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Which films do you think TCM shows too often?


tillmany
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Isn't there a practical limit as to just how often "popular" films should be shown?

Which titles do you think TCM shows far too often? Keep in mind that every two hours spent unreeling The Philadelphia Story, Mogambo, Father of the Bride, Meet Me in St. Louis, Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The Adventures of Robin Hood

and The Thin Man again and again, means another less frequently shown title that you will have to wait a much longer time, perhaps years, to get the chance to see

just one single time.

Thanks,

Jack Tillmany

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Tons of titles which are perceived to be the true classics, such as Winchester 73, Top Hat, the Marx Brothers comedies, Singin' in the Rain, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Rio Grande, The Thin Man series and on and on are played and replayed waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too often, especially in prime time. Some are my favorite movies but overkill is what TCM thinks is their best programming strategy? So many lesser known films, some of which are criminally underrated and should be regarded classics, are shown late at night or in the early morning.

 

I realize the 'name' films are perceived to draw new viewers, but I can't believe most people don't look at their TV schedules and groan that TCM just plays the same 30 or 40 titles over and over because that is indeed how it seems. Not trying to tell TCM how to run its program, they still give hardcore old movie fans like myself about 100 titles a month we don't see often, but they're mostly on at strange hours. Taking a chance and going with more rarely shown films with big name stars would sure be a nice change of pace on TCM.

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I'm pretty much ok with the mix as it is now. Yeah, I'm not going to watch those movies yet again (and if i want to I have them burned to DVD), but I understand that not everyone is a film freak like me. If it takes showing the popular favorites again to keep the channel going, so be it.

 

I've said this before, but I can't emphasize enough that every TCM fan needs a DVR. It's totally changed my viewing habits -- if there's something on that i want to see, I record it to the hard drive, burn it to DVD and watch it when I want to. Prime time is a meaningless concept to me -- even shows on networks that have commercials benefit from being able to fast forward through them. The only thing I watch in real time anymore is the weather report.

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I wouldn't watch AMC if you paid me less than 100 bucks. A billion commercials, no widescreen, what's to like. Hope TCM puts on some of the John Wayne flicks we rarely see like Operation Pacific, California Straight Ahead, The War Wagon and Trouble Along the Way etc

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I've said this before, but I can't emphasize enough that every TCM fan needs a DVR. It's totally changed my viewing habits -- if there's something on that i want to see, I record it to the hard drive, burn it to DVD and watch it when I want to. Prime time is a meaningless concept to me -- even shows on networks that have commercials benefit from being able to fast forward through them. The only thing I watch in real time anymore is the weather report.

 

I agree 100%. Only I don't even listen to the weather - it's always wrong anyway.

 

For years, I never understood why anyone would PAY MONEY to get a TiVo. I mean, I already paid for cable, and had a VCR to tape the really important stuff. Why spend hard-earned cash on TV 'accessories' that were not necessary, when, with a little elbow grease, I could watch alot of stuff?

 

But then my ex-boyfriend introduced me to TiVo...and, to put in the TiVo commercial's own words, it literally changed the way I watch television.

 

I get the Now Playing Guide, but I really don't need it. I don't need anything, in fact! My programming info on TiVo goes out about 2 weeks, and I just flip through the TCM schedule once a week and pick what I want TiVo to record. Then I forget about it - literally. And when I turn on my TV, my TiVo is full of all sorts of films I hand-selected for viewing that week - I have my choice of about 10 films on there right now, in fact, so I can pick a film from my cache based on what I'm in the mood for, how much time I have available, etc.

 

And actually, I don't even *have* to go through my programming info to get a bunch of films to watch. A long time ago, I programmed my TiVo to record every single film that comes on TV which includes any of my favorite actors....and unless I tell it otherwise, my TiVo records every single film which has Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Kay Francis, Rock Hudson, Spencer Tracy, Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, Myrna Loy or Gregory Peck in the cast. That ALONE could keep me in good films!

 

In short, there IS no 'prime time' for me. I watch whatever I like, whenever I want to.

 

What we have here is a 24-hour programming schedule, and we should all be glad about that, because alot of stations go off the air at 2 am and come back on at 5 or whatever. But when you have a 24-hour programming schedule, SOME STUFF is gonna be shown in the middle of the night, while you are at work, or whatever. That is a fact - and it's not gonna change.

 

But with a DVR or TiVo, when something comes on is completely irrelevant. You can watch it when you like...and even pause it in the middle and come back later to finish it if you run out of time or get called away!

 

Shoot...sometimes if I don't think I'll have huge chunks of time available in the evenings for several days, I might even record films off of TCM that I have on DVD but haven't watched yet! Because with TiVo, I can pause a film at any time, click out of it and watch something else, or turn off the TV altogether...and when I come back - even days later - I can pick up the film exactly where I left off!

 

It's great, and well worth the investment! Now, I can't imagine TV without TiVo.

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In defense of low tech...some of the most interesting recordings I have are from the 1980's and early 90's when i just put the VCR on record and got commercials, news, weather and the show I was recording. Enough time has passed so that these recordings are now historic and look distinctly different from television today. The news and commercials that are incidentally recorded along with the program that I was recording are in many cases more interesting then the original program that I was recording. Technically TV looks different today then even 10 years ago. It's much faster today (not better) and it's just fascinating to see the differences that computerization has made in broadcast techniques.

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I realize the 'name' films are perceived to draw new viewers, but I can't believe most people don't look at their TV schedules and groan that TCM just plays the same 30 or 40 titles over and over because that is indeed how it seems.>>

 

 

We had Thanksgiving dinner with a family of film lovers and TCM came up repeatedly in the conversation (mainly because we all watch it).

 

I explained about the message board and the perceptions here that TCM is playing too many of the same titles too much and too many post-1960s films and that some thought it might be to draw in younger viewers.

 

One of the young men, a big fan of TCM and quite internet savvy but doesn't visit this board at all, thought that it wasn't because TCM was seeking younger viewers. He said it was likely to do to their viewership numbers.

 

Everyone at the table (with the exception of Mr Cutter) was a die hard film fan, so we asked Mr Cutter which he would rather see, Sunset Blvd or Dance, Fools, Dance.

 

Mr Cutter chose Sunset Blvd because "I have no idea what that other film is".

 

The number of people who register and post here rarely comes close to 200 of us on-line at any given time throughout the day. However, there are usually over 1,000 guests checking out the website.

 

Perhaps the sad truth is that we, the die hard fans who find our way to this message board are just plain out-numbered by the people who watch TCM but never find their way here.

 

Perhaps TCM is programming for those people who actually watch the channel during prime time hours and we, the film fanatics, are just hopelessly out numbered by them.

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"Enough time has passed so that these recordings are now historic and look distinctly different from television today."

 

Ha ha, that was back in the days when the news anchors filled the whole TV screen and they had a little graphic slide over their right or left shoulder. For a "murder" story they'd have a drawing of a hand with a gun. For a "polution" story they'd have a drawing of a bio-hazard sign.

 

No ticker-tape news "crawls" at the bottom of the screen. No red white and blue logo "banners" taking up 1/3 of the bottom part of the TV screen. No flashing light shows or waving flags or electronic visuals behind the anchors or in-between the news stories. I hate all the extra flashy stuff that is not needed. I missed half of the Gulf War because of the 1/3rd screen banners, since most of the war was fought at ground level at the bottom of the TV screen which was covered up by the banners. About all I saw were airplanes flying overhead.

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You know, I don't think that TCM plays any film too often. Yes, the more well-known films like Gone With The Wind or The Wizard of Oz on average do get more airtime than a lesser-known Warren William pre-code, but it seems to go in cycles. I haven't seen Oz in quite some time on TCM. I used to think that they played Dr. Strangelove too often, but I haven't seen it scheduled that much this past year, if at all. Naturally, the more popular films will draw people to watch TCM, but hopefully they will then begin to seek out films or stars that they are less familiar with. People that just aren't that into movies in general probably don't care, just like I don't care about any of the programming on ESPN or The Discovery Health Channel.

 

As for the 1960's movies, I like them, especially comedies from the early 1960's. There is something so goofy and innocent about them that appeals to me.

 

Sandy K

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Well, I have some of those sorts of recordings too. In particular, I have some wonderful recordings from the Calgary Olympics back in 1986 (I think?) that are still in good shape. It's wonderful to watch them!

 

However, that wasn't my point.

 

My point was that those who regularly complain about how prime time on TCM is filled with stuff they don't like might want to consider getting a device that makes the concept of prime time irrelevant.

 

I suppose that could still be a VCR, but with DVRs becoming more and more reasonablly priced every day, why go that route? With a DVR, one does not have to mess with bulky tapes that are likely to break, get jammed etc. Nor does one have to worry about programming a VCR to record from 2:00 am to 4:45 on Tuesday the 12th of June or whatever. All one has to do is click on a film they want to watch, and that's it. The DVR figures out what day and time to start and what time to stop recording. You don't even need a TV guide! And you don't even need to know how long the film is. You just have to click on the title of film itself...and walk away.

 

Doesn't get any easier than that!

 

Also, one does not need to search through a stack of tapes to find the film they recorded last week that they want to watch now...nor do they have to search through an individual tape full of stuff for the beginning of said film. One just picks the film on-screen from the list of stuff sitting on their hard disk, and hits 'play'.

 

Have a power outage? A DVR does not 'forget' what you programmed before the power outage. It still records everything you asked it to....even if it's days away!

 

IMO, programming and watching TiVo is alot more 'low tech' than is programming and watching stuff on a VCR!

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And I have no idea why you hate "Written on the Wind" so much. Dorothy Malone won an Oscar for her role in that film, and Robert Stack got nominated for his outstanding performance as well. Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall put in excellent performances too.

 

The story is gritty, compelling, and has a stark and meaningful ending.

 

And frankly, I get tired of your questioning the taste of anyone who happens to like that film.

 

You don't like it? Fine. You think it's played too often? That's fine too. But comments like "I have no idea what anybody sees in either or how they can be considered classic." is pretty insulting to anyone who happens to like that film.

 

Just because YOU don't like it doesn't make it trash.

 

I don't like "Lawrence of Arabia", and think it is the most tedious film ever made...but I don't question the taste of those who DO like it. Nor do I question it's place as a classic. Plenty of folks DO like it...and I respect their opinions, even if I don't happen to share them.

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"My point was that those who regularly complain about how prime time on TCM is filled with stuff they don't like might want to consider getting a device that makes the concept of prime time irrelevant."

I already do that, but I feel it is unfortunate that I have to do this and can't just turn on TCM after a day's work and sit and watch it. Luckily I have many hundreds of movies recorded and will be dropping TCM in the next few months.

 

Back to the topic, Brief Encounter, Plaza Suite, and The Producers get quite a bit of play in my opinion.

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I still remember the first item that I recorded on VCR. It was Dr. Chivago in 1984, I think. Wish I still had these first recordings. I wish that I had every early recording that I ever made. As I said, the passage of time makes these recordings more interesting just because they are old. Not the movie but all the incidentals that the recording documents that I described earlier.

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Thin Man stuff, even though it's fab. Not knocking the talent. Just knocking the frequency with which we're confronted with that talent.

 

Not enough Nelson and Jeannette.

 

Not enough Fredric March (okay, I'm called FredricMarchFan, so I'll probably never be satisfied on that front).

 

Not enough John Garfield.

 

Not enough "Directed by William Wyler."

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I think everyone will likely have a different view of how much repetiion is desirable. To lure a sufficient number of viewers, TCM may well find that it has to repeat a small number of famous titles again and again, especially during prime time hours.

 

Personally, I'd prefer that there be much less repetition than there is. Because of TiVo, I miss virtually nothing I want to see the first time it plays. And I find it frustrating that movies I am dying to watch--ones that are not available on DVD or VHS--can go for years without popping up on any channel.

 

But I think TCM strikes a good balance in its programming by showing more obscure films during "theme" days/months, with the better-known and more popular titles playing during prime time. Keeping in mind the various considerations TCM programmers likely have to balance, I am not sure how I would do things differently--except maybe pick themes that I personally find more interesting. Again, however, those kinds of preferences are so variant that TCM couldn't possibly please everybody.

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> And frankly, I get tired of your questioning the

> taste of anyone who happens to like that film.

>

> You don't like it? Fine. You think it's played too

> often? That's fine too. But comments like "I have no

> idea what anybody sees in either or how they can be

> considered classic." is pretty insulting to anyone

> who happens to like that film.

>

> Just because YOU don't like it doesn't make it

> trash.

 

And I'm tired of having to walk on eggshells on this board. My God, some of you people are sensitive. I was NOT insulting anyone who likes these films. If that's your cup of tea, go for it. I just said I don't see what anybody sees in them. And yes, I don't like it that Written is constantly played while really great movies like To Kill A Mockingbird and Ben Hur are sitting on the shelf. So sue me.

 

And let's not get so enamored of Oscar wins. Some real crap have won Oscars. Last year a rap song about a pimp won an Oscar. Think about it.

 

Message was edited by:

bradtexasranger

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Anything that's played 3 times or more in a 4-month period is overexposed, I think.

 

"A Night to Remember" is a fine movie, but at some point this summer/fall, it seemed to be playing every other week.

 

If anything, I wish TCM would set aside some more time for movies that: A) are not available on DVD; and B) have *never* been available on video, in any format.

 

There's a bunch of great/enjoyable movies that you can't get on DVD, or on video at all -- "Ace in the Hole", "A Foreign Affair", "Green Mansions", "The Pirate", "The Yellow Rolls-Royce", "Gaby" (Leslie Caron), "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (Glenn Ford version), "Brewster McCloud", "Zero Hour", "He Who Gets Slapped", "The Big Parade", etc.

 

I'd love to have any one of those titles on an official DVD yet none of them have been released so far... or have only been released outside the U.S.

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"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?"

 

Four or five times in the last couple of months, or so it seems anyway...

Very PC and all that; fine, but...

Definitely not ST's finest performance (he was dying, literally; not just theatrically), when KH weeps, all I can think of is "Golden Pond," the girl got the role by virtue of being KH's niece and, most importantly...

 

Enough, already; we KNOW who's coming to dinner!!!!!!

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Brad: I'm with you in a lot of what you say. Eggshell tip-toeing is a common occurrence around here lately. As for Written on the Wind, again you're right about Oscar, I screamed at the TV last year with that hideous rap song, and we all know, many times performances are nominated when the actual performance was given in another movie altogether, as with Clark Gable and GWTW and It Happened One Night.

 

Anne

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