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Remembering TCM in 2011


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What were some of the highlights this past year?

 

We had several in-depth discussions (threads) about the middle-eastern images series mid-year. I don't think we ever resolved most of those issues...!

 

Also, we had Robert Osborne leave in July. He returned in December. Some of the guest hosts were rather interesting. I particularly liked Tippi Hedren.

 

There were several noteworthy memorial tributes to honor film artists who passed away during 2011. One that I remember is the day devoted to Cliff Robertson, as it gave me a chance to see AUTUMN LEAVES, a film that Sony has not put on DVD yet and one that I had wanted to see.

 

I loved the month of September. I thought that getting THE STORY OF TEMPLE DRAKE and THE CONSTANT NYMPH on the air was like getting Christmas early. I do think the TCM logo should not have been on screen for nearly the entire running time of CONSTANT NYMPH, but that is a minor quibble. I am glad it is on DVD, recently made available thru the Warner Archives. I haven't viewed the disc copy of it yet, but my guess is that it does not have any sort of logo in the corner.

 

October was another exceptional month. There was a tribute for director Nicholas Ray to commemorate his 100th birthday (which was actually back in August). And Buster Keaton was Star of the Month, and I rather enjoyed that. I still would like to see the short subjects he made at Educational Films in the 30s. Maybe we'll be lucky and get those someday in the not-so-distant future.

 

Speaking of the SOTM topic...I do think that TCM could've done better overall in this area. I found the selection of Esther Williams to be a bit predictable, especially since her MGM films are in fairly frequent rotation. Same goes for William Powell. It would've been better if we were able to see the films they made at Universal. Where is RAW WIND IN EDEN (starring Esther Williams & Jeff Chandler); and where is THE SENATOR WAS INDISCREET (starring William Powell & Ella Raines with a cameo by Myrna Loy)...? The only reason I can see for showcasing a tried-and-true MGM star yet again as SOTM is if we add some of the other films they made at Universal and Paramount. For this reason, I am not too thrilled about the selection of Angela Lansbury in January as good as she may be.

 

But please do not think I am down on TCM. I am very much excited about the films that will feature cinematographer/director Jack Cardiff's talent. And I am sure that TCM has many more wonderful treats in store for us...!

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Unfortunately, your post reads like a typical TCM complaint thread! I do think it is possible to discuss the highlights of 2011 without mentioning personal low-lights.

 

I was so happy for Robert O's return....you don't realize how much you love someone until they are gone. It was so great to see him on Dec 1st!

 

I think a highlight was definitely some of the premieres that were shown all year long.

 

It also seemed that TCM has been getting more access to Fox, Universal and Columbia pictures and it was great to see many titles I otherwise wouldn't have.

 

I was glad to see Ben M. step up and do some filling in for Robert O. I happen to like the guy and I like his casual yet genuine attitude he has about the classics.

 

As someone who many would not think fits the demographic of the average TCM viewer, I have been so pleased this year. I also thank you posters for peaking my interest about films I never heard about. I wish you all happy and safe holidays and I know TCM will blow my socks off in 2012, I have a feeling so strong I may bet on a horse!

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I thought Ben did a fine job with the SUTS in August. However, I think the selections overall could've been better. There are so many great performers who never get picked.

 

One of the films I most enjoyed during the 31 Days of Oscar in 2011 was SKIPPY, which I forgot to mention in the original post. That was surely a highlight.

 

As for the series on middle-eastern images, I have to say that I did not find it to be entirely convincing. I felt the professor made many statements that posters were able to pick apart. These kinds of series are risky, but apparently TCM feels they are worthwhile.

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