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Would like to see movies other than Awards or Birthdays


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Hello, I'm a retired man of 65 and love watching TCM movies, however, when TCM plays actor's *birthdays* or *best films* or *Oscar award's* movies it seems to me that the same movies play week in and week out, month in and month out in prime time which, to me, gets monotonous.

With all the movies TCM must have why can't less popular type movies be shown and *stop the replaying the award/birthday type movies?*

Because I'm retired I watch TCM a lot but getting tired of watching the same movies over and over again under a different premise.

An example of movies to show: Victor/Victoria with Julie Andrews or Fitzwilly with Dick Van Dyke, and so many others in your archives.

Does anybody else agree?


Edited by: RSchlieper on Mar 8, 2011 2:56 PM

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Yes and no. While I do agree that I wish TCM would play some lesser known movies (especially when they have birthday or memorial or anniversary tributes) I don't care for them to play more recent movies. I pay an extra premium on my cable tier specifically for TCM. They are basically the only station currently around that plays silent films along with films of the 1930's thru 1950's. I can watch any number of other channels for more recent films (from the 1960's onward).

There are so many movies from the 1930's thru 1950's which TCM hasn't played or hasn't played in several years. Why? I'm not sure; possible because they don't own the film libraries anymore or many of these older films aren't in a digital format or some other reason. I'm still waiting for more Universal and Paramount films. TCM still hasn't shown much from the Universal vaults (Universal also owns the pre 1950 Paramount movies). There are so many stars as William Haines, John Gilbert, Ramon Novarro, W.C. Fields, Mae West, Clara Bow, Nancy Carroll, Sylvia Sidney, Al Jolson,

etc. etc. who are rarely seen. Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews are too recent. It's fine when they play the more recent films during Oscar month or for some rare event but I don't wish for them to make a habit of showing newer films when so many older lesser known but intriguing movies are collecting dust in some vaults.

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TCM shows some wonderful movies, but there is too much repetition. Just last night *Guess Who's Coming to Dinner*, a great movie, was played for the umpteenth time. It was shown late at night, however.

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This might help explain why TCM shows certain films, in some cases more times than others:




From: TCM Programmer in response to filmlover.

Posted: Feb. 26, 2006.

Re: TCMprogrammer, exactly how many films in the TCM library?


It's a very complicated answer. Ted Turner bought the RKO, MGM pre-1986 and Warner Brothers pre-1948 libraries in the late '80s, which total about 3,500 films. When TCM launched in 1994, that was considered the "Turner library" and that was the basis for the newtork. However, in the late '90s, Turner merged with Warner Brothers, and since then they (Warner) have been the official owners of that collection of libraries. However, TCM does have an agreement with them (Warner) to play films from that library, although it isn't unlimited access in the way that it used to be. In addition, we license films from all of the other studios and independent distrubutors. As it is, about 65% - 70% comes from those 3,500 titles, and the rest come from other sources. That's the best I can do on a Sunday night.



From: lzcutter in response to: sweetbabykmd.

Posted: Aug 23, 2006 12:06 PM

Re: TCMprogrammer, exactly how many films in the TCM library?


"TCM programmer says they now rent everything anyways so I would think any movie could be had."




Unfortunately not every film can be had. Some films are tied up with rights issues. Some films are leased to other channels. Some films are lost, which means they likely don't exist anymore (especially true with silents and early talkies). A number of films prior to 1950 are considered lost because back then studios didn't have a incentive for keeping the elements and storage costs money. The original negative for Stagecoach and others were melted down for their silver content during WW2. Many of the studios have suffered vault fires over the years and films have been lost forever because of that.


Just because a film exists is no guarantee that the elements are in excellent shape and can be mastered for digital. Almost always, negatives have to be repaired, soundtracks have to be cleaned, negative has to be cleaned. Elements, sometimes, are in such bad shape that other sources for the material have to be found.


With pre-codes, many were cut shortly (including their negatives and soundtracks) after the Production Code was implemented and studios like WBros and others spend a great deal of time and $$$ looking for the cut footage in hopes of restoring the film to its Pre-Code length. Sometimes these elements are found in overseas archives or end of the line cities, someone's attic or in mislabeled cans in archives here in the States.


Warner Bros. recently restored "City of Conquest" only after it had located and restored the missing prequel. They continue to look for the cut scenes for "Sea Wolf" in hopes of returning the film to its original length.


Finally, TCM has a digital server. When TCM first started broadcasting, it was using a tape based server which had been the industry standard for years. However, with the digital age, TCM and most other networks have all converted to digital servers.


What this means is that in order to run a film, it has to be on a digital format. As the digital age is still fairly young, many films have yet to be converted to a digital format.


Until they are, TCM can not run them. Warners, Sony and Fox all understand the digital age and are going through their respective vaults, preserving and restoring and mastering on a digital format. Universal and Paramount are, as usual, bringing up the rear in this regard. Though with the long-term leases that TCM has with Paramount, someone was thinking of the future.


Converting a library to digital is a costly and time consuming effort that is not done quickly. Each year, the budgets are handed out that likely dictate how many films can be restored, preserved and remastered each year.


So, these are some of the reasons that not every film can be shown on TCM.





From: lzcutter in response to: infinite1

Re: AMC is totally ripping off TCM

Posted: Feb 26, 2011 5:04 PM


What library is that if none exists?


As explained awhile back by TCMProgrammr, they have films that they have on long-term rental that they call a "library" but they do not own a film library nor do they own the former Turner Film Library.


They have to rent all the film they air. The only exception to that is the six RKO "lost and found" films that Merien C. Cooper owned the rights to (as opposed to RKO). TCM cleared the rights and in doing so, retain the rights to those six films.


Edited by: lzcutter for clarity

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