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Saving Private Ryan and Other Modern Films


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

> History Channel, which apparently couldn't make money

> by televising history programs and came up with all kinds of junk as a substitute.

 

Woo-boy, I'm sorry to go so off topic, but with every turn this discussion gets more inneresting. (hey, Jimmy Stewart says it that way!)

 

Gee, I thought I was the only one who noticed how quickly THC turned. I used to watch it all the time and even own a few shows on DVD. Now it seems to be vapid computer generated shows without a point or hand held camera outings with marginally credentialed "scientists" trying to find unicorns.

 

This board has shown me that 90% of TCM viewers feel about it as I do (humbling & justifying at the same time) with only minor opinion differences. Now I realize my opinion of other channels are echoed here too.

 

So how does a channel "go bad"? Is it strictly money, is it the availability of good shows?

 

A scary thought is the accepted business plan for chain restaurants: They open big with good portions, good prices, good staff. As they gain reputation, they start cutting back, keeping the loyal customers who still enjoy the experience. But after too many cutbacks even the loyals get discoraged. Then, they sell. They've made their profits and can sell at a high price because of the previously good reputation. This is usually in an 8 year life span.

 

I hope it's not going the same way with cable channels. I pay more for it every year, and my enjoyment diminishes. TCM is the LAST channel worth paying the $50/month for. One channel.

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*I hope TCM won't do a History Channel, which apparently couldn't make money by televising history programs and came up with all kinds of junk as a substitute.*

 

The History Channel was doing fine with its own little niche market back in its early years. The problem with the programming came when it was bought by Disney/ABC.

 

They want it to be a much more profitable channel. In order to do that, they decided that a new format was called for.

 

TCM just won the Peabody Award last month for being the one network that has stayed truest to its original mission statement which is to show films from the 1920s-1990s.

 

TCM employees understand that its viewers care passionately about the channel. They bested AMC and they are much better than FMC.

 

From the classics to the cult films, from the glossy big studio A productions to the Poverty Row Z productions and everythng in between, TCM and its employees understand more than any other network that all films are important and that film should be celebrated.

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Have you noticed that the History Channel shows theatrical movies once in a while. They need to do away with that along with the highly inaccurate "UFO Files". I do like the new "Life After People" series, its something out of "The Twilight Zone". No people and no *bodies!*

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There's usually a bottom line reason for these changes. If something isn't drawing enough

viewers and revenue, and that is in the eyes of the company owning the channel, things

usually change, and often not for the better. The annoying part is that name usually

stays the same, so if someone who had never seen THC before tunes in, they might wonder why

it's called that. Don't mean to pick on THC, they still have a few actual history programs,

but it sure has changed its basic mission.

 

So far TCM has pretty much stuck to its guns, and I don't mind a few more recent movies

once in a while, as long as the basic format of 'classic' movies is the main focus.

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A member a few months ago found TCM's original 1995 Program Guide that included their original concept. I have saved it to my hard drive but because they are so large in size, I can't show the whole page due to page size limitations. Here's the original TCM concept.

 

2agfbt.jpg

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Excellent discussion so far about why TCM continues to show recently released films instead of the golden "oldies" from way back when. The mission statement was clear when the channel came about in the mid nineties. It is still clear today, although the statement probably needs updating.

 

Every film TCM can get it's hands on, they should broadcast. I am not a rocket scientist so I don't really know how they go about getting certain films, but apparently they got the rights to show Saving Private Ryan for the evenings worth of Spielberg films. I have NO problem with TCM showing a movie like this. Many disagree and that is their right to do so.

 

Saving private Ryan is not my favorite Spielberg film. Although I can understand why many people like the film and why many others do not like it. Whether you agree with the basic storytelling device or not, just the opening and the ending clearly justifies why the film holds such a high ranking with veterans and film reviewers.

 

Personally, I think they could have just filmed the movie around the landings themselves. But that is not what they did. The movie that was shown on TCM is what we got to see in the theaters. I remember when I first went to see the movie. During the opening twenty minutes or so I saw several older audience members leave the theater.

 

Later that evening when a local TV news station did some interviews with some of these patrons, they found out that many (who were veterans) apparently could not handle the film's violence. But also they said that the film was very realistic and what we saw up on the screen was very much like the "real" thing.

 

Getting back to why TCM shows more recently released films, I think IMHO is a good thing. It is 2009. Ten years ago these were some of the movies that were released:

 

American Beauty, Being John Malkovich, Boys Don't Cry, The Cider House Rules, Election, Eyes Wide Shut, The Green Mile, The Hurricane, The Insider, The Limey, Magnolia, Notting Hill, October Sky, Office Space, Stuart Little, The Talented Mr. Ripley,

 

Twenty years ago we had films like Glory, Field of Dreams, Driving Miss Daisy, The Abyss, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Dead Poets Society, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Sex, lies and videotape, When Harry Met Sally...

 

When TCM first came on in 1994, they could have and probably did show films from the 1970s and 1980s. If their mission statement is meant to allow certain films from every era to be shown, then I have no problem with them trying to expand their audience and show newer films once in a while. I look at TCM as sort of the Big Tent of movie channels. Mostly they show older films, and that is great. But look, they also show newer films too. Many, many movie channels do not offer this type of variety.

 

If someone does not like to watch newer movies, then do something else when that movie is on.

 

If you have an opinion, share it (which many of you have done). I just don't think that showing newer movies means that TCM as a classic film channel is going the way of AMC. Not going to happen. Not anytime soon. If ever.

 

Message edited by Fxreyman

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I'm glad so many people have posted on this thread. It's a very important subject, and TCM needs to hear all of our opinions. If the History Channel can be reduced to showing Ice Road Truckers, Gangland, and UFO Files, then someday TCM may be showing Catwoman, all the Die Hard movies back to back, and Adam Sandler as Star of the Month. Films from the last, say, 25 years are shown on other channels or are usually accessible at Blockbuster. TCM is all about the re-discovery and reassessment of the past. In this context, showing DUEL and 1941 makes sense, but SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, available everywhere, is more questionable.

 

Many TCM viewers have the sharpest perspective on PVT. RYAN because they've seen a lot of other war movies. Except for the extremely graphic violence, Spielberg's film doesn't break new ground. TheWrongMan's post below describes the situation well.

 

Neither Spielberg, Scorsese, nor Woody Allen needs additional exposure. If these directors and others like them can help TCM draw attention to the films of the past, great. However, most of their own films have already found an audience, and do not need the help of TCM.

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

> Neither Spielberg, Scorsese, nor Woody Allen needs additional exposure. If these directors and others like them can help TCM draw attention to the films of the past, great. However, most of their own films have already found an audience, and do not need the help of TCM.

 

I'd rather think it was a case of the former - having some of the most famous directors working today helping TCM reach a wider audience, and helping them discover some of the great movies of the 20th century.

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>kingrat wrote:

> then someday TCM may be showing Catwoman, all the Die Hard movies...

 

I would throughly enjoy seeing Die Hard with Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman on TCM. I consider Die Hard to be a classic movie.

 

>Nice suit. John Phillips, London. I have two myself. Rumor has it Arafat buys his there.

 

Hans Gruber

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>ham boy wrote:

>You should have got the Starz / Encore package. They must have aired "Die Hard" 100 times the past year alone not including the FMC channel.

 

I don't have the big bucks like you hammy...The topic is about TCM and not FMC....Do you understand?

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Whoa don't be so touchy. The Directv Starz package in not *that* expensive and it does *include* TCM. My goodness. Matter of fact Directv no longer offers FMC with the Starz package and blanked out the channel a couple of years ago. I simply seen "Die Hard" listings on the program guide and I have watched it many times on Encore. How expensive do you think it is??? I'm not made of money either. I rarely buy movies.

 

Like bread, man cannot live on TCM alone.

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>hamradio wrote:

>Whoa don't be so touchy.

 

Not touchy at all...just ribbing you a little bit...

 

Look, I pay about sixty dollars a month for a Comcast package. I could spend more but I choose not to do so because I would rather use the money for other interests.

 

The only time I see these other channels is when I visit my dear sister at her spread who has everything imaginable on her set-up.

 

This idea movies like Die Hard should not be shown on TCM will not win out in the end.

 

I predict as time goes on it will be movies from the 60's and forward that will dominate the TCM schedule.

 

Change is inevitable but I have no crystal ball...

 

Have a great evening MR Hamradio...

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Its the same where I live. Suddenlink charges for same for basic / extended basic *analog* service with NO HBO , Starz or anything else. These cable companies are ripping people off.

 

When I first got my Directv service back in 1999, the standard Starz package was $39.95 a month and I added only the NBC/CBS/ABC channels. To save money, I installed the system myself.

 

Unfortunatly *everyone* have rasied their rates.

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

> >hamradio wrote:

>

> Change is inevitable but I have no crystal ball...

 

The Wicked Witch of the West had a crystal ball -- a big Technicolor one -- but even she couldn't see change coming, in the form of a bucket of cold water...

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After looking at hamradio's post of TCM's original mission statement, I can see why Saving Private Ryan doesn't belong: "The greatest movies of all time, ALL the time......legendary classic movies"

 

SPR certainly isn't "legendary" nor "classic". But is Hollywood Party ?

 

I suppose the "edge" that old films have over modern ones for _THIS_ station, at least, is even though they may be a dud, they are historical. You may see the first appearance of an upcoming star, or an unusual against type performance, or a failed first version of a story.

They become "historically significant" in the overall view of film as a medium.

 

SPR is a less than average film, in my opinion....but I know many who were impressed by it. It certainly seems fitting TCM shows it once, while showcasing Spielberg's work. (although there are others I would have preferred)

I just hope it's not repeated in any typical scheduling.

 

Close Encounters, Jaws & ET all fall into "classic" film category (again, imo) because they were ground breaking for their day, and pretty universally liked and unoffensive. But I'd prefer if TCM steers away from this type of film because, yes, they are easily available on DVD and commonly broadcast on other stations.

 

But even that arguement fails when you think of GWTW, It's A Wonderful Life and The Wizard of Oz, all common films.

 

TCM walks a tightrope.

You can't please everybody all the time.

(although you can "have a good time....ALL the time!" Viv Savage)

 

So I can tolerate occasional schlop like SPR because TCM broadcasts all kinds of great stuff from Tell It To The Marine with Lon Chaney to Carnal Knowledge....both rarities.

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

> A member a few months ago found TCM's original 1995 Program Guide that included their original concept. I have saved it to my hard drive but because they are so large in size, I can't show the whole page due to page size limitations. Here's the original TCM concept.

>

> 2agfbt.jpg

Seems those "hard-to-find treasures" are becoming even harder to find.

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PrinceSaliano wrote:

<< Seems those "hard-to-find treasures" are becoming even harder to find. >>

 

True, very true and sometimes one might find a treasure and might wind up getting lost again. I remembered just before becoming a member a couple of years back that a TCM poster brought this subject up. He or she mentioned the movie "Helen's Babies" that was in the process of being restored but the person involved passed away and the movie is in limbo.

 

Talk about "treasures", look on this wiki stie at the bottom what may be GONE forever. OMG all those films!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_Serra_Cary

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I think TCM is probably eager to hear our opinions but at the same time I think they probably have a good idea themselves what is best for the channel. I see complaints that TCM should show films that are hard to find, but to be honest I usually watch films on TCM that are relatively easy to find, easy to find because they are *classic*. TCM is still mostly showing older films and, lets face it, as time goes by the films we recognize as recent become older. I don't like the idea of laying down some kind of restrictions on what films "belong" on the channel, especially when *they're still showing the older and rarer films*. Frankly, some of the films that TCM shows from older eras aren't that great and a good deal of them aren't that rare. And I can't believe people would say that *Saving Private Ryan* didn't break new ground. It's an extraordinary film, with battle sequences unlike any seen before. Whether or not it "belongs" on TCM, it was on TCM; I watched it, and I loved it. Nowhere else on television can you see these films commercial-free and uncut, placed in a thematic group that isn't trying to sell me the new flick in theatres, and to me that's what TCM is all about.

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

> TCM is still mostly showing older films and, lets face it, as time goes by the films we recognize as recent become older.

 

True, true, but there was only one ?Golden Age of Hollywood?, and it lasted from the 1920s through the very early ?50s, and then it died.

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

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

> > TCM is still mostly showing older films and, lets face it, as time goes by the films we recognize as recent become older.

>

> True, true, but there was only one Golden Age of Hollywood, and it lasted from the 1920s through the very early 50s, and then it died.

Fred gets it. When 1985 films are "old", they still won't be from the Golden Age.

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

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

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

> > > TCM is still mostly showing older films and, lets face it, as time goes by the films we recognize as recent become older.

> >

> > True, true, but there was only one Golden Age of Hollywood, and it lasted from the 1920s through the very early 50s, and then it died.

> Fred gets it. When 1985 films are "old", they still won't be from the Golden Age.

 

Amen!

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