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I have nothing against him being on TCM but how come there are no other hosts? I will say this - the programming is becoming (has been) candy coated. They run the same movies over & over. I mean come on! What if something should happen to Mr. Osborne? They'll shut the channel down! We need other hosts - it is more than a one (old) man job. I hate for this to sound like a complaint. But there is only one channel left showing old movies. That is why we need more different old movies. & more different people to introduce them etc. blah blah.... What do you think?

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I understand how you feel about him but what about for the Deaf and Hard of hearing community, we are unable to understand any dialogue spoken by Robert Osborne because it is not closed-captioned. We are getting tired of having to beg and beg and beg to no avail! And what more it is getting worse and worse each month. It is less than 50% closed-captioning on TCM. The amount of closed-captioning on TCM was supposed to increase every year but it didn't happen. At first when we received TCM in late 2003, the amount of closed-captioning was close to 70% and now in late 2007, it is less 50% which is very disappointing.

 

It is no excuse for TCM to do that to us. They could increase the amount of closed-captioning by acquiring the closed-captioned version from the distributor or add closed-captioning themselves but it seems that they are not doing that and what more, they wouldn't let us know of any movies they just add closed caption. It is very frustrating for us. It is high time that TCM MUST listen to us and do something immediately!!

 

Thanks for listening! TAS.

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While I agree that having some additional TCM hosts would probably be a good idea at this point, it's not as easy as it may seem....that is, getting GOOD hosts:

 

There are hosts who are slick "personalities". They may be good announcers, but know next-to-nothing about older movies. (Think "Pretty-boy Anchorman").

 

There are hosts who are very knowledgable and scholarly about film history but have little or no screen presence and can easily put a viewer to sleep with their dull delivery.

 

There are hosts who know TOO much about classic films and insist on relating every minute/technical detail in their comments, turning a simple viewer-friendly intro into "Cinema 101".

 

There are hosts who come across as stuffy, pompous snobs, thinking that that type of attitude and demeanor just naturally comes with being a "film scholar" (which it doesn't).

 

There are hosts who try SO hard NOT to be snobbish and to appear as "regular guys" that they come across as silly buffoons. With this type of host, you often feel that they're actually making fun of the films or stars that they're introducing.

 

There are hosts who are very opinionated and can completely ruin the viewer's experience by verbally trashing a film or star before the movie even starts.

 

Robert Osborne is a pleasant combination of fine hosting qualities. He's dignified without being snobbish and arrogant, he's not opinionated to the point of ruining a film, and he's knowledgable without being TOO technical and dry.....plus, most viewers like and respect him. He just seems like a person who you would like to have as a dinner guest in your home.

 

So as you can see, finding the right kind of TCM host is no easy task!

 

Message was edited by: MGMMayer

 

Message was edited by: MGMMayer

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"What happened to my last post?"

 

There are quirky litle things in this software. Did you try to create indentation using multiple "spaces" or hits on the space bar? Multiple spaces before a line of text can make the line of text "invisible". That - or something similar - is usually the problem.

 

If you go back into your message through the "edit" function, you can remove any excess "characters" and the lines of text should become visible.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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There are other hosts on occasion- Josh Mankiewicz introduces the odd animated short or Western, and there's a guest host series that features Osborne as a sort of facilitator. The man does an outstanding job (my only qualm, which may be a casualty of several clothing changes per day, is that his suit pants and trousers never fit, and the jackets are "boxy"- a minor issue).

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I almost get the feeling the studios (conglomerates) think these old movies are too valuable to be shown on tv. TCM is too respectable. They can't show b movies. Its beneath the "dignity of the station whose reputation that has been built over the years"....... an old movie is an old movie. Think of TCM this way: if there is only one channel showing old movies than look at how many old movies we can't get to see. How about universal/paramount? Janus & other foreign pix. English movies. You know how many hollywood stars made pix in england? Alot. I made a list once. The blacklist is alive & well on TCM.

Just to put into focus what I'm getting at. Look at all the Hammer pix...ever see em on TCM? not often. they are too valuable!

I hate being negative about something I love.

During the TCM Garbo docudrama or whatever it purported to be I noticed her arrival at MGM was a grand event with no mention of her greatest movie Joyless Street...... then they said oh yeah before she arrived in Hollywood while she was getting her boat tickets she appeared in Joyless Street........ excuse me if facts get in the way of your narrative...

How about time compressed movies?

How bout fake letterbox?

The Lineup is 35mm. On the Waterfront is 35mm. They are not widescreen....

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If fans are out there thinking that TCM needs additional hosts, I think that they should consider hiring former AMC hosts Bob Dorian and Nick Clooney.

They were a big reason why I tuned into AMC while they were hosts. Dorian, I felt came across as very genial, and very informative, much like Osborne. Clooney was a much smoother operator, but no slouch when giving out info on the movies.

 

I like Ben Mankiewicz, I think he brings alot of young enthusiam to his brief intros and endings to movies.

 

And of course Robert, who is one heck of a nice fella. I guess you could call him the soul of TCM.

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I would have to agree Robert Osborn , is as you call him the soul of TCM, TCM wouldn't be the same with him, sadly for whatever reason at some point he won't be around./ able to to his special work, The job ob of replacing him will be a huge challenge, The earlier post about finding the person with the right quality's to replace him was right,, Ben Mankiewicz, is ok, he defiantly brings a younger flavor to the hosting duties, It would be interesting to find other folks who where around in the earlier years writer, directors and producers and let them have a try at doing intro adding their remembrances about both the movie and Hollywood in their time or around the movies making premiering .. I have never heard of the two gentlemem listed in the previous post, When I found AMC The already had comericals..

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Bob Dorian was an idiot, plain and simple. The man never met a name he couldn't mispronounce, regardless of how illustrious the name's owner might be.

 

As for his being "informative," he was fed the same studio-publicist fantasies clipped from old film pressbooks that are also the downfall of Osborne and Mankiewicz, who obviously don't vet the copy they're given to speak.

 

No, unless TCM decides to give its hosting duties to someone who's truly knowledgeable, such as a Peter Bogdonovich, viewers will continue to be ill-served by these pointless introductions and closing comments.

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I wouldn't exactly call Bob Dorian an "idiot", but he (and I believe Nick Clooney) fall into the "Professional Announcers/Personalities Who Are Not True Film Experts" as stated in my earlier post. It was a case of "I'm not really a film expert, but I play one on TV", and apparently that's what AMC wanted back then. Both hosts had a nice appearance and were pleasant to listen to, but I seriously doubt that they would be able to have a knowledgable one-on-one discussion with a classic film star, director or historian the way that Robert Osborne can.

 

As for "pointless" introductions, please keep in mind that accurate and reliable background info on classic films can be very difficult to come by....even stars, directors, writers and others who were there and DIRECTLY involved in the making of the films can have fuzzy memories and relate exaggerated or inaccurate historical information.

 

I have quite a bit of experience in preparing and delivering onstage introductions for public screenings of classic films at various film conventions and revival theatres and trust me, it isn't easy. There are SO many urban legends and false stories around that make for "fun and juicy copy", but I want no part of that nonsense in my intros. My information research on a specific historical background story includes a minimum of three different and reliable sources. Once I'm comfortable with the truthfulness and authenticity of a particular story or piece of information, THEN I'll include that info in my comments and share it with my audience....but again, it takes a LOT of time and effort to do it right.

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They can't show b movies. Its beneath the "dignity of the station whose reputation that has been built over the years"....... an old movie is an old movie. Think of TCM this way: if there is only one channel showing old movies than look at how many old movies we can't get to see. How about universal/paramount? Janus & other foreign pix. English movies. You know how many hollywood stars made pix in england?>>

 

Magnavoice,

 

Are you by chance a new viewer of TCM? The reason I ask is because TCM has shown a thousands of "b" films from all genres since it went on the air. In fact, 'b' films make up the bulk of TCM's daily broadcasts. We have had salutes to 'b' dramas, science fiction, beach party movies, musicals, comedies, every genre imaginable.

 

In addition, there is now TCM Underground for cult films as well.

 

Films from the Janus Collection were spotlighted last year with a month long salute. As for other foreign films, there is TCM Imports every Sunday night/Monday morning.

 

English movies? TCM has done a salute to Ealing Studios and often shows films from Rank and other English studios. Three of the films from this year's Lost and Found series came from England.

 

As for Paramount and Universal film libraries. There isn't a blacklist by TCM against those studios. Just last year TCM was finally able to get a contract for long term leases from Paramount for their post-1949 film library. According to posts from TCMProgrammr, the negotiations on that contract took a long time.

 

Paramount sold the bulk of its pre-1949 film library to MCA-Universal back in the early 1960s. Paramount was smart enough to hang on to its silent film library but the folks in Paramount Home Video are fairly clueless about what to do with that library.

 

Universal is now owned by NBC-GE and is more interested in selling box sets of its classic television shows than it is leasing or marketing its classic film library.

 

As for the Hammer films, they rarely show up on television so there may be rights issues involved.

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LZ - I stand by what I said & your interpretation of my post is a distortion or a misunderstanding by you. I don't care to go over my post point by point. The part about the blacklist had to do with "the Blacklist" in Hollywood rather than a blacklist that you describe. a blacklisted person whose name appears in the credits. like Lester Cole. You also misinterpreted my point about b movies. but that's your prerogative. I can't expect everybody to agree with me. The gist: We need more old movie channels - that don't think they are Very important. Like Nostalgia channel. I will answer you. I have seen TCM for many years.

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magnavoice --- please don't be annoyed about lzcutter's response to you. we're all friends here.

 

and on the host topic --- and i think i will probably be a little abrupt on this --

 

it seems a little creepy that so many people are ready to retire robert o. he looks pretty healthy to me, and he fills his hosting duties better than anyone i can imagine.

 

ben mankiewicz: he seems like a nice enough guy if you wanted to have a drink with him, but i LOATHE his jokey weekend movie intros, and i think his make-fun-of-the-movie-we're-about-to-see shtick is a HUGE mistake on tcm's part.

 

i understand that tcm needs to broaden its audience, and especially on the weekend tcm tries to bring in guys, and maybe tcm thinks ben m. is a great bridge to bring in young guys, but a host that makes fun of your entire channel's programming? bad idea.

 

(and i know that this is 100% tcm's choice, and not ben m.'s, but i never, ever, ever, ever want to see the rescued hollywood cemetery or the legendary restaurant promos again. ENOUGH. REALLY? John Wayne got drunk here? at this very restaurant that you are filming in? tell me about it for the 86th time, please. WOW.)

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As for "pointless" introductions, please keep in mind that accurate and reliable background info on classic films can be very difficult to come by....even stars, directors, writers and others who were there and DIRECTLY involved in the making of the films can have fuzzy memories and relate exaggerated or inaccurate historical information.

 

I have quite a bit of experience in preparing and delivering onstage introductions for public screenings of classic films at various film conventions and revival theatres and trust me, it isn't easy. There are SO many urban legends and false stories around that make for "fun and juicy copy", but I want no part of that nonsense in my intros. My information research on a specific historical background story includes a minimum of three different and reliable sources. Once I'm comfortable with the truthfulness and authenticity of a particular story or piece of information, THEN I'll include that info in my comments and share it with my audience....but again, it takes a LOT of time and effort to do it right.

 

There're plenty of authoritative writings on all kinds of Hollywood history; one needn't be a Rhodes scholar to know that if those writings contain bibliographies that indicate authors' reliance on primary sources, they may be trusted as to their veracity. If those resources aren't tapped by those who write copy for Bob Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, it's for no reason other than sheer laziness.

 

 

As for

 

Paramount sold the bulk of its pre-1949 film library to MCA-Universal back in the early 1960s. Paramount was smart enough to hang on to its silent film library but the folks in Paramount Home Video are fairly clueless about what to do with that library.

 

this had nothing to do with any brilliance on the part of Paramount, who would've sold the silents in a heartbeat. The truth is much simpler: because they were purchasing Paramount's library for television syndication, MCA didn't want the silent films.

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OK, CineSage Jr., I admit that consulting three different sources to verify film background info may be overkill on my part, but it helps to make me more self-confident that the information that I'm including in my spoken intro or written program notes is accurate and reliable....but you're right, if enough research and verification is done at a single source (such as checking out the bibliography), then that can be sufficient....but even THAT takes extra time and effort.

 

Just playing devil's advocate here......Perhaps it's a case of TCM having to crank out SO many intro and closing segments for SO many different movies that they find it difficult or impossible to research and verify their info the way that they would if they were only preparing comments for a single film or a few different films. Just a thought.

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What's that line? "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend"? (I know. Trite, isn't it?)

 

I am all for accuracy in the TCM intros/outros but I can't help but be symapthetic to the idea that the truth may be difficult to discern when it comes to Hollywood history. The "studios" and their publicity departments consistently created "copy" from whole cloth. It was all part of peddling fantasy to the public. And even first-hand sources can have a motivation to lie or exaggerate.

 

At least TCM hasn't resorted to including some of the more scurrilous rumors out there in their intros/outros. But I hear Ben Mankiewicz has taken a job with gossip-mongers TMZ.com so who knows what might lie ahead.

 

(I agree with 'Chip's interpretation of Ben Mankiewicz's attitude during many of his intros.and recently was able to pass that reaction along to TCM. It is one thing to be ironic or sardonic but when you cross the line into outright mocking the material/film, you tarnish the presentation and run the risk of insulting the viewer.)

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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The indefatigable ChipHeartsMovies wrote:

 

> (and i know that this is 100% tcm's choice, and not ben m.'s, but i never, ever, ever, ever want to see the rescued hollywood cemetery or the legendary restaurant promos again. ENOUGH. REALLY? John Wayne got drunk here? at this very restaurant that you are filming in? tell me about it for the 86th time, please. WOW.)

 

Where didn't John Wayne get drunk? ;-)

 

Frankly, I prefer Maureen O'Hara's story (I think it's her) about being the designated driver for Wayne, and barging into a complete stranger's house for a drink.

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Kyle, that's a great description of mocking the film or star being presented...."tarnishing the presentation". That hits it right on the head!

 

With Robert Osborne, no matter what a film's shortcomings/flaws may be, his commentary attitude always gives a sense of dignity to the production.

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OK, CineSage Jr., I admit that consulting three different sources to verify film background info may be overkill on my part, but it helps to make me more self-confident that the information that I'm including in my spoken intro or written program notes is accurate and reliable....but you're right, if enough research and verification is done at a single source (such as checking out the bibliography), then that can be sufficient....but even THAT takes extra time and effort.

 

Just playing devil's advocate here......Perhaps it's a case of TCM having to crank out SO many intro and closing segments for SO many different movies that they find it difficult or impossible to research and verify their info the way that they would if they were only preparing comments for a single film or a few different films. Just a thought.

 

It's just that there really is no shortage of those who have an encylopedic knowledge of the vast subject that is film and filmmaking, who can look over copy and say "that's good...but that isn't," or, "wait a minute, this doesn't sound quite right; let's take a closer look and research it a little bit more before putting it on-air," and who can say, (as someone should have to Bob Dorian on numerous occasions) "The director's name is pronounced Delmer Daves" (rhymes with saves), not "Delmahr Davies," or to Bob Osborne, "Mikl?s R?zsa is said, "ROE-zha," not "ROWT-sa," or "Rossa" (just remember that other famous Hollywood Hungarian, Zsa Zsa Gabor: Mikl?s has only one "zsa" in his name, but it's pronounced identically to Zsa Zsa's "zsa").

 

 

As for BijanC's

 

There are other hosts on occasion- Josh Mankiewicz introduces the odd animated short or Western, and there's a guest host series that features Osborne as a sort of facilitator. The man does an outstanding job (my only qualm, which may be a casualty of several clothing changes per day, is that his suit pants and trousers never fit, and the jackets are "boxy"- a minor issue)

 

Josh Mankiewicz is a correspondent on Dateline NBC; it's Ben Mankiewicz who is on TCM. Both are the sons of longtime political consultant Frank Mankiewicz (who is, in turn, the son of Herman Mankiewicz, co-author of CITIZEN KANE, and brother of Don Mankiewicz, Oscar-nominated writer of Robert wise's I WANT TO LIVE!. Confused, yet?).

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Osborne is TCM's brand indentity, Ben is their shot a younger audience.You get too many faces it loses its impact. As long as the role of host is no more demanding than it is you probably won't see anymore hosts.

 

I doubt you will see anymore old movie channels. The proof only needs to go back as recently as a few years for AMC. With all that we find so disgusting about what they did it didn't take long for their ratings to go up. And they went up a pretty good percentage. In fact the only reason you get the old movies you do was a result of a lawsuit from a cable operator who said they had broken their contract as they were no longer the station they were at the start of the contract.

 

We are a minority, and probably by a wide margin. There isn't enough nudity, explosions and graphic murders to get the viewers that TV networks want. I've thought for a long time that TCM is a philanthropic venture and am grateful for Time/Warner's continuance of this part of their empire.

 

No, no more movie channels. You'll have to settle for 4:00am showings on Cinemax.

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Chris,

 

You bring up many excellent points. Another factor is start up costs for a cable network. It is not cheap to start a cable channel and with the quickly evolving technology (and the advent of high definition) it all adds up to major bucks very quickly.

 

Warners is the one studio that understands the value of their film library (in no small part to Roger Mayer and George Feltenstein who have been preservationists for many years). Luckily, they have the corporate Time-Warner to help fund the channel.

 

Other studios are generally less knowledgeable and less interested in their film libraries. While NBC-Universal is owned by General Electric I wouldn't bet the bank on seeing GE bank roll a cable station for showing films in the Universal Film Library.

 

Likewise, Fox has its own Classic Movie Channel and seems downright clueless as to how to run it when compared with TCM.

 

So, I agree that TCM may be the only station that serves this small band of movie lovers that we are a part of.

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