Absolutely, Capra noticed! In fact Capra told me when I asked him, eek,
19 years ago why he picked TOM SAWYER instead of HUCK FINN as Clarence's
book, he said he always thought of George Bailey in terms of Huck as
portrayed in TOM SAWYER--a genuine innocent--rather than the more
maturing Huck in AHF.
The film is rife with insider stuff like that; not for nothing were the
bank clerks named "Eustace" and "Tilley," after Peter Arno's New Yorker
cover figure. Also, Jim Henson named Bert a nd Ernie after the characters
of the same name from the film. Capra loved Twain, but admitted he hadn't
read as much of SLC's work as he would have liked.
Hope this helps! Kathy O'Connell