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New Weekly Series for Films Based On Comic Strips


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I would like to see TCM present a weekly series of films based on comic strips and the characters appearing in them.  The practice of creating films based on comic strips dates back to the early years of film itself.  In recent years, due to advances in special effects, big budget films based on comic books have become more common.  Preferably the show should come on Sundays when newspapers would publish their colorful comics section.  I'd call the program "The Sunday Funnies" and hosted by someone well knowledged in the areas of comics and films of that genre.  I would consider myself and if TCM is interested I'd like to know how to audition for such a series.  Perhaps TCM fans can come up with someone already hosting who could do the job.  Anyone else have suggestions?

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MOVIES! channel already shows the BLONDIE movies every Saturday morning.  And outside of the dismal DONDI movie, and the joyful musical LI'L ABNER, I can't think of too many movies based on comic strips.  Comic CHARACTERS, maybe, like the TOM EWELL/HARVEY LEMBECK /DAVID WAYNE "Willie And Joe" movies, .. 

SAD SACK,  DICK TRACY.  

And there are a ton of 'em, and many made in the 40's, early '50's and before that were made from some strips I've never heard of, and some I used to read religiously.

This is a good idea.  It's got my vote for sure!  :)

Sepiatone

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 Just throwing out some random thoughts that haven't been mentioned yet. I just noticed the other day that TCM has shown Prince Valiant, with Robert Wagner in the title role (and apparently you're not allowed to talk about the movie without saying "pageboy wig", if the reviews on imdb are any indication) exactly one time. There were some Terry and the Pirates serials. More recently, there was the Robert Altman/Robin Williams Popeye movie and Warren Beatty's version of Dick Tracy. I feel pretty sure I watched a primetime lineup of Dick Tracy films from the '40s on TCM sometime in the last 10 years. Peanuts has been made into a handful of feature films in addition to all those television specials.

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Flash Gordon  is the hero of a space opera adventure comic strip created by and originally drawn by Alex Raymond. First published January 7, 1934

Flash Gordon was featured in three serial films starring Buster Crabbe: Flash Gordon (1936), Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938), and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940). The 1936 Flash Gordon serial was condensed into a feature-length film titled Flash Gordon or Rocket Ship or Space Soldiers or Flash Gordon: Spaceship to the Unknown; the 1938 serial into a feature-length film entitled Flash Gordon: The Deadly Ray from Mars; and the 1940 serial into a feature-length film entitled The Purple Death from Outer Space.

Then you got

Flash Gordon 1980 film

Flash Gordon Poster

And his brother Flesh's Flesh Gordon (1974)

Flesh Gordon Poster

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4 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I just discovered this 1980 movie while looking at Vincent Price's imdb resume:

Oy.  It's...arguably better than Chuck Jones's soppy 70's TV-special, and it gets the major voices right, but not much else.  (Jimmy Breslin as P.T. Bridgeport, the bear who spoke in circus-poster font?  Did the filmmakers even read the strip??)

And, of course, any series of comic strip movies will just end up as ONE MORE excuse to show the Robin Williams Popeye as a PD Paramount Orphan.  I still say the movie is under-appreciated, but now this might be a little too hypnotically saturated...Oh, and the '96 MGM-Orphan Billy Zane The Phantom, which wasn't even that great the first time around.

the-phantom-review.jpg

5 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

 Peanuts has been made into a handful of feature films in addition to all those television specials.

The last two--Race For Your Life, CB, and Bon Voyage, CB--also seem to be floating around the PD ether at the moment, but neither one has the '69 psychedelic stylizing of the original A Boy Named Charlie Brown.

And as for any of the live-action Garfields, with or without Bill Murray, or any of the Dennis the Menaces, with or without John Hughes...no.  Just NO.

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Flesh Gordon – Poster Museum

 

Flesh Gordon's synopsis sounds hilarious and its even got Classic Hollywood and Twilight Zone star John Hoyt....

Distinguished Professor Gordon (John Hoyt) explains that Earth is being tormented by periodic "sex rays", which send people into a sexual frenzy. When one of the rays hits the Ford Trimotor passenger aircraft carrying Flesh Gordon (Jason Williams) and Dale Ardor (Suzanne Fields), the pilots abandon the controls and everyone aboard has manic sex. When they finish, Flesh and Dale escape the imminent plane crash by parachute. They land near the workshop of Flexi Jerkoff (Joseph Hudgins), who has a plan to stop the sex rays at their source.

They travel to the planet Porno in Jerkoff's phallic rocket ship, and are briefly hit by a sex ray, resulting in a frantic three-way ****. They crash land after being shot down by the minions of Emperor Wang (William Dennis Hunt) and are attacked by several one-eyed "Penisauruses" before being taken prisoner by Wang's soldiers. They are brought before Wang, who is presiding over an **** of more than a dozen men and women. Jerkoff is sent to work in Wang's laboratory, while Wang announces his intention to marry Dale. Flesh is sentenced to death, but is saved when Queen Amora (Nora Wieternik) instead takes him to be her sex slave.

Wang shoots down Amora's ship, and Flesh is the only survivor. He is reunited with Jerkoff, and they resume their efforts to defeat Wang, now using Amora's Power Pasties. Wang and Dale's wedding is interrupted when Dale is kidnapped by Amazonian lesbians, whose leader, Chief Nellie (Candy Samples), attempts to initiate Dale into their cult. Flesh and Jerkoff save her, unexpectedly aided by Prince Precious (Mycle Brandy) of the Forest Kingdom. With help from their new ally, Jerkoff builds a weapon to destroy the sex ray. They confront Wang and trick his "rapist robots" into turning on him, but Wang escapes, seeking the aid of the towering idol of the Great God Porno. Porno comes to life and captures Dale as they flee, blandly commenting on his actions. Jerkoff shoots the living idol, freeing Dale and causing the god to fall on Wang and the sex ray. Flesh, Dale, and Jerkoff are celebrated as heroes and return to Earth.

come on TCM even Nip  will like this

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Thanks to all who responded to my posting.  I still feel there are enough films in the comics genre to carry a weekly series on TCM as Film Noir has.  There are the series like Blondie,  the musicals like Annie and Little Abner,  the serials like Dick Tracy and a number of animated short versions.  There were some early silent versions of Bringing Up Father, Winnie Winkle and Ella Cinders.  Along with the film would bea short history of the comic itself.   I wonder if any production manager at TCM would be interested to present this and would it be popular with the TCM fan base.

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And okay, I'll say it:  I LIKED The Adventures of Tintin (2011):  

(Which is currently streaming every-darn-where as one of the most visible and traveled of Paramount's Orphans.)

That wasn't a very popular opinion, back when #ImpeachRobertZemeckis became our national frustration as moviegoers; we took one look at Spielberg's uncanny-valley-mocap and howled, "Oh, not you TOO, Steve!"   I even heard people who--no joke--thought Martin Scorsese's Hugo was "computer animated", because they couldn't understand what other conditions would imaginably drive an Oscar-nominated director do to a, quote, "kiddy" film.  If Zemeckis hadn't had Mars Needs Moms to give his karmic comeuppance closure, things would have gotten ugly.

(But I liked Tintin, because I'd seen the 90's Nick cartoon, and used to read the comics in a kids' magazine at the dentist's office as a kid.  I still haven't seen any of those live-action French Asterix movies, though, with Gerard Depardieu as Obelix, and a wildly French-hamming Roberto Benigni in a supporting part.)

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On 4/22/2020 at 1:55 PM, sewhite2000 said:

I just discovered this 1980 movie while looking at Vincent Price's imdb resume:

I Go Pogo (1980)

Man!  I never did for some reason get around to seeing this one, huge POGO freak I have long been.  Walt Kelly had quite a sardonic and sometimes seemingly prophetic sense of humor( I refer to his recurring gag of some of the swamp critters walking around wearing eyeglasses with tiny television sets in place where the lenses usually go.)   And to this day, I still(on a particular calendar date)could be heard to say, "Looks like Friday the 13th comes on a TUESDAY this month!"  :D 

I'm gonna have to hunt down this flick.  If you saw it, tell me....   IS it any good?

Sepiatone

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