This weekend, Bob Anderson, the actor who played the young George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life, passed away at the age of 75.
I always liked the way he played George. I loved his kinda raspy voice.
And this scene always has, and likely always will, make me get all teary eyed:
George: Mr. Gower, you don’t know what you’re doing. You put something wrong in those
capsules. I know you’re unhappy. You got that telegrams and you’re upset. You put something bad in those capsules. It wasn’t your fault, Mr. Gower. Just look and see what you did. Look at the bottle you took the powder
from. It’s poison! I tell you it’s poison. I know you feel bad.
Gower: I didn’t know…
George: Don’t hurt my
sore ear again.
Gower: Oh no, no, no… Oh, George. George
George: Oh, Mr. Gower, I won’t ever tell anyone. I know what you’re feeling. I won’t tell a soul. Hope to die, I won’t.
Gower: Oh, George,
He played that scene so well. So brave and so vulnerable. And, from this excerpt from People.com, is perhaps the reason it was played so well:
In one scene, the story called for him to spot a potentially fatal error made by a drunken druggist, played by H.B. Warner.
Warner took the role seriously and on the day of shooting had been
drinking and was "pretty ripe," Victoria Anderson said. The scene
called for Warner's character to slap the boy.
Anderson told the Los Angeles Times in 1996 that the scene and its rehearsals were painful.
"He actually bloodied my ear," Anderson told the paper. "My ear was beat up and my face was red, and I was in tears."
"At the end when it was all over, he (Warner) was very lovable. He
grabbed me and hugged me, and he meant it," Anderson said.