The Perfect Accessory for the Warped, Frustrated Old Executive Scurvy Spider on Your List

 Watched It’s a Wonderful Life for the millionteenth time the other night. A couple of years ago we picked up the new digitally-mastered, THX version. It’s amazing how much better this edition looks after having grown up watching the grainy, dusty panned and zoomed copies on television.

As we started the DVD the other night, I told the family that I was going to try to “see” something in the film I’ve never noticed before. I did in this scene in which Mr. Potter offers George a job . . .


Do you see it too?  Apparently the set director thought we might need a little help figuring out who the bad guy is in this film. So every time the camera shoots over Potter’s shoulder, we see this this guy staring at us:


What’s up with that freaky thing? It has a chain, for pete’s sake.

Out of curiosity, I decided to see if there was anything on the internets about this prop. I googled “skull paperweight Mr. Potter’s desk” and got one hit. It was a review of the digitally mastered edition DVD I had purchased. One line in the middle of the review read:

This strikingly beautiful remastering draws you in all over again, letting you relive George Bailey’s despair and take in details like the skull paperweight on the desk of twisted Mr. Potter.

Well, imagine that.

I’m sure there’s a story behind that paperweight. I’d love to hear it sometime.