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Frank Capra’s Bedford Falls is Based on What Greater Western New York Village?

November 15, 2012 12:58 am5 commentsViews: 1097

IMG_8711_seneca_falls_bridge_plaque_300Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, based on the short story “The Greatest Gift,” reigns as one of the all-time Christmas Classic. The story takes place in a fictional place called “Bedford Falls.” From its cozy main street and large fluffy snowflakes to its wholesome down-to-earth citizens, Bedford Falls seems remarkably “at home” to any Greater Western New Yorker. Do you know why? It’s likely Frank Capra based this make believe ideal small town on one he visited in Greater Western New York just as he began to storyboard the movie? Guess the name by entering it below, then read the answer in The Hollywood Ideal of America?



  • Matthew Crance

    Seneca Falls, NY

  • You are correct. But, perhaps the question is too easy, so, here’s a follow-up: There’s no real “proof” Capra modeled Bedford Falls on Seneca Falls, just a lot of interesting coincidences. But this is one “smoking gun” scene that appeared in the movie but not the book, and Capra’s visit to Seneca Falls is likely to have caused it. Do you know what the scene is? (Don’t answer if you’ve already read the article linked to this question. Give someone who hasn’t a chance, first.)

  • Seneca Falls

  • Info for book signing Friday, August 9th 3-5 the Historical Building. Thank you so much

  • Street signs marking the corner of Genesee & I think it’s Buffalo Sts.

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