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News: Some viewers feel hosts do not watch all the movies they introduce


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When Robert Osborne recently introduced DOLL FACE, he read directly from the TelePrompter that it featured Michael O'Shea, when in actuality, O'Shea is not in the picture at all.

 

Wouldn't a film historian know basic casting information like this? Has he not seen DOLL FACE? Anyone who has watched it before, and certainly anyone introducing it to new viewers on air, would have to know that Michael O'Shea is not in DOLL FACE.

 

Thoughts...?

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Well, this "news" is a few weeks old, we discussed this already:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/49422-robert-osborne-comments/&do=findComment&comment=998201

 

And it's hardly the first time this has happened. His intro to THE WOLF MAN in 2011 had Osborne claiming that "Claude Rains plays a scientist who is up to no good." Not only hadn't somebody seen the film, they didn't bother to note that according to the cast list, Chaney played Lawrence Talbot and Rains played Sir John Talbot. They couldn't conclude anything more accurate from that?

 

Another intro in 2012 had him cite William Keighley as the director of THE KENNEL MURDER CASE - it was Michael Curtiz. Again, one does not need to view the film to determine the inaccuracy.

 

The recent airing of THE DIRTY DOZEN on The Essentials had him mention that nobody expected THE DIRTY DOZEN to be a success. Of course not, it was only based on a best-seller, starred a recent Oscar winner who was coming off the big hit THE PROFESSIONALS, was directed by the then hot Robert Aldrich and films such as THE LONGEST DAY, GUNS OF NAVARONE and TOBRUK showed there was still a market for such things.

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Well, this "news" is a few weeks old, we discussed this already:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/49422-robert-osborne-comments/&do=findComment&comment=998201

 

And it's hardly the first time this has happened. His intro to THE WOLF MAN in 2011 had Osborne claiming that "Claude Rains plays a scientist who is up to no good." Not only hadn't somebody seen the film, they didn't bother to note that according to the cast list, Chaney played Lawrence Talbot and Rains played Sir John Talbot. They couldn't conclude anything more accurate from that?

 

Another intro in 2012 had him cite William Keighley as the director of THE KENNEL MURDER CASE - it was Michael Curtiz. Again, one does not need to view the film to determine the inaccuracy.

 

The recent airing of THE DIRTY DOZEN on The Essentials had him mention that nobody expected THE DIRTY DOZEN to be a success. Of course not, it was only based on a best-seller, starred a recent Oscar winner who was coming off the big hit THE PROFESSIONALS, was directed by the then hot Robert Aldrich and films such as THE LONGEST DAY, GUNS OF NAVARONE and TOBRUK showed there was still a market for such things.

Perfect. That is exactly what I wanted in this thread. You have done a good job keeping track of the goofs...and I am sure there are plenty more you didn't even mention.

 

Now I know we will get people on the thread who will say it is not a host's job to see every film ever made, and that might be debatable. After all, if you are considered an expert on classic film, a historian even, then you should know your stuff. And in the off chance you have not seen the movie, as Clore stated, a quick check on a database that has film credit information, will verify if something that has been written for the TelePrompter seems fishy. If it comes out of your mouth on national television and it's wrong, y-o-u look bad.

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Perfect. That is exactly what I wanted in this thread. You have done a good job keeping track of the goofs...and I am sure there are plenty more you didn't even mention.

 

Now I know we will get people on the thread who will say it is not a host's job to see every film ever made, and that might be debatable. After all, if you are considered an expert on classic film, a historian even, then you should know your stuff. And in the off chance you have not seen the movie, as Clore stated, a check check on a database that has film credit information, will verify if something that has been written for the TelePrompter seems fishy.

 

 

Perfect. That is exactly what I wanted in this thread. You have done a good job keeping track of the goofs...and I am sure there are plenty more you didn't even mention.

 

Now I know we will get people on the thread who will say it is not a host's job to see every film ever made, and that might be debatable. After all, if you are considered an expert on classic film, a historian even, then you should know your stuff. And in the off chance you have not seen the movie, as Clore stated, a quick check on a database that has film credit information, will verify if something that has been written for the TelePrompter seems fishy. If it comes out of your mouth on national television and it's wrong, y-o-u look bad.

 

To me it isn't the job of the host to fact check what was written for the TelePrompter when he hasn't seen the movie (or knows or remembers little about it).     The one writing the script is responsible for the fact checking.       Regardless these type of errors shouldn't happen and saying this is the best they can do given their budget is just a lame excuse.    If budget constraints are the reaons they should just drop the intros if they can't keep them accurate.

 

One question: what is the purpose of this thread?    Just for users  to point out the errors they have seen?   

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One question: what is the purpose of this thread?    Just for users  to point out the errors they have seen?   

No, maybe to ask why tcm hosts expect viewers to watch films that they themselves have no interest in watching.

The next logical question to ask is why were they selected in the first place. Viewer demand via suggest-a-movie? :lol:

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When Robert Osborne recently introduced DOLL FACE, he read directly from the TelePrompter that it featured Michael O'Shea, when in actuality, O'Shea is not in the picture at all.

 

Wouldn't a film historian know basic casting information like this? Has he not seen DOLL FACE? Anyone who has watched it before, and certainly anyone introducing it to new viewers on air, would have to know that Michael O'Shea is not in DOLL FACE.

 

Thoughts...?

 

It would be awkward if Robert said...oops, the teleprompter is wrong. 

You are correct that some form of error correcting should have been done ahead of time.  But the station only wants,  read, don't think.   :blink: 

 

ipad-teleprompter-585x390.jpg

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It would be awkward if Robert said...oops, the teleprompter is wrong. 

You are correct that some form of error correcting should have been done ahead of time.  But the station only wants,  read, don't think.   :blink: 

 

 

I had a thought as I was referencing the TelePrompter. We all know that proofreading errors can happen (though they shouldn't). But like a good journalist (and the editor or owner of a news service will do), a simple retraction can be added later.

 

How would this be done in TCM's case. I know people will cry budget, but it would not cost a lot to re-film a segment that was wrong, or to put a bit of font on the bottom of the screen with the correction even as Bob or Ben or the guest host says something in error. Or in a later wraparound, to say, "we did want to make a correction on a filmed segment we did last month where we said such and such. The correct statement is such and such." That would take thirty seconds and it would set the record straight.

 

Because the way it is now, when these errors slip through and they are not acknowledged, it is putting false information out to the public and without a retraction or correction, it remains that TCM is vulnerable to criticism for inaccuracy. The channel's reputation is on the line with every error. I do not think I am overstating that. If I told people that Actor X was in Motion Picture X, and that was not the case, people are going to think, wow that guy doesn't know what he's talking about-- has he ever seen that movie???

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The channel's reputation is on the line with every error.

 

I don't judge the channel for such, if I am interested in a particular movie, the host mistake(s) won't cause me to change channel or prevent me from viewing TCM in the future.  Can never tell, maybe a goof might be funny.

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I know I'm not supposed to post in certain threads, but heck, we should just bring back that Robert O. blows it again thread. It gave a lot of folks around here great pleasure. Not me, but many, many others.

 

No PM's, please. Thank you in advance.

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One question: what is the purpose of this thread?

 

Well, it certainly isn't to troll for personal view stats to brag about, that's for sure. This is really new news - important to us all in so many ways that are different from the discussion Sirleucelot started because this one is authored by our best member and thus contains the most imperative news not available elsewhere.

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& just why are we assuming the hosts have seen (or must see) all the movies for which they read the intros anyway? :huh: Unless they're giving personal opinions as to content or quality.

(like Bob & Ben's Picks)

Though it bothers me more when "guest programmers" pick films with little knowledge of, or reasons for their selections (Cloris Leachman being most glaring example), just for a little air time to plug their latest $ venture (book,  tv show, movie, etc.)

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Because the way it is now, when these errors slip through and they are not acknowledged, it is putting false information out to the public and without a retraction or correction, it remains that TCM is vulnerable to criticism for inaccuracy. The channel's reputation is on the line with every error.

 

So a random 1 in 500 clerical error in a fluffy introduction is going to sink a channel's reputation? Maybe in your mind but everyone else is too busy appreciating the films.

 

The introductions are meant to make the channel personable, give it some warmth. They are not serious pieces of film writing; they're ephemeral, trivial. A factual error in a book, a serious piece of research and writing, is one thing...this is nitpicking.

 

Of course, these things shouldn't happen but you speak about these things as if they were Watergate.

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I had a thought as I was referencing the TelePrompter. We all know that proofreading errors can happen (though they shouldn't). But like a good journalist (and the editor or owner of a news service will do), a simple retraction can be added later.

 

How would this be done in TCM's case. I know people will cry budget, but it would not cost a lot to re-film a segment that was wrong, or to put a bit of font on the bottom of the screen with the correction even as Bob or Ben or the guest host says something in error. Or in a later wraparound, to say, "we did want to make a correction on a filmed segment we did last month where we said such and such. The correct statement is such and such." That would take thirty seconds and it would set the record straight.

 

Because the way it is now, when these errors slip through and they are not acknowledged, it is putting false information out to the public and without a retraction or correction, it remains that TCM is vulnerable to criticism for inaccuracy. The channel's reputation is on the line with every error. I do not think I am overstating that. If I told people that Actor X was in Motion Picture X, and that was not the case, people are going to think, wow that guy doesn't know what he's talking about-- has he ever seen that movie???

I'm totally with you on this.  TCM goes to a lot of trouble to present Robert Osborne as a film scholar.  So, when egregious errors take place on the intros it really destroys the credibility of both the channel and Osborne.  Clearly they (Osborne and the crew shooting the intros) want to whip through these things as quickly as possibly (probably they are shooting dozens in a day) and so no one wants to stop and correct anything.  If Osborne recognized the error it would take about 2 seconds to make the change on the prompter and another 30 seconds to re-do the take. However, I suspect, Osborne is probably as anxious as anyone else to "get 'em done" and get out of the studio as quickly as possible.   And, it's not just the intros which are often wrong.  Read the short synopses on the monthly schedules closely and you will find the same errors.  That's because nobody checks them.  They were long ago written by some intern (who probably never actually watched the film) and they just keep getting used and re-used again and again.

 

Lydecker

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TCM goes to a lot of trouble to present Robert Osborne as a film scholar. 

 

They do?

 

And here I always assumed he's one of the hosts who introduces some of the films and interviews some personalities from time to time. I thought he was basically a fan who'd seen a lot of movies in his life. Like you and me and most of the rest of us.

 

I wonder why I've never heard anything about his being a film scholar.

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I'm totally with you on this.  TCM goes to a lot of trouble to present Robert Osborne as a film scholar.  So, when egregious errors take place on the intros it really destroys the credibility of both the channel and Osborne.  Clearly they (Osborne and the crew shooting the intros) want to whip through these things as quickly as possibly (probably they are shooting dozens in a day) and so no one wants to stop and correct anything.  If Osborne recognized the error it would take about 2 seconds to make the change on the prompter and another 30 seconds to re-do the take. However, I suspect, Osborne is probably as anxious as anyone else to "get 'em done" and get out of the studio as quickly as possible.   And, it's not just the intros which are often wrong.  Read the short synopses on the monthly schedules closely and you will find the same errors.  That's because nobody checks them.  They were long ago written by some intern (who probably never actually watched the film) and they just keep getting used and re-used again and again.

 

Lydecker

 

If you will notice I used the word historian. They do present him as a historian, especially when they reference his so-called knowledge of the Academy Awards. So if he is going to allow himself to be credited as some sort of history buff on Hollywood movies, then he shouldn't be letting errors pass through his lips on the filmed segments. It does make it look like he doesn't know what he's talking about.  I know we have a throng of Osborne admirers around here and that is why this thread will quickly advance in the number of views, but he is not above criticism-- and he may even well agree that segments without errors is how it should be. So let's not get bent out of shape, especially when he may agree with the purpose of the thread.  

 

Incidentally, the guest hosts have the tendency to make more errors because it is obvious, at least with the Friday Night Spotlights, that they are being fed information from TCM's "research" department. I can see them not questioning something and accepting everything on the TelePrompter as fact-- but in Osborne's case, with the credentials he has cultivated in this business-- he really should be more proactive and help eliminate all errors. If he is unable or unwilling to do that, then he possibly doesn't care about accuracy in movie information but I just would hate to think that about him.

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The introductions are meant to make the channel personable, give it some warmth. They are not serious pieces of film writing; they're ephemeral, trivial. A factual error in a book, a serious piece of research and writing, is one thing...this is nitpicking.

 

 

Do we want personable, warm correct information. Or personable, warm incorrect information?

 

:)

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They are not serious pieces of film writing; they're ephemeral, trivial. A factual error in a book, a serious piece of research and writing, is one thing...this is nitpicking.

 

Of course, these things shouldn't happen but you speak about these things as if they were Watergate.

 

Well, if it's so trivial, then why bother at all? Roughly two-thirds of the broadcast day exists without any host, it's the movies that generate the tune-in.

 

There is what is known as the contamination factor. I used to write marketing/promotion/research presentations in the broadcast industry. Mucho data in these things and most were delivered in person, either by a salesperson or myself. I had to write these materials knowing that if someone could spot one error in my data extolling the virtues of whatever it is being promoted, then they had the right to question all of it and that could spell the difference between engaging a client or not.

 

I'll tell you what - let's have the wardrobe people slack off also, send Osborne out there with mustard on his tie and his zipper open. Maybe have the make-up person just put that bronzer on half of his face, and just comb one side of his hair.

 

Aha - can't do that, people might notice that. But since most viewers won't know a fact from a fable, let's just give him any old piece of copy. Let Osborne take the heat as long as he doesn't bother to check for accuracy.

 

The staff's job is to make him look good - the way to do that is to be accurate.

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Well, if it's so trivial, then why bother at all? Roughly two-thirds of the broadcast day exists without any host, it's the movies that generate the tune-in.

 

There is what is known as the contamination factor. I used to write marketing/promotion/research presentations in the broadcast industry. Mucho data in these things and most were delivered in person, either by a salesperson or myself. I had to write these materials knowing that if someone could spot one error in my data extolling the virtues of whatever it is being promoted, then they had the right to question all of it and that could spell the difference between engaging a client or not.

 

I'll tell you what - let's have the wardrobe people slack off also, send Osborne out there with mustard on his tie and his zipper open. Maybe have the make-up person just put that bronzer on half of his face, and just comb one side of his hair.

 

Aha - can't do that, people might notice that. But since most viewers won't know a fact from a fable, let's just give him any old piece of copy. Let Osborne take the heat as long as he doesn't bother to check for accuracy.

 

The staff's job is to make him look good - the way to do that is to be accurate.

Exactly. And from what we see, this channel and Osborne himself (and Mankiewicz) like to pride themselves on being a classy group. But if you are peddling second-hand made-up information, it brings everyone down a notch or two.

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Well, as much as I hate to "go there" I think it is a generational thing about whether factual, spelling, grammatical or punctuation errors matter to you or not.  I loathe factual errors, grammatical errors, typos (which are more often than not, not just "typos" but an inability to actually spell) when I see or hear them.  I've been a creative director for years and the younger the writer, the more likely the inability to construct a sentence, use proper grammar/punctuation or correctly spell even one syllable words. These days if you criticize inaccuracy or poor sentence structure you are the labeled the FACT/GRAMMAR NAZI.  Well, too bad.  Correctness in writing matters and when you are disseminating purported FACTS to audience, they should be right.  It is, no doubt, just cheapness on TCM's part that so many errors slip through.  All copy should be looked at by at least one other set of eyes (presumably by someone who can actually spot an error)  but, I bet, just as "editors" are practically an endangered species in publishing (check out any best seller and you will find tons of typos, grammar errors, etc.) so it goes at TCM.  And, at the risk of saying anything negative about St. Robert of Osborne, as the talent and purported "scholar" of TCM, the buck stops with him and he should be more worried about the information in the opens being correct than doing a zillion takes quickly and getting back on a plane to NY.

 

Lydecker

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