Where Do They Start? Bedford Falls, 1946, where George Bailey (James Stewart) lives but wants to die.Where Do They End Up? A potted history of Bedford Falls in a parallel universe where George never lived.Biggest Culture Clash. The alternative to Bedford Falls Pottersville a seedy metropolis run by crooked banker Mr Potter (Lionel Barrymore).Unresolved Paradox. Why Georges beautiful wife Mary (Donna Reed) would end up a spinster librarian if hed never existed.