10+ Facts About 'It's A Wonderful Life' Fans Didn't Know

_It's A Wonderful Life_ is one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time.

This classic movie has been loved by fans of all ages over many decades as it sends a message that every life matters.

This touching and memorable film will continue to be loved by fans, but we bet that even the biggest fans don't know these 10+ facts about It's A Wonderful Life.

1. It wasn't a box office hit.

While numbers of course have to be adjusted for things like inflation, the film still wasn't a box office hit.

The film cost around a little over $3 million to make, and the studio actually lost about $525,000 after all was said and done.

2. However, it still did better than this other Christmas classic.

Other than It's A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street is the classic holiday movie that many people know and watch every year.

However, it actually did worst at the box office. It was released the next year in 1947 and made $2.7 million. However, it was much cheaper to make.

3. It was nominated for five Academy Awards.

The movie might not have been a box office hit, but it still did really well when it came to awards season.

It was nominated for five categories including Best Picture and Best Director, but it didn't win any.

However, Frank Capra did win the Golden Globe for Best Director.

4. Donna Reed was a popular pin-up girl for World War II soldiers.

Actress Donna Reed, who plays Mary Bailey, was a favorite amongst soldiers in the war. They would keep her picture up while overseas.

She even saved hundreds of letters from servicemen who were in awe of her beauty and responded to some of them.

5. The movie is based on a short story.

The movie is actually based on a short story written by Philip Van Doren Stern. He wrote the story based somewhat on A Christmas Carol.

He titled it. The Greatest Gift, and has a very similar plot to the film. It was about 4,000 words long.

Which became a Christmas card instead...

However, he couldn't find anyone to publish it. So, instead, in 1943, he printed 200 copies of the story himself and sent them out to family and friends as a Christmas card.

As fate would have it, film producer David Hempstead got one of these cards and read the story. The rest is history.

6. The FBI thought the film was communist propaganda.

While the movie might seem all-American now, some at the FBI were concerned it sent a Communist message because a banker was the obvious bad guy in the film.

A memo said it was part of the "Communist infiltration of the motion picture industry."

7. The actor from the dancefloor seen played Alfalfa.

During the high school dance scene, there's a somewhat annoying high schooler who is briefly shown by Mary, and he then later turns the key to open the floor to the pool.

The actor's name was Carl Switzer, and he's better known for playing Alfalfa from The Little Rascals.

8. The dance floor/swimming pool was filmed at a real high school.

While this strange multi-use design might seem like something Hollywood made up, it was actually filmed on location at Beverly Hills High School.

The strange pool/gym set-up is still there today and is often referred to as the "Swim Gym."

9. It was actually filmed in the summer.

While the movie is set in December and contains many scenes of snowfall, it wasn't actually filmed in the winter or with real snow.

It's not hard to tell that a lot of the snow used was actually fake, but it's even more interesting to note that many of the scenes were filmed in the summer.

10. The production team even came up with their own fake snow.

While the fake snow in the movie might not look exactly like real snow, it was still an upgrade from previous movies.

The creators and crew came p with their own fake snow mixture that used fomite(a material used in fire extinguishers) and a mix of sugar and water.

11. One of the actresses didn't watch the film until 1979.

Karolyn Grimes played Zuzu, the adorable youngest daughter of George and Mary Bailey. Zuzu even gives the last line of the film about an angel getting its wings.

However, she said in an interview that she didn't actually watch the movie for the first time until 1979 an entire 34 years later.

But, now she's seen it over 500 times.

However, by 2016, the actress estimated that she had seen the movie up to 500 times.

She told Vanity Fair that, “I absolutely love it. There are so many messages. Capra was trying to make people realize that life is worth living."

12. Seneca Falls, New York might not really be the real Bedford Falls.

The beautiful town of Seneca Falls has called itself "the Real Bedford Falls" for many years and even has a festival and museum dedicated to the famous movie.

But, there's a lot of debate over whether or not it actually inspired the fictional location.

13. Jimmy Stewart's tears in this iconic scene were real.

In the scene where George Bailey prays and says, "I'm at the end of my rope. Show me the way, God...," he starts to cry.

According to Jimmy Stewart himself, as told to Guideposts, those tears were real.

He said, "As I said those words, I felt the loneliness, the hopelessness of people who had nowhere to turn, and my eyes filled with tears. I broke down sobbing

Filed Under: