Monday Nights with Oscar presented

Making the Holiday Classic "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946)

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It's A Wonderful Life
It's A Wonderful Life It's A Wonderful Life It's A Wonderful Life

Featured an introduction by Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu Bailey)


"Dear George: Remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings!
Love Clarence."

An encore presentation of a program that was presented in Los Angeles on December 9 by the Academy’s Science and Technology Council.

A fresh take on a familiar film! Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Craig Barron and Oscar-winning sound designer Ben Burtt revealed the unique photographic and sound effects used in creating Frank Capra’s quintessential holiday favorite "It’s a Wonderful Life." The program examined classic studio production methods, the use of matte paintings in key scenes, and the origins of the film’s sound effects, followed by a big-screen presentation of a newly struck print.

Special guest Karolyn Grimes was only 6 years old when she played Zuzu Bailey in "It’s a Wonderful Life," but it marked her fifth movie role. During her childhood acting career she appeared in 15 feature films, working with Bing Crosby, Betty Grable, Cary Grant, James Stewart, John Wayne, Loretta Young and other screen legends.

"It’s a Wonderful Life" was one of only two motion pictures produced by Liberty Films, the independent company Frank Capra and Samuel J. Briskin created in 1945. Although the film performed only modestly at the box office when it was first released, it went on to earn five Oscar nominations including Best Motion Picture. It also garnered nominations for Best Actor (James Stewart), Directing (Frank Capra), Film Editing (William Hornbeck) and Sound Recording (RKO Radio Studio Sound Department, John Aalberg, sound director).

The inventors of the snow machine that made its debut with this film won a Technical Achievement Award in 1948. The synthetic snow replaced bleached cornflakes, the previous method of simulating falling snow in movies.

Event Information

December 12, 2011
Academy Theater at Lighthouse International