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How can TCM improve..?

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There are a few areas that I think still need improvement-- but I would like to read others' comments first before I mention some of my concerns...

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There are a few areas that I think still need improvement-- but I would like to read others' comments first before I mention some of my concerns...

 

I assume you mean the station and not this website;  Well you know what my recommendation is since we have discussed it many times;   having more films from studios like Columbia,  Universal,  Paramount,  United Artist and other smaller studios.  

 

Also,  when showing films from the big three (Warner, MGM,  RKO),  having a series like 'before they were stars';  this would feature the big stars from those studios but films they made before they became big stars.    i.e.  less of the 'greatest hits' so often.

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I assume you mean the station and not this website;  Well you know what my recommendation is since we have discussed it many times;   having more films from studios like Columbia,  Universal,  Paramount,  United Artist and other smaller studios.  

 

Also,  when showing films from the big three (Warner, MGM,  RKO),  having a series like 'before they were stars';  this would feature the big stars from those studios but films they made before they became big stars.    i.e.  less of the 'greatest hits' so often.

The website is obviously part of what TCM offers (right?). 

 

Interestingly, TCM does not often feature some of the real 'stars' of RKO. As you may know, it was a lesser major and usually hired freelancers or borrowed bigger names from other studios, or from the top independent producers like Sam Goldwyn, David Selznick, Walt Disney and Walter Wanger who had popular stars under contract. 

 

Some of the real 'stars' of RKO were people like Joe Penner (hugely successful on radio); Fibber McGee & Molly (also huge on radio); Linda Hayes (a starlet whose career really went nowhere); Virginia Vale (another starlet); and Tim Holt (used mainly for B westerns). But TCM seldom plays the films of these people.

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obviously, their fixed film catalog and it's accompanying rotation. they got their catalog and dam it, they're gonna stick with it come hell or high water. a course....

 

their real problem is their stubborn inability to appreciate that the vast majority of cable viewers in the u.s. and Canada aren't their festival cruise passengers. :D

 

to summerize, doan look for the uk cut of William Cameron Menzies' invaders from mars anytime real soon. :)

 

we all got a better chance of being mooned by a mutant. :lol:

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I have a slight(but not major) issue with TCM's tendency to show movies that recieved a mere mention of a possible Oscar for something relatively unimportant during the "30 Days of Oscar" thing every year.

 

Some of the movies weren't even worth the TIME!

 

 

Sepiatone

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I have a slight(but not major) issue with TCM's tendency to show movies that recieved a mere mention of a possible Oscar for something relatively unimportant during the "30 Days of Oscar" thing every year.

 

Some of the movies weren't even worth the TIME!

 

 

Sepiatone

Right-- I think they are stretching that sometimes, and a bit absurdly. Though I usually don't complain if it brings an infrequently shown classic on to the February schedule.

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What is your least favorite thing about TCM?

 

The narrowness of its "suitability" definition.

 

If it ever gets around to showing movies such as 'Zabriskie Point', 'The Victors', 'Last Tango in Paris' and 'The Devils', then we'll know TCM has grown itself as new layer of integrity.

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What's unsuitable about 'THE VICTORS', darkblue? 

 

Depends on which version one sees. The movie was pulled from theaters to have some scenes removed - one in particular referenced male prostitution between the troops and a minor.

 

It was an anti-war movie that rubbed many the wrong way back in the early 60's. It has virtually disappeared and is exactly the kind of movie a prestigious body like TCM should be moving mountains for the chance to show.

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Thanks for the info, darkblue.

 

     I looked up 'The Victors' in the Leonard Maltin Video Guide and I noted it says '156m.' for the run time and at the end of the review it says "Originally released at 175m."     

 

     If TCM can ever get hold of it I'll have to give it a go and watch it.

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My biggest complaint is the absence of Universal & Paramount titles, 1929-1946.

I have to agree, watched Svengoolie last night and while the movie was a hoot, short and susceptible to Rich Koz's schmaltz (however he at least recognized the issue due to a 2 hour slot time and a short movie) I do think we are missing a few choice movies by not having those rerpesented.   By the way...Svengoolie is showing Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein next week...can't wait.

 

I noticed that Royal Wedding has been on at least once every week and while I love Fred Astaire, even I am only able to take so much. 

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I have to agree, watched Svengoolie last night and while the movie was a hoot, short and susceptible to Rich Koz's schmaltz (however he at least recognized the issue due to a 2 hour slot time and a short movie) I do think we are missing a few choice movies by not having those rerpesented.   By the way...Svengoolie is showing Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein next week...can't wait.

 

I noticed that Royal Wedding has been on at least once every week and while I love Fred Astaire, even I am only able to take so much. 

Dancing on the ceiling is becoming a ho-hum occurrence.

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I do have a slight criticism of the wraparounds, and this issue is happening with both Bob and Ben. Whoever is writing them (or maybe the hosts are improvising a little, but it seems more scripted and coming off the TelePrompTer) but they are not always making logical connections between the film that is airing and other similarly-themed films like they should. 

 

There was one yesterday after IN COLD BLOOD that was very good-- where Ben recommends viewers check out CAPOTE and INFAMOUS (recent films that depict the author's research and writing of the book).

 

But for every good one there are countless wraparounds where the hosts are giving uninspired, filler-type commentary.

 

Bob's commentary for THE BRAVE BULLS the night before was extremely tedious. He hardly talked about the content of the film-- he didn't even mention the word 'bull' or 'matador' once. He focused on the blacklist. Then he launched into a discussion about Anthony Quinn, name dropping Kazan and Brando (since Quinn had done STREETCAR on Broadway) which had absolutely nothing to do with this film. Then, Bob talks about Quinn working with Brando on VIVA ZAPATA and getting an Oscar. Again, completely irrelevant to THE BRAVE BULLS.

 

I got the feeling that if they go before the cameras and mention Oscar this and Oscar that, it sounds very Hollywood like they know what they are talking about. But the reality is that the film's content and themes were entirely neglected, making it seem like the host had not even seen the film at all. Big thumbs down.

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I do have a slight criticism of the wraparounds, and this issue is happening with both Bob and Ben. Whoever is writing them (or maybe the hosts are improvising a little, but it seems more scripted and coming off the TelePrompTer) but they are not always making logical connections between the film that is airing and other similarly-themed films like they should. 

 

There was one yesterday after IN COLD BLOOD that was very good-- where Ben recommends viewers check out CAPOTE and INFAMOUS (recent films that depict the author's research and writing of the book).

 

But for every good one there are countless wraparounds where the hosts are giving uninspired, filler-type commentary.

 

Bob's commentary for THE BRAVE BULLS the night before was extremely tedious. He hardly talked about the content of the film-- he didn't even mention the word 'bull' or 'matador' once. He focused on the blacklist. Then he launched into a discussion about Anthony Quinn, name dropping Kazan and Brando (since Quinn had done STREETCAR on Broadway) which had absolutely nothing to do with this film. Then, Bob talks about Quinn working with Brando on VIVA ZAPATA and getting an Oscar. Again, completely irrelevant to THE BRAVE BULLS.

 

I got the feeling that if they go before the cameras and mention Oscar this and Oscar that, it sounds very Hollywood like they know what they are talking about. But the reality is that the film's content and themes were entirely neglected, making it seem like the host had not even seen the film at all. Big thumbs down.

RO has always been very Oscar-oriented. That is his claim to fame among film historians.

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RO has always been very Oscar-oriented. That is his claim to fame among film historians.

Right. And in THE BRAVE BULLS commentary he is mixing his Oscar "knowledge" with name dropping and arguably about as off-topic as you can get. It's like he is b.s.-ing his way through some of the wraparounds and not really focusing on the film itself and why it's been selected for broadcast. 

 

It would have been much more satisfying if he had discussed Tom Lea, the author who wrote the book 'The Brave Bulls' and that it is considered a classic of southwestern literature. 

 

Or how Mel Ferrer came to be cast in the lead role-- how he was already specializing in ethnic portrayals, having played a light-skinned black passing for white in LOST BOUNDARIES; now playing a Mexican character in this film. There was so much more relevant information that could have been imparted to the viewer during these wraparounds.

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Right. And in THE BRAVE BULLS commentary he is mixing his Oscar "knowledge" with name dropping and arguably about as off-topic as you can get. It's like he is b.s.-ing his way through some of the wraparounds and not really focusing on the film itself and why it's been selected for broadcast. 

 

It would have been much more satisfying if he had discussed Tom Lea, the author who wrote the book 'The Brave Bulls' and that it is considered a classic of southwestern literature. 

 

Or how Mel Ferrer came to be cast in the lead role-- how he was already specializing in ethnic portrayals, having played a light-skinned black passing for white in LOST BOUNDARIES; now playing a Mexican character in this film. There was so much more relevant information that could have been imparted to the viewer during these wraparounds.

Off-topic? He must be reading these boards.

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Well, I'll just give my personal answer to this question, which, of course, is a reflection of my likes and dislikes.  I hate, hate, hate musicals, and always turn them off when TCM shows them, which seems to be quite frequently.  I would like to see TCM concentrating on the classical period (isn't that the reference for its name?) and show mostly/exclusively films that were made up to the 1950s.  Finally, I find RO banal and disappointing.  Perhaps he is dialing it down because he assumes he's talking to a low brow audience.  He should give us more credit.

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Well, I'll just give my personal answer to this question, which, of course, is a reflection of my likes and dislikes.  I hate, hate, hate musicals, and always turn them off when TCM shows them, which seems to be quite frequently.  I would like to see TCM concentrating on the classical period (isn't that the reference for its name?) and show mostly/exclusively films that were made up to the 1950s.  Finally, I find RO banal and disappointing.  Perhaps he is dialing it down because he assumes he's talking to a low brow audience.  He should give us more credit.

You like the old movies, but you don't like the "old". guy. It seems that RO is more consistent with showing the pre-1950 films than is, say, Ben.

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You like the old movies, but you don't like the "old". guy. It seems that RO is more consistent with showing the pre-1950 films than is, say, Ben.

I don't think that's true. They both seem to host "newer" and "older" classics. When certain themes are chosen by the programmers, it's more about whether a film fits the theme instead of what year it was made. And so each host has to deal with that.

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Old movie trailers NOT filling up the entire screen. Surely, they're not worried about us recording them or are they ?

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RO's age has nothing to do with my rather low opinion of his commentary.  He's not particularly insightful nor does he add to my understanding of the films he discusses.  Perhaps, my approach is rather academic, but when the "experts" show up, I want to learn something from them - doesn't happen with him.  BM is only slightly better.

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