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cigarjoe

What's Missing From TCM

53 posts in this topic

TCM is doing a good job covering the Studio Era of Hollywood films (a least what it has in its library), it tries to screen a myriad of Genres, highlight stars, does theme based programing, etc., etc. it's like a time machine to the past. Bravo!

For me though it seems lacking a bit in certain areas for TCM to be perfect. Let me explain, as a child I grew up with TV. Living in New York City we had 13 channels. These weren't on 24/7 either. I can remember getting up early on Saturday mornings and if I was up early enough all you'd see were test patterns. The first program to air at 6AM would usually be a few minute shot of the flag and the national anthem. Then you saw either a half hour or hour (it seemed like an hour), of a show called Modern Farmer. I can still remember watching how to pull the head off an engine and watching a step by step valve job. Years later I had a 1949 Chevy Pickup in Montana, where I would pull the valve cover and adjust the valves, with the engine running, using two 1/2 inch wrenches and a feeler gauge, I was actually doing what I watched so long ago. 

Anyway back to the TV. After Modern Farmer, there was Gumby a claymation program, there was another one also sponsored by a church, but I don't remember it's name. Then came Crusader Rabbit an early animation cartoon, after that you had the main cartoons Looney Tunes, Tex Avery stuff, Tom & Jerry, Mighty Mouse, Heckle and Jeckle,Woody Woodpecker, Felix the Cat, etc., etc. Then around 10-11 AM came the 1/2 hour TV adventure programs, Sky King, Roy Rogers, The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin, Andy’s Gang, The Lone Ranger.

Then after 11/12 it segued into short films, Our Gang/Little Rascal Comedies, almost all afternoon Laurel & Hardy shorts, or Abbot and Costello or Three Stooges Films, then later in the day and into the evening you'd watch either a lot of peplums (Sword & Sandal Flicks) or Monster/Horror films or SiFi and  Thrillers. These were on every week

For me to be perfect TCM should approximate a bit more of the films that graced the early TV days, show a bit more Laurel & Hardy, Abbott & Costello, more comedy shorts of Buster Keaton, Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, etc., etc., some of the old peplums, not just Ray Harryhausen's Jason and the Argonauts, and Clash of the Titans, there were a lot of Hercules and Machiste flicks, lol. These films were like slipping into old comfortable pair of shoes. 

This is what I find missing from TCM, some of these popcorn fillers from Saturday afternoon and evening TV, sort of like comfort films. If TCM had these in a regular rotation it'd be perfect. Similar to say Noir Alley you could call the block of shorts or the films Rainy Saturday 

 

 

 

  

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1 hour ago, cigarjoe said:

This is what I find missing from TCM, some of these popcorn fillers from Saturday afternoon and evening TV, sort of like comfort films. If TCM had these in a regular rotation it'd be perfect. Similar to say Noir Alley you could call the block of shorts or the films Rainy Saturday 

 

 

 

  

I was thinking the same thing this past Saturday and wished that TCM had a "Saturday Movie Day" at least once a month where we got a selection of "B" Westerns and other films that were available in the theater in the 50's when it was safe for parents to drop us off at the movies with money for a ticket, one treat and one drink.  Always a double header with great movies (so we thought) plenty of action,music and cartoons (mostly politically incorrect today) and a second feature; monsters, science fiction, detective.  

So instead of "let's movie" let us have a push for a Rainy Saturday. Of course I would have to order my Licorice Allsorts from an on-line store, however popcorn and soft drinks are available.  Thanks cigarjoe.

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My my, but aren't we in a nostalgic mood this morning, eh CJ?! ;)

Here! Allow me to assist you in reliving those halcyon days of our youth and when I too would arise from sleep early on a Saturday morning, make my way to our family's living room in my PJs and to where our sole television set(one of those Philco console models I recall being approximately 17 inches in screen size) resided and sit on the floor in front of it while starring at the following and in anticipation of the programming I was about to see being broadcast on KNXT Channel-2(now KCBS) Los Angeles, and where we ALSO could boast the same number of different channels as you guys in NYC could back then...

 

f0002740d5b4493f1457d2bd9dc4aad5.jpg

 

(...btw, didn't it make you wonder how the kids in smaller communities/markets in our country got by when you heard those poor unfortunates only had a couple of channels to choose from back then?...and although I believe you misstated the number we both had to choose from...it was actually seven NOT thirteen, remember...we had channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13, and just like you did)

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2 hours ago, Dargo said:

My my, but aren't we in a nostalgic mood this morning, eh CJ?! ;)

Here! Allow me to assist you in reliving those halcyon days of our youth and when I too would arise from sleep early on a Saturday morning, make my way to our family's living room in my PJs and to where our sole television set(one of those Philco console models I recall being approximately 17 inches in screen size) resided and sit on the floor in front of it while starring at the following and in anticipation of the programming I was about to see being broadcast on KNXT Channel-2(now KCBS) Los Angeles, and where we ALSO could boast the same number of different channels as you guys in NYC could back then...

 

f0002740d5b4493f1457d2bd9dc4aad5.jpg

 

(...btw, didn't it make you wonder how the kids in smaller communities/markets in our country got by when you heard those poor unfortunates only had a couple of channels to choose from back then?...and although I believe you misstated the number we both had to choose from...it was actually seven NOT thirteen, remember...we had channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13, and just like you did)

yea you're right, on the channels. 

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I like the idea of the type of Saturday daylight programming Joe mentions.  Say 4 - 6 hours each week (and during August's SUTS feature this type of programming for the entire day).     TCM could just cut out 'repeats' to squeeze this type of programming into their overall schedule.   

I also wish TCM would set aside 6 hours or so each week for 'non-major' studios.    E.g. Republic and Monogram films etc...    A specific day's films would also be theme-selected;  E.g. westerns one week,  crime another,  horror during October,  etc...    Films from these studios just don't get enough exposure since they fall outside the so called Turner library.    

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I really liked Laurel and Hardy I was just looking at their filmography Hardy in toto had 415 credits, Laurel 186, together as a team they appeared in 107 films total, starring in 32 short silent films, 40 short sound films, and 23 full-length feature films. That's quite a lot of content. 

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2 hours ago, Dargo said:

 

f0002740d5b4493f1457d2bd9dc4aad5.jpg

 

I have a strange feeling that this same test pattern might not go over very well today.

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Our Gang/Little Rascal Comedies, almost all afternoon Laurel & Hardy shorts, or Abbot and Costello or Three Stooges Films, then later in the day and into the evening you'd watch either a lot of peplums (Sword & Sandal Flicks) or Monster/Horror films or SiFi and  Thrillers. These were on every week

For me to be perfect TCM should approximate a bit more of the films that graced the early TV days, show a bit more Laurel & Hardy, Abbott & Costello, more comedy shorts of Buster Keaton, Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, etc., etc., some of the old peplums, not just Ray Harryhausen's Jason and the Argonauts, and Clash of the Titans, there were a lot of Hercules and Machiste flicks, lol. These films were like slipping into old comfortable pair of shoes. 

I didn't watch the above then and don't watch them now so this would not appeal to me.

As for channels, we had two when I was in elementary school with one being divided between ABC and NBC programming. By Jr. HS we had three.

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3 hours ago, Dargo said:

My my, but aren't we in a nostalgic mood this morning, eh CJ?! ;)

Here! Allow me to assist you in reliving those halcyon days of our youth and when I too would arise from sleep early on a Saturday morning, make my way to our family's living room in my PJs and to where our sole television set(one of those Philco console models I recall being approximately 17 inches in screen size) resided and sit on the floor in front of it while starring at the following and in anticipation of the programming I was about to see being broadcast on KNXT Channel-2(now KCBS) Los Angeles, and where we ALSO could boast the same number of different channels as you guys in NYC could back then...

 

f0002740d5b4493f1457d2bd9dc4aad5.jpg

 

(...btw, didn't it make you wonder how the kids in smaller communities/markets in our country got by when you heard those poor unfortunates only had a couple of channels to choose from back then?...and although I believe you misstated the number we both had to choose from...it was actually seven NOT thirteen, remember...we had channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13, and just like you did)

I recall, in particular, the kiddie TV westerns that I grew up with as a kid - Wild Bill Hickok, The Cisco Kid (who I, along with Dad, met when Duncan Reynaldo came to Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens with Diablo, his horse), along with (African jungle adventure now) Ramar of the Jungle. These all came on Saturday mornings.

And that image of an Indian chief in that test pattern reminds me of a song I was taught in school, Land of the Silver Birch.

A million years later and I still recall the lyrics. Anyone else know this one?

"Land of the silver birch,

Home of the beaver,

Where still the mighty moose wanders at will,

Blue lake and rocky shore,

I will return once more,

Boom de de boom boom, boom de de boom boom,

Booo OOOO ooo."

I would get a kick out of Saturday mornings on TCM having a few old time TV shows on them, like a Cisco Kid or Ramar.

I lost my autographed photo of the Cisco Kid decades ago, but I guess it looked something like this:

b9ac585e0779cd32508ce432ec222a16.jpg

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I think fans of TCM are losing out by it being snobbish - insisting that all movies must have played in theaters.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of made-for-TV movies from the 60's, 70's and 80's that I'm sure many of us would love to see.

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25 minutes ago, scsu1975 said:

I have a strange feeling that this same test pattern might not go over very well today.

The Movieplex channel ran that exact test card a few nights back, during an early AM segment listed in the schedule as Off-Air - included a spoken segment of the Gettysberg address.

Oddly enough - I get nostalgic for the time when a TV channels typically started & finished the day with the national anthem - these served as natural bookends to the day & made the TV experience rationed & therefore special. If you were a night owl, the on-screen white noise (an experience denied today, due to 24hr broadcasts & the fact that modern receivers are designed to blank the screen/mute the audio when no broadcast signal is found) would sometimes resolve itself into a test card, or if you were lucky some experimental programming segments designed to test some part of the broadcast equipment/procedures.

Back on subject - I'd really enjoy a regular programming segment that included animations - shorts or features. TCM has had some good animation spots over the last few years (the Studio Ghibli & UPA spots being examples), but a regular weekly spot be nice.

TCM does have their Saturday morning segment where they run serial shorts (like the Batman series) or the longer 1hr-ish feature series like Boston (censored), but these are often (and annoyingly) broken up by their other regulars like SUTS or 31 days of naked statuettes...

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6 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

For me to be perfect TCM should approximate a bit more of the films that graced the early TV days, show a bit more Laurel & Hardy, Abbott & Costello, more comedy shorts of Buster Keaton, Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, etc., etc., some of the old peplums, not just Ray Harryhausen's Jason and the Argonauts, and Clash of the Titans, there were a lot of Hercules and Machiste flicks, lol. These films were like slipping into old comfortable pair of shoes. 

So IOW, you want it to lose its compass and turn into the same nameless morass of public-domain syndie reruns that most cable channels did near the end of the 80's boom?  (I mean, I liked the fact that Pat Robertson's "Family Channel" soon turned into an excuse to air old 50's Jack Benny and Burns & Allen reruns, and the early Comedy Channel soon had to give up the standup clips and fall back on Abbott & Costello reruns, but......)

With cable having even more severely lost its channel compass in the 90's and 00's, let's raise a glass to one of the few cable channels that's not only kept its content, it's actually kept its programming CONCEPT for the last thirty years.  That's what built its reputation as "The only watchable channel on cable".  

As for Laurel & Hardy, Harold Lloyd, Abbott & Costello and the Little Rascals, they're all in a bit of an ownership gray-area:
The Hal Roach estate owns L&H and Our Gang ("Gang" was released by MGM, but the "Rascals" reruns are either PD or owned by Roach), and don't see the light of disk often, except for whatever slipped through the ownership cracks without restoration.  We'll see L&H's work for MGM--plenty of "Bonnie Scotland" and "Devil's Brother"--but the shorts and classics are still stuck in the Roach motel.  Harold Lloyd's estate was unique in putting a hold on his films, although the new Criterion partnership might bring back the classics that got restoration.  As for A&C's tv series (the movies are Universal, except for a few MGM non-classics), that also seems to have fallen into PD quicksand along with "Africa Screams", "Jack & the Beanstalk", and anything else you can find at Walmart bins for $5....Or Amazon Prime.  

TCM is movies, and it's movies Turner/Warner/MGM/UA/RKO/Criterion own, which is a hefty chunk.  Just because you don't watch other channels, don't ask them to deliver them to your door.  And if it makes you feel any better, I grew up on NYC stations too, and still psychologically associate watching old movies and reruns with WPIX-11, unless they're old classics from WNEW-5...One's now a CW station, and the other's a Fox affiliate. :(

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How about weekday afternoon NYC programming in the 1960s?  Officer Joe Bolton with the Three Stooges, Captain Jack with Popeye, the Merry Mailman (Ray Heatherton, Joey's Dad) and Sandy Becker as Morton Mork and, a little later, Soupy Sales, often with jokes that only adults could "get"!

 

As for movies, "Million Dollar Movie" constantly showed either "King Kong", "Son of King" or "Mighty Joe Young"  every night for a week in rotation!

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5 hours ago, Dargo said:

My my, but aren't we in a nostalgic mood this morning, eh CJ?! ;)

Here! Allow me to assist you in reliving those halcyon days of our youth and when I too would arise from sleep early on a Saturday morning, make my way to our family's living room in my PJs and to where our sole television set(one of those Philco console models I recall being approximately 17 inches in screen size) resided and sit on the floor in front of it while starring at the following and in anticipation of the programming I was about to see being broadcast on KNXT Channel-2(now KCBS) Los Angeles, and where we ALSO could boast the same number of different channels as you guys in NYC could back then...

 

f0002740d5b4493f1457d2bd9dc4aad5.jpg

 

(...btw, didn't it make you wonder how the kids in smaller communities/markets in our country got by when you heard those poor unfortunates only had a couple of channels to choose from back then?...and although I believe you misstated the number we both had to choose from...it was actually seven NOT thirteen, remember...we had channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13, and just like you did)

I use to do the PJ thing too, only the TV wasn't on. I would sit in front of the TV admiring the contours of the blank screen. I would yell out o mom, "Can I turn it on now?"  "No, not yet." Apparently something had to be on. But I sat patiently, admiring the cabinet or testing the swivel.  We had a Philco too, not a console, rather it was a box TV on a swivel stand. Fancy. In San Diego, we got most of the channels you list with only a slightly compromised reception. Channel 7 was a little iffy and 9 and 11, nothing at all. But we watched Roller Derby and Jai Alai on 5 with good ole Dick Lane. And every Saturday night, the good ole Fabulous 52 on Channel 2, referring to a year's worth of movies. It would be interesting to know a typical playlist for a given year. If memory serves, 3 was from Santa Barbara, no chance for that. I think 5 had a cartoon show with Tom Hatten of those Looney Tunes cartoons. Who was the host of Cartoon Carousel I see a face but no name. Without those LA stations, we would have only 6, 8, and 10, all network affiliates. Some of my mentions above might precede you (maybe).

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While I feel old in "real life", I sometimes feel young around here! I'm way too young to have ever experienced Saturday serials at the movies firsthand, and I also missed out on the halcyon days of copious movie content on television.  There were occasional Westerns in the daytime on Saturdays and Sundays, I guess, but I rarely watched them. They showed the Three Stooges in the early morning hours on one of the local cable channels (did TCM ever air Three Stooges shorts in its very early days?), that my brother and I would watch while eating our breakfast cereal. Otherwise, by the time I'd moved beyond Sesame StreetMr. Rogers' Neighborhood and Captain Kangaroo, movies on TV had largely been replaced on my cable networks by reruns of some 50s, a lot of 60s and some early 70s TV shows. And so my childhood was a steady diet of Gilligan's IslandBewitchedMy Three SonsThe Partridge Family, Leave It to BeaverBatmanThe FlintstonesThe JetsonsThe Addams Family and The Lucy Show, among others. I watched those with equal devotion as the prime-time shows like Happy Days, The Love Boat and Charlie's Angels. ABC definitely had my heart in my earliest TV-viewing years. They also had all the best theatrical releases in the various Saturday Night (or whatever night) at the Movies. All my first viewings of Pink Panther movies and James Bond movies were on ABC.

 

Anyway, I guess all that is to say I'm not really clamoring for a regular spotlight for content that would recreate a 
popcorn filler" feel that some of the rest of you are, though I don't mind the occasional spotlight. Devoting a regular block every Saturday or whatever to that sort of thing seems too much to me, but I'm willing to concede I may have a minority opinion.

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53 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

Anyway, I guess all that is to say I'm not really clamoring for a regular spotlight for content that would recreate a 
popcorn filler" feel that some of the rest of you are, though I don't mind the occasional spotlight. Devoting a regular block every Saturday or whatever to that sort of thing seems too much to me, but I'm willing to concede I may have a minority opinion.

I wouldn't really have a problem with a 'popcorn filler' segment, provided it fit into the overall programming/curation style that TCM has already established - although, perhaps an occasional vs weekly spotlight might be better.

IMO, TCM does a pretty good job at keeping things interesting in their schedule, via their regular and occasional spotlight themes and have so far managed to do so without pandering to cheap & easy ratings grabbers that have led to other channels changing their entire programming intent.

59 minutes ago, EricJ said:
3 hours ago, limey said:

series) or the longer 1hr-ish feature series like Boston (censored), 

I take it you mean:
3711762.jpg

Ok, I LOL'ed at that & may keep a copy for future sabotage of the board's word filter...

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I want to stick with films, I just led into it going down memory lane.

I want to see the films that we saw on Saturday afternoons. If we got sit through Maisie films and Ma & Pa Kettle potboilers, I'd rather see a few Laurel & Hardy shorts, Laurel & Hardy Features, some Abbot & Costello films, Jackie Cooper stuff, Charles Dickens stuff even some Hercules & Machiste popcorn shlock. That's what's missing.

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12 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

I want to stick with films, I just led into it going down memory lane.

I want to see the films that we saw on Saturday afternoons. If we got sit through Maisie films and Ma & Pa Kettle potboilers, I'd rather see a few Laurel & Hardy shorts, Laurel & Hardy Features, some Abbot & Costello films, Jackie Cooper stuff, Charles Dickens stuff even some Hercules & Machiste popcorn shlock. That's what's missing.

Thanks for clarifying that because I re-read your top post and that was how I interpreted it: films (including shorts) and NOT T.V. shows.     Variety is the spice of life (well usually!).  

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Those films I mentioned were the ones we were introduced to as kids in the 50s they are sort of what you could call our personal classics.

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Even as a kid I never got up as early as 6 a.m. My favorite Saturday morning

TV show was Sky King with the luscious Penny. I recall as a little kid I would

have a peanut butter and honey sandwich, watch Clause Kirchner and Clownie

and shorty after it was off to bed.

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9 hours ago, laffite said:

I use to do the PJ thing too, only the TV wasn't on. I would sit in front of the TV admiring the contours of the blank screen. I would yell out o mom, "Can I turn it on now?"  "No, not yet." Apparently something had to be on. But I sat patiently, admiring the cabinet or testing the swivel.  We had a Philco too, not a console, rather it was a box TV on a swivel stand. Fancy. In San Diego, we got most of the channels you list with only a slightly compromised reception. Channel 7 was a little iffy and 9 and 11, nothing at all. But we watched Roller Derby and Jai Alai on 5 with good ole Dick Lane. And every Saturday night, the good ole Fabulous 52 on Channel 2, referring to a year's worth of movies. It would be interesting to know a typical playlist for a given year. If memory serves, 3 was from Santa Barbara, no chance for that. I think 5 had a cartoon show with Tom Hatten of those Looney Tunes cartoons. Who was the host of Cartoon Carousel I see a face but no name. Without those LA stations, we would have only 6, 8, and 10, all network affiliates. Some of my mentions above might precede you (maybe).

Hi laffite.

Tom Hatten hosted an afternoon kids show featuring the Popeye the sailor cartoon series of shorts. Hatten, who was a bit of a decent sketch artist himself, would be dressed in sailor attire and have three different youngsters on his program each day who would have a sketch easel placed in front of them. He'd then draw the same little squiggle on each of their boards, and the kids' job was to use that squiggle as part of their overall self-created sketch.

Hatten was also a part-time actor on both the stage and on television. A few years ago while watching an old Get Smart rerun on MeTV, I noticed he had a minor part in it as a fellow CONTROL agent.

However, perhaps Tom Hatten would be best remembered by Los Angeles television viewers of the 1960s through 1980s as host of KTLA Channel-5's weekly Family Film Festival which was broadcast each Sunday afternoon, and which usually featured either Shirley Temple films or some array of classic adventure movies.

(...and coincidentally, I've just noticed while doing an internet search on him a minute ago that Tom just celebrated his 90th birthday yesterday)

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33 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

Even as a kid I never got up as early as 6 a.m. My favorite Saturday morning

TV show was Sky King with the luscious Penny. I recall as a little kid I would

have a peanut butter and honey sandwich, watch Clause Kirchner and Clownie

and shorty after it was off to bed.

I think I preferred Fury with the Luscious Peter Graves. LOL

My brother really went for the Long Ranger and Tonto.

Then I think we both watched a syndicated  show called Rocky Jones, Space Ranger.

But Superman was probably our all -around favorite filmed TV show-- Great Caesar's Ghost.

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I don't recall Fury. I did like The Lone Ranger and Roy Rogers.

Later on I watched Superman all the time and The Three Stooges.

I remember I'd be over at my friend's house watching it just as

his father came home and we'd pull all that stuff on him. 

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50 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

I don't recall Fury. I did like The Lone Ranger and Roy Rogers.

Later on I watched Superman all the time and The Three Stooges.

I remember I'd be over at my friend's house watching it just as

his father came home and we'd pull all that stuff on him. 

 Maybe you weren't up yet. FURY was the first one up on NBC on Saturday. Bobby Diamond had a Black Stallion named Fury. And Peter Graves with his adopted father with sweet old  crusty Pete as the ranch hand.

BTW-- Flicka was a prettier horse.

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