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Christmas (?) on TCM


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I have just seen the "Christmas" marathon, and am sad to see so many classics missing from this month's programming. Though lauded (by even the TCM hosts) as the greatest version of "A Christmas Carol" ever filmed, the Alastair Sim 1951 version does not appear once the entire month - though the lesser 1938 Reginald Owen is being shown no less than 5 times. In fact, it is the only version of Scrooge being shown!  No Alastair Sim, no Albert Finney's "Scrooge," nothing.  There are also several airings of "A Christmas in Connecticut" and "It Happened on Fifth Avenue," but not a single showing of "It's a Wonderful Life," "The Bells of St. Marys," "Miracle on 34th Street," "White Christmas," etc.  Instead we have a marathon that includes movies that have only a single scene set during the Christmas season (Desk Set, Penny Serenade,  Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, The Apartment - all great movies, but still...) and even some film noir and horror films.  If ever there was a year when we needed these missing holiday classics, it's this one!

Are there any of your holiday favorites missing from this year?

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I don't check the schedule that far ahead.  And since I've got all my Christmas favorites on tape or disc I don't worry about whether TCM shows them or not.

Of course, a couple(or so) you mention never get shown on TCM due to rights issues.  And it seems every year we get a thread in which we all list our favorite Christmas "classics" and like you, I don't see several of the other member's choices as "classic" Christmas fare.   In fact, there was a movie last  night(and DANG, I can't remember the name!) that had about 30 seconds of a Christmas scene and I thought, amusingly, "This will probably be somebody's favorite Christmas movie."  ;) 

And WELCOME to these boards KARYN.  :)

Sepiatone

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I was looking for "Miracle on 34th Street" also.  I was also hoping to see "It's a Wonderful Life".  I recorded that from USA the other day.  For my first time seeing it, I really didn't want to see it with commercials.  But I'm glad "The Bishop's Wife" is on the list, along with "Babes In Toyland".

Lori

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Sorry, can't resist, folks...

maxresdefault.jpg

"Look Daddy!Teacher says every time a bell rings...it means NBC has owned the exclusive broadcast rights to this movie since 1994."

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2 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Sorry, can't resist, folks...

maxresdefault.jpg

"Look Daddy!Teacher says every time a bell rings...it means NBC has owned the exclusive broadcast right to this movie since 1994."

But TCM has shown it many times.

Lori

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Just now, Lori Ann said:

But TCM has shown it many times.

Lori

I don't think so.

I have been at this forum for years and each year the same question is asked; why no It's A Wonderful Life?

Anyhow,  Moviecollector and his TCM database knows the answer.

 

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33 minutes ago, Lori Ann said:

But TCM has shown it many times.

Lori

No, sorry Lori Ann, but because as I said up there(okay, so it was actually little Zuzu up there who said it...well kind'a) TCM hasn't been able to broadcast it since NBC garnered the broadcast rights to it in 1994.

Although, IF there might have been a time when NBC might have allowed TCM to broadcast it and of which I'm not aware of, it still wouldn't have been "many times".

(...I'll bet you might have probably watched it on the USA Network, as NBC owns that channel and they show this great and wonderful movie every year also, albeit filled with commercial interruptions and just as NBC presents it every year)

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3 minutes ago, Dargo said:

No, sorry Lori Ann, but because as I said up there(okay, so it was actually little Zuzu up there who said it...well kind'a) TCM hasn't been able to broadcast it since NBC garnered the broadcast rights to it in 1994.

Although, IF there might have been a time when NBC might have allowed TCM to broadcast it and of which I'm not aware of, it still wouldn't have been "many times".

(...I'll bet you might have probably watched it on the USA Network, as NBC owns that channel and they show this great and wonderful movie every year also, albeit filled with commercials interruptions and just as NBC presents it every year)

I'm also positive TCM has shown the movie at least once.  But I'm 36 - what do I know?  I actually never saw the movie, but it's on my DVR from USA.  Looking forward to seeing it.

Lori

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12 minutes ago, Lori Ann said:

I'm also positive TCM has shown the movie at least once.  But I'm 36 - what do I know?  I actually never saw the movie, but it's on my DVR from USA.  Looking forward to seeing it.

Lori

Ya know, I do believe I remember Ben Mankiewicz once doing a wraparound for this film, come to think of it, and so you might be right here, Lori Ann. But then again, I'm 68, almost twice your age, and you know how we old f*rts begin to imagine things as we get up in years, don't ya?! ;)

LOL

(...however btw, the operative word in the above being "once")

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27 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Ya know, I do believe I remember Ben Mankiewicz once doing a wraparound for this film, come to think of it, and so you might be right here, Lori Ann. But then again, I'm 68, almost twice your age, and you know how we old f*rts begin to imagine things as we get up in years, don't ya?! ;)

LOL

(...however btw, the operative word in the above being "once")

According to moviecollectoroh's list, TCM hasn't shown It's A Wonderful Life.

Back in the day, AMC used to do movie intros, so maybe it was on there?

Or, maybe it was way back when Osborne was on The Movie Channel doing intros?

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1 minute ago, txfilmfan said:

According to moviecollectoroh's list, TCM hasn't shown It's A Wonderful Life.

Back in the day, AMC used to do movie intros, so maybe it was on there?

Or, maybe it was way back when Osborne was on The Movie Channel doing intros?

Okay, thanks Tex.

Nope, don't recall ever watching it on AMC nor on The Movie Channel, either. And so perhaps I WAS just imagining it afterall. 

(...and hey besides, I DID supply that disclaimer up there about bein' an old f*rt who's coming into those years where imagin' stuff that never happened becomes a much more common occurence, now didn't I?!)  ;) 

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It's likely that TCM might have shown it at one time. Just about everybody else did.  For many years IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE was considered in public domain. That meant anyone could show it and not have to pay anything.  As I understand it, the original source material,  a story, was still copyrighted and the owners sued to get the movie's copyright reinstated. 

I'm no lawyer so I don't understand the legalities but to make a long story short, Paramount ended up with the movie and they sold the exclusive TV rights to NBC for as long as they wanted it. When Comcast took over NBC it renegotiated the contract  so the movie could be shown on their other cable channels too.   So it's unlikely that TCM will ever get a chance at showing it.

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3 hours ago, markfp2 said:

It's likely that TCM might have shown it at one time. Just about everybody else did.  For many years IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE was considered in public domain. That meant anyone could show it and not have to pay anything.  As I understand it, the original source material,  a story, was still copyrighted and the owners sued to get the movie's copyright reinstated. 

I'm no lawyer so I don't understand the legalities but to make a long story short, Paramount ended up with the movie and they sold the exclusive TV rights to NBC for as long as they wanted it. When Comcast took over NBC it renegotiated the contract  so the movie could be shown on their other cable channels too.   So it's unlikely that TCM will ever get a chance at showing it.

I thought of this earlier too, mark. However because TCM didn't come into existence until 1994, the same year that NBC attained the sole broadcast rights to IAWL, this would lead me to the conclusion and as Tex noted earlier, that TCM has never shown this film.

(...and btw...I'm sure you know to get ready for a number of these same types of threads lamenting TCM not showing IAWL and being started again this holiday season by people who'll be new to these boards...it seems there are still quite a few folks out there who've never heard this whole NBC thing...and so now I'm wondering if I should maybe repost my Zuzu post up there in every one of 'em...whaddaya think?...overkill?)  ;)

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No Dargo, by all means...keep posting about NBC's commercial prostitution of a beloved family and Christmas classic!  Prior to 1994, I had seen "It's A Wonderful Life" on my local PBS station a handful of times, and it is a funny and poignant film which I think is made better by the fact that it was shown commercial-free.  Before 1994, I think it's entirely possible that the movie was shown during the holiday season on Turner-owned stations like TBS and/or TNT.  In fact, I'm trying to jog my memory by thinking "It's A Wonderful Life" may have been one of those black and white movies that Ted Turner seemed bent on colorizing, which added to the uproar about doing such a thing to such a classic film.  TCM frequently shows clips of the movie during some of its promotions about stars who were in it, technical people who worked on the film, or promoting the station itself.

But if anything, I hope the new posters here learn this mantra:  TCM has Never, Never, Ever in their whole Ted Turner's wonderful life shown this picture on its station.  Along the same lines that Dargo was referring to, maybe in 2021, as soon as the December schedule is published here, the 'old hands' around here can do a pre-emptive strike by putting up a thread entitled, "This Is Why It's A Wonderful Life Is Not On The TCM December Schedule".  😉  Then, we can just have our regular posters put something on there once or twice a day just to keep the thread on the first page, preferably near the top, so newbies don't have to ask the question for the umpteenth time.

And while it's nice to see people welcoming new posters to the boards here, I'm of the suspicion that KaryntheRed could be a troll.  If most of us made an initial post like hers and received feedback in answer to a question, you'd think they would come back to say 'thanks for the info...I didn't know that', or something to that effect.  As it is, I think this a classic "post and run" kind of complaint.  So...if KTR really is the engaging sort of poster, they'll acknowledge my rambling with a like, dislike, or something in between for what I've typed.

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There's probably no bigger Anglophile on this Board than me. I love British culture and in fact have many professional associations in the UK, where I work on occasion. Having said that, I do not accept the premise that the 1951 Christmas Carol is the greatest version of that work. I love Alastair Sim, I love all the actors, but I think the 1951 version, though very good (and very, perhaps too, literate), is not as good, as a movie, as Hollywood's 1938 adaptation.

Btw, Terry Kilburn, who played Tiny Tim in the 1938 film, turned 94 last week.

screen-shot-2014-11-17-at-4-34-27-pm.jpg

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My top 5 Christmas movies:

1. Miracle On 34th Street (1947)- A great movie for the season, with sharp satire on Christmas commercialism, Edmund Gwenn may or not be the real Santa Claus, but he is definitely the best movie St Nick. Natalie Wood gives the best child performance ever and Maureen O'Hara is perfect as the loving though bluntly realistic mother.

2. Fanny And Alexander (1983) My favorite foreign language film of all time. It has the most joyous Christmas celebration on film.

3. Sundays And Cybele (1962) The friendship between a shell shocked soldier and an abandoned little girl. It has a sad and bleak ending taking place on Christmas Eve, but I love it anyway.

4. The House Without A Christmas Tree (1972) A TV movie but my favorite Yuletide one that was made for the small screen. Jason Robards is a bitter widower who does not want to get a Christmas tree for his precocious daughter. It's funny, touching and very realistic. The fact that it is on videotape gives it a great personal feel.

5. The Christmas Wife (1988) Another Jason Robards TV movie and almost as good as the other one. He is recently widowed and decides to look to the  dating ads for companionship for the holidays. He finds Julie Harris who acts very secretive. A combination of Christmas celebration, poignant look at loneliness and a bit of mystery. 

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22 hours ago, KaryntheRed said:

I have just seen the "Christmas" marathon, and am sad to see so many classics missing from this month's programming. Though lauded (by even the TCM hosts) as the greatest version of "A Christmas Carol" ever filmed, the Alastair Sim 1951 version does not appear once the entire month - though the lesser 1938 Reginald Owen is being shown no less than 5 times. In fact, it is the only version of Scrooge being shown!  No Alastair Sim, no Albert Finney's "Scrooge," nothing.  There are also several airings of "A Christmas in Connecticut" and "It Happened on Fifth Avenue," but not a single showing of "It's a Wonderful Life," "The Bells of St. Marys," "Miracle on 34th Street," "White Christmas," etc.  Instead we have a marathon that includes movies that have only a single scene set during the Christmas season (Desk Set, Penny Serenade,  Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, The Apartment - all great movies, but still...) and even some film noir and horror films.  If ever there was a year when we needed these missing holiday classics, it's this one!

Are there any of your holiday favorites missing from this year?

I agree 100% with KaryntheRed.  The 1938 Reginald Owen version is the lightweight "Hollywood-ized" version which pales in comparison to 1951's "Scrooge" described by Leonard Maltin as definitive.  It doesn't matter to me which version I've seen first.  I'd rather see the more substantial movie.  The broadcast list is surprisingly lightweight in general and rather unappealing.  I'd rather see the definitive "Scrooge" and can easily pass over this year's schedule.   It's sad that a better roster wasn't considered for such a disastrous and awful year.

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2 hours ago, Swithin said:

There's probably no bigger Anglophile on this Board than me. I love British culture and in fact have many professional associations in the UK, where I work on occasion. Having said that, I do not accept the premise that the 1951 Christmas Carol is the greatest version of that work. I love Alastair Sim, I love all the actors, but I think the 1951 version, though very good (and very, perhaps too, literate), is not as good, as a movie, as Hollywood's 1938 adaptation.

Btw, Terry Kilburn, who played Tiny Tim in the 1938 film, turned 94 last week.

screen-shot-2014-11-17-at-4-34-27-pm.jpg

"Probably" you say, ol' boy! Well Swithin, if you're NOT, then I don't know anyone else around here who WOULD be, dude! ;)

Btw, I agree with you here. And ya know WHY it might be the best or at least perhaps most entertaining version of it?

Well, I've always thought it might be because I've felt Gene Lockhart was the best Bob Cratchit in any of 'em.

(...that's why)

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This whole thing about IT'S A WONERFUL LIFE could have been settled with a two minute search....

Dargo posted something about NBC owning broadcast rights since 1994.  And I'd say presumably since BEFORE December of that year, when TCM would have broadcast it if it could.  But since TCM premiered in APRIL of 1994,  it would have had to be before the Christmas season and NBC locked it in.  Now, WALMART and the DOLLAR STORES might start the Christmas season shortly after Labor day, but the only TV stations I can think of that start their Christmas movie broadcasts that early are LIFETIME and HALLMARK.  ;)   And they ain't really Christmas "classics" they show.  ;) 

OK..  and  BTW( and IMHO) the 1938 adaptation of A CHRISTMAS CAROL with Reginald Owen , while not really the worst, does come close to being so.  It has the versions with ALBERT FINNEY and PATRICK STEWART as Scrooge to thank for keeping it out of the cellar.  I'd place the '51 version with ALISTAIR SIM way above it all day, every day.  ;) 

MIRACLE ON 34th STREET('47), another perennial Christmas favorite is one I don't ever recall seeing on TCM.  I don't know if NBC or some other network has it locked in or not.  And if We're gonna mention favorites, Mine would be---

The three listed so far here( IAWL, "Miracle" and the '51 SCROOGE)

The "Miracle" '94 remake

A CHRISTMAS STORY ('83)

TRAPPED IN PARADISE ('94)

 PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT ( '62)

Honorable mention:  IT HAPPENED ON FIFTH AVENUE('47) 

There's a few others, but not that vital to me at Christmastime.

Sepiatone

 

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21 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

but the only TV stations I can think of that start their Christmas movie broadcasts that early are LIFETIME and HALLMARK.  ;)   And they ain't really Christmas "classics" they show.  ;)

 

Nope, they're weepy lovey dovey movies.  And I try to watch as many as I can.  I came across some good ones last year.

Lori

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Yeah my fav is Home Alone 2 ('92) and cause of the slap stick comedy and I love the city of New York in films. It's usually the movie I watch along Christmas besides Die Hard ('88), Lethal Weapon ('87), It's A Wonderful Life ('46), Christmas in Connecticut ('45), The Bishop's Wife ('47), Miracle on 34th Street ('47), Scrooge ('51), Scrooged ('88), A Christmas Carol ('09), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation ('89), How The Grinch Stole Christmas ('66 or '00), and finally The Santa Clause ('94) 😂🎄.

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5 hours ago, midwestan said:

No Dargo, by all means...keep posting about NBC's commercial prostitution of a beloved family and Christmas classic!  Prior to 1994, I had seen "It's A Wonderful Life" on my local PBS station a handful of times, and it is a funny and poignant film which I think is made better by the fact that it was shown commercial-free.  Before 1994, I think it's entirely possible that the movie was shown during the holiday season on Turner-owned stations like TBS and/or TNT.  In fact, I'm trying to jog my memory by thinking "It's A Wonderful Life" may have been one of those black and white movies that Ted Turner seemed bent on colorizing, which added to the uproar about doing such a thing to such a classic film.  TCM frequently shows clips of the movie during some of its promotions about stars who were in it, technical people who worked on the film, or promoting the station itself.

But if anything, I hope the new posters here learn this mantra:  TCM has Never, Never, Ever in their whole Ted Turner's wonderful life shown this picture on its station.  Along the same lines that Dargo was referring to, maybe in 2021, as soon as the December schedule is published here, the 'old hands' around here can do a pre-emptive strike by putting up a thread entitled, "This Is Why It's A Wonderful Life Is Not On The TCM December Schedule".  😉  Then, we can just have our regular posters put something on there once or twice a day just to keep the thread on the first page, preferably near the top, so newbies don't have to ask the question for the umpteenth time.

And while it's nice to see people welcoming new posters to the boards here, I'm of the suspicion that KaryntheRed could be a troll.  If most of us made an initial post like hers and received feedback in answer to a question, you'd think they would come back to say 'thanks for the info...I didn't know that', or something to that effect.  As it is, I think this a classic "post and run" kind of complaint.  So...if KTR really is the engaging sort of poster, they'll acknowledge my rambling with a like, dislike, or something in between for what I've typed.

Someone should do the same thing around Easter time with The 10 Commandments!

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