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TCM needs a rethink


joyrider
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They are beating a dead horse to death. :0 Showing the same movies over and over worked ok for 15 years but now we know all we need to know about Hollywood "Legends". TCM need to begin showing films that have never been on tv. Give us a reason to tune in. We are worn out on repeats for 20 years. We need an entire month or "Premieres". Just in England alone you could fill up a month.

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> {quote:title=TCMfan23 wrote:}{quote}joyrider ,

>

> TCM is fine how it is now.

>

> TCM has no big library. They're only allowed few films from few major studios. It's not TCM's fault they show the same material every two months.

That's definitely a case of "the pot calling the kettle black". You shouldn't talk with the way you so frequently complain about TCM...and NOW you're defending TCM?

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Read the post more closely. Comments like 'TCM has not big libary' is a knock on TCM. It is his way of saying 'TCM is too cheap to buy the rights for movies they don't have'.

 

I will say it does appear to me that TCM is showing a lot more repeats than it use to, but again, I could be wrong. Maybe I'm just watching TCM more than I did back then. But it is my understanding they have the WB and MGM libary. There are many 'B' movies from those studios (especially WB), that they could show (assuming they have the rights).

 

 

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*"We are worn out on repeats for 20 years. We need an entire month or "Premieres"*. - joyrider

 

I refuse to believe that anyone has watched each and every one of the 300+ movies TCM shows each month (with few repeats during a given month, if any) for the past 18 years. Just not possible.

 

*"TCM need to begin showing films that have never been on tv."*

 

You do understand how ironic that statement is coming as it does during the month TCM is presenting all these Mack Sennett shorts for the first time.

 

And don't forget to watch *People WIll Talk* on TCM for the first time this upcoming Tuesday evening.

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I will say it does appear to me that TCM is showing a lot more repeats than it use to, but again, I could be wrong. Maybe I'm just watching TCM more than I did back then. But it is my understanding they have the WB and MGM libary. There are many 'B' movies from those studios (especially WB), that they could show (assuming they have the rights).

 

I think it's fair to say that most of us on these forums, who've see most or all of the "Essentials" and the A list, would like to see more of the B movies and other particular genres that happen to be our own particular favorites. Personally I'd love to see TCM consist of nothing but silents, pre-codes, B-movies, forgotten dramas, noirs and foreign films for 11 months, and restrict all the endlessly repeated "Essentials" and "Essentials Junior" to "31 Days of Oscar." I don't feel any need to see even Casablanca or A Star Is Born again for about another 20 or 30 years, by which time I'll have forgotten the plots and they'll seem brand new to me once more.

 

 

But the problem is that in order to sustain itsself, TCM is going to have to keep luring new viewers, and for most of these potential newer viewers, the bait isn't going to be Warren William or Richard Barthelmess, or other actors they've never heard of. It's going to be the chance to see the movies that they remember from their childhoods and / or young adulthoods but seldom get to see on other movie networks.

 

 

Before I got completely hardcore three years ago and began making sure I didn't miss recording and watching a single movie that had any possible potential, I was more than thrilled to get a chance to view A Face in the Crowd or North By Northwest, and when I was working full time and could only watch films in the prime time slots, I wouldn't have made it a point to switch from a ball game or Seinfeld just to see The Match King. Why? Simply because I had no idea who Warren William was. It's only after having the opportunity to absorb TCM's "first string" that I now want to see almost nothing but movies that I haven't seen before, taken almost exclusively from those categories I listed above.

 

 

But it takes a while to get from Point A to Point B, and from TCM's perspective I doubt if there are enough of us at Point B at any given time to justify centering their programming entirely around us.

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*"I really believe I have seen {People Will Talk} on TV without any commercials and that means it was on TCM. But it might of been over 5 or so years ago."* - JJG

 

Do you (or did you) have access to the Encore Family of channels? That's where I first saw it.

 

In the late 90's and early 00's, Encore regularly scheduled a handful of "classic" titles each month on their "Love Stories" channel and their "Mystery" channel. The film *Twentieth Century* was shown there long before it debuted on TCM. Same for *Born Yesterday*.

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*"Sorry, my mistake. I thought you were discussing People Will Talk starring Grant and Jeanne Crain."* - MovieGal53

 

No mistake. You're right. That film is the one 'jamesjazzguitar' and I were discussing. (I can "confuse" *Talk Of The Town* and *People Will Talk*.)

 

The film is marked as a "premiere" in the September Now Playing guide - but that isn't always correct. It usually is but sometimes a previously seen film gets tagged as a "premiere".

 

Either way, everyone who hasn't seen the film should make time for it this week.

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> {quote:title=jamesjazzguitar wrote:}{quote}

> Read the post more closely. Comments like 'TCM has not big libary' is a knock on TCM. It is his way of saying 'TCM is too cheap to buy the rights for movies they don't have'.

Don't need to read it "more closely"...and you skipped over the first line, where he says "TCM is fine how it is now.". That's defending TCM, after so many times he's simply knocked TCM for one reason or another.

 

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> {quote:title=hlywdkjk wrote:}{quote}*"We are worn out on repeats for 20 years. We need an entire month or "Premieres"*. - joyrider

>

> I refuse to believe that anyone has watched each and every one of the 300+ movies TCM shows each month (with few repeats during a given month, if any) for the past 18 years. Just not possible.

Exactly, and good point...NO ONE can possibly have watched every movie that TCM has ever shown. Those who keep commenting about "all the repeats" and such are simply either watching or paying attention to ONLY those movies they've seen or are familiar with. They should try paying attention to everything else which they've never seen or even heard of.

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> TCM has no big library. They're only allowed few films from few major studios.

 

TCM owns six films, the so-called "lost" RKO features produced by Merian C. Cooper.

 

At one time they owned the former Turner library (the pre-1986 MGM titles, the pre-1949 Warners titles and the RKO library). But that library is now owned by Time-Warner and controlled by Warner Brothers.

 

TCM has to rent all the films it shows, including the films from the old Turner library.

 

In the past five years we have seen several studios, including Fox and Sony (who controls the Columbia Library) work more closely with TCM. Now we are seeing Paramount and Universal working more closely with TCM.

 

But, we live in a digital age and the studio film libraries are filled with film titles that need not only preservation and restoration but digital masters as well.

 

Hopefully, as the digital age progresses and the economy improves, the studios will continue to convert their libraries. But it takes time and money.

 

And patience.

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There's been a lot of fresh material on TCM in the last year. I could give many examples, but I'll just mention the four Carry On films that were shown. So great to see them! And in October, TCM will be showing my favorite House of Usher -- the obscure 1949 UK version, which I much prefer to the Corman stodgy version. Plenty more examples of "new" material, too, enough to make me keep my mouth shut when NBNW is shown!

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*"...the studio film libraries are filled with film titles that need not only preservation and restoration but digital masters as well."* -lzcutter

 

So true. I doubt that Time-Warner / Warner Home Video has even made digital copies of all the films from the Ted Turner Library yet, though I have no specific knowledge of the situation. Because of automation and computers, it is necessary that all of TCM's materials be in a digital format. Until the digital versions are made, those films are unable to be shown on TCM.

 

*"... it takes time and money. And patience."*

 

I bet the capital expenditure (the financial costs) for the digital transfers was spread out over many years. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that T-W made digital copies of about half of the Ted Turner Library for TCM's use in the first year and then are transfering a few hundred "new" titles each year afterwards until everything is finally in the digital format. If so, it is possible that it could take a decade for all those films to be "TCM-ready". But I hope it isn't that long.

 

Who knows what Universal and Sony have planned to address this issue.

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Plenty of new films, both this year and last year.

 

I've managed to record three Alice White films, very rare, from the early 1930s, including her with Edward G. Robinson in The Widow From Chicago, which was made BEFORE he made Little Caesar,

 

And a full day of mostly new Samurai films.

 

Noah's Ark, a whole day of Warren William films, Stormy Weather, This Modern Age, Never the Twain Shall Meet, Five & Ten (early 1930s films). Berkeley Square, The Mating Call, Born to Be Bad, Muhammad, Stars and Stripes Forever, Call Northside 777, Storm Warning, lots of Tarzan films of all kinds, Rififi, American Grafitti, Charlie's Aunt (very rare), Kidnapped (both versions), The Invisible Woman, The Rains Came, The Illustrated Man, Come to the Stable, House of 7 Gables, One of our Aircraft is Missing, Floating Weeds (both Japanese versions), The Black Cat, Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Vallient (Muni's first film, 1929), The Tresspasser (early Swanson sound film), Obsession (Robert Newton), and plenty more rare films.

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Thanks for reminding me about *Carry On, Cowboy* ! That's one I haven't seen. Sounds promising -- it has Sid James, Joan Sims, Kenneth Williams, and, most promising sounding, based on their roles, Charles Hawtrey and Bernard Bresslaw. I once saw Bresslaw on stage, as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream. If I had to compare him to an American actor, it would be to B.S. Pully (Big Jule in Guys and Dolls ).

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> {quote:title=AndyM108 wrote:}{quote}I will say it does appear to me that TCM is showing a lot more repeats than it use to, but again, I could be wrong. Maybe I'm just watching TCM more than I did back then. But it is my understanding they have the WB and MGM libary. There are many 'B' movies from those studios (especially WB), that they could show (assuming they have the rights).

>

> I think it's fair to say that most of us on these forums, who've see most or all of the "Essentials" and the A list, would like to see more of the B movies and other particular genres that happen to be our own particular favorites. Personally I'd love to see TCM consist of nothing but silents, pre-codes, B-movies, forgotten dramas, noirs and foreign films for 11 months, and restrict all the endlessly repeated "Essentials" and "Essentials Junior" to "31 Days of Oscar." I don't feel any need to see even Casablanca or A Star Is Born again for about another 20 or 30 years, by which time I'll have forgotten the plots and they'll seem brand new to me once more.

>

>

> But the problem is that in order to sustain itsself, TCM is going to have to keep luring new viewers, and for most of these potential newer viewers, the bait isn't going to be Warren William or Richard Barthelmess, or other actors they've never heard of. It's going to be the chance to see the movies that they remember from their childhoods and / or young adulthoods but seldom get to see on other movie networks.

>

>

>

>

>

> Before I got completely hardcore three years ago and began making sure I didn't miss recording and watching a single movie that had any possible potential, I was more than thrilled to get a chance to view A Face in the Crowd or North By Northwest, and when I was working full time and could only watch films in the prime time slots, I wouldn't have made it a point to switch from a ball game or Seinfeld just to see The Match King. Why? Simply because I had no idea who Warren William was. It's only after having the opportunity to absorb TCM's "first string" that I now want to see almost nothing but movies that I haven't seen before, taken almost exclusively from those categories I listed above.

>

>

>

>

>

> But it takes a while to get from Point A to Point B, and from TCM's perspective I doubt if there are enough of us at Point B at any given time to justify centering their programming entirely around us.

>

Some good points there.

 

I think you have to look at a TCM programmer the same way you examine those who schedule films for repertory houses such as New York's Film Forum (TCM is, for all intents and purposes, the repertory house of TV). You might like to program 100% obscurities and rarities, but while those will please the hard-core classic film buff and/or historian, the casual old movie fan likely has never heard of those titles and thus won't be interested. But if you add some relatively familiar movies as a complement, they can act as a lead to getting folks interested in the obscure stuff.

 

I'll provide an example, using my favorite actress, Carole Lombard: When Film Forum did a retrospective of her work in late 2008 to commemorate her centenary, they purposely scheduled her best-known movies -- "Twentieth Century," "My Man Godfrey," "Nothing Sacred" and "To Be Or Not To Be" -- on Friday and Saturday nights to draw in the relatively large dating or casual crowd, Lesser-known Lombard fare was shown during the week, and perhaps those captivated by Carole on a weekend showing would thus be inclined to see something they weren't quite as familiar with.

 

So it is with TCM. We might get tired of some of the more "obvious" selections, but somethng fairly common such as, say, "The Thin Man," could lead someone who sees it to later catch a TCM airing of "Love Crazy," or "One Way Passage" (for Powell), or "Too Hot To Handle" (Loy). Those, in turn, might get people intrigued by Gail Patrick or Kay Francis or Clark Gable, and so on. That's probably how a lot of folks here became interested in Warren William.

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