The other night I watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the billionth and one time. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. I lost count after a million.
Truth be told, I came into the Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed vehicle later in life. But since I was introduced to the Bailey family I’ve watched them once a year since I was in my twenties (so I guess I’ve only watched it a couple of times? Let’s just say, far, far less than a billion).
The movie is almost like watching two separate stories. The first half leading up to George’s fateful night on the bridge and the second part after Clarence arrives. It’s a long one, I’m not going to lie. One doesn’t just decide to watch it last minute – no, no. Preparations must be taken for a successful viewing. Popcorn. Blankets. A nap beforehand. But it’s all worth it because it happens to be a good story.
As I mentioned, last night I was in the middle of my yearly viewing when I had a thought pop into my head. “I wonder,” I mused, “I wonder Zuzu’s teacher also had an experience with an angel? How else would she know about the whole bell ringing and wing connection?”
Hello IMDB my mobile app friend. Tell me what I want to know. Was there an extra scene with some backstory that ended up on the cutting room floor?
But if you’re into trivia you should check out the trivia portion here. Like the annoying kid that was dancing with Mary at the graduation dance when George cut in? He is none other than Carl Switzer. Don’t recognize the name? How about his alter ego: Alfalfa from Our Gang fame. Poor guy had a rough go at life. He died at the age of 31 after being shot by an acquaintance. On a side note, if you are into Christmas movies you probably recognized his picture featured in White Christmas and Phil’s line about him “How can a guy THAT ugly have the nerve to have sisters?”
But I digress.
I did not find any back story about the teacher and an angel on IMDB. However, I discovered the movie was based on a 1943 short story called The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern.
Curious? I was too so I already did the leg work and found it is online here.