Is Saugerties, New York The Inspiration Behind “It’s a Wonderful Life” and Bedford Falls?
As I prepare to embark on my holiday vacation, I'm planning what Christmas movies I'm going to binge leading up to the holiday.
One of my favorite Christmas movies is the Frank Capra 1946 classic, 'It's A Wonderful Life' starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey. My family and I watch it every Christmas Eve after stuffing our faces with the 7 fishes and Christmas cookies.
An Intro to "It's a Wonderful Life"
If you've never seen It's a Wonderful Life, here's how IMDB explains it:
An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.
That frustrated businessman is George Bailey who is getting a little help from his guardian angel, Clarence. Watch the trailer below and you'll get the gist of it:
The movie takes place in the fictional Bedford Falls and according to It's a Wonderful Life Museum in Seneca Fall's, New York the movie was filmed on the West Coast. They explain:
It's a Wonderful Life was filmed entirely in California, as were most movies at that time. However, Seneca Falls has long believed itself to be the inspiration for key scenes in the film and Bedford Falls itself.
It's a Wonderful Saugerties Life?
Many of the stories go that the director, Frank Capra, visited Seneca Falls while working on the script. However, I was once told that he also grabbed some inspiration from Partition/Main Street in Saugerties.
Here's the thing, I can't find any confirmation about said Saugerties connection. The red bridge in Saugerties could have definitely played a part in inspiring Capra if he was indeed in the area. One of the most pivotal scenes comes with George Bailey on a snowy night on the Bedford Falls bridge.
Maybe Capra drove through Saugerties before his final destination in Seneca Falls?
Whatever the answer maybe I'm going to keep telling myself that It's a Wonderful Life has a Hudson Valley connection, it keeps me festive.
Learn more about It's A Wonderful Life and its New York ties at WonderfulLifemuseum.com.