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TCM- What happened?


VikingHead2000
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24 minutes ago, txfilmfan said:

It's also possible that the distributor of the film made the error and has it mismarked in their metadata.  I doubt TCM has the personnel to screen every film they get to make sure it matches what they expected.  There's probably an expectation on their part that they're getting what the distributor says they're getting, and they don't verify the details.

But whatever the cause, we'll never know and we're all just speculating.

I hope my post didn't come off as picking on TCM programmers since I used the term "clueless";  What I meant to communicate was that I would expect anyone that TCM hires to be a programmer would have more knowledge (than me) about what should be well-known different versions of films (like the Mata Hari  (pre-code \ post-code,  or the Hawks The Big Sleep (released to US Troops,  then held back,  and then reshot for release in the USA,    or overseas\British versions verses a USA release  etc... versions released by the studio that are different.   

Minor content editing done by third-parties are much harder to track and be aware of and you're correct:  TCM doesn't have time to screen every film they lease to determine if such minor editing was done.

 

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On 11/13/2021 at 11:18 PM, VikingHead2000 said:

Unfortunately TCM has done what they’ve never said they would do. They’ve bent the knee to the social justice warriors. I thought, I’d never would say this but, TCM has gone woke.

Okay, onto more problematic stuff. So I selected this particular passage from the OP, who was angry that  a scene containing two racial slurs, one against white people, one against black people, had been edited out of a recent airing of The French Connection. This post has led to a lot of disucssion of "original intent" and "artistic integrity", which are two concepts I would like to think I personally treasure. The OP doesn't discuss either of these terms. He (?) is just angry that the racial slurs are gone. So, I asked him if he wanted their reinstatement so that he could continue to see and hear a white man using a racial slur against black people. 

I tried to put another quote in this thread, but this appears beyond my capabilites to put a quote from page one and a quote from page two in the same post I'm preparing to make for a box that will apear on page four. So, I will have to put the next quote in a seperate post.

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On 11/15/2021 at 9:23 AM, jvernet said:

if you want to go further, the scene plays as

Popeye: Never trust a n****

Cloudy: It doesn't matter that he was black

Popeye: Never trust anyone

So it's not merely "white people saying that word". It's a joke, a character beat, it destroys how the scene plays, and it's censorship. 

Here's the other quote I wanted to use. As Jvernet points out, there is an extra beat to the scene in question that I liked and chuckled at before but had forgotten about in the several  years since my last viewing of the movie. It is a nice bit that pokes fun at Popeye's paranoia, but also foreshadows the dark turn that paranoia will take when at the end of the film (Spoiler alert!), Popeye accidentally shoots and kills a fellow law enforcement officer. Jvernet correctly points out that there's more to the scene than the use of the slur, and I must say that the way the moment ends helps soften the wince I experienced seconds earlier from the use of the term and places that use in an entirely different context. He (?) also uses the word censorship, as does the OP, and I don't believe I ever denied or tried to argue in any way that this was not censorship. 

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Since TCM's "stock-in-trade" is to show movies *UNCUT* then if TCM showed "The French Connection" knowingly with bits edited out for *any* reason then I don't need TCM.  You can watch basic cable channels to see edited movies all the time. 

However, I would give TCM the benefit of the doubt  that they didn't know the version they received was missing stuff that should be there no matter what it might be. 

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4 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

Okay, onto more problematic stuff. So I selected this particular passage from the OP, who was angry that  a scene containing two racial slurs, one against white people, one against black people, had been edited out of a recent airing of The French Connection. This post has led to a lot of disucssion of "original intent" and "artistic integrity", which are two concepts I would like to think I personally treasure. The OP doesn't discuss either of these terms. He (?) is just angry that the racial slurs are gone. So, I asked him if he wanted their reinstatement so that he could continue to see and hear a white man using a racial slur against black people. 

I tried to put another quote in this thread, but this appears beyond my capabilites to put a quote from page one and a quote from page two in the same post I'm preparing to make for a box that will apear on page four. So, I will have to put the next quote in a seperate post.

I don't think it was right or fair to ask the OP that request;  To me that was a very punk move since such a question implies the OP might be racist.

As for original intent and artistic integrity:  the Supreme Court ruled on this when the Directors Guild sued content provider in the state of Utah for editing  their films.   Directors won.     Unless the film is in the public domain one has to get permission from the copyright holder to edit a film. 

Where I get confused is if what MOVIES-TV does,  which is not editing but instead either having silence (for words)  or placing a block\gray out (over nudity).

Can a third-party do that without permission?

 

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7 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

Since TCM's "stock-in-trade" is to show movies *UNCUT* then if TCM showed "The French Connection" knowingly with bits edited out for *any* reason then I don't need TCM.  You can watch basic cable channels to see edited movies all the time. 

However, I would give TCM the benefit of the doubt that they didn't know the version they received was missing stuff that should be there no matter what it might be. 

Above I asked a question related to this:   If the only version TCM can obtain is an edited one (because the copyright holder decided to edit the film),  should TCM lease the film or not:   I.e. should TCM tell the copyright holder they will only release a non-edited version.

 

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6 minutes ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

I don't think it was right or fair to ask the OP that request;  To me that was a very punk move since such a question implies the OP might be racist.

Okay, just what I was about to reference in this post. To the best of my memory no one but me has had anything negative to say about the OP's comment, but several people have been extremely unhappy about what I said. I will say I feel in my own defense I reacted with the same intensity toward the OP which I feel people have toward me in turn, so stunned was I by the content of his post, which I have just alluded to above, highlighting the specific things he said that made me feel the way I did. I felt I was exercising care to not outright call the OP a racist, but I can see how the implication of my question might cause the interpretation that I essentially said as much. Not my intent, and I apologize for my inarticulate wording. 

Anwyay, there's more I'd like to say, but it requires some careful thought, and I will probably conclude this tomorrow evening. Sorry to drag this out. I just have one or two more posts to go.

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I'm not familiar with MOVIES-TV, James.  If it's anything like a basic cable and/or network channel  I'm not surprised bad words and nude parts are ▬ BLOCKED ▬  out or ((overdubbed)).   Certain "broadcast standards" would still apply if MOVIES-TV can be watched by anyone with a basic satellite or cable package.

→ Remember -- give or take a couple of years -- 30 years ago on the 'USA Cable Network' they would air premieres of their own "made-for-cable" movies.  These movies did not have bad words or nudity or any extreme violence from what I remember of them.  And there were ♦bunches♦ of them, too!   The point being:  USA Network was a basic cable channel and they had very similar "broadcast standards" to ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX at the time. 

When the 'USA Network' aired an [R]-rated movie way back when  then there would be /cuts/ to content if necessary!  (NOTE that I haven't watched the 'USA Network' in years -- I don't even know if this channel still exists -- but circa 30 years ago this channel was airing "Premiere Movies" all the time and these films were very similar to network TVM's.  → IF you wanted to see "dirtier stuff" on made-for-cable movies then you'd need to subscribe to HBO or Showtime or Cinemax.   I remember Cinemax had the nickname "Skinemax" for a while cos of some of the features they showed late at night. 

(I'll offer up an example of a 'USA Network' made-for-cable movie:  RED WIND (1991-CTVM).  With Lisa Hartman, Philip Casnoff, Deanna Lund.  I have the 'MCA/Universal Home Video' release of this USA Network film and it's rated [PG-13] for content but  it's only rated that way for the subject matter → not for what the movie actually *shows*.   There's no cuss words or nudity or bloody violence.  → Heck, by the mid-1990s the TV show "NYPD Blue" was showing dirtier stuff at 10 PM than these made-for-cable movies ever showed).     

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31 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

I'm not familiar with MOVIES-TV, James.  If

MOVIES-TV is an over-the-air station and  thus subject to those old-time content restrictions.   

But one thing that really bugs me about MOVIES-TV is that when they show The Dark Corner,  a 1946 Hollywood noir film,   near the end they are showing a Donatello statue of a women.      They block out her chest!     Note that if those two pointing objects were A-OK back in the 13th century when the statue was created,  and A-OK when this film was shown back in 1946,   it should be A-OK to show them now in 2021!.

(well at least I got something off MY chest,,,,,but not hers).

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50 minutes ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

I don't think it was right or fair to ask the OP that request;  To me that was a very punk move since such a question implies the OP might be racist.

As for original intent and artistic integrity:  the Supreme Court ruled on this when the Directors Guild sued content provider in the state of Utah for editing  their films.   Directors won.     Unless the film is in the public domain one has to get permission from the copyright holder to edit a film. 

Where I get confused is if what MOVIES-TV does,  which is not editing but instead either having silence (for words)  or placing a block\gray out (over nudity).

Can a third-party do that without permission?

 

No, I don't think they can.  Filmmakers have long known that broadcast networks are typically restricted in what they can show over the air, because of potential FCC fines.  They have been providing broadcast-safe edits since films started moving into "edgier" content and differentiated themselves from content found on TV.  

Cable stations aren't bound by the same FCC restrictions as over the air broadcasters, but they often follow the same rules.  This is because they believe it's in the public's interest (and they don't want to get complaints!)  They have relaxed their rules a bit on this in the last 10 to 15 years, as many first-run TV series on cable, especially on AMC or FX, or similar, now have PG-rated language or stronger on a regular basis.

Even broadcast TV has aired content unedited before.  Saving Private Ryan aired unedited on ABC back in the early 2000s (but it carried numerous warnings and an explanation as to why it was unedited).

https://apnews.com/article/ebcf24f2c2d37199a9d6bcd1d9f6e88f

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2 hours ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

MOVIES-TV is an over-the-air station and  thus subject to those old-time content restrictions.   

But one thing that really bugs me about MOVIES-TV is that when they show The Dark Corner,  a 1946 Hollywood noir film,   near the end they are showing a Donatello statue of a women.      They block out her chest!     Note that if those two pointing objects were A-OK back in the 13th century when the statue was created,  and A-OK when this film was shown back in 1946,   it should be A-OK to show them now in 2021!.

(well at least I got something off MY chest,,,,,but not hers).

Just for clarification purposes here James, the correct and full name of the channel you're referencing here is: "Movies!", and with that exclamation mark at the end.

(...take it from someone who some might say uses WAY too many of 'em in his posts around here!!!) ;)

LOL

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We watch quite a bit of MoviesTV network -- actually it outpaces TCM these days for us!  What surprises me about MoviesTV is that they will show most of the movies intact, though with a few words here and there silenced and  some weird little squares covering the naughty bits (on both animate and inanimate objects).  Not that long ago, any time you watched a rather raw film on television, the entire "obscene" scene would have been cut out.  This month on MoviesTV they've been showing "Get Carter" as well as some fairly gritty things from the 70's and 80's, and the channel puts up the "edited for content" disclaimer at the beginning of the show.  Then what we get, I think,  is pretty close to the entire movie.  People around here who know these movies better than I can help out if you know that full scenes have been edited out for various reasons.  

My guess about TCM nowadays is that they have just become sloppy.  Maybe more attention is being given to selling the brand than to actually ensuring that the brand stands for something extra-special.  Over the summer there were a few comments about the hosts' getting some significant details wrong about the movies they were showing.  And then there was -- to many folks around here -- the embarrassingly lackluster roll-out of the New Look.  To me it raises questions about how much anyone at the corporate office is really paying attention to the details necessary to maintain TCM as the gold standard of classic movie channels.  A whole heck of a lot can slip through the cracks if you're focused in the wrong direction.

I just saw Dargo's post as I put up mine.  Please read mine with the following additions: ! ! !   

I think that covers it.

 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, LsDoorMat said:

You seem bound and determined to believe it is nothing but a coincidence that movies are not shown that TCM might deem offensive, and I don't have time to embark on a research project on that subject. But here is another Mickey Rooney movie, same age, same genre as Babes on Broadway, same director (Busby Berkeley), same costar (Judy Garland) - Strike up the Band. Last two times shown - August and April 2021. Total times shown - 47 times = Shown about every seven months since TCM's inception. So that film still gets regular airplay with a similar imdb rating . Babes On Broadway = 6.8 Strike Up the Band = 7.1.  The difference - no blackface in Strike Up The Band.

A case you'd even have to admit is because of the film's offensive content - Wonder Bar (1934) Last two times shown = June 2007 (at 3AM),  November 2004. Shown a total of eleven times. Thus it was shown ten times the first ten years TCM was on the air but has not aired in over fourteen years. It has the infamous "Goin to Heaven on A Mule" number. 

The only thing I am bound and determined on is not to accept careless, or flawed reasoning.  Arguments and analysis constructed to support a pre-determined conclusion.  You make assumptions to suit your purposes without substantiation, and you draw conclusions with incomplete information.

As an example, one unjustified assumption you make is that a movie is shown at roughly regular intervals over the history of TCM's existence.  But this is not necessarily the case.  Airings can have been highly irregular, clustered, with long gaps between them.  I am not saying they are or not, just that it must be demonstrated.

I will rephrase my position to help you understand my point.  You say the movie in question hasn't been broadcast because of it's content.  But there are other movies that have likewise not been broadcast that do not have that content.  So a movie's content cannot be used to determine why it has not been shown.  Again, you are assuming that a correlation between a movie's not having been broadcast and its content imply a causal link.  But that is a conclusion which you must demonstrate with evidence.

 

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@SEWHITE:  Maybe TCM's programmers were just SICK of "My Fair Lady" so they didn't program it for several years!  There's always that possibility.

@BRIAN IN NH:  Had you ever seen GET CARTER (1971-UK) before you saw it on  "Movies!".   It is not a movie I'd recommend watching in an 'edited for content' format.  → GET CARTER was rated [R] for good reason!     

---------------------------------

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7 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I peek my head back in just to say that TCM didn't air My Fair Lady, a movie which it usually airs ALL the time, for something like six years during the 2010's, so who knows the motivation of programmers?

Just peeking in too. Isn't it also possible that it is a very simple explanation? It may have just been misfiled and later found? Maybe it was mislabeled under "My Fairy Lad"?

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Mr. Gorman:  Actually, I watched "Get Carter" on TCM when they showed it not long ago.  But only the second half, really.  So, yes, I understand there's a lot to edit.  That's why I was so surprised to see it on Movies! with only some pixeled boxes and some drops in the dialog.  What I was saying is that not so many years ago, most of that movie wouldn't have even made it to the tv screen.  

The other interesting thing about Movies! is that during any given month they are showing a line-up of films very similar to that of TCM.  They show them more often, but the same titles are promoted on both channels.  Sometimes even the same movies is running at the same time.  

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9 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I peek my head back in just to say that TCM didn't air My Fair Lady, a movie which it usually airs ALL the time, for something like six years during the 2010's, so who knows the motivation of programmers?

 

Even though Warner Bros. made My Fair Lady, distribution rights reverted to Paramount for awhile, and maybe they even still have it. 

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5 hours ago, brianNH said:

Mr. Gorman:  Actually, I watched "Get Carter" on TCM when they showed it not long ago.  But only the second half, really.  So, yes, I understand there's a lot to edit.  That's why I was so surprised to see it on Movies! with only some pixeled boxes and some drops in the dialog.  What I was saying is that not so many years ago, most of that movie wouldn't have even made it to the tv screen.  

The other interesting thing about Movies! is that during any given month they are showing a line-up of films very similar to that of TCM.  They show them more often, but the same titles are promoted on both channels.  Sometimes even the same movies is running at the same time.  

I had recently seen Get Carter on TCM and later on saw that MOVIES-TV was going to broadcast the film,  which also surprised me.     I almost wanted to watch it again just to see how MOVIES-TV handled the content in this film.

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On 11/15/2021 at 9:23 AM, jvernet said:

As for:

Quote

So .... you WANT to hear white people saying that word?

ABSOLUTLY beside the point. Presentation does not equal endorsement.

Okay, last phase of my responses, now turning to some of the comments that were directed toward me. First of all, thanks again to Jvernet for adding clarification I'd forgotten about to the scene in question. As regards to the rest of this, obviously I don't feel it's beside the point if that was indeed the OP's point. The question was directed at the OP, who never spoke for himself to my knowledge. A lot of people swooped in to offer their interpetations of his statements as if it's obvious theirs have more validity than mine. You say "presentation does not equal endorsement" if this is some incredibly obvious truth, but I've been scratching my head a little, trying to figure out its meaning. If you mean TCM doesn't endorse the content of the films it presents, okay, but I think they fear, or whoever leases them the movies if they were the ones who made the cuts fear, that the mere continued existence of the scene will be interpreted by some as endorsement of offensive material. If this refers to VikingHead, I'm not entirely sure I get what you're trying to say.

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In TCM's "instructional" promo tonight featuring your esteemed panel of expert film buffs, I almost choked on my own tongue when Messr. Dave Karger said that he and his colleagues were explicitly there to provide warnings to the TCM audience. The team went on to apologize for and explain why TCM still has the temerity to broadcast Al Jolson in blackface (in the first talkie ever made in 1927), Gone With The Wind (the 1939 film epic which they seem to think only has redeeming value because it features a "strong female lead") and No Way Out, another film from decades ago in which the entire point is racism in the 1950s (and which therefore NEEDS NO EXPLANATION).

Let me blunt to the entire new TCM panel of so-called experts. We do not require your condescending "woke-splaining" of any film from decades ago. We all know what was going on, thank you.  Also, please stop running all the woke, latter-day documentaries and short films with an agenda. You think you are on the cutting edge of changing society or something. You're not. It's boring and offensive and you are destroying everything about TCM we once loved.

In short, we are grown-ups. We do not need to be baby-sat. We know what's going on. We do not need anything explained.  We just want to be entertained by the classic films of the classic film era. So just run them, and please, no more "trigger warnings."  We aren't ten years old.

Many thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Some months ago, I expressed general concern that most of the posters on these message boards were way, way, WAY angrier to perceive that they were being lectured to about racist content by a degree of infinity more than any upset they ever had in their entire lives that racist content existed. I could have written the above post myself as a computer-generated sample of what this outrage sounded like. It still exists.

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7 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

Some months ago, I expressed general concern that most of the posters on these message boards were way, way, WAY angrier to perceive that they were being lectured to about racist content by a degree of infinity more than any upset they ever had in their entire lives that racist content existed. I could have written the above post myself as a computer-generated sample of what this outrage sounded like. It still exists.

A more accurate description of my state of mind would be bored annoyance. Seen everything under the sun, son. Nothing surprises me anymore, and the only thing I truly know for sure is that everything leaves a mark.  Just want to watch a great classic film.

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