Friday, December 20, 2013

It's A Wonderful Life bloopers


Christmas time is nostalgia time. Watching old holiday favorites often remind us of life's lessons we should remember throughout the year. Miracle on 34th Street (1947) challenges the status quo with a madman who might be a genius, a psychiatrist abusing his position to convict an innocent man, and a divorced woman painted in a good light.  It’s A Wonderful Life demonstrates the old proverb that we don’t understand the value of something until we lose it. It’s A Wonderful Life didn’t start out as a Christmas movie tradition until decades of TV re-airings. Having watched the movie for what was probably the 20th time in 20 years, I would like to endorse the re-mastered version from Paramount DVD which reveals intricate details such as snow on automobiles and George’s hair that gets more grey over the years. (This might explain why he is wearing a headpiece which briefly falls off in the swimming pool when the Charleston dance ends in disaster… you have to really watch for that…) Anyway, for those who have seen the film umpteen times might find fun is catching the following bloopers when the film is screened once again. 

Bloopers are listed in chronological order.

When Mary leans across the drugstore counter to whisper in George's bad ear, there is a small piece of tape on the edge of the counter right in front of her hand, presumably to show the actors where to position themselves for the camera shot.

While the old man is in the chair mourning over the loss of his son, the cigar disappears and then reappears in his mouth when he orders young George to deliver a prescription.

When the old pharmacist hits young George, the amount of blood coming from George's ear changes back and forth from lots of blood, little blood and lots of blood.

During a confrontation between old man Potter and Peter Bailey at the Building and Loan, Potter's bodyguard stands behind the wheelchair on its left side. But in the close-up shot of Potter, the arms and hands of his bodyguard can be seen extending from the right side of the wheelchair. In the next full screen shot, the bodyguard back on the left side of the wheelchair.

Same scene as last…. When George visits his father in his office and finds him arguing with Potter, his father is standing behind his desk talking to Potter. There is a cut away form this but upon return George's father is now on the same side of the desk as Potter.

James Stewart and Donna Reed
When George, Bert and Ernie chat in the street, they suddenly stop due to the appearance of Violet (played by Gloria Grahame) in her "this is what I wear when I don't care how I look" dress. The camera cuts back to them and we see a dark haired woman in a hat pass in front of Ernie's taxi. As Violet crosses the street, we see another shot of the boys staring after her -- and the dark haired woman passes in front of the taxi again… and again.

As George and Mary prepare to drive Martini's family to their new home, Mary (in a close up in the car) is holding the goat's horn/antler. The scene cuts to an extreme long shot in which her hand is nowhere near the goat.

When George arrives at home and finds Mary lying in bed, he puts his right hand on her right hand and kisses her. In the next shot, he is caressing her head with his right hand.

Moments after George passes out newspapers heralding his brother winning the Congressional Medal of Honor, George enters the Building and Loan with a Christmas wreath on his arm. On hearing that he has a phone call from his brother Harry, he tosses the wreath on a table and picks up the phone. In the next shot, the wreath still back on his arm.

When Uncle Billy walks up to the teller window, there is no one in line. In the next cut, there is a line of people behind him.

In the scene where Violette gets a "loan" of $20.00 from George Bailey, his pipe is in his mouth. When he reaches for the money to pay Violet, the pipe vanishes.

When George is kicking stuff in the living room of his house, after yelling at his children, his hair is messed up. After his wife scolds him, it's miraculously combed again.

When George Bailey crashes his car into the tree after leaving "Martini's Place," notice its position against the tree; an upward direct angle with both headlights. Then the car is seen next to the tree and one of the headlights is missing. (My wife caught that one.)

When George Bailey is going to jump off the bridge, watch the snow carefully. In one of the shots where Clarence is shouting in the water the snow all of a sudden quits, then it goes back to snowing when George jumps in.

In the scene after Bailey becomes nonexistent and they go to the bar, Clarence and Bailey are thrown out, but when they land they have switched positions.

When Bert the cop is struggling with Clarence and Clarence disappears, you can see Ernie's shadow which shows him pointing and gesturing with his hand before he actually does it.

When George first finds his brother's grave, the death date is visible. After arguing with Clarence he has to wipe snow from the base of the stone to reveal the date.

On Christmas Eve, when he is hugging Tommy, George is clean shaven. By the time he climbs the stairs to check on ZuZu, he has a heavy 5 o'clock shadow on his face.

A hat being held by someone donating money in the Bailey house first has a little snow, then a lot of snow, then no snow.
I'm not going to reveal where this one is. See if you can find this one…  
At one point George (James Stewart) called Violet (Gloria Grahame), Gloria.

Photo on Left: James Stewart and Gloria Grahame.

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