Colbert and Stewart Find a Wonderful World

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Before It’s a Wonderful Life, James Stewart and Claudette Colbert starred in the screwball comedy It’s a Wonderful World.

1. There was a different female lead originally.

Myrna Loy was the first one cast as the lead. However, she pulled from the project so that Another Thin Man could be made. Claudette Colbert stepped in afterwards. Interestingly, Loy and James Stewart had actually worked together in a Thin Man movie when he appeared in After the Thin Man, just a year earlier (which was also directed by W.S. Van Dyke).

2. It’s the only Colbert-Stewart pairing.

This film was the first and last time Claudette Colbert and James Stewart worked together, despite their on-screen chemistry. Colbert, of course, got first billing as she was the bigger star, especially after her Oscar win for It Happened One Night. Stewart was far behind though. His big break, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, was his next project.

3. It was written by Ben Hecht.

Hecht was known for his writing ability, especially helping struggling scripts. In his career, he co-wrote The Front Page (later adapted into His Girl Friday) and wrote Alfred Hitchcock’s Spell Bound, and Notorious. He also wrote screwball comedies Nothing Sacred and Twentieth Century, both which starred Carole Lombard. Interestingly, he gave a nod to Twentieth Century in It’s a Wonderful World by naming a character Mildred Plotka – the real name of Lombard’s character.