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The one movie TCM should show is...


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What's the movie, and why would you have it on the schedule?

 

If there was time for just one more movie... what movie do you think TCM should showcase. Imagine you're in a programming meeting and it's your turn to pitch a film that you think embodies everything that you believe TCM should show its viewers.

 

This is not a contest, or sanctioned by the TCM network - You're not going to win a prize by participating in this thread, but perhaps (no promises) someone will see your clever, heartfelt pitch.

 

What's the movie, and why would you have it on the schedule? Don't worry if someone else has the same idea - what matters is your reasoning.

 

*And if all you can add is sarcasm and abuse, don't bother. Fair warning.*

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Early, never seen sci fi films.

 

There is a Russian made film that was later dubbed and edited for the US, "Battle Beyond the Sun" (1959). It's about a space race to Mars. It looks like a campy B movie but they wanted it to be serious. Don't expect top of the line SFX's (some looks silly)

 

Trailor

 

Battlebeyondthesund.jpg

 

If TCM wants an alternative film or a double feature, then there is "Journey To The Seventh Planet" (1962) starring John Agar. Its filmed in Denmark and its plot involves the United Nations launching a space mission.

 

Trailor

 

JourneytotheSeventhPlanet.jpg

 

Edited by: hamradio on Dec 24, 2013 11:52 AM

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*Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies*

 

I'd match it up in a triple bill with *Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines* (similar production staff; some crossover actors) and *The Great Race* (both starring Tony Curtis in international car races).

 

And Jimmy Durante's vocal on the catchy title song is brilliant.

 

I'm not aware of its ever having been shown on TCM.

 

Letterbox only, please! :-)

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This is a pitch for a movie I suspect few if any people here have seen or even heard of: A 1979 Hungarian Film, Angi Vera. It had a brief run here in the late 70's and early 80's, to generally outstanding reviews, but quickly disappeared after that. You can see it in its entirety on You Tube, but alas, only in the original Hungarian. There was a Region 2 subtitled VHS available for awhile, but I've never seen any English subtitled version available in the U.S. since it had its brief theatrical run.

 

I've probably seen well over 100 "political" movies, from Traffic in Souls through Eisenstein through Rossellini and up through the 21st century, including many of the magnificent American films that Warner Brothers produced in the 30's. And I've never seen one quite as pitch perfect as Angi Vera.

 

The plot is set at the outset of the Communist takeover of Hungary in the late 1940's, and the central protagonist is a young nurse, Angi Vera (played by Veronika Pap), who openly criticizes conditions in her hospital during a community meeting, and is recruited by the Communists for one of their many cadre training schools. The Party sees her as a young and idealistic woman, a natural leader, whose relatively unformed views can be shaped toward their desirable "socialist" ends with the right sort of guidance.

 

In the cadre school, Angi Vera meets several key players. The first is an older woman who seems to be some sort of a Party plant, placed there to guard against incorrect thinking. The second is a free-spirited young woman who seems impervious to all the Party's preachings, and at one point openly mocks the older woman. When Angi Vera steps up to defend the older woman, she is quickly given favorable treatment.

 

The third person she meets, a young instructor whom she falls in love with, almost proves to be her downfall. They have a brief overnight affair, in clear violation of Party rules, but when she is leaving his room, the older woman sees her, and subsequently denounces her in an infamous "self-criticism" session. What follows is perhaps the most magnificent minute of acting I've yet to witness in all my years.

 

The camera focuses on Angi Vera while the charges are being voiced by the older woman, and at that moment the younger woman has to choose between truth and survival. She chooses survival. Quickly she protests that the affair meant nothing, that her instructor means nothing to her, and that she realizes she was wrong.

 

In response to Angi Vera's "confession", her instructor counters her by calmly stating that none of this is true, and that they love each other sincerely. If ever there were such a thing as "socialism with a human face," it's embodied in this character.

 

All the while, the camera is mostly focused on Angi Vera, and as her instructor speaks, her face starts to well up with fought back tears, as she knows in her heart that he speaks the truth, and that she does love him.

 

But *THEN.* An internal switch is thrown, extinguishing her heart and reviving her survival instinct. *NO!* she says. I don't love him. And this split-second transformation on her face is one of the most magnificent jobs of acting I've ever seen on the screen. Barbara Stanwyck couldn't have pulled it off any better.

 

Postlude: Angi Vera's lover is never heard from again. Her accuser now accepts her repentance and sets her up for a cushy "journalist" job in Budapest.

 

And that free-spirited rebel girl? In what may be the most horrifying (if bloodless) final scene I've ever seen, we see Angi Vera and her patron roaring down a rutted country road in a limousine, when all of a sudden they pass a hunched-over figure of a woman in a heavy overcoat, struggling to pedal her bicycle up a hill. When Angi Vera looks through her rear view window, she recognizes that woman as her formerly free-spirited friend from the cadre school, cast aside by the Party for her lack of submission.

 

At that instant, the look of sheer horror on Angi Vera's face serves as a metaphor, both for her sudden realization of just what she has become, and for what her country is about to become. Both this final scene and the movie as a whole succeeds on so many levels that it only reminds us of the nearly unlimited power of film to portray truth. You can almost see Angi Vera as a human counterpart to the donkey Balthazer in the great Bresson film that played here on Sunday night: To paraphrase Godard's comment on that 1966 movie, it's the story of Communism's reality told in just 96 minutes.

 

I don't know what the one time TV rights for a subtitled screening of this magnificent movie would cost TCM, but I'd personally put up several hundred dollars towards acquiring it. These few feeble words can only begin to describe the emotional impact of this film.

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I'm torn between three movies which have been shown at the festivals but not on TCM.

 

*Wild River* - Gorgeous restoration, with beautiful autumnal colors. One of Kazan's best films, with great, career-best performances by Jo Van Fleet and Lee Remick. A Fox film, and more of them are now available to TCM.

 

*Went the Day Well?* - This Alberto Cavalcanti film, about an English village resisting Nazi occupation, was a huge hit with audiences. I don't know if rights issues for TV are a problem. The TCM audience would love it.

 

*Whistle Down the Wind* - Now that Bryan Forbes is no longer with us, it would be even more poignant to have this wonderful film available to the TCM audience. It is not available on Region 1 DVD. Hayley Mills plays a girl who believes that the escaped convict (Alan Bates) hiding in the barn is Jesus. For this conception to work, absolutely everything--script, direction, music, cinematography, professional and non-professional actors, with lots of children--had to be exactly right. And it is.

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THE TIN DRUM, a fascinating German film from the book by Gunter Grass of the same name. The German descent into the Nazi Hell from the eyes of a not so nice child given a drum as a gift. Not a nice movie or a pleasant movie but one with a message.

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Ed Wood movies such as "Bride of the Monster", "Glen or Glenda", "Night of the Ghouls", and of course the more "mainstream" "Plan 9". This could be preceded by the Johnny Depp biopic, which would give some measure of reference and familiarity, despite being a little dramatized. The dichotomy angle has been done by TCM in the past with "Airplane!"/"Zero Hour", and I am pretty sure "Young Frankenstein"/"Bride of Frankenstein". There are other examples of parodies that escape me at the moment that if done in this vein would not only be entertaining, but educational to those who may have never seen the original. Although I had heard of it, the first time I ever saw "Zero Hour" was on TCM, and I still talk about it with friends. Opinion: this type of programming, perhaps done as a regular thing like TCM Underground would resurrect TCM in some viewer's eyes, and maybe, in some way at least, silence some of the "too many repeats" or "TCM dead as we know it" naysayers that I tire of reading on these boards.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing some of the other unusual pieces of cinema such as the Jose Mojica Marins "Coffin Joe" trilogy that I saw once on TCM Underground a couple years ago. Selected works of Russ Meyer wouldn't be bad either. These have influenced more contemporary filmmakers such as Rob Zombie (in his music too), who may be a good hosts for this type of thing (if there was a budget for it, of course).

 

Obscurity is not necessarily what I crave entirely, mind you. I do feel diversity is a good thing, and I do respect the complaints of some about the frequency of certain TCM selections. However, the apocalyptic tone of others is a little much.

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[*The Unknown Soldier*|http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048752/reference]

 

It's about a lesser-known part of World War II, the Continuation War. After the Winter War between the USSR and Finland ended, there was an uneasy peace between the two countries, until Germany attacked the USSR in June 1941. Finland, who had been invaded by the Soviets in the Winter War, felt this was an opportunity to get "their" land back, and so they attacked the Soviets too.

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*THE EAGLE (1925)*, starring Rudoph Valentino in an adventure costume romp that was his second last film, and one of his very best. Not only is Rudy a surprisingly convincing action hero in this Russia-set film, but it revealed that the actor could very skillfully play a scene for subtle humour, as well.

 

The British Photoplay (Kevin Brownlow and David Gill) restoration is the version most desired, a print of it now residing with Cohen Media Group, I believe.

 

eagle-1-sm.jpg

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"Hurry Sundown", directed by Otto Preminger and starring Jane Fonda, Michael Caine, Faye Dunaway, Diahann Carroll and a stellar cast of character actors and actresses. I've seen this film only twice as a young girl of about 10 or 11. It made such an impression on me; I never forgot it. Growing up during the turbulent 60's, this film hit close to home. As an adult, I like to revisit films that I have seen as a child to see if they have held up over time. I've only been disappointed once.........................

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Fedya: The Unknown Soldier looks very good. I just googled it as I had never heard of the Finnish movie before. I see that their is an original and and a remake from the 80's. You get my vote for a movie to see from 1955. A very unknown war to most people. The Finns trying to thwart centuries of Russian/Soviet imperialism.

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And GG, your bringing up of the "turbulent '60s" here has reminded me of a film I haven't seen since 1988 and when it first hit the movie theaters, and which I now remember making quite the impression upon me:

 

Running On Empty, starring Christine Lahti, Judd Hirsch, River Phoenix and Steven Hill, and directed by Sidney Lumet.

 

It's the story of a husband and wife who had committed an act of sabotage in protest during the Vietnam War, and who along with their teenaged son have been on-the-lam and living under assumed names and identities ever since.

 

The scene I remember most as being so well done and especially heartbreaking is when Lahti after years of being estranged from her father(played exceptionally well as I recall by Steven Hill) meet at a restaurant.

 

(...yep, I think I'd like TCM to show this one)

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I wonder if Disney would let TCM do a one-time special airing of *A SONG OF THE SOUTH* (1946)?

 

With Morgan Freeman as a special guest host to help Mr. Osborne introduce it.

 

With Mr. Freeman and Mr. Osborne introducing it, I can't imagine anyone complaining about it. These are two of the most-liked men in the world of movies and TV.

 

TCM (or Disney or both) could sell DVD copies of it, and maybe WITH the Freeman/Osborne introduction included at the beginning of it.

 

TCM has a special classic-film status in this country.

 

With Mr. Freeman and Mr. Osborne endorsing and introducing the film, I think it would be widely accepted and liked by both black and white kids and parents, and by other people too.

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Carl Foreman's 'The Victors' (1963)

 

I generally consider 1964 to be the beginning of the break from the phoniness of the repressive era of film art (generally termed 'hollywood's golden age'), but I feel that this movie - particularly in it's complete, uncut original form - represents the first example of the new age of freedom.

 

One can't help but wonder why this 3-hour thought-provoker that featured Eli Wallach, George Peppard, Jeanne Moreau, Albert Finney, Romy Schneider, Peter Fonda, Vince Edwards, Elke Sommer, George Hamilton, Rosanna Schiaffino, James Mitchum, Mellina Mercouri, Michael Callan, Peter Vaughan and Senta Berger - with BAFTA-nominated black and white cinematography - has been so thoroughly buried away for so long.

 

Its honesty was not appreciated at the time of its release, but how its suppression continues half a century on is baffling.

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well, the last two requests have motivated me to chime in.

 

Whistle Down the Wind and The Victors both deserve an airing. both are reflections from one era, the '60's, into another, the '40's. this is keeping within and directly in the TCM wheelhouse and reflect the particular sensibilities of the post WWII but still pre-Vietnam era.

 

a modern movie that qualifies because of the era/setting (30's), but was made in 2008 is Clint Eastwood's Changeling. this movie has noirish overtones and backwards police precedural consturctions. many will fault my suggestion of a 21st century movie, but its themes and story are set squarely in the TCM classic period.

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