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The AMC Channel


Metropolisforever
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Beginning as a pay service in October 1984, American Movie Classics became a resident of the "basic cable" tier in 1987. At its inception, critics gushed over the network and its presentation of classic films, from famous epics to little-seen gems, including silent films, shown around the clock. The network ? and the movies it showed ? were free from commercial interruption, and thus were able to be viewed as their makers intended them. Spaces between films were often filled by Movietone Newsreels. The network also offered original documentaries on the art of film and the charmingly nostalgic drama Remember WENN. But the network abandoned its dedication to the art of film, and is now a general-interest network similar to others.

 

American Movie Classics has devolved into just plain old AMC, and, like the fast food chain KFC, refers to itself exclusively by acronym to shroud the content of its product. The word ?Classics' no longer applies, as you could watch AMC for days and never see one. The schedule used to boast Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton festivals, and films such as Katharine Hepburn's debut in A Bill of Divorcement, and the rarely-screened Frank Capra feature The Bitter Tea of General Yen. Now, AMC is home to Halloween IV and RoboCop?

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When I first started to get AMC, they would show movies in the afternoon, evening and over night hours and infomercials during the morning and early afternoon. Finally it became a 24 hr. network. I remember I used to joke that I never knew there were so many classics I'd never heard of. But I enjoyed the channel with Bob Dorian's commentary (then the others) and when they used to host some movies from theaters that had been restored. I miss this. Last year I upgraded to digital cable and since I got that I hardly ever tune into AMC anymore. I watch a lot of TCM. AMC seems to show more and more commercials all the time.

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God I miss Bob Dorian! I really miss Remember Wenn (and I wish AMC would do something right and release it to DVD), I miss the Halloween Monstervision that wasn't comprised solely of Halloween 3-5 and I miss seeing actual classic movies, which are now the exception instead of the rule. I've posted this question before, but it's worth asking again-when did Harry and the Hendersons become an american movie classic?

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I wish I'd recorded more movies from the old AMC, before it became Always More Commercials, Axe Movies Continuously, Absolutely Mangle Credits, etc.

 

When you read a user comment on IMDb for long-unseen Fox, Universal, and Universal-owned Paramount movies, often the person will mention that he/she last saw the film on AMC. These movies, along with classic Warner films outside the original Ted Turner purchase, rarely turn up on national TV anymore. Even Fox Movie Channel and the Cinemax channels (the latter in their crack-of-dawn classic-movie slots) never seem to run the obscure Fox films that AMC aired. Some of these movies ran so long ago on AMC that I suspect no digital versions have been prepared for broadcast today, which brings me back to my first sentence in this post.

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I used to enjoy watching AMC when I was younger with my parents since I don't have TCM in my area. After they changed over to the format that they use now, I have barely even watched the network. It sickens me that they repeat multiple movies over and over again. Once or twice is enough, but several times a month is ridiculous.

 

It tells me that the folks at AMC are only concerned with the ratings and with the bottom line. Since the company in which the network is a part of is owned by the family that controls Cablevision in NY as well as the Knicks and Rangers, it's no surprise that the network has gone to the wayside. That's my opinion.

 

~Donna :)

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Man, are you all bringing back some memories! I loved those film preservation festivals! Had to have my late Aunt tape some movies for me one year as we had a terrible storm come through town that knocked the power out! Missed several movies, but at least got a few of them. I used to gripe about them running the same classic film 2 or 3 times the same day(Thank goodness TCM rarely shows something twice unless it's very rare) but I wish they ran something worth a damn now. I will check out a beta tape once in awhile, and there will be an ad for a film that wouldn't have interested me at the time, but now looks very interesting....and knowing it will never make it to DVD or TV.

I do wonder if there was no AMC.... would there have been a TCM???

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Wow - really enjoy your writing style.

 

Do you write for Culture Watch under the name of Christopher Gildemeister? Or are you David Hofstede, author of "What Were They Thinking?"?

 

We need more copy and pasters here taking credit for others' work - loser!

 

 

Such was the original mission of the American Movie Classics cable network. Beginning as a pay service in October 1984, American Movie Classics became a resident of the "basic cable" tier in 1987. At its inception critics gushed over the network and its presentation of classic films, from famous epics to little-seen gems, including silent films, shown around the clock. The network ? and the movies it showed ? were free from commercial interruption, and thus were able to be viewed as their makers intended them. Spaces between films were often filled by Movietone Newsreels. The network also offered original documentaries on the art of film and the charmingly nostalgic drama Remember WENN. But the network abandoned its dedication to the American artform, and is now a general-interest network similar to others.

 

 

 

"American Movie Classics has devolved into just plain old AMC and, like the fast food chain KFC, refers to itself exclusively by acronym to shroud the content of its product. The word ?Classics' no longer applies, as you could watch AMC for days and never see one. The schedule used to boast Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton festivals, and films such as Katharine Hepburn's debut in A Bill of Divorcement, and the rarely-screened Frank Capra feature The Bitter Tea of General Yen. Now, AMC is home to Halloween IV [and] RoboCop?All this was done, according to AMC, to attract a younger audience, because heaven knows there just aren't enough cable networks devoted to the 18-34 demographic." ? David Hofstede, author of What Were They Thinking? The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History."

 

- http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/publications/culturewatch/2006/1002.asp

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I loved AMC's Saturday morning series "Movie Palace Memories", with Bob Dorian hosting the show from a different historic movie palace in a different part of the country each week.

 

The films that they showed as part of this series were a lot of fun....light features, serial chapters, vintage cartoons, comedy shorts and those great Paramount color one-reelers from the "Popular Science" and "Unusual Occupations" series. They even included those "Let's All Go To The Lobby" intermission tags with the dancing popcorn boxes, candy bars and soda bottles!

 

OK, so guys like Bob Dorian and Nick Clooney were only announcers/hosts and not TRUE film historians.....at least they seemed to LIKE the old stuff!

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I often feel bad for TCM when the subject of AMC comes up.

 

No matter what TCM does, work out great lease deals with other studios such as Paramount and Sony, provide us with quality documentaries, great promos, wonderful SOTM presentations and they broadcast the films uncut, commercial free and in the correct aspect ratio (except for the errant print every now and then) we still are sitting here waiting for the other shoe to drop and for them to turn into AMC.

 

I bet the TCM employees rue the day that AMC turned to the dark side.

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LOL! Just kidding with the question. You're obviously not Christopher Gildemeister or you would have credited David Hofstede and if you were David Hofstede you wouldn't have also quoted Christopher Gildemeister.

 

I also caught you doing some more copy & pasting down in the Pre-Code forums with a couple threads that didn't even belong there in the first place.

 

Nice work.

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