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These are the 18 'problematic' classic films TCM will examine in a new series


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The LA Times
These are the 18 'problematic' classic films TCM will examine in a new series
Christie D'Zurilla  1 day ago

Turner Classic Movies has decided not to throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to timeless but troublesome movies. The result is "Reframed: Classic Films in the Rearview Mirror," a new series that kicks off Thursday and runs throughout the month.

Along with screening 18 classics, TCM hosts will discuss what the network calls the "troubling and problematic" aspects of the much-loved flicks, which were released in the 1920s through the 1960s. "The goal is never to censor, but simply provide rich historical context to each classic," the network said in a statement.

Among the problems: racism, sexism, portrayals of LGBTQ issues and more.

“We’re not saying this is how you should feel about ‘Psycho’ or this is how you should feel about ‘Gone With the Wind.’ We’re just trying to model ways of having longer and deeper conversations and not just cutting it off to ‘I love this movie. I hate this movie.’ There’s so much space in between," TCM host Jacqueline Stewart recently told the Associated Press.

Read More  >> https://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/news/these-are-the-18-problematic-classic-films-tcm-will-examine-in-a-new-series/ar-BB1efCgR?ocid=uxbndlbing

Totally NUTS ...

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Desperate ploys for publicity.  And trying to justify it as if they are doing the public some sort of community service.

Disgraceful.

Thumbs down TCM.

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What is problematic about My Fair Lady, or, for that matter, Psycho? As for the gay killers in Rope, this was based on the Loeb/Leopold case, where the killers were indeed homosexual. Over the decades I have met hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of gay men and women, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Presumably Swing Time is on the list because of the way the Astaire/Rogers films tended to include queeny actors who made Fred Astaire look masculine by comparison.

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4 minutes ago, kingrat said:

What is problematic about My Fair Lady, or, for that matter, Psycho? As for the gay killers in Rope, this was based on the Loeb/Leopold case, where the killers were indeed homosexual. Over the decades I have met hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of gay men and women, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Presumably Swing Time is on the list because of the way the Astaire/Rogers films tended to include queeny actors who made Fred Astaire look masculine by comparison.

Isn't the problem with PSYCHO the fact that a transvestite is mentally ill and murderous? Not a politically correct representation. 

I do agree that some gay characters should be shown as evil (or maybe we could say some evil characters should be shown as gay). To suggest that killers are only heterosexual seems ridiculous. 

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31 minutes ago, StargateGirl said:

I am thrilled you did not cancel, censor, or edit these old films.  I am pleased you are standing up for film history as it was.

Do you feel this way about unheralded 'B' films? And what about the many films from Paramount, Republic and Universal that TCM does not show. The film history that TCM provides is far from comprehensive.

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6 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Isn't the problem with PSYCHO the fact that a transvestite is mentally ill and murderous? Not a politically correct representation. 

I do agree that some gay characters should be shown as evil (or maybe we could say some evil characters should be shown as gay). To suggest that killers are only heterosexual seems ridiculous. 

Funny, I never think of that character as being a transvestite. There's a logical reason that character dresses in that fashion, and apparently only for that particular reason. (I'm trying to avoid spoilers, just as you did.) Anyone upset by that film for that reason can always rent To Wong Foo With Love, Julie Newmar or Priscilla, Queen of the Desert or various other films.

I'm actually more offended by bad performances of stereotypical gay characters, like Martin Balsam in The Anderson Tapes, than I am by the three-dimensional killers in Rope, which are very well played by John Dall and Farley Granger.

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22 minutes ago, kingrat said:

Presumably Swing Time is on the list because of the way the Astaire/Rogers films tended to include queeny actors who made Fred Astaire look masculine by comparison.

It's because of the tribute to Bill Robinson with Astaire in blackface, and uncharacteristic (for Robinson) garb.

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TCM's article:

https://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/020930?source=Block

Films include:

GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
THE FOUR FEATHERS (1939)
ROPE (1948)
SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954)
***
THE JAZZ SINGER (1927)
GUNGA DIN (1939)
WOMAN OF THE YEAR (1942)
SINBAD THE SAILOR (1947)
GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER (1967)
***
SWING TIME (1936)
STAGECOACH (1939)
THE SEARCHERS (1956)
TARZAN THE APE MAN (1959)
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961)
***
DRAGON SEED (1944)
PSYCHO (1960)
THE CHILDREN'S HOUR (1961)
MY FAIR LADY (1964)

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2 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

It's because of the tribute to Bill Robinson with Astaire in blackface, and uncharacteristic (for Robinson) garb.

Oh, thanks, slayton. There are so many films with blackface that it deserves a series of its own.

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11 hours ago, kingrat said:

Funny, I never think of that character as being a transvestite. There's a logical reason that character dresses in that fashion, and apparently only for that particular reason. (I'm trying to avoid spoilers, just as you did.) Anyone upset by that film for that reason can always rent To Wong Foo With Love, Julie Newmar or Priscilla, Queen of the Desert or various other films.

I'm actually more offended by bad performances of stereotypical gay characters, like Martin Balsam in The Anderson Tapes, than I am by the three-dimensional killers in Rope, which are very well played by John Dall and Farley Granger.

I think COMPULSION (1959) is a better version of the Leopold & Loeb case.

There's a British soap I watch called Coronation Street. It features a very flaming character named Sean played by actor Antony Cotton. He's been on the show for over 15 years. He's very stereotypical, swishing his hips, flailing his hands around, throwing his head back, etc. You name it, every flaming mannerism possible, he exhibits it. A lot of it is done for comic effect and people disparage the performance on Digital Spy's soap forums. However, this is how Antony Cotton is in real life and he is basically playing himself. So I do think that he has to be allowed to be himself and to represent a segment of the audience that is like he is. We cannot say all gay men should be masculine or straight-acting. That is simply not realistic.

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5 minutes ago, kingrat said:

Oh, thanks, slayton. There are so many films with blackface that it deserves a series of its own.

Indeed.  The rubric of which should be, that it is not what you think of it, but what the object of the practice (any practice) thinks of it.

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Oh brother. This is just tiring.

I just watched a documentary on the 1964-5 World's Fair in NYC and they showed footage of Walt Disney's "It's A Small World" exhibit and the first thing I thought of when seeing it was "Oh no! Asians depicted in stereotypical garb like in that Dr Suess book! Cancel! Cancel!" 🙄

MY ancestors are negatively stereotyped routinely in books/film/culture. Like Oprah, I enjoy collecting it as memorabilia of what "used to be". Although I still cringe when hearing "gyp" as synonym for cheating/thieving. But cringing is wholly different from canceling the book/movie/etc. 

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6 hours ago, slaytonf said:

It's because of the tribute to Bill Robinson with Astaire in blackface, and uncharacteristic (for Robinson) garb.

OK- I'm glad this was mentioned. Every time I see the segment  "The History Of Blackface In Hollywood", I think of what Donald Bogle says about Fred Astaire's tribute to Bill Robinson: (paraphrasing) "I want to be fair to Fred Astaire because I think he did appreciate Bill Robinson, but it still comes across in another way. Why did you have to wear those clothes? There is film of Robinson dancing and he's well tailored."

So, my question is- is a performer such as Astaire responsible for the clothing he wears for a musical number in a film? Isn't costume produced by someone working on the set? Please, I'm not trying to contradict what Mr. Boyle says just because I'm an Astaire fan; I'm merely asking a question. :)

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8 hours ago, TopBilled said:

TCM's article:

https://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/020930?source=Block

Films include:

GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
THE FOUR FEATHERS (1939)
ROPE (1948)
SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954)
***
THE JAZZ SINGER (1927)
GUNGA DIN (1939)
WOMAN OF THE YEAR (1942)
SINBAD THE SAILOR (1947)
GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER (1967)
***
SWING TIME (1936)
STAGECOACH (1939)
THE SEARCHERS (1956)
TARZAN THE APE MAN (1959)
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961)
***
DRAGON SEED (1944)
PSYCHO (1960)
THE CHILDREN'S HOUR (1961)
MY FAIR LADY (1964)

Thanks for publishing this list.  I think it is pure silliness on TCM's part to even try to do this.  Especially when you consider the movies on the list - and the many left off.

Actually there are few on there that I watch anymore.

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57 minutes ago, ElCid said:

Thanks for publishing this list.  I think it is pure silliness on TCM's part to even try to do this.  Especially when you consider the movies on the list - and the many left off.

Actually there are few on there that I watch anymore.

Some of it is just "marketing"-- a way to trot out a lot of the usual MGM/WB/RKO suspects.

Though PSYCHO and TIFFANY'S do come from outside the Turner library.

Notice they do not include any "B" films or foreign films. It's just well-known Hollywood "A" films.

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"With cancel culture leading to books being banned, I suppose we should be grateful that these films aren’t simply being memory holed. For now, the price of classic movies being left uncensored is to sit through a lecture. But, with the speed in which even recent norms are being denounced as problematic, watching 5 minutes of woke virtue signaling before every movie doesn’t seem too far off. Somehow that doesn’t seem like a good thing for the future of cinema".

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2 hours ago, sagebrush said:

o, my question is- is a performer such as Astaire responsible for the clothing he wears for a musical number in a film? Isn't costume produced by someone working on the set? Please, I'm not trying to contradict what Mr. Boyle says just because I'm an Astaire fan; I'm merely asking a question.

That's good to consider.  It's true you have director's and art directors and costumers and such.  You also have to think about his input on the dance sequences.  Dancing and singing was his core identity, and I'm sure whether it's Hermes Pan, or George Stevens or whoever he's working with, Fred Astaire was the controlling authority.  His popularity was huge, and so was his power.  As an illustration, consider his requirement that he always be shot in full while he was dancing. 

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16 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Notice they do not include any "B" films or foreign films. It's just well-known Hollywood "A" films.

Which naturally makes repudiation of prejudice in movies illegitimate.  So unless you mark every instance of prejudice in movies in criticism of it, you cannot criticize it at all.  I expect that would take about five years of solid programming to accomplish that goal.  Though it would probably be difficult to tell the difference from regular programming.

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8 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

Which naturally makes repudiation of prejudice in movies illegitimate.  So unless you mark every instance of prejudice in movies in criticism of it, you cannot criticize it at all.  I expect that would take about five years of solid programming to accomplish that goal.  Though it would probably be difficult to tell the difference from regular programming.

Perfectly stated. Agree one hundred percent.

The whole thing is a way for them to exploit the political-cultural wars.

That's why I said it was disgraceful. They've jumped the shark big time with this, but they actually think they are educating the right-- that's what makes it even more absurd.

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30 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

The whole thing is a way for them to exploit the political-cultural wars.

The only ones allowed to do that being conservatives.

31 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

That's why I said it was disgraceful. They've jumped the shark big time with this, but they actually think they are educating the right-- that's what makes it even more absurd.

Right-wingers, already knowing everything, can't be educated.

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14 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Desperate ploys for publicity.  And trying to justify it as if they are doing the public some sort of community service.

Disgraceful.

Thumbs down TCM.

Not to mention a (hshhh) AWK-ward! time to be doing it, and advertising themselves as "taking the side" of the controversies against the movies, fresh off of the knee-jerk over-the-edge PC Dr. Seuss hoo-hah.

And half of the movies I don't even KNOW the "controversies" over (Gunga Din, Jazz Singer, Dragon Seed and GWTW, I know, but "My Fair Lady"??  All I know is the "Julie didn't get to sing, and Audrey didn't" controversy), but fortunately, most of them seem to be over female/minority stereotypes, and Rope and Children's Hour seem to be the only ones with, quote, "LGBT subtexts" to them.  So, no, this is not going to be a TV series version of the old Filmstruck blog.

What is problematic about My Fair Lady, or, for that matter, Psycho?

Anthony Perkins was assumed to be in the closet, so the usual group of film analysts have looked for all sorts of Subtext in Norman peeking on Marion that wasn't there, and added Psycho to the "Gooba-gabba, one of US!" list.  Fortunately, we're not getting "Dracula's Daughter" or any of the Val Lewton films, for a refreshing change.

My Fair Lady, I assume, is on the "Hollywood is afraid of empowered women!" gender-paranoia list, along with Woman of the Year.  But I repeat, I'm just guessing.  😕

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