It’s that time of the year. Television and cinemas get out their copies of Frank Capra’s “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE” and hope and expect audiences see this film as the Xmas event we can happily watch -again!
A post I wrote over four years ago, “BOB ANDERSON:YOUNG GEORGE BAILEY” has had a thousand views in December. ( thanks to everyone ).
”It’s A Wonderful Life” is surely is one of the finest examples of the depth of the talent pool in Hollywood in the classic era.
Even an independent company ( Liberty Films), outside of the bubble of the big studios , could cast so many well known faces.
Liberty Films was the independent film producing company set up by three of Hollywood’s most well known directors and the former head of production at Columbia. They had production offices at RKO and a contract for Capra, Wyler and Stevens to do 9 features for RKO distribution.
.Unfortunately, “It’s a Wonderful Life’ didn’t recoup its high costs and Liberty Films was purchased by Paramount after producing only one other film, “STATE OF THE UNION.”
It seems incredible now that Paramount didn’t retain the rights to ‘Wonderful Life’, but the television rights were sold to National TeleFilm Associates -and they too did not renew the rights to the film in 1974.
Republic Pictures claimed the rights in 1993 – something to do with them owning the short story (‘The Greatest Gift’) on which the film was based, and having the music score – plus an original negative of the movie.
Republic sold the exclusive TV rights to the Xmas Classic to NBC in 1994.
And almost full circle – Paramount acquired Republic Pictures in 1998!
And according to the American Film Institute, the film had mostly positive reviews on its release and got several Oscar nominations.
Ironically it was up against William Wyler’s THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES which swept the board.
By the way, the FBI thought the film was a Communist trick to discredit bankers!
Here goes with a picture gallery of most of the performers in the film, in no particular order. . If you can name them all, well done!
Can you spot who played – Violet – Freddie Othello – Mr. Martini – Nick – Potter’s bodyguard – Ernie – Ruth – Eustace – Annie – Sam – Billy – Mr. Carter – the real estate salesman – Mrs. Martini – Clarence – Pa Bailey…….