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Seneca Falls, NY claims link to ‘Wonderful Life’

Seneca Falls, NY claims link to ‘Wonderful Life’

IT'S A WONDERFUL TOWN: Seneca Falls says it was the inspiration for the fictional home of George Bailey. Photo: Associated Press

MICHAEL HILL, Associated Press

SENECA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — Did George Bailey live his wonderful life in upstate New York?

Folks in the quaint town of Seneca Falls think so. Or more precisely, they say Bailey’s make-believe hometown of Bedford Falls in “It’s a Wonderful Life” was heavily inspired by Seneca Falls.

Seneca Falls has a nice broad main street like Bedford Falls’, and there’s a steel truss bridge. The film also is loaded with references to nearby upstate cities.

Still, there’s no slam-dunk proof that director Frank Capra ever set foot in Seneca Falls. Jeanine Basinger is curator of the Frank Capra Archive at Wesleyan University. She says she hates to be like the movie’s villain Mr. Potter, but says there’s no hard evidence of the Seneca Falls link.

Maybe fitting for a Christmas story, the contention comes down to belief.

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