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Welcome to the 25th TCM Programming Challenge!

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> LonesomePolecat wrote:

> The 4 stages of a movie star's career:

> 1. Who is James Garner?

> 2. Get me James Garner!

> 3. Get me a James Garner type.

> 4. Who is James Garner?


I have heard of that progression. The version which I heard includes:

3b. Get me a young James Garner.

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I feel that this is a wonderful schedule! I like very much your Sunday theme and in particular that you included truly Russian movies in the late evening. Mikhail Kalatozov began as a documentary filmmaker and so his: *Letter Never Sent* (1959) is very powerful because he makes the viewer feel very deeply that it is all real.

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I believe that this quote actually originated with Mary Astor, describing the five stages of an actor's career:


1. Who's Mary Astor?

2. Get me Mary Astor!

3. Get me a Mary Astor type!

4. Get me a young Mary Astor!

5. Who's Mary Astor?

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I feel this is a very great schedule!


I love very much your use of lines from movies as themes. It is in particular wonderful that you open with one of my favorite lines. Reading it made me smile and I had in an instant a mental image of him on the couch with his BB gun. I am happy to say that I recognize nearly all of the lines which you choose.


You have many of my favorite movies. I like very much the: Roger Corman Triple Feature.


I believe your formatting problems are mostly due to the limits of using the plus sign to indicate italics:


It does not carry through a carriage return. I mean by that that it will span several lines or sentences of text but it drops out when you press Enter. The sign must be placed before you chose to begin a new line by pressing Enter.


It does not recognize spaces as letters. A single space between the sign and a letter or punctuation mark causes it to not recognize the string it is to format. I noticed several instances when you have a period, a space and then the sign. I believe that removing that space will correct the problem.


I saw one instance where the title of a movie was not in Bold. I believe this was due to your using two asterisks at the end and that confused the software. I have no explanation for the other movie title which is not in Bold but the preceding information is in Bold when it seems as if it should not be.

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Thank you for your kind words. I enjoy Jack Lemmon as well and find him very effective in supporting roles in addition to his starring ones. As for my star of the month Errol Flynn, it was the first decision I made. I love him. It was an obvious choice!


The time calculator I used was much more primitive than the CAD program you described. It was seriously just a website where you entered the time and then entered in a length of time and hit "submit." If my film started at 8:00 and my film was 100 mins long. I would type 8 hrs 00 mins in the top box and then 1 hr 40 mins in the second box. Then I would be told that the time would be 9:40. I'm sure that the way I put my schedule together may have been much more basic than others.

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Great schedules lydecker and b-boop!


Lydecker- I was having some formatting issues of my own, for the most part I was able to get the bold, italics and underline buttons in the submit box to work properly; but for whatever reason, in the Orson Welles section of my schedule, I wanted to italicize and bold the part where I discuss the connection of Errol Flynn's yacht with Welles' "The Lady of Shangahi." It kept bolding it but wouldn't italicize it. It just showed the "+" next to my text. I finally got around it by using the HTML code for italics-- it is TEXT letter i> That finally fixed my problem. (I had to spell out the text between the greater than(>) / less than (<) signs otherwise it would italicize the text instead of showing the code).

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I love your choice of celebrating William Frawley's birthday. He's one of my favorite character actors.


"I Love Lucy" is hands down, my favorite TV show of all time and to me, William Frawley IS Fred Mertz. He was tailor made for that role. He and Vivian Vance weren't the first choice for the Mertzes; but I'm so glad that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz' first choices (Gale Gordon and Bea Benederet) did not work out. I cannot imagine "I Love Lucy" without Frawley and Vance. The first time I had seen Frawley in anything, it was "I Love Lucy." I have now seen quite a few films that he's appeared in such as Errol Flynn's "Gentleman Jim" and "Footsteps in the Dark." Even 10 or so years earlier than "I Love Lucy," Frawley is the same irascible character in his films as he is as Fred Mertz. He even looks the same!

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Thanks all for the kind comments. I have been so busy working on my own schedule, I haven't had time to take a good look at the other great schedules that have already been posted. This weekend I am going to treat myself to all of them. I had such fun coming up with the quotes to fit the programming blocks and, in a few cases, the quotes themselves inspired my film choices.


Clearly, my greatest "challenge" in doing the Programming Challenge is getting the damn formatting to appear as I wish. I'm still trying to figure out where all my apostrophes went. Ah, ha! "The Case of The Missing Apostrophes." I do all of my work on a MacBook in Word and I have a sneaking suspicion that Word docs cut and pasted into these boards go awry. Also, the characters they work with here to denote "bold," italic, etc. don't look like any html I've ever seen so, next time, I will try to remember to follow your various words of wisdom and hope for the best.



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My program schedule is for the week of August 10 thru 16, 2014.

I chose this week because it was on August 11th 1964 that The Beatles first film, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT premiered in New York City and since 2014 is the 50 year anniversary of their arrival here in the United States the entire schedule is based on themes relating to Beatles song titles. Entirely for fun, we will celebrate not only the music of The Beatles, but also Rock & Roll music in general as well as the music of the famed composer Ludwig van Beethoven. As an added bonus this schedule even includes a soundtrack. As I mentioned earlier this is all for fun so I hope you will all enjoy it. The title I chose for the overall schedule is Eight Days A Week.
















*PREMIERE # 03 ? WOLF LARSEN (1958)*

*PREMIERE # 04 ? LOOPHOLE (1954)*



*PREMIERE # 07 ? SLEEP, MY LOVE (1948)*
















*1900 ? 1909*

*1910 ? 1919*

*1920 ? 1929*

*1930 ? 1939 7*

*1940 ? 1949 27*

*1950 ? 1959 39*

*1960 ? 1969 14*

*1970 ? 1979 5*

*1980 ? 1989 2*

*1990 ? 1999 2*

*2000 ? 2009*

*2010 ? 2014*


*Sunday August 10, thru Saturday August 16, 2014*





*Sunday: August 10*


06:00AM ? 06:00AM ? *BACK IN THE USSR*



Today we will present twenty-four hours of films either from Russia, about Russia, Russian people or Russian history beginning with the 1966 comedy The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! Additional highlights are the 1948 version of Anna Karenina, Anastasia from 1956, and The Red Danube from 1949, followed by the TCM Silent Sunday premiere of Cosmic Journey from 1936 at midnight and the TCM Import premiere of The Letter That Was Never Sent from 1962 directed by noted Russian film-maker Mikhail Kalatozov at 2:00am.


12:00AM *TCM Silent Sunday*: Cosmic Journey (1936)

Tonight, TCM Silent Sunday presents the TCM premiere of Cosmic Journey, a science-fiction film produced in Russia in 1936. The original Russian title is Kosmicheskiy reys: Fantasticheskaya novella which translates as Space Travel: A Fantastic Story. A silent film from 1936? Although sound was introduced to Russian films around 1930, several studios continued making silent films for some time after. This film is set ten years into the future and tells the story of man's first space voyage to the moon.


02:00AM *TCM Import*: The Letter That Was Never Sent (1962)

Tonight, The TCM Import will feature The Letter That Was Never Sent from Russian film-maker Mikhail Kalatozov. This film was originally produced in 1959 and titled The Unsent Letter. A small group of geologists are sent to the remote wilderness of the Boreal Forest in central Siberia in search of diamonds but before they can complete their mission, they become trapped by a raging forest fire and must fight to survive. The film stars Tatyana Samoylova and Vasiliy Livanov but the true star of this film is the striking black & white cinematography by Sergei Urusevsky.


*Monday August 11*


06:00AM ? 08:00PM ? *DEVIL IN HER HEART*



Today we have a full morning and afternoon of Femme Fatales. Some say that the female of our species is deadlier than the male and the eight beautiful and tempting seductresses featured here today go a long way in proving it. They are among the most scheming, conniving, plotting, and the deadliest of all in film history. So let's see just how many of these venomous ladies you can handle in one afternoon.





*Star of the Month ? Barry Sullivan*

My latest favorite movie star has really got a hold on me so I'm giving him the honor of being the TCM star of the month for August, 2014.


Our Star of the Month for August, Barry Sullivan was born Patrick Barry Sullivan on August 29, 1912 in New York City. Although he was never considered a major movie star, he established himself as a well known and highly respected character lead and second lead and he appeared in over 100 motion pictures from the 1930's to the 1980's. With a total of 184 credits between film and television and a career spanning over 50 years according to IMDB.com, Barry Sullivan has 2 stars along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for his work in motion pictures and one for his work in television. One of his best known roles came in 1953 when he portrayed movie director Fred Amiel in Vincente Minnelli's The Bad and The Beautiful. Mr. Sullivan passed away on June 6, 1994 at the age of 81.


Tonight we present six great films including four TCM premieres, two of which Mr. Sullivan plays the lead role, first as the brutal captain of the Ghost in Wolf Larsen from 1958 and then as bank teller Mike Donovan in the 1954 crime thriller, Loophole.


*Tuesday August 12*


06:00AM ? 08:00PM ? *ACT NATURALLY*



Today we will present eight films which feature one or more celebrities portraying themselves on film. Perhaps the most notable example would be Audie Murphy in To Hell and Back. Other highlights include Jerry Lewis in The Bellboy, Jane Russell in Fate is The Hunter and Cecil B. DeMille in Sunset Blvd.





*Sunset Blvd. Challenge #1: Deconstructing Hollywood Blvd.*


Tonight we are featuring five films which feature scenes reminiscent of the scene in Sunset Blvd. where Norma Desmond and Joe Gillis view a scene from the silent film, Queen Kelly, for lack of a better term, a film within another film. Each of our five films features another film or films seen or edited into our specific film as follows:


The Projectionist (1971) ? Features clips from several films including Citizen Kane, Casablanca, It Came From Beneath the Sea, and Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers.


Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) ? Features The Lady From Shanghai and Double Indemnity.


Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982) ? Features clips from nearly twenty classic films including Double Indemnity, Dark passage, The Big Sleep, Deception, and The Killers.


Cinema Paradiso (1989) ? Features clips from over twenty films including It's a Wonderful Life, His Girl Friday, A Farewell to Arms, and Stagecoach.


Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) ? Features The Ten Commandments.


*Wednesday August 13*


06:00AM ? 08:00PM ? *ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE*



All you need is love. Love is all you need. Love is what makes the Earth go around after all, so today we feature eight films with love in the title. Highlights include the TCM premier of Sleep, My Love from 1948 followed by Love Affair from 1939 and Love in the Afternoon from 1957. Today, all we need is love.





*Sunset Blvd. Challenge #2: Celebrating behind-the-scenes artists*


*Ludwig van Beethoven* was born in Germany on December 16, 1770 and began studying music, learning to play the piano and composing his own music at a very early age. He moved to Vienna in 1792 and quickly established a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. Not long after, at the age of only 26, he began to suffer from severe tinnitis, making it very difficult for him to hear music or conversation. His hearing continued to deteriorate until his death on March 26, 1827 at the age of 56. Having spent the previous ten years of life nearly completely deaf, it is said that his most beautiful and intricate work was achieved during this period. He is considered to be the greatest composer of all time.


Although Ludwig van Beethoven was obviously never directly involved in moviemaking, since he passed away long before the first movies were ever produced, his music has been featured in countless films since the introduction of sound. Most film productions employ some sort of a musical director or musical advisor and because these professionals have chosen to incorporate the music of Ludwig van Beethoven over and over and over again, his music is featured in several hundred movies and according to IMDB.com he is credited well over 800 times in television and films. It is for this reason that I have chosen Ludwig van Beethoven as my behind the scenes artist.


I've Always Loved You (1946) - Piano Sonata No. 23, Op. 57 in F Minor

Walter Scharf (musical director)


Carnegie Hall (1947) - Symphony No. 5

Sigmund Krumgold (musical advisor)


A Song Is Born (1948) - Trio in B flat major, Op. 97

Emil Newman / Hugo Friedhofer (musical directors)


Always In My Heart (1942) - Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2

Leo F. Forbstein (musical director)


Gaslight (1956) - Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13

Pietro Cimini (musical advisor)


*Thursday August 14*


06:00AM ? 08:00PM ? *WHEN I'M SIXTY-FOUR*



Today we will feature eight movies all from the year 1950 and all now 64 years old. Will you still need me when I?m sixty-four? You bet we will. Highlights include King Solomon's Mines, Father of the Bride, In a Lonely Place, and a Richard Widmark double feature of Panic in the Streets with Night and the City.





*Sunset Blvd. Challenge #3: Ghostwriting*


Tonight we have six films in which a letter or letters are prominently featured within the film's plot. Highlights include the TCM premiere of Dear Bridgette, followed later by The Letter and Address Unknown.


*Friday August 15*


06:00AM ? 08:00PM ? *HELP!*



Today get ready for a fast paced danger filled roller-coaster ride through nine films which feature one or more people in a life threatening situation and in desperate need of help. Will they get the help they need? I'm not telling. You'll just have to take a deep breath and watch these movies to find out.


08:00PM ? 06:00AM ? *ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC*





There have been countless movies produced with stories that centered on Rock & Roll music and tonight we present six of the very best. Highlights include Bill Haley in Rock Around The Clock and Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock followed by American Graffiti which features the greatest rock & roll soundtrack ever as presented by the one and only Wolfman Jack.


*Saturday August 16*


06:00AM ? 08:00PM ? *YELLOW SUBMARINE*



Okay, I don't really have to tell anyone that today we are featuring submarine movies, right? We have seven films in all and you'll be entertained by a yellow animated submarine, a miniature submarine, and even a pink submarine. Highlights include the TCM premiere of Yellow Submarine, Irwin Allen's classic science-fiction adventure Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, followed by three of the greatest submarine movies of all time; Run Silent Run Deep, Destination Tokyo, and Ice Station Zebra.


08:00PM ? 06:00AM ? *A HARD DAY'S NIGHT*



Tonight we have seven films in which everyone is having their own hard day's night beginning with The Beatles in their debut movie A Hard Day's Night, but if you think they were having a hard day's night stay tuned for the following six films because the characters in these movies are all having an extremely hard and frightful night. Highlights include a William Castle double feature beginning with The House on Haunted Hill followed by the TCM premiere of The Night Walker. After that we present The Blob followed by tonight's TCM Underground feature, the movie made famous in The Blob, Daughter of Horror and then we finish up this hard day's night with Night of the Living Dead and William Castle's Macabre.


08:00PM *TCM Essentials*: A Hard Day's Night (1964)

Tonight, TCM Essentials presents the 1964 film debut of The Beatles in A Hard Day's Night. The film, considered to be one of the best and most influential musical films of all time, made its U.S. premiere in New York City fifty years ago this week on August 11, 1964. The film was directed by Richard Lester and depicts a typical day in the life of the group at that time while featuring several of their newest hit songs. Time magazine named it as one of the all-time 100 greatest films. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards; the screenplay written by Alun Owen and for the musical score adapted by George Martin.


02:00AM *TCM Underground*: Daughter of Horror (1955)

Originally released in 1955 as Dementia this film is the first and only film directed by Jack Parker. The story is based on a nightmare that Mr. Parker's secretary, Adrienne Barrett, told him about one day. He thought it would make a good movie so he set out to film it with Adrienne Barrett portraying the main character, known in the film as the Gamin. The film has no dialogue at all and features a musical score by avant-garde composer George Antheil with ethereal vocalizations (there are no lyrics) provided by Marni Nixon. In one interesting nightclub scene, well known jazz musician Shorty Rogers can be seen and heard performing.


After a poor reception by critics and some trouble with censors the film was quickly sold to film producer and distributor Jack H. Harris who added a narration provided by Ed McMahon and re-titled the film Daughter of Horror. The film was made famous in 1957 when it was included in The Blob as the film being watched in the movie theater scene just as the blob arrives to wreak havoc upon the movies audience.

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SansFin, Yes indeed. I would have liked to use the proper term in my notes. I was reading an article about 5 years ago that mentioned it. It was a movie-technical term that was nothing even remotely close to (referencing, shout-out, sampling) everyday use. There have been several occasions since I first read about it when I have tried to research it. I had no idea it would be so difficult to locate the correct terminology. I will find it someday though. :)

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Finally had a chance to look at all of the schedules and the competition this time around is, as always, amazingly creative and very tough.


obrien_mundy -- Loved your whole schedule particularly the salutes to David Raksin, Marie Dressler, Sylvia Sidney. Pre-code Saturday -- I am totally with you there and -- Valley of the Dolls -- inspired choice!


sansFin -- The People theme in all of its iterations was brilliant. I loved seeing where you were going to take it next from day to day.


Remy_Orpen -- Female directors of silents, Edna May double feature,

all of the birthday salutes (November is clearly a great month for stars)

along with a tip of the hat to H. D. Potter -- all cleverly done with great films choices.


skimpole -- Love Jason Robards as SOTM, films about imaginary countries and Despots and Dictators -- I could go on and on. Wonderfully creative schedule.


b-boop -- Using Beatles' songs to frame your entire schedule was brilliant. Love so many of your film choices.


speedracer -- Curtiz, Errol Flynn as SOTM, love on the set, giant people and William Holden and Billy Wilder -- wonderful choices and a schedule I would love to watch. What an incredible debut schedule.


I think all of you could and should be full time TCM programmers!

Hope we see a few more schedules before the challenge ends.



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>speedracer -- Curtiz, Errol Flynn as SOTM, love on the set, giant people and William Holden and Billy Wilder -- wonderful choices and a schedule I would love to watch. What an incredible debut schedule.


Thank you so much. It was fun working on the schedule; I could see however, how it could frustrate someone who worked on programming full time.


I always wonder, how much personal preference and prejudice go into planning the schedules? Are the programmers completely unbiased and plan anything? Or do they try to fit in some of their personal favorites? Or if there is a film or actor they dislike, are they like: "Oops! No time in the schedule! Better try again next month!" Or on the flipside: "Ooh, I love Audrey Hepburn! Let's try to schedule her as much as possible!"


I'm sure there is probably some type of brainstorming meeting or what not where a group of people at TCM come up with the SOTM and other themes. I imagine that the month's programming is a collective effort? Or maybe everyone is responsible for some part of the schedule? I wonder how it works.

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> lydecker wrote:

> sansFin -- The People theme in all of its iterations was brilliant. I loved seeing where you were going to take it next from day to day.


I thank you for your kind words. I find your comment interesting as I composed the schedule in the opposite direction. I mean by that that I did not start with a theme for Sunday and worked towards Saturday. I began with the theme of a dead narrator and worked back to ghosts and then old people and etc.. It was by that not "going." It was back-tracking.

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> speedracer5 wrote:

> I always wonder, how much personal preference and prejudice go into planning the schedules? Are the programmers completely unbiased and plan anything? Or do they try to fit in some of their personal favorites? Or if there is a film or actor they dislike, are they like: "Oops! No time in the schedule! Better try again next month!" Or on the flipside: "Ooh, I love Audrey Hepburn! Let's try to schedule her as much as possible!"


I believe that is a factor. I believe also that it quickly becomes insignificant because of the volume.


A person may know one hundred movies which are so very special to them that they wish all people to watch them. Movies average ninety minutes and so those one hundred movies fill one hundred-and-fifty hours. That is six days. They then have to fill the other twenty-four or twenty-five days of the month. And then they must fill the next month. And then the next month.


I believe that by this the programmer's personal likes and dislikes are like spice on a meal in that it enhances but does make constitute the bulk.


I applaud greatly that you recognize what you have learned from making your excellent schedule. I believe that your question re: programmer's favorites will best be answered when you are composing future schedules. The realization that you can not select the same movies again and again and again will give you a greater appreciation for the work of the TCM Programmers.

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This probably goes for most of us, but I know for myself my schedules are (making up statistics) half "that would make an interesting theme" and half "find an excuse to schedule that movie".


I have often scheduled movies that I hated because they fit the theme perfectly, such as scheduling BIRTH OF A NATION for a Civil War theme, and also have often never scheduled a favorite movie til my 10th schedule without realizing it because it never fit before.


I also schedule many movies I've never seen before to fill a slot, i.e. "I need a 75-90 minute movie with Gypsy Rose Lee," and as a result will find out about a movie I've never heard of before.

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@LonesomePolecat -- I totally agree. I am always 50% "This would make a cool theme" and 50% "I absolutely must get this movie (movies) into the schedule." This time around, using the movie quotes was a blast because in many cases, they inspired me to go with a theme that I may not have used otherwise. Often, while doing a schedule, I am often very conflicted because there are certain genres (Westerns, for instance) that I do not care for so they get little (if any) attention in my schedules. I keep thinking: "I really must program a Western block" in the next schedule but, on the other hand, I always fall back on: This is MY schedule so, at the end of the day, while one tries to come up with an entertaining mix, pleasing oneself (Is this a schedule I would enjoy watching?) becomes one of the primary goals.



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>I applaud greatly that you recognize what you have learned from making your excellent schedule. I believe that your question re: programmer's favorites will best be answered when you are composing future schedules. The realization that you can not select the same movies again and again and again will give you a greater appreciation for the work of the TCM Programmers.



>@LonesomePolecat -- I totally agree. I am always 50% "This would make a cool theme" and 50% "I absolutely must get this movie (movies) into the schedule."


@SansFin. I figured that continually coming up with new themes and ideas would be difficult for the programmers after awhile; but I never realized how difficult the physical act of scheduling the films was. "Can I air this group of four movies?... No, I need to replace one of the films, there is too much dead space before the Primetime block." "I had a perfect block of films for the 'blah blah theme' but now one of the films is too long for the block. What I can I put in its place? Or do I have to scrap the whole idea?"


@lydecker & LonesomePolecat-- I agree with what your philosophies regarding how you program your movies. When I was picking my SOTM, I automatically went to Errol Flynn, because I love him and have yet to see him featured as SOTM on TCM (I know he has been featured; but I didn't have TCM at that time). I am not into silent or foreign films, so being forced to choose at least one was difficult. I had to do research for those ones. However, I love the bad B-movie science fiction films, so choosing those was fun.


For the main "Deconstructing 'Sunset'" theme, I knew that I wanted to include "All About Eve." My trajectory of stardom theme kind of just emerged slowly from the themes of "All About Eve."


I'm not a big fan of baseball, but I thought that that seemed like a great theme to accompany Father's Day and the upcoming summer solstice.


The rest of my themes, I kind of came up with movies I wanted to include and built the theme around it. For example, I wanted to include "Lady From Shanghai," because 1) I love Orson Welles' crazy movies and 2) It was filmed on Errol Flynn's yacht which fit perfectly with my SOTM theme.


For me, the hardest part was finding the shorts and documentaries to fill in the "dead space" between my themes and required programming.

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We need to bump this great thread up! I have six days done, but no days typed, so will probably finish this up next weekend. To my surprise, 1) I found a fun way to include a favorite film by Lonesome Polecat and 2) it has been fun to think of different ways to use Sunset Blvd. as a jumping off point for several threads.


An excellent challenge, with so many outstanding schedules.

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I can't believe that I missed your posting of this Challenge. I haven't been on the boards much lately but I didn't expect it until May or June. You are fast out of the blocks on this Challenge and it looks great. I have yet to read the entries and it's unlikely I'll be able to enter this late. I will plan on voting, at the very least.

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