes with an eye-roll*  would talk rubes into giving him money to build people homes who lacked the money to pay their mortgages.

David: Come again?

Mayor Potter: Get this, when you wanted to make a withdrawal you’d either have to wait 60 days or some jackass would use his personal savings to “loan” you money.

David: *Eyes Widen*

Mayor Potter:  This commie bank was always screwing with people’s money.  The owner hired his brother Billy – he was this unreformed drunkard and he had a menagerie of unvaccinated feral animals in his office. And, when this Building and Loan would really squander their funds and bills would come due, Billy would knock on people’s doors holding a wicker basket begging for donations all over town.

David: Wicker? What kinds of animals? What?!

Mayor Potter:  UGGHH, Bailey had everything in there… crows, squirrels, probably had a damn bobcat for all we knew.  Bailey’s in a mental ward now.  But, he wasn’t even the worst…

David: Come on..

Mayor Potter:  Try getting a prescription filled back in those days. We had a homicidal druggist poisoning people … Bowser or something or other.   He got locked up and’s dead now …. good riddance.

David: Weren’t there two Bailey sons?

Mayor Potter: The younger Brother was a war hero and now works for DuPont and designed some weed killer Agent Purple or something.

David: Not to turn this into a geneology of the Baileys.

Mayor Potter: No big deal. George went off to college and married a local girl…Mary. He designs pipelines in Venezuela. Could you imagine if George had tried to keep his Dad’s commie bank going? He would’ve wished he’d never been born!

David: Back to the town, what changed?

Mayor Potter: Well, Pa Bailey died and then the Crash.

David: How did your recover from the crash?

Mayor Potter: Recover?!  The Crash helped us! I bought up the failing businesses and turned this town around.  We needed new revenue from new sources.

David: About that, after the war, Pottersville was criticized for what some called a seamy downtown.

Mayor Potter:  *Shrugs* You’re a veteran.  After the war, people wanted to blow off some steam and that means dancing, music, and booze.  Our downtown is different now.  Even then, it was still better than the boring Bedford Falls anytown USA….Bleh! We’re the only Right To Work county in New York!  What did that bring? Headquarters and more business than Buffalo or Detroit combined!  We have 12 museums, 200 restaurants, a financial center, a subway, and a Theater district second only to New York City!  Besides, nightlife and culture is what brings people to cities.  “Honey, let’s splurge and visit Des Moines… Said no one ever!”

David: You have a point.  This is truly a magnificent achievement.

Mayor Potter:  Thank you.

David: That’s all.  Good luck and good night.


Pottersville: Current Day