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10 Things to know about TCM


lzcutter
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Have questions about the demographics of TCM? What films they have access to? Rights issues? Streaming? Commercials? Think they are chasing younger viewers? (ps-you'd be wrong about that one!)

 

Will McKinley had media credentials at this year's Film Festival and was able to talk to various staffers. He gets answers to these questions (and more) that many here have asked or been skeptical of when others have posted similar responses:

 

http://willmckinley.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/10-things-i-learned-at-the-tcm-classic-film-festival/

 

Enjoy!

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Thank You Lynn. That was very informative and an enjoyable read. So glad that all the requests for Letty Lynton(that's one I've been so anxious to see for most of my life) and other films are thought about by TCM staffers. Can't wait to see who will be the fan programmers this time around. :)

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I thank you for the link.

 

I believe that most of the common complaints which are oft repeated on this board are addressed.

 

It was sad to see that the TCM Programming Challenge was not mentioned as a vehicle for requesting movies.

 

I must wonder why the author entitled it: "10 Things I Learned at the TCM Classic Film Festival" and then presented eleven items. Was one of them know to him prior to the festival?

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Glad that everyone is enjoying the article and finding the information useful!

 

There's lots there to digest and it sounds like TCM has a good plan going forward in an ever changing technology world!

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TCM loves to beat their own favorites (pet movies) into the ground. No doubt many more showings of *their* favorites like Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago are ahead. Whom do they serve? Film festival attendees or the cable subscribers of America? I think it should be the latter. Let them show Zhivago and Lawrence all they want but it is not lost on the rest of us that there is a whole lot more that they could be showing...but aren't. It's sunday and their line-up today suks as usual. Gypsy? Whatta I want to see that for? Obnoxious Rosalind Russell justifying her selfishness with song throughout the whole picture...and Karl Malden as her lapdog for some incomprehensible reason. No thanks.

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> > {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote}Have questions about the demographics of TCM? What films they have access to? Rights issues? Streaming? Commercials? Think they are chasing younger viewers? (ps-you'd be wrong about that one!)

>

> Will McKinley had media credentials at this year's Film Festival and was able to talk to various staffers. He gets answers to these questions (and more) that many here have asked or been skeptical of when others have posted similar responses:

>

> http://willmckinley.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/10-things-i-learned-at-the-tcm-classic-film-festival/

>

> Enjoy!

>

Great link. I noticed the second question:

 

*THE MOST REQUESTED MOVIE BY TCM VIEWERS IS:*

 

*“LETTY LYNTON,” Tabesh said. “That’s one that, for legal reasons, hasn’t been available. Over time we try to clear those.”*

 

 

*The 1932 MGM film stars Joan Crawford, Robert Montgomery and Nils Asther, and has been unavailable due to a plagirism suit filed by playwrites Edward Sheldon and Margaret Ayer Bonds after the movie’s release. Dishonored Lady, the play upon which the court ruled LETTY LYNTON was too closely based, was made into a film of the same name by United Artists in 1947. That movie is in the public domain and can be viewed on [Archive.org|http://archive.org/details/dishonored_lady].*

 

 

But when I went to Archive.org I discovered that the copy they had of Dishonored Lady was choppy and very hard to watch or listen to. I gave up after only a few minutes.

 

 

So with a bit of googling I discovered a much better link for the movie, and thought I'd pass it on. Just finished watching it, and it was well worth the 84 minutes spent. Hedy Lamarr is terrific, even with all her clothes on. ;) Here's the link to a much superior copy:

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvwOjLVqtfI

 

 

 

 

 

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*"It's sunday and their line-up today suks as usual. Gypsy? Whatta I want to see that for?"*

 

Ummm....it's Mother's Day. And Mama Rose is one of the greatest mother roles in all of stage and screen.

 

All of today's films leading up to "Silent Sunday Nights" are selected in honor of Mother's Day. I am sure many more people appreciate TCM's holiday films selections than think they "****".

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If I was a corny gangster character from one of WARNER'S 1930s films I would say something like "I've never heard so much double talk in all my life".

 

Take number #3 for example,

 

“We don’t edit the films, and that’s rare on basic cable,” Tabesh said.

 

Maybe TCM dosen't edit the films, but they're not opposed to showing edited films. Even after it's brought to their attention they still ask for and get the same edited film for subsequent showings.

 

What about problems with films like missing endings????? Why are there never any on the air apologies to viewers? How about showing films different from the ones that Robert Osborne, Ben, or their guest programmers are rambling on about. Sort of kills the illusion that they are watching the films at the same time that we are dosen't it?

 

Then there's Robert Osborne once again spewing untruths “Basically, what we have is the (pre-1986) MGM library, the pre-1950 Warner Bros. library (actually pre-1948), the entire RKO library and some of the United Artists films that we got, along with the MGM films, because they merged for a while.”

 

It took the author of the post to clarify the above, but poor old Robert is still stuck in 1995, giving outdated information as if Ted Turner was still running the show. Maybe that's why we're still waiting for all the UNIVERSAL films that he said TCM made a deal to show a few years ago. Half the stuff he "reports" is years old, the other half he either gets wrong or makes up.

 

But none of this still answers the question as to why there are so many repeats in the course of a year. Tabesh claims “We can’t license every classic movie ever made; financially, it’s impossible to do that.” I don't think anyone wants or expects TCM to do that. In the first place most of those films no longer exist, so the claim is ridiculous. What we want is more variety and to cut down on the usual subjects that are being shown more often then ever before. That's not too much to ask is it?

 

 

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> {quote:title=Mr.Froy wrote:}{quote}

> I keep my BS detector/amp set on 11.

 

I believe that must mean that you believe there is little BS.

 

It is appropriate to turn up the gain on any detector only when it searches for a thing which is scarce and difficult to find. ;)

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> {quote:title=infinite1 wrote:}{quote}

> But none of this still answers the question as to why there are so many repeats in the course of a year.

 

The article explains that quite clearly. It quotes Mr. Tabesh: ?So we try to structure deals with all the studios where, in addition to the traditional way of licensing a film, say, for twelve months or two years, and getting a certain number of runs within that period of time, we say, ?Let us also dip into your library for one run of a film... "

 

It is plain that if: "...the traditional way of licensing a film... [is] a certain number of runs within that period of time... " then the vast majority of movies they chose will have to be repeated during the course of the licence and that it is a special situation when they can licence a movie for a single showing.

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Someone once mentioned, in ANOTHER "TCM repeats the same old movies" complaint thread that even if they show a movie that hard-core TCM viewers have seen tons of times, there are still many out there who have NEVER seen them. Plus some of those oft repeated movies are someone else's favorites, and they don't mind. Since the one TCM staffer in the article said they're not concerned with ratings, they obviously don't mind if the rest of us switch the channel or put in a tape/disc of something else during that slot. So go ahead.

 

 

 

I was glad to read that they DO pay attention to these message boards( if it's true), and NOT exclusively to those who attend the festivals or cruises, as those are venues of limited feedback. I suspect that THOSE attendees are like the tip of an iceberg; the smallest amount is what you see. I like TCM, but NOT to the point I'll go into hock or ignore my bills to be able to attend such events as festivals or cruises. And if I ever DO discover that those are the ONLY squeeky wheels being greased, then TCM can kiss my whip!

 

 

 

Sepiatone

 

Edited by: Sepiatone on May 14, 2013 11:34 AM

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Very, very well said, Sepiatone. For example, I've been a star trek fan for most of my life...not lately however. Not since paramount all but crippled and destroyed Star Trek with killing off Capt. Kirk (SHATNER) in 1994. The recent Star Trek movies being nothing more than mindless cgi for the youth demographic but that of course applies to most of Hollywood's current output. Been a trekker since I was a kid and yet I've never attended a single convention or stuck points on my ear lobes. I've just watched it all *on TV...like most people.* Most cable subscribers are not independently wealthy like TCM's Hollywood celebrity friends are.

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