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MLK Day = Sidney Poitier Day

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Addison,

 

You are adding another element into the conversation. You are injecting the broken-record argument about TCM repeats. That is a separate topic in my view.

 

But I do think that TO SIR, WITH LOVE was the weakest entry in yesterday's lineup. Why? First of all, it takes place in a foreign country, and there was very little in the story that can be seen as having a direct impact on American civil rights.

 

I have a gut feeling that the programmers were lazy with yesterday's selections. They look at what is available in the Turner Library, they immediately think Sidney Poitier, and they pull out his better known titles, regardless of how little the content in those films may reflect Dr. King's vision.

 

As it has been stated earlier in the thread, pictures like THE GREAT WHITE HOPE and ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO would probably have been better selections. Re-airing AMISTAD would have been a vast improvement over TO SIR, WITH LOVE.

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> {quote:title=AddisonDeWitless wrote:}{quote}Glad someone else started a thread on this, I was tempted to when I saw the schedule line-up yesterday morning but I hate to always be coming off all "Crabapple Annie."

 

Me too. I was gonna start a thread on Sunday as well. On MLK Day/Inauguration Day but never got around to it...

 

I was going to ask if there are any classic Hollywood films concerning the presidential inauguration?

 

As for MLK Day, yes, would've been nice to see "The Great White Hope" (haven't seen it for a looooong time): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_White_Hope_%28film%29

 

or "One Potato, Two Potato": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_potato,_two_potato

 

or any of the others mentioned below, etc...

 

Have no idea why TCM programmed what they did? Is there any theme for January 21 in the "Now Playing" guide?? I don't have it handy (pay for it for a close relative to get and only read it when at the relative's place)...

 

This historical thread from more than 5 years ago has many movie suggestions:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?messageID=7985668

 

And thanks to Kyle in the above thread for going further back in TCM history with more movie titles (back to 2003 with Black History Month on TCM)...

 

But not really very much in the forum history related to MLK Day (besides the thread above from 5 years ago)...

 

Another brief example from 2 years ago with a one post thread on what TCM aired on MLK Day then:

http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?messageID=8483726

 

So, returning to TCM programming, I have no idea why they do what they do?

 

Much depends on the films available, who the programmers are and how they program, etc...

We all know this... I mean, it must be difficult to program for every holiday during the year - actor birth/death anniversaries, public holidays, historical anniversaries, you name it...

In a perfect world, TCM would leave programming up to the TCM Message Board and all would be simply ideal... (Just joking ;) )

 

Maybe if people use the "Suggest a Movie" feature and suggest movies for MLK Day next year, that may help? Maybe by playing the programming challenge and maybe there could be a specific programming challenge that would cover MLK Day, that might help (TCM programmers have admitted stealing ideas from the challenge)...

 

Info. for the upcoming challenge is here: http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threadID=168055&tstart=0

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Yes, RAISIN IN THE SUN truly is an essential (and that word, 'essential' gets overused on TCM) for a day like this.

 

It is clear that TCM does not currently have access to the broadcast rights for IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, or else it would have aired on MLK Day and it would be scheduled for the 31 Days of Oscar.

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Yeah, Raisin was a perfectly fine choice. Sounder would also have been kind of a no-brainer, but it's sort of like the black, non-public domain The Yearling sos I gots no beef with it sitting on the shelf yesterday...Has The Defiant Ones aired on TCM?

 

I love how that non-Oprah Poitier interstitial has various black actors and critics singing the praises of Poitier's later, rougher work like Brother John yet *when is the last time that aired?*

 

Maybe if we offer some suggestions for what we think would've been good choices, that'll help

 

 

(PS- I just now read the posts below and their various suggestions and lists of suggestions from years past.)

 

 

Here's mine

 

 

(PSS- some of these are films I HAVE NOT SEEN, but would just like to get the chance, so they might not fit the gravitas of the day. Please lemme know.)

 

 

Anna Lucasta (with Eartha Kitt), The Emperor Jones, the two Imitation of Lifes (1934 and 59) back-to-back for comparison, Black Orpheus, The Slender Thread, Hallelujah!, *PORGY AND BESS (RIGHTS ISSUES BE DAMNED!), *Island in the Sun, Song of Freedom (1936), Jericho (1937), The Proud Valley (1940), Bright Road, and even Young Mr. Lincoln or the less-impressive Abe Lincoln in Illinois.

 

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on Jan 22, 2013 10:21 AM

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on Jan 22, 2013 10:24 AM

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Well, in my humble opinion, I think "To Sir, With Love" shows Poitier dealing with a bunch of badly-behaved Brit kids who cause problems for Poitier, but never for the colour of his skin.

The kids behave badly a la "Blackboard Jungle" but there's no racism involved.

Poitier is just a teacher who has to deal with the kids. Not an "African-American" (or Black or whatever) teacher who has to deal with the kids. So I think this fits with MLK Day in showing a successful (despite not getting a job in his field in the film) "African-American" where his race isn't an issue. Or at least not an issue the school kids use against Poitier. (I didn't watch the film yesterday and haven't seen it recently so may be mistaken?)

As the TCM article states, the colour of Poitier's skin is almost inconsequential in this film:

http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/176158|http://0/To-Sir-With-Love.html

 

To quote from MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech:

 

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

 

(Reference: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-mlk-ihaveadream,0,36081.story)

 

That certainly fits Poitier's dignified character in "To Sir, With Love," but I also understand that film takes place in London, England and NOT in the United States. I guess it depends on whether you consider MLK's words to apply everywhere and for all time or limited to the United States of the past (and present)...

 

Just IMHO...

 

But it has been aired many times and certainly no reason why another rarely seen film couldn't have been scheduled.

 

Also, Sir Sidney is still alive and well, so why doesn't TCM interview him for a day of his films...

 

Edited by: RMeingast on Jan 22, 2013 10:52 AM

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I'd like to address a couple of things.

 

 

We COULD be grateful that there are not, to my knowledge, any movies that have a "SWEETEST DAY" theme, thereby negating TCM's token acknowledgement of yet another "non-holiday".

 

 

Yes, there WAS a time MLK day was NOT recognized in certain communities. When this holiday first was instituted, General Motors, in agreement with the UAW, considered it a paid vacation day. Both my ex wife(who WASN'T the ex at the time) and I kept our daughters home, thinking the school system provided the day off as well. By mid morning, their school's office called the home and asked why our daughter's were not at class. I had answered the phone and explained that we had assumed there was no school that day due to the holiday. The lady from school asked, "What holiday?". I replied, "It's Martin Luther King's birthday. It IS a national holiday, you know." SHE replied, "Yes, well, it's not OUR holiday!"( the city we were living in was still an "all white" suburb).

 

 

I was flabbergasted! To my surprise, we were but a small handful of parents, citywide, that kept their children home from school that day. We all appealed to the school board, which likely to avoid any embarassment, agreed to have the absences removed from their attendence records.

 

 

I would suggest that any movie from the past that courageously depicted the strife between blacks and whites(and there WERE a few) would be the natural picks for viewing on MLK day.

 

 

And as Addison suggested the back-to-back showing of both *Imitation Of Life* versions, another suggestion(which TCM has done on occasion, but with only one movie at a time) would be to have a day devoted to showing back-to-back comparisons of OTHER remade movies.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Yep, I don't disagree with you Sepia...

 

Don't know what's up with TCM programmers?? Guess it's easier to play it safe by airing Poitier films on MLK Day, but who knows??

 

And yes, even in Canada, some celebrate MLK Day. The City of Toronto, the largest city in Canada, for example, honours MLK Day (not a paid holiday in Toronto):

http://www.webcitation.org/5vnpGaDSS

 

Anyway, maybe best to use "Suggest a Movie" feature and provide explanation why TCM should have a day devoted to MLK with a film choice included (or films)...

 

I don't know what else to suggest?

 

 

 

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Well I support Kyle's approach as it relates to this topic but we can move on from that.

 

Yes, I'm speculating as to why TCM showed Poitier movies instead of movies more associated with black history and or civil rights in general (like they had in the past).

 

But of course so are you when you say: I have a gut feeling that the programmers were lazy with yesterday's selections.

 

Thus I have a gut feeling the programming had something to do with Obama. But either way that doesn't explain why only Poitier movies. i.e. I can understand why only movies related to black history, but not limited to Poitier. Thus I believe we agree here; The choice of only Poitier is a strange one indeed.

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>I would suggest that any movie from the past that courageously depicted the strife between blacks and whites(and there WERE a few) would be the natural picks for viewing on MLK day.

 

I completely agree. Spike Lee's DO THE RIGHT THING. For many, that should be mandatory viewing on MLK Day.

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I'd show Spike Lee's *Four Little Girls*, and *Malcolm X*.

 

I'd also like to see some of the films from great black entertainers in the 30s and 40s, like Josephine Baker and Cab Calloway. I'd like to see *The Spook Who Sat by the Door*, and *Putney Swope*. I'd like to see *Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song*, and *Cotton Comes to Harlem*.

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I'd like to see MLK day on TCM steered in one of two directions. The first might be to show a lineup that features somewhat lesser known films such as One Potato, Two Potato, Shadows, Nothing But A Man, Intruder in the Dust, etc. I'm not sure why the same small group of Poitier and Belafonte movies always have to be the centerpiece of days like this, when there are so many other first rate offerings out there.

 

The other option would be a bit simpler and more direct: Devote the lineup to films produced by black directors, ranging from Oscar Micheaux to Spike Lee and the Hughes Brothers. This isn't a knock against the Poitier or Belafonte films, it's just that by going in this direction we'd be guaranteed to see a group of films (other than a handful of Spike Lees) that we ordinarily have to find elsewhere.

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The blaxploitation films such as SWEET SWEETBACKS may be entertaining, but, IMHO, are not appropriate for MLK day. (SUPERFLY may have the best score of any film ever made).

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*"The blaxploitation films such as SWEET SWEETBACKS may be entertaining, but, IMHO, are not appropriate for MLK day."* - finance

 

Agreed. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a movement built on the non-violent passive resistence form of protest. A film like *Do The Right Thing*, which climaxes in a riot, seems anti-thetical to what Dr. King stood for and for which he is remembered today. *Gandhi* would be a better choice.

 

The conflicts between the philosophies of Dr. King and Malcom X are prevalent throughout the film. Exploring that dichotomy is probably why Spike Lee made the film in the first place. This is best illustrated through the two quotes displayed at the end of the film.

 

Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys a community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.

*Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.*

 

I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power and be in these positions to block things that you and I need. Because this is the situation, you and I have to preserve the right to do what is necessary to bring an end to that situation, and it doesn't mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don't even call it violence when it's self-defense, I call it intelligence.

*Malcolm X*

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Since there's nothing easier than spending someone else's money, what about having Donald Bogle introduce some of the films from the past, with an emphasis on African-American actors less known today? For instance, wouldn't you love to see Mr. Bogle introduce Nina Mae McKinney in SAFE IN HELL, where she's clearly the smartest person in the film?

 

 

INTRUDER IN THE DUST has already been mentioned, and it's a great choice, with an outstanding performance by Juano Hernandez. He also has a key role in STARS IN MY CROWN, which would fit MLK Day because the main character, played by Joel McCrea, is, like Dr. King, a Protestant minister, and tolerance is a main theme of the film.

 

 

CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY has the major film performance of Canada Lee, perhaps the most respected African-American actor of his day, as well as a supporting role by the young Sidney Poitier. (This may have been shown last year on MLK Day, because this great film was shown two or three times last year.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}The blaxploitation films such as SWEET SWEETBACKS may be entertaining, but, IMHO, are not appropriate for MLK day. (SUPERFLY may have the best score of any film ever made).

 

 

IMO, *Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song* is way more than a Blaxplotation film, and I'm sure director Van Peebles would agree:

 

>From the IMDb:

>Melvin Van Peebles wrote, directed, produced, edited, composed and starred in this powerful and inflammatory attack on White America.

 

I agree that his opinions, and some of Malcolm X's opinions, don't concur with MLK's. But, I thought that MLK Day was about more than just MLK. I think that films made by black directors, even those like *SSBS* that are made primarily for a black audience, are quite appropriate. But, I can understand why some would disagree with me.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}

> STARS IN MY CROWN may have been the last non-western that Joel McCrea ever made.

 

 

 

I think that distinction actually goes to ROUGH SHOOT, a contemporary film that McCrea filmed in England in 1953. TCM showed it during the McCrea fest.

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This is something of a non sequitor, but it is still 34 degrees outside and I cannot leave until it's north of 45, and I'm kind of trapped here, so...

 

Years and *years* ago, I had a dream, something like a vignette from The Kentucky Fried Movie, sort of a parody of a commercial. A guy is sitting at a breakfast room table and there is a loud "WHUMP!" on the side of the wall.

 

A narrator asks "excuse me sir, but do you know what that sound was?"

 

And the guy looks up from his newspaper, very nonchalantly, and says "why no, I don't."

 

And the narrator says "that was Academy Award-winning actor Sidney Poitier crashing into the side of your house."

 

And the guy says "I did not know that" and goes back to reading the paper.

 

 

I have weird dreams. I usually forget them though (which is probably for the best.)

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Van Peebles could hardly be considered an objective commentator on that issue.....I like the way that film was usually advertised as SWEET SWEETBACKS..........., which doesn't make too much sense.

 

Edited by: finance on Jan 27, 2013 1:19 PM

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