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September theme- The Idea of America


ElCid
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TCM is showing several movies which are supposed to portray the "idea of America."  Only ones I really appreciate are Holiday Affair, Cool Hand Luke and To Kill a Mockingbird.  Others are: To Hell and Back, Higher and Higher, Splendor in the Grass, Love Story, The Champ, Cool Hand Luke and Badlands. 

https://www.tcm.com/articles/Programming Article/021652/special-theme-the-idea-of-america

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

Sure.  A "mixed bag" of movies to represent the "idea" of a country that is basically a "mixed bag" too.  

Clever

Sepiatone

in other words,,,whatever they want 😁

ok, i'll play. for me movies that capture the environs

"midnight cowboy"

"lost in america"

"a thousand clowns"

any number of woody allen movies

"last picture show"

"american graffiti"

 

 

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Looking at the article, the theme tying these movies together seems pretty flimsy.  To justify showing Holiday Affair in September, the writer says it "showcases the time honored traditions of Christmas-- decorating the Christmas tree, shopping for and wrapping up presents, the act of gift giving and the ritual of a holiday meal..." These are not uniquely American ideas or traditions.  As much as I like Holiday Affair, I expect that it will be shown numerous times in December.

Why not narrow the theme to something like American writers or the American family or Immigrating to America?

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3 hours ago, ElCid said:

TCM is showing several movies which are supposed to portray the "idea of America."  Only ones I really appreciate are Holiday Affair, Cool Hand Luke and To Kill a Mockingbird.  Others are: To Hell and Back, Higher and Higher, Splendor in the Grass, Love Story, The Champ, Cool Hand Luke and Badlands. 

https://www.tcm.com/articles/Programming Article/021652/special-theme-the-idea-of-america

I think it's an interesting concept. I saw quite a few of those in the movie theater. Sorry to see they don't have any good musicals. I definitely would have liked to have seen them include "West Side Story", "The Music Man" "Flower Drum Song" or "Damn Yankees".

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23 minutes ago, Princess of Tap said:

I think it's an interesting concept. I saw quite a few of those in the movie theater. Sorry to see they don't have any good musicals. I definitely would have liked to have seen them include "West Side Story", "The Music Man" "Flower Drum Song" or "Damn Yankees".

I'd add The Pajama Game, too.

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Cool Hand Luke and Badlands as "the idea of America"? :lol:

Says a lot about America, I suppose.

I read the article and it supposedly "explore[s] many facets of American life—building an image in the mind of the viewer that is both highly idealized and contradictory. It’s shaped how both Americans and immigrants coming to America perceive the country as a whole."

I agree with you though that it may not be the most favorable image of America.

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If one starts thinking about it there is not a shortage of movies about 'America/Americana' that are easily found and watched. 

Just pick a segment of Americana you want to •focus• on and away you go!  There are loads of movies to be discovered.   

EDIT:  It seems to me the topic is perhaps overly broad.   Perhaps narrowing it down a bit.  You could go with "The Idea of American Life in the 1950s" with movies like ON THE WATERFRONT, THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT, IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, THE WILD ONE, HIGH SOCIETY, EXECUTIVE SUITE or PATTERNS, A FACE IN THE CROWD (already mentioned above) and so on and so forth.  Movies that depict various themes and segments of the population of the 1950s. 

As far as the current schedule goes TCM is going to air COOL HAND LUKE; other movies of a similar nature would be ROAD GANG (1936) and I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG ('32) and one could program the '67 movie IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT as well.  I think 'HEAT' would go well with 'COOL HAND LUKE'.

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Well, I WAS gonna offer up the idea that they should ALSO include Duck Soup in this thing.

(...but then I remembered it was set in the country of Freedonia and not in the good ol' U. S. of A.)

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17 hours ago, Dargo said:

Well, I WAS gonna offer up the idea that they should ALSO include Duck Soup in this thing.

(...but then I remembered it was set in the country of Freedonia and not in the good ol' U. S. of A.)

So then, how about HORSE FEATHERS  or  GO WEST instead?  ;) 

Sepiatone

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14 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

So then, how about HORSE FEATHERS  or  GO WEST instead?  ;) 

Sepiatone

Yeah, good suggestions here I'd say, Sepia.

However and also considering that the narrative of A Night at the Opera entails the story of people coming to this country (from Italy in this case) in order to better their lives (and specifically to become bigger and better known stars in show business, and not to mention all those traveling down in steerage class), you'd then also cover the aspect of immigrants seeking "The American Dream" as well, couldn't ya say?

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The link to the article on the TCM monthly web page says "Join TCM host Ben Mankiewicz as he sits down with nine special guests to hear their personal journeys of coming to live in the United States and the films that impacted their perceptions of the American experience."

So these are films that the guests picked out that influenced their view of America from their own personal experiences.

With that framework almost any film that somehow relates to America could have been chosen.

(I assume they had to work with TCM to find films that TCM is able and ready to show.)

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21 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Cool Hand Luke and Badlands as "the idea of America"? :lol:

Says a lot about America, I suppose.

If the idea were to show "the dark underside of America" then this would have been a good opportunity to schedule the Russian film Circus (1936) which depicts a lynch mob in the fictional town of Sunnyville, Alabama.

Actually come to think of it, America as depicted in foreign films would have been a more interesting programming idea than the generic one they chose. I also agree with the immigrating to America idea that was mentioned above but I believe they already did that one before. 

As far as the movies scheduled go, I assume Badlands will have an introduction on the plague of gun violence in America and I can already see all the one post- posters coming here to get riled up about it. :rolleyes: 

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28 minutes ago, cmovieviewer said:

The link to the article on the TCM monthly web page says "Join TCM host Ben Mankiewicz as he sits down with nine special guests to hear their personal journeys of coming to live in the United States and the films that impacted their perceptions of the American experience."

Uh-huh, and so just like all the stuff I just said up there about A Night at the Opera then, RIGHT?!  ;)

(...okay, sure, so maybe none of these "special guests" have ever sang at NYC's Metropolian OR wouldn't know Groucho from Chico or Harpo, but STILL I say that Marx Bros flick would fit RIGHT into this sort'a thing using THIS as a parameter)

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I don't know if TCM has ever shown September Affair (1950), with Joan Fontaine and Joseph Cotten. The film is primarily remembered for skilfully utilizing "September Song," a wistful, somewhat melancholy song about the passage of years which had been a popular hit years before when Walter Huston sang it in the stage production of Knickerbocker Holiday. The release of the 1950 film made the Huston rendition of the song a hit all over again. Rather poignantly Huston didn't live to see his song version's return to popularity as he had died six months before the film's release.

 

 

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When I was seventeen,

It was a very good year.

It was a very good year for...

(...oops sorry...I was just suddenly reminded of this old Sinatra tune here for some reason...but how it has anything at all to do with the idea of "coming to America" is not quite clear to me either???)

;)

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On 9/2/2022 at 11:03 AM, cmovieviewer said:

The link to the article on the TCM monthly web page says "Join TCM host Ben Mankiewicz as he sits down with nine special guests to hear their personal journeys of coming to live in the United States and the films that impacted their perceptions of the American experience."

So these are films that the guests picked out that influenced their view of America from their own personal experiences.

With that framework almost any film that somehow relates to America could have been chosen.

(I assume they had to work with TCM to find films that TCM is able and ready to show.)

Yep, this. Wanted to post something similar last night, but I was too sleepy.

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