"It's a Wonderful Life" Memorabilia Photo Gallery

  • 01 of 17

    George Bailey's Family Photo

    George Bailey's Family Photo Autographed by James Stewart from
    Autographed by James Stewart George Bailey's Family Photo Autographed by James Stewart. -Christopher Padgett

    Autographs, Photographs and More From the Holiday Movie Classic

    Every Christmas Eve, Illinois resident Richard Goodson gathers around the television with his wife and children and watches the classic holiday movie It’s a Wonderful Life. The 1946 film is an inspiration, and an escape, for Goodson. When he watches It’s a Wonderful Life, he is able to appreciate where he is in his own life. And that makes the man feel good.

    Twenty years ago, Goodson started to collect vintage It’s a Wonderful Life mem...MOREorabilia and autographs. He now owns thousands of collectibles from the film. The movie has also fueled a desire to share his collection with others. He said the film, and the memories it evokes, has a powerful effect on people.

    “No matter who you deal with, the movie touched somebody,” Goodson said. “It gives people an opportunity to exchange … to talk. It gives you a feeling that everything is alright. And that’s a good thing.”

    The Value of a Collection

    The first It’s a Wonderful Life collectible Goodson obtained was an 8 x 10 black and white photograph of the Bailey family signed by Jimmy Stewart, who played George Bailey in the film.

    It was given to him by his wife, Coleen. That gift has now multiplied into close to thousands of related items. Goodson has received pieces from all over the world.

    “Everyone that touched the movie, I have something of,” he said. “Autographs, stills, Christmas cards, scripts, financial documents – you have to be in it for the hunt.” Godson’s celebrity memorabilia collection is, no doubt, one of the largest of its kind in the world.

    Value, however, has nothing to do with why Goodson collects It’s a Wonderful Life memorabilia. He simply likes the movie’s message. “George Bailey had a dream of being an architect and to travel … of receiving the accolades that go with that,” Goodson said. “And he had all of those things all along. The reality was how many lives he touched and how he was important. It’s about appreciating where you are.”

    Highlights of the Collection

    Ask Goodson what his favorite It’s a Wonderful Life collectible is and the answer is easy. He has a strong affinity for an album page signed by Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed (Mary Hatch Bailey), Lionel Barrymore (Mr. Potter), Thomas Mitchell (Uncle Billy), Henry Travers (Clarence), Beula Bondi (Ma Bailey), Frank Faylen (Ernie Bishop), Ward Bond (Officer Bert), Gloria Grahme (Violet Bick), and H.B. Warner (Mr. Emil Gower). The page is also one of the more valuable items Goodson owns.

    “You just never see [those names] together,” he said. “You just know that had to be in all of their hands at one time.” Goodson also said he likes the nearly 400 original movie stills he has acquired over the past two decades.

    Christmas ornaments autographed by Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu Bailey) hold a special place in his heart as well. He often gives them away as gifts. In fact, Grimes and Goodson have been friends for years. The actress said she rarely meets collectors with such an honest love for the film.

    “There are a lot of collectors out there, and I have seen a lot of collections,” Grimes said. “But Richard practices a love for the film, and I haven’t seen others practice that love. He is kind of a George Bailey in real life. He is just a wonderful person.”

    Though unsure of what he ultimately intends to do with his collection, Goodson has let others use his items for fundraising and literary projects. He just wants to keep the movie’s message alive.

    “I just want to see where it goes,” he said. “I could never sell [the collection], but I would love for it to benefit someone. It really needs to be pushed back into the community somehow.”

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  • 02 of 17

    Autographed Photo of Henry Travers

    Henry Travers Autographed Photo - Clarence in
    Clarence in "It's a Wonderful Life" Henry Travers - Clarence in "It's a Wonderful Life". -Christopher Padgett

    Clarence was George Bailey's guardian angel in the film.

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  • 03 of 17

    A Sampling of "It's a Wonderful Life" Memorabilia

    A Sampling of
    From the Collection of Richard Goodson A Sampling of "It's a Wonderful Life" Memorabilia. -Christopher Padgett

    Original photographs and autographs from some of the stars of "It's a Wonderful Life."

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  • 04 of 17

    Program from Screening of "It's a Wonderful Life"

    Autographed Program from
    Autographed by James Stewart Autographed Program from "It's a Wonderful Life" Screening. -Christopher Padgett
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  • 05 of 17

    Photograph of George Bailey and ZuZu

    Autographed photo of Zu Zu and George Bailey from
    Autographed by Karolyn Grimes and James Stewart Autographed photo of Zu Zu and George Bailey. -Christopher Padgett
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  • 06 of 17

    Richard Goodson's Collection Cataloged

    Collection Holds more than 4,000 "It's a Wonderful Life" Items Richard Goodson's "It's a Wonderful Life" Collection Cataloged. -Christopher Padgett
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  • 07 of 17

    Autographed Photo of Frank Capra

    Director of "It's a Wonderful Life" Frank Capra Autographed Photo. -Christopher Padgett
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  • 08 of 17

    Collector Richard Goodson and His Daughter

    with a Sampling of His "It's a Wonderful Life" Collection Collector Richard Goodson and His Daughter. -Christopher Padgett
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  • 09 of 17

    Carol Coombs Autographed Photo

    Actress Played Janie in "It's a Wonderful Life" Carol Coombs Autographed Photo. -Christopher Padgett
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  • 10 of 17

    George Lasso's the Moon Catch Phrase from "It's a Wonderful Life"

    George Lasso's the Moon Illustration from
    Autographed by James Stewart George Lasso's the Moon Illustration from "It's a Wonderful Life". -Christopher Padgett
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  • 11 of 17

    Original "It's a Wonderful Life" Film Reels

    Original "It's a Wonderful Life" Film Reels. -Christopher Padgett
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  • 12 of 17

    Autographed Photo of Zuzu Bailey from "It's a Wonderful Life"

    Zuzu was Portrayed by Actress Karolyn Grimes Zu Zu Bailey Autograph. -Stephen Padgett
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  • 13 of 17

    Autographs from the Stars and Director of "It's a Wonderful Life"

    James Stewart, Donna Reed, and Frank Capra Autographs from the Stars and Director of "It's a Wonderful Life". -Christopher Padgett
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  • 14 of 17

    Interesting Letter from Frank Capra Regarding "It's a Wonderful Life" Dialog

    Letter from Frank Capra Regarding
    Signed by Mr. Capra Letter from Frank Capra Regarding "It's a Wonderful Life" Dialog. -Christopher Padgett
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  • 15 of 17

    "It's a Wonderful Life" Cast Photo with a Number of Autographs

    "It's a Wonderful Life" Cast Photo with a Number of Autographs. -Pamela Wiggins
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  • 16 of 17

    "Modern Maturity" Magazine Cover of Donna Reed and James Stewart

    Autographed by James Stewart "Modern Maturity" Autographed Magazine Cover of Donna Reed and James Stewart. -Christopher Padgett
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  • 17 of 17

    Movie Poster - "It's a Wonderful Life"

    Autographed Movie Poster from
    Autographed by a Number of Cast Members Including James Stewart Autographed Movie Poster from "It's a Wonderful Life". -Christopher Padgett