The Bedford Falls Sentinel

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A visit to the Bailey Building and Loan from the Enesco It's a Wonderful Life Village


   
  As I go through and introduce (or visit as I like to think of it) the different parts of the town/village I will somewhat attempt to go choronologically as the movie flows but not in exact order. Hence why I didn't start with the sledding hill. Leaving Gower's we'll follow George just as in the movie at one point when he looks up and see's some good advice.

  Not only is this good advice to follow, but Peter Bailey is a dad that I think would be doubly good for advice. We see young George run off to find his dad. The run was a quick one as we know that the Bailey Building and Loan is on the second story of the Anderson's department store which you can see from the window of Gowers. (Side Note: Notice Mary's eyes here. I always loved her look at George. Basically the same one that George gives her later when he sees her at the High School Dance. 



   It's not surprising that we find our fist visit to the Bailey Brothers Building and Loan building being introduced with an argument between a Bailey and a not so old man Potter. Peter Bailey; played by a perfectly cast Samuel Hinds is having a tussle with Potter over a foreclosure and in a microcasm of the movie's main plot line seen's Bailey battling for the better of the town and townspeople. Hinds is most famous for this role and probably his part in "The Egg and I" which introduced the world to Ma and Pa Kettle. One of his first roles in a short film that I always enjoy watching is from the 1933 "The Road is Open Again" in which he plays a very accurate looking Woodrow Wilson. (Look for him at the 1:00 mark in the link) Funny when you think about Hinds life span it amazes me to think that when the man was born George Custer was still living and when he passed away in 1948 mankind had mastered nuclear power. It's in this family run It's fitting that under his portrait in George's office we find that the family or maybe George himself attached the quote "All you can take with you, is that which you've given away"

   It's in the Building and Loan we also meet two other members of the Bailey family for the first time. The two other employee's working there are cousin Eustace and cousin Matilda (Tilly) BaileyI didn't realize she was a Bailey until I noticed her name on one of the desks in the office and found it in the script. Several times we also notice one of Uncle Billy's pets that he keeps around in the office. Jimmy the Crow who has own interesting history in film flaps around and is obviously considered a Bailey. My wife always points out a little error in the film in the BBL too. When George walks in with the wreath near the end before the money goes missing you see him lay it down and then 'poof' it appears again on his arm. The BBL is the scene of some of the most critical moments of George's life and of the film. We find George taking the lead of this "measly one-horse institution" after a board meeting here. That scene and event prompts George to lose out on his college education while later on he gives up his honey moon here by using his own money to keep the town from running into Potter's trap. It's during that bank run scene that we notice most of the buildings interior. Another small role that is worth noting is the small lady who George kisses as she graciously only asks George for $17.50 to get by. This is Ellen Corby who most might know better as Grandma Walton and possibly by her role as the swindler old lady in a great Andy Griffith Episode - Barney's first car. She lived all the way up to 1999 before passing away. 



   
   The building represents not just the Bailey family but what they represent. It's the manifestation of the values and beliefs they are committed too. Even Potter realized this when he mentions the building as he's trying to make a motion to close it down. In his own words:

"I'll say that to the public Peter Bailey was the Building and Loan"



   But onto the village piece and seeing what really is one of the centerstones of the collection. Remember that technically the BBL is only the second floor of a building that has Anderson's Department store on the bottem so make sure you use the correct 'front' when placing. 
Young George running up the steps to the Building and Loan

    Just for the sake of contrast. A quick look at the Pottersville version and what the building would look like if not for the life of George. It's where Violet is arrested. 

I guess you can at least Jitterbug inside the old Building and Loan
As always, first lets take a look at the boxes. This piece was again part of the first series released. Don't worry I'm not going to just go through them in that order but again try to put them in as they are introduced into the movie. Enjoy. 

Enesco Box: Bailey Building and Loan 3 of 4 Series 1

Enesco Box: Bailey Building and Loan 3 of 4 Series 1

Enesco Box: Bailey Building and Loan 3 of 4 Series 1

Enesco Box: Bailey Building and Loan 3 of 4 Series 1

Enesco Certificate of Auth.  Bailey Building and Loan 3 of 4 Series 1


Next some shots of the piece by itself. A lot of good colors and decorations ... CHRISTmas decorations that is ... add to the feel. 

Here you can see where Tilly and Uncle Billy waved from in the second floor window  when George is walking after getting his suitcase.
Remember to click 'read more' to view the rest of the photos




The corner angle ... which lets you use this one for a street change for your village

The nice decorations

Enesco Bailey Building and Loan

Not much roof detail but you see the corner edge

I wish they had put in some kind of moveable steel cage door like in the movie , but oh well. Also wish it matched the movie version more.  



Bailey Building and Loan:

And finally, the special ones. The village is so much more alive when lit up. 


I put a small light near the door to make the sign visiable

Bailey Building and Loan:

Bailey Building and Loan:

Bailey Building and Loan:

Bailey Building and Loan:

Bailey Building and Loan:

Obviously you probably wont' have a wall for the pattern to show up on, but on your streets and other buildings this is a nice scheme from the upper windows. 

Bailey Building and Loan:

I felt they should have put a small hole for a light to illuminate the stars. 

  So that's the Buidling and Loan.  A building to inspire and to encourage. Not sure but I think Ma' Bailey's house will be the next featured piece. Although the Boston suitcase store and Florist are technically seen next so I might change that.

Peter Bailey: [Speaking to George] "You know, George, I feel that in a small way we are doing something important. Satisfying a fundamental urge. It's deep in the race for a man to want his own roof and walls and fireplace, and we're helping him get those things in our shabby little office." 




6 comments:

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