While a chemical snow called foamite was invented for It's a Wonderful Life (1946), asbestos was used to dress other parts of the set, according to Life Magazine writer Helen Robinson.
Sherman's team mixed foamite (the material used in fire extinguishers) with sugar, water and soap flakes. This solution was then pumped at high pressure through a wind machine to create the look of freshly fallen snow on trees, streets and in drifts against buildings.
So from the 1930's until the 1950's, film studios used white asbestos in the form of fake snow brands such as 'White Magic', 'Snow Drift' and 'Pure White'.
Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey in downtown Bedford Falls on the set of It's a Wonderful Life. The innovative artificial snow used for 'It's a Wonderful Life' earned a technical award from the Motion Picture Academy. The crew deployed artificial snow on the set of 'It's a Wonderful Life. '
Seneca Falls is the location of the bridge that inspired Frank Capra's bridge scene with Jimmy Stewart in the Christmas classic "It's A Wonderful Life." The bridge that Jimmy Stewart jumped from in the iconic Christmas film is in Seneca Falls.
Which cast members are still alive from It's a Wonderful Life? Karolyn Grimes - who played Zuzu Bailey - is still alive. Grimes was born in 1940 and is currently 81 years old. Virginia Patton, who played Ruth Dakin Bailey, is still alive.
That dance floor wasn't dreamed up in Hollywood. The scene was filmed on location at Beverly Hills High School, where there's still a 75-foot pool under a retractable gym floor. The facility is known as the "Swim-Gym."
During George Bailey's suicide attempt, you made notice beads of sweat dripping down Jimmy Stewart's worried face. The reason is that the set was nearly 100 degrees and the actor was wearing a snug coat, which made it very hot.
Potter's desk accommodates his wheelchair. On his desk, you'll notice two telephones, assorted papers and pens, and an odd-looking contraption that is actually an old-fashioned letter sealer. Henry Potter sits at his banker's desk, as George Bailey gestures angrily at him.
And while the movie closely follows the storyline of “The Greatest Gift,” there is no mention of location in the short story. Capra on his own placed Bedford Falls in Upstate New York. Bedford Falls might just be a composite of small towns across America, set in Upstate New York.
Paper products are the most common form of artificial movie snow for indoor movie sets with flurries and snowfall. Set designers also use biodegradable, eco-friendly faux snow that consists of food-grade ingredients and recycled cellulose paper to create their vast winter wonderland.
The classic 1939 movie used asbestos in a number of ways, including using the toxic mineral as fake snow. The snow in 1939's The Wizard of Oz was made using the toxic mineral asbestos.
It's the bronzed skull of Clarence's earthly remains. Mr Potter killed Clarence and kept his skull as a trophy. The movie is Clarence's elaborate scheme to get revenge.
But on Christmas Eve, George's Uncle Billy loses the business's $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Mr. Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Uncle Billy.
Potter, Barrymore had become a wheelchair-user due to a hip injury and severe arthritis. Consequently, he played Potter as confined to a wheelchair due to polio. His wheelchair is pushed in all scenes by a wordless assistant (played by Frank Hagney).
Director Frank Capra convinced Stewart to do the movie with him after they returned from war. Stewart was actually considering quitting acting instead of trying again. The actor claimed It's a Wonderful Life convinced him to keep making movies, but Reed couldn't say the same thing.
Uncle Billy, the absentminded brother of George Bailey's mother, works at the Building and Loan, and keeps a number of animals. One animal, a black crow, he keeps in the office itself. The crow symbolizes the fact that the Building and Loan company is constantly on the verge of closing down, as crows symbolize death.
The $45 weekly salary that George Bailey (James Stewart) pays himself from the Building and Loan in about 1936 — before the birth of his first child with wife Mary (Donna Reed) — would be worth around $800 today, for an annual salary (before taxes) of an estimated $41,000.
Switzer played the character who pushes the button that opens the gym floor to reveal the pool—but he is uncredited in the movie. 13 Reed really broke a window on the Granville House. While a stuntman was standing by to throw a rock at the window, Reed broke it herself on the first try.
The 'Swim Gym' court retracting underneath the arena's bleachers. (Courtesy Pacific Floor)The place actually exists. It's called, fittingly, the Swim Gym, and belongs to Beverly Hills High School in Los Angeles.
One location exists, though you probably won't get the chance to see it. The gym floor which opens up to reveal a swimming pool is still in action at Beverly Hills High School, 255 South Lasky Drive, at Moreno Drive in Beverly Hills, where the 'Swim-Gym' is still signposted.
Hitchcock blamed the film's failure on Stewart being too old to convincingly be Novak's love interest: he was fifty years old at the time and had begun wearing a silver hairpiece in his movies.
When the movie bowed in 1946, it was such a flop that it ended up closing down the studio and, more or less, ending director Frank Capra's career. It's a Wonderful Life is based on a novel of the same name by Philip Van Doren Stern, written in 1938.
Potter loses because George stays in business. There is an argument to be made that Potter is an amoral character, and therefore a moral punishment for him means little. His life is all about money, and he's up an easy $8,000 at the end of the situation.