FBI was interested

The Weird Story of the FBI and It’s a Wonderful Life.

'It's a Wonderful Life' protagonist George Bailey with his family, Mary Hatch Bailey and Little Mary Hatch, at the end of the film. -Wikimedia Commons

It’s A Wonderful Life bombed at the box office before becoming a Christmas classic. Along the way, it also caught the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


The movie’s preview showing at New York’s Globe Theater took place on December 20, 1946, a day before the movie opened to the public. An unnamed FBI agent who watched the film as part of a larger FBI program aimed at detecting and neutralizing Commie influences in Hollywood said it was “very entertaining.” However, writes scholar John A. Noakes, the agent “also identified what they considered a malignant undercurrent in the film.”

Read the entire Smithsonian Magazine article.