Every year, Santa eats the cookies. Every year, Uncle Elmer overdoes it on the eggnog and lurches into the Christmas tree. And every year, good guy Everyman George Bailey painfully rediscovers the true value of his small-town life and then gathers family 'round the hearth and takes joy in his part of the American Dream.
In other words, every year at this time, Frank Capra's bulletproof heartwarmer, It's a Wonderful Life, makes its way back into the public consciousness, still suffused with Capra's unshakable belief in the goodness of man and the dignity of the American citizenry. So it has been since 1946, the year of the film's release, and so it shall be, you can't help speculating, for another six decades or so -- Mr. Potter's evil-doing notwithstanding.
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The great family classic, starring James Stewart as George Bailey, Henry Travers as his playful guardian angel, Clarence, and Donna Reed as his forbearing wife, Mary, inevitably shows on television in December. But the best way to see it -- now and forever -- is on the big screen, in the company of family and friends. You can do it Saturday, December 6, at 7 p.m. at the Starz FilmCenter at the Tivoli, as part of the Tattered Cover Film Series. Admission is free. For information, call 303-820-3456. -- Bill Gallo