November 20, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life

It was a fun day at work yesterday. We enjoyed a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and a special appearance by Karolyn Grimes, the actress who played Zuzu Bailey the littlest girl from It's a Wonderful Life. She showed clips from the movie, which were in color, and shared interesting little tid-bits of information about the making of the film.

Let's see...she told us that the snow flakes used in the movie were actually Ivory Soap flakes because they were quieter than Hollywood's snow flakes. To show its affect on the movie she showed the scene when George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) jumped into the water to save Clarence and how they both surfaced in a soapy film (no pun.) Then she pointed out a particular actress in the background of one scene who was donned in a big hat with a bow. She walked back and forth in that scene six times! Karolyn said Jimmy Stewart was the most kind and humble man you'd ever want to meet and she was paid $75/week to be in the movie that took only three months to make. At that time a car cost $750, so $75 a week was no small pittance.

The film clips where hilarious, enlightening, and quick to get us in the holiday spirit, in spite of the fact the movie was filmed in 90 degree heat. When all was said and done she gifted each of us with an autographed Christmas ornaments and a warm heart. It was truly a pleasure to hear from this fine actress.

Oh... and do you know how Karolyn's character got the name Zuzu? Well, apparently back in the day there were gingerbread cookies made by the ZuZu company and Jimmy Stewart's character called his littlest girl "Zuzu his little gingerbread cookie." She was just as cute as a bug's ear back then and is today proud to be a part of one of the greatest films ever made. Thanks Karolyn for paying us a visit!


Tammy said...

Love hearing what went behind a movie making.
Have a nice Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

My very favorite Christmas movie. I would have loved to have met her and heard about her experiences. This movie never gets old with me! Thanks for sharing this with us!!!

Cheryl Barker said...

What a neat experience to get to meet someone who acted in such a classic movie -- and what a special memento you now have!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Nancy!

Amy E. said...

How delightful!! One of my very favorite Christmas movies! I own it on VHS and the box is very worn!

What a lovely memory to have and share.

I hope you have a most wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends.