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My name is Stephen Butler


StephenButler
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Hello:

 

I'm not sure if there is an 'introduction' board on here, but I just wanted to say my name is Stephen Butler and I am a 'classic' film lover in England, where the weather is dreadful and TCM is even worse.

 

As I'm sure many of you know, especially those that have travelled to the UK, the schedule in this country in no way matches that in the US. It's awful. I think they have about 11 films in their entire library. Apparently, this is due to rights and restrictions which mean that our eyes are somehow different and have no right to view these wonderful films.

 

Anyway, it's good to talk about them, and I hope you don't mind an Englishman butting in and joining in some of the threads.

 

Cheers,

Stephen

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Welcome, Stephen. I'm sure no one here minds an Englishman butting in!

 

I spend a fair amount of time in your country, most recently in July. TCM is indeed poor in the UK, but the weather was glorious! I've generally had good luck with the weather.

 

What part of the country do you live in?

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Hello Swithin:

 

Yes, we did have something of a 'heatwave' back in July, but that's all gone now, it's something of a distant memory. I am in Drybrook, Gloucestershire. It's a village on the Welsh border, about (I'm guessing here) 30 miles north of Bristol. It's part of the locale known as the 'Forest of Dean' - we're not from here, but moved here because it's probably the most beautiful part of England.

 

I don't watch TCM here any more, there just isn't any point. They do occasionally screen 'Casablanca,' 'Gone With the Wind,' and the like, but I have those on DVD. For the rest, it's films from the 1970s and later, but the true low point came when they began screening 'A Fish in the Bathtub,' which starred the guy whose name I forget, but he's Ben Stiller's father.

 

Back in the year 2000, TCM were screening many of the films you see in the US. But then something happened. More than 60 films scheduled for screening in one month were suddenly withdrawn and it's been more or less the same formula ever since. I've been told that the rights issue is centred around not the moving image but the soundtrack. I don't know. I hope it can be resolved one day.

 

Sorry to rant in my first thread, I hope you have a good day over there.

 

Cheers,

Stephen

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Stephen, You live in a lovely part of the world. I'm going back to London in November, there's nothing as beautiful as a nice British autumn day -- hope it happens!

 

In London, I stay with a friend who has two TCM channels, on the Sky cable network. But I do remember the time that the BBC would show old British movies, many of which I'd never heard of. The early Gracie Fields films -- which I now have on PAL DVD, are virtually unknown here.

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Hi - I'm not sure TCM has a host, as such, just a bland 'voice' that announces the movie name or what's coming up. I'm sure you do get the occasional repeat over there, but it is nothing, and I mean nothing, like over here. Films screened from about 3 pm to 11 pm daily are then repeated the following morning from 9 am. Every day. Tomorrow night's 'featured movie' (occupying the prized 9 pm slot) is 'White Men Can't Jump.' Go figure. In reality you only get half a schedule, and even then it's from a very limited number of titles. You should indeed get down on your knees and praise the Lord for your wonderful schedule. Oh, and another thing: over here the films are broken up by COMMERCIALS. That was the worst thing they ever did. When they did screen 'Gone With the Wind,' and 'Ben-Hur' back-to-back, it took 12 hours to get through them because of advertisements.

 

I hope I haven't driven too many people to their nearest window ledge, I didn't mean to bring everybody down, but the situation really is dire over here and I do hope that something can be done about it one day.

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Welcome, Stephan.

 

The man you're mentioning is JERRY STILLER, who for years was a comedy team half of STILLER AND MEARA, with his wife and Ben's mother ANN MEARA. Very popular comedy team, and seperately successful as screen actors in their own rights. Jerry did well in recent years on the "Seinfeld" TV show, and as a Father figure in "King of Queens" over here. He can also be seen in several movies, including "The Taking of Pelham 123", and the original "Hairspray".

 

We more than welcome an Englishman to the boards if, for no other reason, than to teach the rest of us ENGLISH! ;)

 

Sepiatone

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I'm glad you mentioned the BBC, Swithin, because they are our saviour. They appear to have done some sort of a deal with RKO, because each Saturday and Sunday since around June we have had two, sometimes three, RKO movies of a morning, including some rarities like 'The Half-Naked Truth' and 'The Lost Squadron.' That has been utterly fantastic. I don't know how they did it, and you have to get up very early to see them (usually around 6 am) but it's worth it.

 

Other channels, Channel 4 and Channel 5, also screen rarities now and again, but you have to wait for them, sometimes it can be months before a gem comes along. It would be nice if we had a dedicated channel for these classic rarities like, I don't know...

 

Actually, in reality there is only one TCM channel now. Recently they turned the second channel into a "+ 1" - i.e., the same 'schedule,' just an hour later, just another way of squeezing more out of as little effort as possible. Cheers!

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I must say that BBC America is a godsend here in the States. And the Powers That Be in the UK have become very conscious about making some of the BBC's shows available quickly over here. While Season 4 of "Downton Abbey" is already airing in the UK, we won't get it on our public television stations until January. Thanks to BBCA, we've been able to watch the "Doctor Who" Christmas specials on Christmas Day!

I believe it's the same thing with "Game of Thrones." We get it here on HBO about the same time it's available over there.

 

Edited by: jakeem on Sep 30, 2013 12:58 PM

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Hello jakeem:

 

Season 4 of 'Downton Abbey' has indeed begun, we've had two episodes so far but - although I do not wish to give anything away - it's not quite as good. However, Season 3 began poorly in my opinion and soon warmed up, so to speak, so maybe the same will be true here. We are promised a number of new and interesting characters. Overall, I think 'Downton' is the best thing that's come from British television in decades, although some have argued that it reinforces the class divide, but I don't buy that. It's just great TV that gives us a view of two different social groups, but does not suggest that one is better than the other. It says, hey, we're all human and we all make mistakes, just that some of us have more money than the other and insist on being referred to as 'Your Ladyship.'

 

Cheers,

Stephen

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"Downton Abbey" has had some amazing ratings on public television here -- even in February opposite the Super Bowl, which customarily is the most-watched event on television in the U.S. Americans usually like all things British -- including two-month-old George Alexander Louis and his extended family!

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> I must say that BBC America is a godsend here in the States. And the Powers That Be in the UK have become very conscious about making some of the BBC's shows available quickly over here. While Season 4 of "Downton Abbey" is already airing in the UK, we won't get it on our public television stations until January. Thanks to BBCA, we've been able to watch the "Doctor Who" Christmas specials on Christmas Day!

*Any ep of Doctor Who with Billie Piper is a-ok by me*. :)

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I'm afraid I'm not a fan of BBC America. It may have a couple of good programs, but in total, I find the programming quite poor and unimaginative. I just checked -- 15 hours in a row (maybe more, I couldn't count that high) of "Top Gear," preceded by a few hours of "Kitchen Nightmares"! Shameful, considering what they COULD give us.

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Dear Stephen,

 

Welcome! Rest assured that around here a poster is received, and more judged, by their contributions rather than their country of origin! TCM does show a lot of classic British films; perhaps you can offer some unique perspective on those in the future?

 

PS: You might be interested to read my post on ? 1,000 notes (Yes, there once was such a thing!) on my thread "Money In *The Old Movies*", in the *Your Favorites* forum at:

 

[*http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threadID=161743&tstart=45*]

 

 

speakthelma.gif

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Well, the best thing about BBC America is being able to access BBC America On Demand, which gives you several seasons of "Doctor Who" episodes plus the Christmas specials. Not to mention such Emmy nominated series as "Luther" (starring Idris Elba) and series that should have been nominated like "Orphan Black" (with the incredible Tatiana Maslany). Plus I love Graham Norton's talk show. He's a hoot!

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