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Now that you mention Gloria DeHaven, I was in awe yesterday 'cos I read somewhere, maybe even it was in these threads, that she was featured as the waif's (Paulette Goddard) little sister in Chaplin's "Modern Times"....I hadn't realized that at all...and I have watched both discs of the DVD special edition (wonderful)....Now I'll have to watch the film all over again to have a glimpse of Gloria as a child!

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TCM Programmer: Ah ha! It's TCM's Production Dept. that organizes the "Private Screening", huh? That's good to know! When you pass along the wonderful requests listed below, will you also ask if they are willing to have Mr. Osborne interview some of the best known Character Actors/Actresses we still have with us today?

 

And, just for you...many of us here are especially interested in many of the better known Character Actors/Actresses we repeatedly see in our Classic Films. I, for one, would love to see you set aside an entire day "featuring" the films of any one of them. Any chance you could do this? Mary Lou

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Mary Lou, I'm not sure I understand. I certainly don't want to suggest that the production department alone is responsible for who is interviewed for private screenings - I'm not trying to pass the buck. However, the way it works at TCM is we work together to discuss the possibilities. It's fair to say that whatever you've liked about the private screenings we've done so far can be credited to that department - in my opinion they do a great job on just about everything they produce. And they deal directly with the talent (unlike programming, who is primarily responsible for the movies that are shown). So, I'm not in a good position to tell you why some of those people haven't been done, but I do know that many have been considered, and, in fact offers have gone out to some (not all) of those that were suggested by Joe, and for various reasons those didn't work out. As for those mentioned by Mongo, I know at least one of them was pursued, and I'm not sure how or why it didn't happen. Of course, we also are budgeted only to do one or two per year (depending on whatever other projects we have), so we have to do our own prioritizing. I guess that's a long way of saying I will be happy to pass along the requests that everyone has, just please understand that there are all sorts of reasons why they might or might not happen.

 

Your idea of doing a character actor festival is very good. We did one several years ago, but it might be time to revisit that next year. If we're able to combine that with interviews, I think that would be fantastic, and that is something I will bring up to the staff.

 

I'd like to say that I really appreciate the suggestions. One of the problems we have at TCM is that a majority of the staff are huge movie fans and are very smart and very talented - which results in thousands of great ideas, of which we can only do so many. This leads to frustration among people who often have great ideas, because so many of them don't end up happening.

 

But we do end up doing some of them. And I'm hoping I can take some of the feedback from the message boards and use it in constructive ways on the network. I just hope it doesn't lead to too much frustration when a lot if it isn't able to be done.

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TCM Programmer...I'm sorry for the misunderstanding! I didn't mean to imply that you were "passing the buck" when I jumped on the bit about your Production Dept. I truly wasn't aware (I doubt that any of us were) that all of your staff works together to bring us everything we see on TCM. I was just thinking that if I were to continue to come up with suggestions for "Private Screenings" by sending an e-mail to TCM, that this should be the Department I should address it to in future. Hope this clarifies my earlier message. :)

 

I was very pleased to see your earlier discussion concerning the many valid reasons that not all of our requests can be met, and I fully understand and accept them. I'm sure that most will also understand. Please know, our special TCM friend, your communications with us of late have done an incredible amount of good in reducing our "frustrations", and that is one thing that I sincerely hope will continue as your time with us here permits. Thank you so much!

 

At the same time, I do hope that we aren't becoming frustrating to you and your staff. I realize that we have been giving you a lot of things to take into consideration, and you're doing your very best to keep up with us, and also offer us good explanations when we've asked about this or that. Thanks too, for reminding us that like us all of you at TCM are big movie fans, along with being very skilled in the work you do, and that even coming to agreements among yourselves for all the ideas that you come up with is a major undertaking! We should have known that. ;)

 

While I'm here...I have yet another question. I hear that you "used to have" a shop where fans could purchase TCM Logo merchandise. Any possibility of bringing back TCM Logo coffee mugs (which I'd love to have one), and perhaps a small selection of Tee-Shirts?

 

And finally, thanks for offering to take my request for a "Character Actor Day" (and maybe even a Character Actor interview!) for sometime next year up with your staff soon.

 

I was just thinking that here would be a great Documentary! "A Tour Guided Through TCM". Wow! And, I'm not being entirely silly about this! Why wouldn't we all enjoy seeing behind the scenes special at our favorite Classic Movies station? Have a great weekend! :)ML

 

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sorry about that - I just didn't quite understand the last post, but I wasn't upset about it or anything; and I'm not becoming frustrated - it's fun for me to communicate with everyone, and I think it's good for the network

 

I doubt a documentary about TCM would be very interesting; you never know, though - my first job in cable was at a place called the Z Channel (a movie channel based in L.A.), and someone is making a documentary about them

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A Plea....to you movie stars who are out there WE LOVE YOU and because you are older don't let that deter you from interviews. We want to hear you, to see you the history you have cannot be replaced. I just thought if we couldn't see you because of health reasons etc. perhaps you could talk while TCM showed clips of you films. Perhaps some of you feel you gave at the office and no longer seek the spotlight I and others respect that wholly. I have to get on my soapbox now-who made the decision that America wants younger,faster,better because they didn't contact me. I wish Hollywood would reconsider the actions they take sometimes they cut off a great career because one get older. Especiaaly, women and some of these women open their own production companies-you go girl. Off the soapbox now-and on to my next subject-aren't the Braves playing well this year? Does Ted Turner still own them? Ted could you help pay to secure airtime for our stars? TCM could Stop repeating some movies so much and there you go a place for an interview. I'm sure Ted puts in alot of money into the channel that bears his name. My bet is he didn't think it would grow into the phenomen it is today.Well, TCM it's big- the channel and the rooster of stars getting smaller. Honestly, does TCM pay stars for interviews? If not maybe there should be a set amount like the Tonight Show?

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TCM-Friend, now what makes you think that a "Special" (might be a better word than "Documentary") wouldn't be interesting to TCM fans?

 

In one hour, we could come into your meeting rooms with you and learn exactly what is involved, and how you arrive at your programming decisions over the course of months. We could gain some insight as to how frustrating it must be for you, too, when not everyone you invite is able or willing to sit down for a "Private Screening" with Robert Osborne. We could enter the studio where Robert, Ben, and Sydney are taping their Introductions to our movies and watch them at work. We could visit your arts or graphics department (there might be a better word to use here) so we could see how you come up with and produce your Logo designs and the various lead-in clips we see for all of your movies. We could enter the area that designs and operates this Website and get a close-up look at everything that goes into making it one of the best on the Internet every month. We could enter another area (Public Relations) and see how many phone calls and e-mails you receive every day, and how many people you have employed to reply to them. And, there are probably things I haven't even thought of yet that would be interesting to many of us here.

 

Glad to hear that you are enjoying talking to us as much as we are enjoying it, and yes....it is good for the Network! Keep up the good work! :)ML

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ha - ok, I guess there are a few people who'd enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the network, but I'm still betting it isn't that many

 

maybe I can give some insight into the way programming decisions are made through these posts (hint: ususally it involves a dart board)

 

if anyone has specific questions, assuming it's appropriate, I'd be happy to answer them

 

I'm going to be out for a few days, so I won't be replying to anything until the end of the week

 

ML, fyi - the Osborne and Mankiewicz sets are in Atlanta, right next to our offices andthe shoot the Pollack introductions in Los Angeles

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TCMProgrammer,

 

Thank you for getting back to me about the outtakes, as others have mentioned, it is really decent that you reply to our myriad requests. And now I am really looking forward to October's musicals festival!

 

By the way, if there was one person I would like to see on a Private Screenings, it is an actress named Marsha Hunt. She was an MGM star, appeared with many stars in various 1940's films, and then sadly became a true victim of the blacklist. She is virtually forgotten today. A few years ago she spoke being blacklisted in a documentary, but I, for one, would be interested in what she has to say about her whole career.

 

 

 

 

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TCM-Friend! Public interest in a Special about the workings at TCM might be a little like the ball field in "Field of Dreams"...build it, and they will come!

 

Darts, huh? Love your sense of humor, and I realize that your programming decisions really are made half by careful consideration on your part, and half by tossing a dart. Whatever, it seems to be working!

 

Sure wish I lived closer to Atlanta. I'd love to meet Robert Osborne sometime.

 

Have a great week....catch you around Friday or Saturday again. :)ML

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I'm sorry to be so late in replying (work has been rough this week) but I wanted to thank you for your reply tcmprogrammer. It's really a shame that some of these older stars want to stay out of the spotlight. If they only knew how much they're still admired! But I'm glad a few of the names that I mentioned might be considered. An interview with ANY old star is priceless - even if they're all but forgotten by today's audiences.

 

Another suggestion that I have is for TCM to consider doing a film convention. There are many held around the country each year - one of the more popular ones is Cinecon, which is held in Hollywood every year. Basically they screen rare classic films in an old theater, and have panel discussions with classic stars and directors who were a part of Hollywood's Golden Age. I think that if TCM did something like this, it would be a HUGELY successful event, and would attract some fairly big names. Robert Osborne would be a perfect moderator for the discussions, and you could even have an awards banquet at the end of the convention to honor some of the stars or directors who participated. I know this idea would involve a lot of time and money, but I'm just wondering if something like this has been discussed over at TCM.

 

And regarding the "behind the scenes at TCM" idea that Mary Lou suggested - I think it's a great idea! Even if it was just a 15 minute spot showing Robert Osborne getting ready to film an introduction, or the staff around the table discussing an upcoming project. It would be a good filler to show between movies, and it would be very interesting!

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1) Robert Osborne has moderated several film events in the Los Angeles area at the Academy which I have attended. He might even live here. 2) I for one would much rather see more interviews and documentaries on the old time stars than a behind the scenes look at TCM. It probably would prove to be very dull after 5 minutes. 3) Sadly, I think many legendary movie stars such as Jennifer Jones, just don't want to sit down in front of the camera and be interviewed. I said this before, but think, if these people would just do commentary for some of their films on DVD that would be more appreciated and it would be on permanent record for posterity!

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FYI ... the September schedule is posted:

 

http://turnerclassicmovies.com/Schedule/Print/0,,09-2004|0|,00.html

 

And, a question for tcmprogrammer about the upcoming musicals festival:

 

Do you have Damn Yankees! in the library? If so, perhaps you could show this "guilty pleasure" of mine; I don't think I've ever seen in on TCM and probably haven't seen it anywhere in 30 years!

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I'm just wondering what happened to DAMN YANKEES. The film WAS released on laser before has yet to be released on DVD. I wonder if this film also has clearance problems. Its unfortunate if it does.

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  • 9 months later...

I don't know if any of y'all remember this discussion we had last June about our interest in "a behind-the-scenes look at the network", but I just got that kind of opportunity recently, thanks to tcmprogrammer, and I thought I'd share my experience with you:

 

http://www.classicfilmguide.com/index.php?s=whats_new

 

It'll take a little while to read, as I'm known to run on a bit, but I think you'll find the answers to many of the questions (we asked in this thread last year) contained within it. I even got to meet and have lunch with Robert Osborne!

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