What do you remember about the classic film, It's a Wonderful Life?

By: J. Reinoehl
Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

"It's a Wonderful Life" was initially seen as too depressing to be a holiday film, but in recent years it has become a Christmas favorite for many. How well do you remember "It's a Wonderful Life"? Find out by taking this quiz!

What was the name of the angel assigned to help George?

"It's that clockmaker's turn again." "Oh, Clarence hasn't got his wings yet?" Clarence Oddbody AS2.

What book did Clarence carry with him?

"What's that book you've got?" "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer."

What was the name of Mary's older brother?

Harold Landon (1918—2002) played the uncredited role of Mary's older brother, Marty, in "It's a Wonderful Life." He was primarily known for his roles in "Gung Ho!," "Eagle Squadron" and "Carson City Raiders."

Finish the quote "Aw, youth is wasted ___________."

"Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death? …Aw, youth is wasted on the wrong people."

What disability did George have after saving his brother?

"George saved his brother's life, but he caught a bad cold, which infected his left ear. Cost him his hearing in that ear."

What pet did Uncle Billy keep at the Building and Loan?

Uncle Billy, played by actor Thomas Mitchell (1892—1962), was forgetful but kind to many animals. He kept a pet crow at the bank, but in his home we see a squirrel, a dog, a songbird, a monkey and an owl.

What did George say Mary should like because they are from far off places like Fiji?

"I don't like coconuts." "You don't like coconuts? Say… don't you know where coconuts come from?"

Of what did Mr. Gower's son die?

While Mr. Gower's son was away at college, he died of influenza. An influenza pandemic swept across the nation from 1918 to 1919, during George's childhood. The infection killed many healthy young people during those years.

What was beneath the gym floor?

They filmed the dance scene at the Beverly Hills High School where (as of 2014) the gym floor does really part to reveal a 25-yard pool. This technological marvel was originally built in 1939.

What song did George and Mary sing on the way home from the dance?

"Buffalo girls can't you come out tonight? And—dance by the light of the moon."

Who played George Bailey?

James Stewart (1908-1997) was nominated for an Academy Award because of his performance in "It's a Wonderful Life," as well as his performances in "Harvey," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "Anatomy of a Murder," but he only won for his performance in "The Philadelphia Story." He also received several decorations in World War II as a pilot.

What happened to George's father?

"George, come home quick! Your father's had a stroke."

Who did the board vote as the new executive secretary after Peter Bailey's death?

"They voted Potter down. They want to keep it going. They've got only one condition… They've appointed George here as executive secretary."

Who directed "It's a Wonderful Life"?

Frank Capra (May 18, 1897—September 3, 1991) was a prolific director who believed "It's a Wonderful Life" was one of his best films. His failure to give in to the Hollywood sensationalism that arose in popularity after World War II and his use of film as an art for portraying idealism led to his decline and early retirement.

What were the three most exciting sounds in the world, according to George Bailey?

"You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? ….Anchor chains, plane motors and train whistles."

In what did Sam want Mary and George to invest?

Although plastics had been around since the 1800s, mass production was not available until after World War I. During World War II, the need for plastics in the military skyrocketed and many new plastic polymers were created.

What did the sign at the beginning of the film say?

According to the "It's a Wonderful Life" Museum in Seneca Falls, NY, Seneca was the basis for the movie town, Bedford Falls. However, the name could have also come from Bedford, Bedford Corners or Bedford Hills, which are hamlets in New York. However, these are not near Rochester and Elmira, a feature of Bedford Falls. The sign at the beginning of the movie says, "You are now in Bedford Falls."

How much money was left after George gave away his honeymoon money during the bank run?

"We've made it! Look, look we're still in business. We've still got two bucks left!"

What was one thing Mary didn't give the Martinis when they moved into their new home?

A candle was a traditional housewarming gift but was not included on the list of things given to the Martinis. Other traditional gifts included brooms (clean home), plants (to celebrate life), honey (for sweetness), and olive oil (to grease the rough spots).

How much money was George making each week?

"Forty-five… Out of which, after supporting your mother and paying your bills, you're able to keep, say, ten if you skimp. A child or two comes along, and you won't even be able to save the ten."

How much money did Potter offer George each year?

"I want you to manage my affairs, run my properties. George, I'll start you out at $20,000 a year."

What happened to the money Uncle Billy was going to deposit?

Uncle Billy and George searched all over the snow-covered town for the money Uncle Billy had accidentally given to Potter in a folded newspaper. Prior to this film, filmmakers used cornflakes painted white for snow, but it crunched so loudly dialogue had to be inserted later. In "It's a Wonderful Life," foamite, water, soap flakes and sugar were mixed to create silent snow, which went on to win special effects artist Russell Sherman a Technical Award.

What did Harry Bailey do during the war?

"Harry Bailey topped them all. A Navy flier, he shot down fifteen planes, two of them as they were about to crash into a transport full of soldiers."

What song was Janie practicing for the party?

Janie played "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." As a Christmas released movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" did poorly at the box office. It skyrocketed in popularity when its copyright lapsed in the 1970s and it became a television holiday staple.

What prize did Zuzu win at school?

"They gave her a flower for a prize and she didn't want to crush it, so she didn't button up her coat."

How much was George Bailey's life insurance policy?

"What kind of security would I have, George? Do you have any stocks? Bonds, real estate, collateral of any kind?" "I have some life insurance—$15,000 policy."

What name did Martini's restaurant change to after George got his wish?

In the alternate reality, Martini's was called Nick's. They built the set of Bedford Falls on four acres of land. It had 75 different buildings and a main street 300 yards long.

"Every time you hear a bell ring it means _________."

"Somebody's just made it… Every time you hear a bell ring, it means that some angel's just got his wings."

What did George's mother do for a living in the alternate reality?

In the story "The Greatest Gift," written by Philip Van Doren Stern, on which the movie was based, Mrs. Bailey still lived with Mr. Bailey in their home. In the movie, she was a widow and owned a boarding house

What was the name of Bedford Falls changed to in the alternate reality without George?

"I mean Pottersville. Don't you think I know where I live?"

What did Clarence do to help George escape from Bert?

Clarence bit Bert's hand to help George escape. When Clarence disappeared, there was a continuity issue where the shadow on the wall in the background did not correspond to Ernie's actions. (Ernie was the only person there who could have made the shadow.)

What happened to Uncle Billy when George wasn't alive?

"That's a lie! He's been locked up in an insane asylum upstate ever since he lost his business. And if you ask me, that's where you belong, too."

Beulah Bondi played which character?

Beulah Bondi (May 3, 1889—January 11, 1981) played James Stewart's mother at five different times in her career. She appeared in that role in "Vivacious Lady" (1938), "Of Human Hearts" (1938), "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939) and in one 1971 episode of "The Jimmy Stewart Show."

Aside from George and Uncle Billy, who worked in the Building and Loan?

Tilly and Eustace worked with Uncle Billy and George at the Building and Loan. Mary Treen (Tilly) began her career by working in vaudeville and was seen in many television programs and movies, most notably "The Joey Bishop Show." Charles Williams (Eustace) spent time acting in numerous uncredited roles, but also was a screenwriter for movies such as "Hollywood and Vine."

Who played Mary Hutch?

Donna Belle Mullenger "Reed" (January 27, 1921—January 14, 1986) was probably best known for her role as Mary Hatch in "It's a Wonderful Life." Her other popular roles were in "The Donna Reed Show" and her award-winning performance in "From Here to Eternity."

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