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SUSPICION two days in a row


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I know this has been discussed peripherally in several other threads, but I think this needs its own thread. This is 'news' in a way, and the response to it is prompting me to pull out a few hairs (and I have beautiful hair and want to keep every precious strand atop my head, folks!).

 

When I read some of the comments slamming TCM's programmers for scheduling SUSPICION two days in a row, on Dec. 28 & Dec. 29, it bothers me. First, and we have already gone over some of this-- on the 28th, there was a primetime theme that used the film, then for Joan Fontaine's tribute the following day, it was necessary to rebroadcast.

 

Many of the comments are criticizing TCM's choice of SUSPICION for the Fontaine tribute more than it being scheduled the night before. And some are saying that if SUSPICION had to be rescheduled so soon, why not throw it into an early morning slot when nobody would care to watch it.

 

But this is what I want to say about all of this: SUSPICION should most definitely have re-aired on the 29th. How can you not have a Joan Fontaine memorial tribute and leave out the film where she earned a Best Actress Oscar? Also, putting it into an afternoon slot where more people can see it pays more respect to her memory, because this was one of the high points in her motion picture career, just as REBECCA was, which was also scheduled in the late afternoon.

 

Furthermore, SUSPICION has something that BLOND CHEAT does not have: it has the added draw of Cary Grant's star power. So an A film by an A director (Alfred Hitchcock) that earned the actress an Oscar and paired her with one of the screen's most dashing leading men (Grant) should definitely be considered more valuable than a B film made a few years earlier when she was just getting started in the movie business.

 

To complain about this because we are tired of repeats is ridiculous in my humble opinion. The idea is not to show a rare Joan Fontaine film, but to show a film that honors her legacy. SUSPICION does just that.

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*My only criticism of the scheduling changes is that I think there should be a way to sign up for automatic e-mail notifications whenever such changes occur.* I don't mind the fact that Suspicion got aired two days in a row, but it *does* bother me that I didn't know about Blonde Cheat until it was too late to either watch it or record it for later viewing. This is especially true since that's a film that will never likely be shown more than once in a blue moon.

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It still comes down to some poor choices. Granted, SUSPICION was already scheduled for the previous night; no problem. But it shouldn't've been shown again, just hours later, no matter what the reason. That it was a must have for a Fontaine tribute is debatable. Sure she won her oscar for this, but it was widely acknowledged then, and since, that it was a consolatiln prize for not having gotten it the year before for REBECCA. Now THAT film I consider indispensable to a tribute to Joan, as it made her a star, along with giving a prerformance many felt should have resulted in an academy award. Plus, it is an A film by the same A director, also with a dashing leading man, a point that is irrelevant to a Fontaine tribute. MUCH better, imho, would have been for TCM to have tried to get something else instead, say IVY, FRENCHMAN'S CREEK, LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN, or KISS THE BLOOD OFF MY HANDS, movies which are Much more rarely shown on TCM than SUSPICION, which shows up several times a year, every year.

 

And if SUSPICION is deemed indispensable to said tribute, what would have been the harm in waiting a few days to do it? None.at all, as I see it, but at least we wouldnt have this programming snafu.

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I don't consider it a programming snafu. The TCM programmers made a deliberate choice to re-air SUSPICION because they saw the benefit of including the film for both days, in two different contexts. If REBECCA had already been scheduled the day before, then we would have had REBECCA airing two days in a row and people complaining about that!

 

Again, the goal was not to air obscure Joan Fontaine titles. The goal was to honor high points in her career and to remind people why she was a classic star and why her death is a loss.

 

Also, the Encore channels and Fox Movie Channel (or whatever it is now called) air some films two days in a row, and even some titles up to four or five times in a given month-- and yet people are not bent out of shape about that. I think we have been spoiled by TCM and we seem ungrateful by pitching a fit when a good film like SUSPICION is repeated.

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Yes, it was aired in two different contexts, both legitimate. However, a better course of action would have been space the two by more than a few hours. TCM could easily have preempted a.different day a few days later. They already know people gripe about oft repeated titles, why give them more ammo?

 

The goal was to honor Joan; they chose to do so by adding an obscure B. The films I mentioned were all worthy choices, big budget, high profile films; they would be less obscure today if TCM would air them more often. This imho would have provided a better, more well rounded view of her career than the umpteenth showing of SUSPICION, and the other usual suspects. They chose the easy way, and undered in airing SUSPICION again hours later.

 

As for Fox Movie Channel, there are.frequent comments here as to the frequency of their repeats.....many state that is why they canceled it or dont get it.

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BLONDE CHEAT has aired before and will air again. In fact, around November 2012 an entire morning was devoted to Fontaine's early RKO output (translation: her late 30s B films). TCM is not ignoring these films. But it would have been strange if BLONDE CHEAT had been given a primetime screening and none of her more (justly) well-known films were not selected. We have to be realistic here.

 

Also, earlier it was suggested that SUSPICION's Oscar winning performance was not really Oscar worthy at all, but a mere consolation prize for her work in REBECCA. (scratches head) I think a lot of people consider her work in SUSPICION, as well as Cary Grant's work in the same film, Oscar worthy. She should have won for both films in my opinion. But if we do go along with this line of thought and say this was a pity Oscar for SUSPICION, then we'd have to say that James Stewart earned a pity Oscar for THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, and so in any future tributes to him, we should just omit THE PHILADELPHIA STORY and air MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON instead. I really don't think people are going to buy that.

 

At any rate, we are getting away from the main point that TCM chose to do a timely memorial for Fontaine. She was honored, not neglected or forgotten. If it meant a sudden repeat, surely we can realize that worse things have happened in life.

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