Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
paramountt

MGM, WB, and RKO Films That TCM Has Never Aired

Recommended Posts

Here's a thread I've been meaning to start for ages. Despite owning the classic film libraries of MGM, RKO, and Warner Bros, Turner Classic Movies has never shown quite a number of films made by these studios to my knowledge made during the years 1929 to 1960. Here's a list of films I've never seen on TCM or listed in their programming schedule. I'm sure many of you can add more. Please don't list any silents, as most of those are probably lost, and post-1960 films don't really qualify for "classic era" even though the channel does show quite a number of films past that date.

 

If any of these ever aired I missed seeing them listed:

 

THREE FOR BEDROOM C (WB) '52 Gloria Swanson

STORY OF MANKIND (WB) '57 Ronald Colman

BORN RECKLESS (WB) '57 Mamie Van Doren

THIS SIDE OF THE LAW (WB) '50 Viveca Lindfors

THE TRIAL OF MARY DUGAN (MGM) '29 Norma Shearer

IT'S A GREAT LIFE (MGM) '29 The Duncan Sisters

MADAM SATAN (MGM) '30 Kay Johnson

DOUGHBOYS (MGM) '30 Buster Keaton

FAST LIFE (MGM) '32 William Haines

IT'S IN THE AIR (MGM) '35 Jack Benny

BLONDE INSPIRATION (MGM) '40 Marion Martin

LIZZIE (MGM) '57 Eleanor Parker

NIGHT OF THE QUARTER MOON (MGM) '57 Julie London

THE BEAT GENERATION (MGM) '59 Steve Cochran

GIRLS TOWN (MGM) '59 Mamie Van Doren

 

Were some of these perhaps released by the studios but not owned by them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Here's a thread I've been meaning to start for ages. Despite owning the classic film libraries of MGM, RKO, and Warner Bros, Turner Classic Movies has never shown quite a number of films made by these studios to my knowledge made during the years 1929 to 1960*

 

Paramountt,

 

I just wanted to clarify that TCM no longer owns the Turner Film Library. That library, which consists of the RKO film library, the pre-1949 Warners library and the pre-1986 MGM library, was included when Ted merged his media empire with Time Warner back in the late 1990s.

 

Since then the former Turner film library has been under the ownership of Time Warner and under the care of Warner Brothers.

 

It was posted here once that there were roughly 5,000 titles in the former Turner Film Library. Many of those films have yet to be transferred to a digital format mainly due to the sheer volume of films. Add to that, the post-1949 Warners film library that WB also owns and it will likely take a few more years (at least) for the majority of the titles to migrate from video masters to digital masters.

 

And there is speculation that not all the titles will be migrated.

 

TCM has been on a digital server since around 2005 so they can only show films that are on a digital format.

 

Plus, they have to rent all the films they show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good question! I bought a few weeks back(and haven't watched) a VHS from RKO called Aggie Appleby, Maker of Men. Stars Charlies Farrell and Wynne Gibson(Who looks a bit like Miriam Hopkins, at least from the box)

I sure never heard of this film, let alone seen it on TCM, has it???

By the way, for reasons I cannot quite figure out, even though it's clearly a rare film, long out of print, there are 6 copies up there now, including one for only 75 cents! Act now, as supplies are limited! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RETURN OF THE TERROR (WB/FN, 1934)

THE HIDDEN HAND (WB, 1932)

THE MONKEY'S PAW (RKO, 1933)

THE BIG BRAIN (RKO, 1933)

CRIME DOCTOR (RKO, 1934)

A GAME OF DEATH (RKO, 1945)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does THE MONKEY'S PAW exist in a complete print?

The last I heard, only a fragment of the film survives.

I believe that TCM has not shown BAD COMPANY (RKO 1931), and SYNCOPATION (RKO 1929).

I know that SYNCOPATION exists in a complete print.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joan Blondell has long been one of my favorite actresses of the 30's-era, so i'm always scanning the TCM schedule for her early movies. out of the 47 feature-length movies she did for WB while on contract there, these are the only ones that have never aired on TCM, or atleast not in the past 10 years (unless i somehow overlooked them):

 

The Famous Ferguson Case (WB-First National, 1932. Joan Blondell, Grant Mitchell)

The Perfect Specimen (WB, 1937. Joan Blondell, Errol Flynn)

 

(also not on TCM is Convention City, which is presumed lost)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that TCM has shown "Aggie Appleby: Maker Of Men" because I recorded it several years ago.

TCM has never shown the MGM movies "Caught Short" and "Christopher Bean" with Marie Dressler, "The Trial Of Mary Dugan" with Norma Shearer and "His Glorious Night" with John Gilbert". From what I read at one time or another "Christopher Bean" and "The Trial Of Mary Dugan" are not shown due to some legal/copywright issues as is the case with "Letty Lynton" (also an MGM movie).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about the Jackie Cooper movie Skippy? Has TCM ever aired that? If so, it's been a long, long time, right? I've been watching for it for ages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a great idea for a topic. Perhaps if a TCM Programmer sees these lists it will serve as at least a reminder that they need to give Katharine Hepburn and Judy Garland a rest and schedule more of these rarely seen titles.

From your list, I know that TCM has shown these:

IT'S A GREAT LIFE

MADAM SATAN

DOUGHBOYS

FAST LIFE

IT'S IN THE AIR

NIGHT OF THE QUARTER MOON

THE BEAT GENERATION

GIRLS TOWN

Not sure about LIZZIE, but I think so.

Regarding THE TRIAL OF MARY DUGAN (1929) they also have not shown the 1941 remake starring Laraine Day. It's a rights issue with those.

It can be very confusing to try to figure out rights problems with movies and their remakes. As noted already, TCM has not, and presumably can not show the 1933 MGM version of "Christopher Bean" But a few years ago when The Fox Movie Channel restored and ran their "20th Century-Fox Hour" TV series (produced from 1955-57) they did show their 1955 TV remake of that movie. So why was it okay for them to broadcast that (several times) but we are not allowed to see the original 1933 MGM version, depriving us of unseen performances by Lionel Barrymore and the great Marie Dressler in her final screen role?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

musicalnovelty, paramountt, everyone,

 

Here are direct links to three clips in relative order, of a big MGM Silent that has never been seen on TCM. I sincerely hope that it will be before long. One of my favorite movies! You are going to really love this stuff!

 

 

http://goldenageofhollywood.ning.com/video/the-cossacks-1928romantic

 

 

http://silent-and-classic-european.ning.com/video/the-cossacks-1928-a-lover-not

 

 

http://silent-and-classic-european.ning.com/video/the-cossacks-1928disgraced

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

> Joan Blondell has long been one of my favorite actresses of the 30's-era, so i'm always scanning the TCM schedule for her early movies. out of the 47 feature-length movies she did for WB while on contract there, these are the only ones that have never aired on TCM, or atleast not in the past 10 years (unless i somehow overlooked them):

>

> The Famous Ferguson Case (WB-First National, 1932. Joan Blondell, Grant Mitchell)

> The Perfect Specimen (WB, 1937. Joan Blondell, Errol Flynn)

>

> (also not on TCM is Convention City, which is presumed lost)

THE FAMOUS FERGUSON CASE has played on TCM, but I can't say how many years its been. More pre-Codes, please!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And what about TOO MUCH, TOO SOON, featuring Errol Flynn's wonderfu, late turn as his idol, John Barrymore?

 

Then there's KING RICHARD AND THE CRUSADERS...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone brought this to my attention recently - Syncopation is not technically a RKO property. It was released by FBO, predecessor of RKO. Officially, "Street Girl" is the very first RKO picture, and it was shown last October.

 

Does anyone know if John Gilbert's "His Glorious Night" has ever aired on TCM?

 

Also, if it has aired, when was the last time 1929's "It's a Great Life" was on?

 

How about "On with the Show" and "So Long Letty", also from 1929?

 

Has "Under a Texas Moon" ever been on TCM? I know it's one of the few early technicolor musicals to survive intact.

 

How about 1929's "The Desert Song"?. The only print I've ever seen is a dreadful and jerky black and white one. I heard that the only print was found in Jack Warner's vault. It looked so bad that I wasn't sure that TCM would air it even back in the good old days 1994 - 1996. The sound was OK, but the video was terrible.

 

Thanks for any feedback.

 

Message was edited by: calvinnme

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Calvin,

 

HIS GLORIOUS NIGHT is owned by Paramount. Ever though it was an MGM release. The reason for this is the story was later re-made by them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SO LONG LETTY has run on TCM, but it has been several years ago.

UCLA did a nice restoration of UNDER A TEXAS MOON, however it is a pretty but dull film and by the time it is over you want to strangle the next person that sings the title song.

Not unlike watching WEARY RIVER (1929), which TCM hasn't shown in quite a while.

At one time (around 1994) TCM even ran GOOD NEWS (1930) and CHASING RAINBOWS (1930), which are both incomplete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So it seems there are many titles that have been shown...but not in years. Clearly, newer films (1970-current) are taking too much room on the schedule.

When is the last time OPERATOR 13 played? ON WITH THE SHOW? THE SHOW OF SHOWS? THE MAN WITH TWO FACES? THE FIREBIRD? BLONDIE JOHNSON? THE MIND READER?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*So it seems there are many titles that have been shown...but not in years. Clearly, newer films (1970-current) are taking too much room on the schedule.*

 

No, that is not what is happening. The number of post-1970 films is not higher than it has been in the past.

 

What is different is that we now live if a digital age.

 

When TCM first went on the air we were still living in an analog/videotape world. Because of the popularity of VHS as a home entertainment market, studios opened up their vaults and spent the time and money to transfer many of their older titles to high-end, broadcast quality masters.

 

So, when TCM debuted they had a library of films (because Ted owned the old MGM film library) that they could air without incurring extra expense. Also, by the mid-1990s, it wasn't highly expensive to send a film out to have a video master made.

 

All that changed when we entered the digital age. Back around 2004/2005, TCM migrated (like other networks) to a digital server. Now for films to be shown on TCM, they must be in a digital format.

 

TCM no longer owns the old MGM film library, Time-Warner does. Because of the equipment involved, it is more expensive to transfer a film to a digital master than a video master. Plus, Warners is often trying to restore those films at the same time so that they will have a longer shelf life.

 

But it is a business, with budgets. In the beginning days, Warners went full throttle into the DVD market with many of its older titles.

 

But then, the DVD market leveled off much quicker than anyone anticipated. The recession first started to encroach on the economy. I'm sure there were other reasons as well but the bottom line is that Warners had to downsize their ambitions in digitizing their Film Library.

 

The former MGM film library had approximately 5,000 plus titles. I don't know how many titles are in the post-1949 Warners film library that WBros also controls but the bottom line there is that is a large number of films to restore and digitize.

 

I doubt the folks at Warners Home Video are happy about it. You can read interviews with George Feltenstein and his crew from just a few years ago and hear the joy just in reading their words at all the stuff they were working on.

 

But the economy of 2004/2005 is not the economy of today.

 

The sad fact is that, aside from well-known popular titles, the majority of classic films on DVD are not big sellers. It's a niche market that requires special handling and even in good economic times, it can be hard to convince those in charge that these films need to be available.

 

The folks in programming at TCM would probably be ecstatic to show some of those now rare films that they aired back in the 1990s and the early 2000s. They read the message board, they know how much posters here want to see those films. But their hands are tied because digital masters don't exist for a number of those titles. They have no control over what films WBros does choose (though we would probably all like to think they might have some input)

 

So, it's not that more modern films are taking up too much of the schedule, it's not a conspiracy.

 

It's the times we live in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 1929 "Syncopation" exists but I've never seen it on TCM or anywhere else on TV.

 

"His Glorious Night" does exist in a nice restored 35mm print that was shown in August 2007 at the Capitolfest in Rome, New York (and boy is it creaky! But you do have to see it once.) As was just posted, MGM sold the remake rights to Paramount, but I don't think it ever was remade. So as a result Paramount still owns the rights to the original MGM version, too. So until TCM makes a deal with Paramount to show it, we will not be seeing it on TV.

 

"It's A Great Life" (1929) has been on TCM, in their first couple years (1994-96) and I'm pretty sure again since then. The print they showed was missing the two Technicolor numbers "The Hoosier Hop" and "I'm Sailing on a Sunbeam", the latter of which was apparently later found separately and has been shown on TCM occasionally as filler between features.

 

"On With the Show" and "So Long Letty" also have been on TCM, but again, not in a long time.

"Under a Texas Moon" so far has not been on TCM, or any other TV station. It is a relatively recent restoration and so far has been shown only in 35mm at film festivals at locations such as UCLA.

 

The 1929 version of "The Desert Song" also I don't believe has ever been shown on TCM. But It will be shown on 16mm on the big screen at Cinefest, Syracuse in March.

 

And to answer a previous question, yes "The Perfect Specimen" has been on TCM.

 

Message was edited by: musicalnovelty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lzcutter's interesting post does not explain how an oddity like THE FALL GUY or DOWNSTAIRS or NO MORE ORCHIDS or BY WHOSE HAND or MEN CALL IT LOVE manages to get shown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has TCM ever shown It's Tough To Be Famous (WB, '32) with Douglas Fairbanks Jr? It doesn't have a single IMDb review, so I presume not.

 

It's a spoof of the ballyhoo surrounding Lindbergh. It was withdrawn from release a few days after the baby's kidnapping. I don't know if it's been shown publicly since then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
×
×
  • Create New...