PIGGING out over the holidays is a time-honored American...

Salmagundi

December 30, 1992

PIGGING out over the holidays is a time-honored American tradition. By now, most of us have had it with turkey and ham and all the leftover trimmings -- and with "It's a Wonderful Life."

Talk about excessive! No fewer than 15 stations broadcast the 1946 Frank Capra movie last week an astounding 24 times in the Baltimore area.

Our trusty program guide from The Sunday Sun says that 18 of those showings were in the original black and white version -- the one we prefer.

Six other times, the film was presented in its colorized version, a vastly inferior product that robs the film of much of its crispness and dramatic impact.

Last Thursday was the worst -- or best, depending on your perspective. The Capra classic aired at 12:30 a.m. on two channels, then at 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. After a breakfast pause, the IAWL marathon continued at 12:30 p.m., 2:45 p.m., then another siesta break. The evening performances commenced at 8 p.m. on two stations, then at 9 and 10 elsewhere.

Just in case anyone missed the film, Christmas Day saw six more showings of IAWL.

It is a great motion picture for the holidays, but 24 times during the week? That's overkill.

Not even James Stewart could stomach 60 hours of "It's a Wonderful Life."

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