TopBilled

Should TCM stop doing Memorial Day weekend marathons and "glamorizing" war?

168 posts in this topic

39 minutes ago, hamradio said:

2 movies, "Saving Private Ryan" and "Fury" sure don't glamorize war - shows the ugly side of it.

 

The whole premise behind Saving Private Ryan is fiction.  The fourth Nolan brother was ordered home, but he was found by an Army Chaplain as he was looking for his brother in another Army unit.  The whole sending out a patrol to get killed to save one man is pure Hollywood.

In this context, SPR does glamorize war.

On the other hand, it does allow newer technology and newer standards to show the horrors of warfare.

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Saving Private Ryan does glamorize war in that a patrol was sent out and members were killed in order to save one person simply because his brothers had died (supposedly).  The fact that the mission was fiction makes it even worse.

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9 minutes ago, TheCid said:

Saving Private Ryan does glamorize war in that a patrol was sent out and members were killed in order to save one person simply because his brothers had died (supposedly).  The fact that the mission was fiction makes it even worse.

The opening scene where Ryan's mother has received the bad news of losing all but one of her sons, the army thought that was enough and decide to save one.  Think it's called doing the right thing. 

(plus her receiving those folded American flags aren't glamorous either :()

 

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I disagree. I look forward to the memorial day "war" movies each year.  They are appropriate for the holiday.

The only thing I would  change is to expand/vary the lineup. The last few years it seems TCM uses the same movies  over and over.  For example, I can't remember the last time TCM broadcast "Wake Island",  Desert Rats,  or "Decision Before Dawn." The latter is a great film made more powerful by the realistic  shooting local, shot in the actual ruins of Germany, and featuring actors and an actress that new first hand what it was to live and serve in Nazi Germany in 1945.

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2 minutes ago, wonderbar said:

I disagree. I look forward to the memorial day "war" movies each year.  They are appropriate for the holiday.

The only thing I would  change is to expand/vary the lineup. The last few years it seems TCM uses the same movies  over and over.  For example, I can't remember the last time TCM broadcast "Wake Island",  Desert Rats,  or "Decision Before Dawn." The latter is a great film made more powerful by the realistic  shooting local, shot in the actual ruins of Germany, and featuring actors and an actress that new first hand what it was to live and serve in Nazi Germany in 1945.

Wake Island is a Paramount movie, and the other two are Fox. Yeah, I wish they'd license more movies from outside of MGM/WB/UA/RKO, but they don't seem to agree at TCM HQ.

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I think that to appease and please a specific adamant segment of TCM viewer/posters, TCM should do away with "glamorizing" all national holiday and memorial tributes, and on those days should strictly show only those movies that can be perceived to have a Gay, Lesbian, and/or Bi-Sexual undertone.... Of course if a such a movie also depicts a "holiday" or "memorial" type theme, that may include warriors and War (i.e. the heroism to the death of The Sacred Band of Thebes, The Queens of Lésbos, or Sailors In love (with other Sailors), etc.) then exceptions can and should be made.... :rolleyes:
(Not seriously trying to "divert" or "undermine" the topic of this thread, just trying to back you up a bit with a little "piece and love," TB) ;):)

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40 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Yeah, I wish they'd license more movies from outside of MGM/WB/UA/RKO, but they don't seem to agree at TCM HQ.

I have a feeling it's more of a cost issue than that they don't agree.

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Decoration Day should be for Civil War movies and Armistice Day should be for World War I movies.

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5 hours ago, Arbogast said:

I agree completely....but for a larger-scale reason:

I've always felt that way too much of TCM's scheduling is theme-driven (Memorial Day, Halloween, Xmas, St. Patricks Day, Star of the Month, Summer Under the Stars, 31 Days of Oscar, etc.). And it's gotten worse in recent years, this month being a real low point, with both the tiresome, schedule-devouring "Series" spotlights and Memorial Day.

I really wish most of TCM was programmed more like a free-form radio station--films of all kind following one upon another: maybe a foreign obscurity leading in to a Marx Brothers film leading into a 50s noir leading into a Sirk melodrama leading into a David Lean epic...and so on.

I don't understand the insistence of TCM's programmers to "straitjacket" the schedule so much.

RADIO! I've worked in radio twice. First time was an automated FM station that was new. We did extremely well in our market. Radio station number two was satellite delivered radio. We were AM and got good ratings, even again the 12-in-a-row FMer. I do believe in an intelligent level of programming, which we had at both stations. Most radio stations today, would not come close to programming the way TCM does. I am completely against the whole theme concept. The movies on TCM are all supposed to be classics. Some I like. Some I don't. So, just play the movies and mix it up. Guess who doesn't watch either Hallmark Channel when they show Holiday films? I rest my case.

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7 minutes ago, Fedya said:

Decoration Day should be for Civil War movies and Armistice Day should be for World War I movies.

Who refers to Nov. 11th as Armistice Day in the United States?

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Not any more, but it used to be.  (Just like Memorial Day used to be Decoration Day.)

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3 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

We discussed the Memorial Day marathons a year or two ago, and I suggested that if it has to be three days long, try covering the entirety of US military action. Spend the first day on the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. The second day could be WW1 and WW2, with the latter getting primetime Saturday and thus appeasing the WW2 crowd. And then the third day could be the Korean War, Vietnam and the current Gulf/Afghan wars, finishing it up late late night Sunday with something like Lone Survivor, or The Hurt Locker.

I'm not sure if that would make such a marathon any better. It certainly wouldn't make it shorter, which is what needs to happen.

Your idea(s) would work much better for a Ball University summer course sponsored by TCM.

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2 hours ago, wonderbar said:

I disagree. I look forward to the memorial day "war" movies each year.  They are appropriate for the holiday.

The only thing I would  change is to expand/vary the lineup. The last few years it seems TCM uses the same movies  over and over.  For example, I can't remember the last time TCM broadcast "Wake Island",  Desert Rats,  or "Decision Before Dawn." The latter is a great film made more powerful by the realistic  shooting local, shot in the actual ruins of Germany, and featuring actors and an actress that new first hand what it was to live and serve in Nazi Germany in 1945.

BIB: holiday yes, singular. Memorial Day is not a series of holidays plural. Which is what the programmers are confused about.

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2 hours ago, Stephan55 said:

I think that to appease and please a specific adamant segment of TCM viewer/posters, TCM should do away with "glamorizing" all national holiday and memorial tributes, and on those days should strictly show only those movies that can be perceived to have a Gay, Lesbian, and/or Bi-Sexual undertone.... Of course if a such a movie also depicts a "holiday" or "memorial" type theme, that may include warriors and War (i.e. the heroism to the death of The Sacred Band of Thebes, The Queens of Lésbos, or Sailors In love (with other Sailors), etc.) then exceptions can and should be made.... :rolleyes:
(Not seriously trying to "divert" or "undermine" the topic of this thread, just trying to back you up a bit with a little "piece and love," TB) ;):)

^Rubbish post? 

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7 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

^Rubbish post? 

Monkey see, Monkey do. :rolleyes:;)

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There are still a handful of us left, that reached our manhood during the Vietnam era, and we grew up on those WW2 propaganda movies that "glamorized" war.
We may actually "dislike" war (I know many vets that hate it), but we still have that nostalgic childhood connection to those old movies that used to spur us on with "patriotic" delight when we were growing up and "played war with our toy guns."

Like it or not these movies are also part of our common history and are a reflection of their times (good & bad), so IMO they do need to be preserved and shown within that context.

One oldie that I used to watch as a kid that I've never seen yet on TCM is "Guadalcanal Diary."
I read Richard Tregaskis' book when I was a kid, and would like to see that 1943 ww2 propaganda film again, some day (on any day).

Within it's brief history the United States has proven itself, again, again, and again, to be the most warlike nation in history.... As far as the many conflicts and wars that we've been involved in within that brief span goes.
Some would say that perhaps as many as 40% of the voting public (and perhaps a large section of the TCM subscriber base) are so Jingoistic that they can't get enough of any propaganda film "glamorizing" war, from any era.
So the OP may "think" that "in this day and age, we're well past the need to advertise for war," however, it is likely there are many more (perhaps a majority) who disagree. 

Question/Suggestion: Has anyone conducted a pole on this subject to at least acquire a consensus of what the regular posters here think and wish?
(Not that what "we" think or wish matters a whit to TCM or their programmers)

As to whether resurrecting a thread each year to "make a point" with TCM programmers to "change their ways,"...
I am afraid that unless you have some specific programmer "input" to validate that, that more than likely any noticeable change has been pure coincidence and "wishful thinking" on the OPs part.
There have been many, many threads with valid TCM criticisms and suggestions over the years. Many that have remained fairly constant. But as far as I am aware, none has effectively solicited any direct changes by TCM.
No matter how I wish that some of them did. 


However, TCM does routinely show many war films that are most definitely "Anti-War" films.
Granted they do depict war but emphasize the ugly, wasteful side of it (although some may counter that any depiction of war somehow glamorizes it, regardless).

Re: Alvin York, he had long been solicited since the end of WW2 to allow a movie to be made about him.
He "was" a religious pacifist and refused to accept any Hollywood deal until approached by producers about the making of "Sgt. York." At that time he felt the "anti-war" theme might serve a greater good, along with the revenue that he used to support a bible school.
Corporal York was a bona fide hero during WW1, with some of his exploits bordering on miraculous.
It was said that Cooper hesitated to play a living "hero," like York, but that York was insistent that Cooper was the one that he wanted to portray him.
Though based upon his diary, the movie included many fictitious elements.
Religion and pacifism aside, in his later years, York publicly expressed ever more Hawkish views on the use of military force.

"All Quiet On The Western Front" (the book and both movie renditions) is an anti-war film at it's very core and throughout. There is nothing glamorous about it except perhaps the persistent jingoism of the home front at sending youngsters off to do their fighting for them, in the name of the "fada land."

Likewise, Kubrick's, "Paths of Glory," and others already mentioned, along with so many more.   

There are many, many, anti-war themed movies, about wars from every period.
TCM does show some of them, and could (should) show more of them.

With my older eyes, even when I see a movie that obviously attempts to glorify war, or the heroism of war (as in many of John Wayne's films) I can't help but also see antithesis elements throughout. So a lot of this "glorification" ultimately depends upon the viewers perception.

I agree with Cid that it would certainly be nice if TCM would broaden it's horizon when showing more (and more contemporary) war films. But as others have said, when it comes to U.S. stock, the overabundance of studio era War films were made during and about WW2. So a lot of this likely has to do with ease of "availability" and acquisition (rental) "cost," as others have suggested.

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3 hours ago, TheCid said:

Maybe it is just because there are now far more movies which are more relevant to Dr. King and African-Americans?

There were just as many relevant movies about Dr. King and Civil Rights when TCM was using the whole evening of MLK's birthday for a spotlight on Sidney Poitier. That's what prompted the other thread if I recall correctly, or at least fueled the fire and kept it going. It's when some of us knew the programmers were confused about the meaning of Dr. King's accomplishments.

As I say, fortunately, they've corrected it. Though I still think TCM's programmers need to be pushed to broaden the day beyond just a narrow scope of the African American experience. Dr. King fought for the increased civil rights and freedoms of all disenfranchised groups. He did not limit the cause to one skin color. Many people were biracial or multiracial who benefited from his work. But that's another discussion.

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3 minutes ago, Stephan55 said:

Monkey see, Monkey do. :rolleyes:;)

Eye roll.

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8 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

It's when some of us knew the programmers were confused about the meaning of Dr. King's accomplishments. 

As I say, fortunately, they've corrected it. Though I still think TCM's programmers need to be pushed to broaden the day beyond just a narrow scope of the African American experience. ....

You have so many wonderful ideas, and speak so eloquently for the "majority" of us, I am wondering, Has TCM accepted your application to become a "programmer" yet? :rolleyes:

 

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4 hours ago, TheCid said:

The whole premise behind Saving Private Ryan is fiction.  The fourth Nolan brother was ordered home, but he was found by an Army Chaplain as he was looking for his brother in another Army unit.  The whole sending out a patrol to get killed to save one man is pure Hollywood.

Yeah, it's a rather silly retelling of THE FIGHTING SULLIVANS. Probably if a European director had been in charge, it would not have had a "feel good" ending. It wouldn't have been trying so hard to find favor with commercial audiences. These kinds of films now have too much of an eye on the box office for them to be effective or have any sort of integrity. A better work of art would offer insights about the misguided need some militaristic humans still have to take live instead of protect lives.

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

Eye roll.

The smiley emoji for eye roll. 

rolleyes.gif

 

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1 minute ago, hamradio said:

The smiley emoji for eye roll. 

rolleyes.gif

Thanks. I wish we could click on Thanks and Like and Haha all at the same time. 

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1 minute ago, TopBilled said:

Thanks. I wish we could click on Thanks and Like and Haha all at the same time. 

Maybe on the next update.

 

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2 hours ago, TopBilled said:

It certainly wouldn't make it shorter, which is what needs to happen.

I guess you overlooked the part where I said "if it has to be three days long". 

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