|Bert (Ward Bond), George, and Ernie (Frank Faylen)|
One of the most poignant scenes in the movie takes place in Ernie's cab. George has been tossed from the bar and is desperate to get back to his old life. He flags down Ernie's cab and tells him take him to 320 Sycamore. Ernie's confused by why this stranger would want to go that fallen down wreck. George looks to Ernie for some affirmation that his old life exists:
|A hack in Pottersville|
George: Listen to me now. You are Ernie Bishop and you live in Bailey Park with your wife and kid. That's right isn't it?
Ernie: You seen my wife?
George: Seen your wife? I've been to your house a hundred times.
Ernie: Look, bud, what's the idea? I live in a shack in Potter's Field and my wife ran away three years ago and took the kid... And I ain't never seen you before in my life.
What else can George Bailey say except "Okay, step on it." Of course, it will be Ernie, out from behind the wheel, that reads the telegram from Sam Wainwright that gets George out of the red for good: "Heehaw and Merry Christmas" (in June).