It’s a Wonderful Life, but What Happened to George Bailey?

George Bailey had big dreams. He wanted to travel and see the world. Instead, he ended up staying in Bedford falls and running his father’s business after his father unexpectedly died. He got married, had a bunch of kids (“You call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids?”) and ran the Bailey Brother’s Building Loan the best way he could. When Mr. Potter took advantage of Uncle Billy’s mistake, George thought his whole life had been wasted.

We learn that it wasn’t and George had done so much good for every one that he truly had had a wonderful life. The community came together and provided money to keep George out of jail and the Building and Loan afloat. Everyone sings Hark the Harold Angels Sing and For Auld Lang Syne and Clarence, the Angel gets his wings.

A happy ending only Hollywood could deliver. But the reality is, George is probably only in his mid-thirties or early forties at the most. He has a lot of life left. And what happened?

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4 thoughts on “It’s a Wonderful Life, but What Happened to George Bailey?

  1. The kids followed in his brother’s footsteps: got degrees, got married, and got out of town. George should have converted the building and loan to a professionally-run credit union, and stayed on in an emeritus role while seeing the world. If he didn’t, the kids probably sold the building and loan to Potter’s kid– the one who moved to New York City to become a tenement slumlord and rose high in politics.

  2. I wasn’t going to comment until I read the other comment. I might by PC standards be naive in my thinking but I think George realized by his experience with Clarence that he can rely on others, too. I like to think that he was able to communicate better what was needed to keep business running successfully ( he made people feel successful by using their money to help others— what did he tell those people when the banks had a run—that their money was tied to someone else). One of his greatest skills was teaching how to use money wisely not frivolously. Why else did that woman who took money from him to go to New York return it, because she knew it wasn’t the right use of the money.
    As far as his children, you could see they adored him and with better communication between himself and his wife, they would raise the children with a positive attitude towards money handling. It did not appear they had extra—why else would Potter make that offer to entice George to give up the Savings and Loan Company— he barely made enough money to support the family.
    I think by his continuing on by keeping the business going, he will develop a better backup staff ( perhaps that person will switch over as stated from Potter). With that in place, he , George, will run a better organization ( putting his uncle in a non-functioning but important position). I don’t worry about his children becoming like the Waltons (Wal-Mart) spoiled and greedy. If anything, Savings and Loans are the best way to bank your money.
    Sorry for such a long comment but I just saw the movie last night on Christmas Eve and it always makes an impression of that there is still good in this world.

  3. I think George would continue on much as he already did, but perhaps with a renewed sense of purpose, living a life confirming that money is only a means to an end and not the end goal itself.

  4. I think George would continue to be a perfect training ground for angels and would find more Clarences in his future. These are stories waiting to be told and enlighten.

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