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TCM Has Become So Annoying This Year!!!


Palmerin
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A few of the forgotten 30s movies the station has been playing this year are surprisingly good and deserving of being rediscovered. The overwhelming majority, however, are such poorly produced cliché loaded pieces of schlock that I can only conclude that the only reason for which they were made was that their stars--even legends like Mary Astor and Lionel Barrymore--were heavy gamblers who had to film those clunkers in order to be able to pay off their debts.

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A few of the forgotten 30s movies the station has been playing this year are surprisingly good and deserving of being rediscovered. The overwhelming majority, however, are such poorly produced cliché loaded pieces of schlock that I can only conclude that the only reason for which they were made was that their stars--even legends like Mary Astor and Lionel Barrymore--were heavy gamblers who had to film those clunkers in order to be able to pay off their debts.

 Are you watching Sweepings, it's on now. It's an excellent film. I've seen it before and it's 1939 remake Three Sons, that's been shown before too. They're both great films. Too bad you didn't give Sweepings a chance. I disagree with you. Enjoyed quite a few of today's line-up very much.

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A few of the forgotten 30s movies the station has been playing this year are surprisingly good and deserving of being rediscovered. The overwhelming majority, however, are such poorly produced cliché loaded pieces of schlock that I can only conclude that the only reason for which they were made was that their stars--even legends like Mary Astor and Lionel Barrymore--were heavy gamblers who had to film those clunkers in order to be able to pay off their debts.

 

Actually, I think it was more a case of there being a huge public appetite for movies, movies, movies. There was no television back then, and content was heavily controlled by morality watchdogs, so an awful lot of very ordinary fare was the result of keeping up with the demands of people seeking entertainment - any entertainment to pass their free time away.

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Guess you're not watching today - not all great, but Lionel and John are amazing actors and you won't see them anywhere other than TCM.

 

Count your blessings - yes, Wayne week was torture, but TCM still shows some classically classic films.

 

Not as much as it used to, but nothing is what it used to be.

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 Are you watching Sweepings, it's on now. It's an excellent film. I've seen it before and it's 1939 remake Three Sons, that's been shown before too. They're both great films. Too bad you didn't give Sweepings a chance. I disagree with you. Enjoyed quite a few of today's line-up very much.

Yes, there have been interesting movies on all day today.  SWEEPINGS is an excellent hard-bitten movie that pulls few punches.

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 Are you watching Sweepings, it's on now. It's an excellent film. I've seen it before and it's 1939 remake Three Sons, that's been shown before too. They're both great films. Too bad you didn't give Sweepings a chance. I disagree with you. Enjoyed quite a few of today's line-up very much.

lavendueblue19, wasn't Barrymore's last speech of the movie simply amazing? Were you watching his face?

 

Amazing actor, excellent movie, new to me and simply wonderful.

 

Happily, today is junk, so I am not glued to the set. :P

 

When TCM is classically classic, as it used to be, they can't be touched. Too bad they're not what they used to be. :(

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A few of the forgotten 30s movies the station has been playing this year are surprisingly good and deserving of being rediscovered. The overwhelming majority, however, are such poorly produced cliché loaded pieces of schlock that I can only conclude that the only reason for which they were made was that their stars--even legends like Mary Astor and Lionel Barrymore--were heavy gamblers who had to film those clunkers in order to be able to pay off their debts.

 

While I enjoyed most of the Barrymores that played yesterday, I don't disagree with the point that most movies follow fairly standard plot lines and are worth one viewing at most.  Where I disagree is that the 30's were somehow unique in that regard.

 

The other thing is that while Astor and Lionel Barrymore were both fine actors, neither of them had the force of personality that enabled them to carry many a cliched plot all by themselves.  It took a Cagney or a Stanwyck to do that, and even actors with their level of dynamism could only take a potboiler so far.  My take has always been that the only way to learn to distinguish among the best films, the merely enjoyable, and the downright insufferable is by trial and error.  After a while you can look at the plot synopsis and the names of the actors and pretty much figure out which of those three categories a movie is likely to fall into, and spare yourself a lot of future time wasting.

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I always found it fascinating how two brothers, in this case John and Lionel, have so much difference in acting approach and delivery.  It's almost as if they WEREN'T really brothers.

 

I know this is true of other brother/actors.  Like the QUAIDS, BRIDGES and definately, the CARRADINES.  But still...

 

And, IMHO, as much as was made about JOHN, I still hold that LIONEL was the better actor.

 

Sepiatone

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A few of the forgotten 30s movies the station has been playing this year are surprisingly good and deserving of being rediscovered. The overwhelming majority, however, are such poorly produced cliché loaded pieces of schlock that I can only conclude that the only reason for which they were made was that their stars--even legends like Mary Astor and Lionel Barrymore--were heavy gamblers who had to film those clunkers in order to be able to pay off their debts.

The actors under contract, with rare exception, appeared in the films that the studios told them to appear in. Since most were paid a fixed amount, it was in the studios' best interests to use them as much as possible.

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The actors under contract, with rare exception, appeared in the films that the studios told them to appear in. Since most were paid a fixed amount, it was in the studios' best interests to use them as much as possible.

 

Using this system, the contract actors tended to make more films than freelance actors, and this helped them improve their acting skill. This helped people like Betty Davis, Jane Wyman, and many others become very good serious actors, as they studied their earlier films and improved upon certain acting styles, voices, mannerisms, etc.

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A few of the forgotten 30s movies the station has been playing this year are surprisingly good and deserving of being rediscovered. The overwhelming majority, however, are such poorly produced cliché loaded pieces of schlock that I can only conclude that the only reason for which they were made was that their stars--even legends like Mary Astor and Lionel Barrymore--were heavy gamblers who had to film those clunkers in order to be able to pay off their debts.

 

While I enjoyed most of the Barrymores that played yesterday, I don't disagree with the point that most movies follow fairly standard plot lines and are worth one viewing at most.  Where I disagree is that the 30's were somehow unique in that regard.

 

The other thing is that while Astor and Lionel Barrymore were both fine actors, neither of them had the force of personality that enabled them to carry many a cliched plot all by themselves.  It took a Cagney or a Stanwyck to do that, and even actors with their level of dynamism could only take a potboiler so far.  My take has always been that the only way to learn to distinguish among the best films, the merely enjoyable, and the downright insufferable is by trial and error.  After a while you can look at the plot synopsis and the names of the actors and pretty much figure out which of those three categories a movie is likely to fall into, and spare yourself a lot of future time wasting.

Good points, Andy. However, while I agree there were a few clunkers made in the 1930s and 1940s, there were also hidden gems that couldn't be discerned simply by looking at the names of the actors or the plot synopses. Even the reviews aren't always spot on.

 

But it is nice to have the obscure little black and white movies available to surprise us, isn't it? Even if we turn them off midway, as I have done with some, there might always be the wondrous little scene, as with Lionel at the end of Sweepings, that make checking the schedule of TCM every day worthwhile. There are more misses than hits these days, but on the days of the hits - oh boy.

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Good points, Andy. However, while I agree there were a few clunkers made in the 1930s and 1940s, there were also hidden gems that couldn't be discerned simply by looking at the names of the actors or the plot synopses. Even the reviews aren't always spot on.

 

But it is nice to have the obscure little black and white movies available to surprise us, isn't it? Even if we turn them off midway, as I have done with some, there might always be the wondrous little scene, as with Lionel at the end of Sweepings, that make checking the schedule of TCM every day worthwhile. There are more misses than hits these days, but on the days of the hits - oh boy.

 

Completely agree with all of the above, especially with regards to the pre-code era.  Along with noirs and the TCM choices of foreign and silent movies, the pre-code genre has the biggest number of "pleasant surprises", including several of those Barrymores that played yesterday during the daytime hours.  And I also agree that even when I use my suggested shortcut for screening out duds, there are always going to be exceptions to any general rule.  Hell, I've even seen a few Joel McCrea movies that I didn't turn off after the first 15 minutes. It wasn't that long ago that I would have ridiculed such a thought. B)

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