Sure, we’ve all seen It’s A Wonderful Life, but there’s probably a lot about it that we don’t know! It’s just one of those films that we know so well that we let it pass over us most of the time.
1. The Film Was Actually Shot During A Heatwave
While it’s one of the most famous festive films of all time, It’s A Wonderful Life was actually filmed during a heatwave. The summer of 1946 brought with it some sky-high temperatures.
Capra actually shut down the set one day because of the unworkable heat, and the timing of the filming also explains the excessive sweating that has become emblematic of Stewart’s performance in the film.
2. That Infamous Slap? Yeah, That Was Real
These days we take many steps, especially when filming with children, to make sure that any violence show on screen has been incredibly well caricatured, so that nobody is actually hurt on set.
However, times have changed since 1946, and the same can not be said of the slap that a young George copped off Mr Gower. I know, can you believe it was alright for someone to give a child like that, at work no less?
3. Stewart Was Suffering With PTSD During The Filming
What some people don’t realise is that Stewart was actually not long out of the army when he started filming on It’s A Wonderful Life, something that nearly caused him to stop working on the film.
By working on the film, he was able to overcome many of his issues, and some actually believe his iconic performance was partially informed by his symptoms at the time. Who can forget the often shaky George Bailey, a man rattled by his dire financial situation? It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that this had something to do with his PTSD as well as his acting skills.