- Lionel Barrymore convinced James Stewart to take the role of George, despite his feeling that he was not up to it so soon after World War II.
- Originally ended with "Ode to Joy", not "Auld Lang Syne".
- Films made prior to It's a Wonderful Life used cornflakes painted white for the falling snow effect. Because the cornflakes were so loud, dialogue had to be dubbed in later. Frank Capra wanted to record the sound live, so a new snow effect was developed using foamite (a fire-fighting chemical) and soap and water. This mixture was then pumped at high pressure through a wind machine to create the silent, falling snow. 6000 gallons of the new snow were used in the film. The RKO Effects department received a special award from the Motion Picture Academy for the development of the new film snow.
- As Uncle Billy is leaving George's house drunk, it sounds as if he stumbles over some trash cans on the sidewalk. In fact, a crew member dropped some equipment right after Uncle Billy left the screen. Both actors continued with the scene ("I'm all right, I'm all right!") and director Frank Capra decided to use it in the final cut.
- Ironically, after the initial flop of the film at the box office, its popularity grew after its copyright expired due to a clerical error and it was shown repeatedly on American television (especially at Christmas) without any royalties going to Frank Capra.
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