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Saturday Morning 50's Revisited


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Feel sorry for all of those under 60 types who missed out on what was for us kids of the 50's the best part of the week! I'm referring to Saturday mornings at our local movie theatre. 6 cartoons! A (to be continued next week) Movie serial and 2 "B" movies, either westerns or horror films. Maybe 2 sci-fi movies. But it was all FUN stuff! I'm especially devoted to those old movie serials. Superman serials were great fun! But there were about 230 serials made. The best mostly came from the 40's like 'Green Hornet' 'Masked Marvel' and 'Captain Marvel'! Let Ben M. host more than just 3 vintage cartoons on Saturday morning. Re-create the magic!

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A Saturday Serial block would be fantastic IMO. Even some of the B serials would be good to watch just for the camp factor alone. I wonder how easily obtained those things are for TCM to air.

 

Has TCM EVER aired Serials before? Just asking because i'm a new viewer.

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>>Has TCM EVER aired Serials before? Just asking because i'm a new viewer. <<

 

Yes they do (at times) show serials. Last month on Saturday morning they showed the complete "Superman VS. The Mole People" serial.

 

vallo

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I was about a decade too late to catch the serials in the theatres, but grew up watching Flash Gordon chapters on TV and love serials in general. Just last night I watched a couple of chapters of Lost Jungle with Clyde Beatty, the animal trainer. It was by no means a classic, or even one of the better serials made (most of the best ones were put out by Republic) but they are just fun to watch. When you watch them back to back instead of one chapter a week it's even easier to spot all the cheat solutions to the various cliff-hangers. I think a regular Saturday morning serial on TCM would be the perfect compliment to Cartoon Alley.

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My best Saturday morning memories are from around '52 and '53, in a couple of small towns in Alabama. I think the shows were .10 cents for us kids then and they were long, with the double feature and all the extras and cartoons. By the late '50s I lived in a bigger city, I was older, and we had TV by then.

 

In the late '40s I lived in very small towns in Montana and Nebraska, and most of the Saturday morning shows were westerns. I thought the whole US was "western" since I lived in the west and the movies were about the west.

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I'm under 60 and still have the grand good fortune of Saturday morning television memories indelibly etched on my soul.

 

Being passionate over horses, I'd watch anything that had horses featured, which meant mostly cowboy shows. Though I was aware there were people involved, sitting on the horses, usually, the horse was the star for me.

 

Trigger, for instance, was ridden by some guy named "Roy Rogers" - I could have given you indepth descriptions of the horse, the man wore a white hat, probably!

 

"My Friend Flicka," "Black Beauty," if they were about horses, all the better! Not so much interference from those people who kept insisting on sticking around and getting in the horses' way!

 

As an older girl, I recall watching "Flash Gordon" on Sunday afternoons, following the noon-time showing of "Charlie Chan" and his "Number Two Son." By this time Saturday morning television had turned to cartoons and the horses had galloped off into the Western horizon, or, as in the case of Trigger, were stuffed....:o(

 

How sad.

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Last month on Saturday morning they showed the complete "Superman VS. The Mole People" serial.

 

Sorry, vallo, you are thinking of "Atom Man vs. Superman" starring Kirk Alyn. Alyn also starred in the first serial, "Superman."

 

"Superman and the Mole Men" was a feature film with George Reeves and also a two parter for the TV series.

 

And I don't know if it is a sign of serials to come or not because Warner Bros. issued the two serials on DVD at the time they were on TCM and there haven't been any others since then or on the schedule for the next two months, so it may have just been a tie-in.

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Feel sorry for all of those under 60 types who missed out on what was for us kids of the 50's the best part of the week!

 

 

Actually, I am in my very early fifties, and in the early 1960s I went to a local matinee and they would have two movies, shorts, cartoons, and a chapter of an old serial (usually Columbia-produced). I remember going every week, waiting breathlessly for the chapter of "Batman and Robin."

 

The admission was 20 cents and if we got there before 1 PM, we got a free Pepsi.

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Republic made the greatest serials during the late 30s and early 40s. They all moved like a hurricane with the greatest stuntmen and women starring in them. To me, the greatest serial of all was "Spy Smasher" (1940) and "G-Men Vs. the Black Dragon." The production values were top-notch, the chapter endings were stunning and most were filmed on location in and around Los Angeles. Other outstanding Republic serials were "Daredevils of the Red Circle", "Captain Marvel" and "King of the Texas Rangers" .The truly worst of the lot and I think Republic's last serial was "King of the Carnival," which was the nadir of the glory days of Republic Serials.

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