Magazine January 24, 2022, Issue

George Bailey’s America

James Stewart as George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life (CBS via Getty Images)
A visit to the almost–Bedford Falls and its wonderful festival

Seneca Falls, N.Y.

In the imagined hamlet of Bedford Falls, where Frank Capra’s 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life is set, family banker George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), in a moment of desperation after a life of seemingly thwarted dreams, wishes he’d never been born. Divine intervention, in the form of his guardian angel, Clarence (Henry Travers), shows him how important he has been to those around him — the very people who later help him out of his financial troubles.

The Christmas perennial is strongly hinted to take place somewhere in upstate New York, but the movie was filmed in and around

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This article appears as “It’s a Wonderful Festival” in the January 24, 2022, print edition of National Review.

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In This Issue



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