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The Overplayed and the Underplayed

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The Overplayed Hall of Fame

 

1. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

2. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

3. MILDRED PIERCE

4. SEVEN DAYS IN MAY

5. SUSPICION

6. SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL

7.  STELLA DALLAS

8. ICE STATION ZEBRA

9. THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

10. THE HAUNTING

 
Did I miss any...?

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Well, yeah. I think you might have missed mentioning one here, TB. The one where Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint end up hangin' off George Washington's nose by their fingertips.

 

(...though I DO have to admit I never get tired of seein' James Mason's REALLY cool Mid-Century Modern house in that sucker)

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Well, yeah. I think you might have missed mentioning one here, TB. The one where Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint end up hangin' off George Washington's nose by their fingertips.

 

(...though I DO have to admit I never get tired of seein' James Mason's REALLY cool Mid-Century Modern house in that sucker)

Yes-- how did I overlook SOUTH BY SOUTHEAST. :)

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Yes-- how did I overlook SOUTH BY SOUTHEAST. :)

 

LOL

 

Sorry, but I THINK you might be confusin' the Hitchcock flick I was referencing with that little remembered movie starring Gabby Hayes and Marjorie Main, and where Gabby ultimately makes his way to Pensacola Florida after Marjorie throws her lazy and good for nothin' of a husband out of their Kansas City home by his ear. 

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LOL

 

Sorry, but I THINK you might be confusin' the Hitchcock flick I was referencing with that little remembered movie starring Gabby Hayes and Marjorie Main, and where Gabby ultimately makes his way to Pensacola Florida after Marjorie throws her lazy and good for nothin' of a husband out of their Kansas City home by his ear. 

Directed by a very young Mel Brooks, no doubt! :)

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Directed by a very young Mel Brooks, no doubt! :)

 

Uh-huh, you got it! ;)

 

(...though Mel WOULD go on to write and direct a little number that paid homage to Hitch, of course)

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I think they've also gone a bit overboard with LAURA this past year (never thought I'd say that). But it's true-- this film must have aired at least six or seven times. Sometimes TCM ruins a good thing-- they get a film people have been clamoring to see for a long time, then they play it into the ground. It's time to show some other Gene Tierney films. Where's HUDSON'S BAY...DRAGONWYCK...ON THE RIVIERA...etc.?

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Tonight THE HAUNTING is airing and quite frankly, I think this film airs too much on TCM. On one hand it's a good film...on the other hand it's not the only good film with a similar theme.

 

And so we are clear, this thread is not meant to be overly negative. Or even very negative at all. It's meant as a constructive yet exasperated attempt to suggest that we give some overplayed titles a rest so we can enjoy other films that are unfairly neglected.

 

Most of the overplayed films are ones that get selected repeatedly because they have all-star casts with household names; they won multiple Oscars; they are in the public domain; they are in the Turner Library; they are the programmers' favorites; they tie-in with a book or home video release being pushed by TCM's marketing department; they are in the endless loop of repeated Essentials; they are chosen often by guest programmers; and they are films that maybe one person in Podunk, Idaho has not seen yet so we need to give that individual a chance to catch up to the rest of us.

 

The Overplayed Hall of Fame

 

1. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

2. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

3. MILDRED PIERCE

4. SEVEN DAYS IN MAY

5. SUSPICION

6. SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL

7.  STELLA DALLAS

8. ICE STATION ZEBRA

9. THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

10. THE HAUNTING

 
Did I miss any...?

 

gone with the wind and doctor zhivago. :D

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I think they've also gone a bit overboard with LAURA this past year (never thought I'd say that). But it's true-- this film must have aired at least six or seven times. Sometimes TCM ruins a good thing-- they get a film people have been clamoring to see for a long time, then they play it into the ground. It's time to show some other Gene Tierney films. Where's HUDSON'S BAY...DRAGONWYCK...ON THE RIVIERA...etc.?

They're on the FXM Retro (formerly FMC) channel, of course.

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gotta agree with your picks here :D

but programmers should also get kudos for treats like showing Lansbury's "Sweeny Todd" today, "The Mountains of the Moon", "The Others" ('01) & the Ulmer doc & films for example.

(not to mention all the premieres on TCM Imports)

Though why they hide some of these at such odd hours baffles me. :wacko:

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gotta agree with your picks here :D

but programmers should also get kudos for treats like showing Lansbury's "Sweeny Todd" today, "The Mountains of the Moon", "The Others" ('01) & the Ulmer doc & films for example.

(not to mention all the premieres on TCM Imports)

Though why they hide some of these at such odd hours baffles me. :wacko:

Maybe it costs less to lease them for certain hours..? Just guessing here.

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They're on the FXM Retro (formerly FMC) channel, of course.

Yes. FXM Retro also shows WHIRLPOOL-- surprised TCM doesn't try to air that one.

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The Overplayed Hall of Fame

 

1. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

2. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

3. MILDRED PIERCE

4. SEVEN DAYS IN MAY

5. SUSPICION

6. SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL

7.  STELLA DALLAS

8. ICE STATION ZEBRA

9. THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

10. THE HAUNTING

 
Did I miss any...?
 
Well, it sure is a good start.
 
What I've noticed is that the "overplayed" movies fall into two categories:  The ones you mention along with many others I'll get to; and some that get played over and over for a few years and then POOF!  you may not see them again for a long time.
 
Examples of that last category would include Double Indemnity and The Lady Vanishes.  Before I started recording in late 2009, I used to see these two movies all the time on TCM.  But the minute I got my recorder, they disappeared for over three years and then got repeated several times each within a relatively short period.  Same with Vertigo and Rear Window.  I only wish they'd substitute those two for South By Southeast and Seven Days In May, even though I love those two films.  At this point I wouldn't mind seeing Vertigo about once a month, though I'd probably take that back before I knew it. B)
 
But to your "Hall of Fame" list, I'd add these, most of which are great movies, but.....:
 
1. Splendor in the Grass (arguably the all-time champ)
2. The Apartment
3. Some Like It Hot (though this seems to be in temporary remission after megasauration)
4. How to Marry a Millionaire
5. The Asphalt Jungle
6. The Big Sleep
7. Trouble in Paradise
8. My Fair Lady
9. Singin' In The Rain
10. On The Town
11. Libeled Lady
12, On The Waterfront

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i'd add The Young Lions (1958) to this list.

 

a few years ago i posted a request for Lions on Suggest A Movie, and was granted my selection in spades this year. after a premiere during 31 Days of Oscar last February, it's been shown monthly thru Oct, although there are no future showings listed through Jan, 2015.

 

this 20th Century-Fox movie must be a short term acquisition for showing and TCM sure took advantage of the open window for possible airings.

 

now, if they could only do the same with The Victors (1963).

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The Overplayed Hall of Fame

 

1. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

2. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

3. MILDRED PIERCE

4. SEVEN DAYS IN MAY

5. SUSPICION

6. SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL

7.  STELLA DALLAS

8. ICE STATION ZEBRA

9. THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

10. THE HAUNTING

 
Did I miss any...?
 
Well, it sure is a good start.
 
What I've noticed is that the "overplayed" movies fall into two categories:  The ones you mention along with many others I'll get to; and some that get played over and over for a few years and then POOF!  you may not see them again for a long time.
 
Examples of that last category would include Double Indemnity and The Lady Vanishes.  Before I started recording in late 2009, I used to see these two movies all the time on TCM.  But the minute I got my recorder, they disappeared for over three years and then got repeated several times each within a relatively short period.  Same with Vertigo and Rear Window.  I only wish they'd substitute those two for South By Southeast and Seven Days In May, even though I love those two films.  At this point I wouldn't mind seeing Vertigo about once a month, though I'd probably take that back before I knew it. B)
 
But to your "Hall of Fame" list, I'd add these, most of which are great movies, but.....:
 
1. Splendor in the Grass (arguably the all-time champ)
2. The Apartment
3. Some Like It Hot (though this seems to be in temporary remission after megasauration)
4. How to Marry a Millionaire
5. The Asphalt Jungle
6. The Big Sleep
7. Trouble in Paradise
8. My Fair Lady
9. Singin' In The Rain
10. On The Town
11. Libeled Lady
12, On The Waterfront

 

I agree Andy-- I think if we went over this a few years ago, SOME LIKE IT HOT and A FACE IN THE CROWD would be near the top of the heap. Fortunately, they have cut back on showing those two-- but I don't doubt they will be back.

 

THE BIG SLEEP is their go-to Bogey & Bacall film. And actually this bothers me, because I feel KEY LARGO is their best picture. 

 

I almost mentioned LIBELED LADY. It was shown a lot as an essential, and it also came up as one of Bob's Picks. There are other screwball comedies and other Harlow films to show instead. Please. :)

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i'd add The Young Lions (1958) to this list.

 

a few years ago i posted a request for Lions on Suggest A Movie, and was granted my selection in spades this year. after a premiere during 31 Days of Oscar last February, it's been shown monthly thru Oct, although there are no future showings listed through Jan, 2015.

 

this 20th Century-Fox movie must be a short term acquisition for showing and TCM sure took advantage of the open window for possible airings.

 

You're absolutely right about THE YOUNG LIONS. What started as a premiere quickly spun out of control. I think you have provided the correct reason for the problem-- they paid for it, they had a chance to re-air it within a certain period of time, and they went bananas.

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Yes. FXM Retro also shows WHIRLPOOL-- surprised TCM doesn't try to air that one.

 

MOVIES showed Whirlpool a lot about 6 months ago.    Based on how much R.O. loves Gene one would think he would ask for the film to be added into the rotation (e.g. when TCM picked up Laura).

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Tonight THE HAUNTING is airing and quite frankly, I think this film airs too much on TCM. On one hand it's a good film...on the other hand it's not the only good film with a similar theme.

 

And so we are clear, this thread is not meant to be overly negative. Or even very negative at all. It's meant as a constructive yet exasperated attempt to suggest that we give some overplayed titles a rest so we can enjoy other films that are unfairly neglected.

 

Most of the overplayed films are ones that get selected repeatedly because they have all-star casts with household names; they won multiple Oscars; they are in the public domain; they are in the Turner Library; they are the programmers' favorites; they tie-in with a book or home video release being pushed by TCM's marketing department; they are in the endless loop of repeated Essentials; they are chosen often by guest programmers; and they are films that maybe one person in Podunk, Idaho has not seen yet so we need to give that individual a chance to catch up to the rest of us.

 

The Overplayed Hall of Fame

 

1. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

2. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

3. MILDRED PIERCE

4. SEVEN DAYS IN MAY

5. SUSPICION

6. SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL

7.  STELLA DALLAS

8. ICE STATION ZEBRA

9. THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

10. THE HAUNTING

 
Did I miss any...?

 

What happened to NORTH BY NORTHWEST, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, and DOCTOR ZHIVAGO? Have they been retired to permanent immortality?

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What happened to NORTH BY NORTHWEST, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, and DOCTOR ZHIVAGO? Have they been retired to permanent immortality?

They cut back on FROM HERE TO ETERNITY-- though it still airs. I can handle DOCTOR ZHIVAGO a bit better than LAWRENCE OF ARABIA.

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What about GASLIGHT?

Yes, we can certainly add that one to the list. I bet if we go back and look at all 20 years, GASLIGHT has been overplayed most of those years. 

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Yes, we can certainly add that one to the list. I bet if we go back and look at all 20 years, GASLIGHT has been overplayed most of those years. 

The number of times that amounts to being "overplayed" for a lousy movie is less than the number of times for a great movie.

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The number of times that amounts to being "overplayed" for a lousy movie is less than the number of times for a great movie.

I don't know if I agree with that statement. From personal experience, there are some films that I have grown weary of (just like a song that is overplayed on the radio), and I know it's a quality piece of art, but it's been ruined for me. Then, of course, there are other films that I can't watch enough. So there is no rhyme or reason to this!

 

But in the case of TCM scheduling, if you keep allocating four hours for LAWRENCE OF ARABIA every two months, then it begins to look like filler. Sometimes I would rather see three Monogram westerns in the space of that four hour block just to give a little contrast and variety with programming.

 

We don't always need a great movie-- sometimes just a different movie will suffice. :)

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I don't know if I agree with that statement. From personal experience, there are some films that I have grown weary of (just like a song that is overplayed on the radio), and I know it's a quality piece of art, but it's been ruined for me. Then, of course, there are other films that I can't watch enough. So there is no rhyme or reason to this!

 

But in the case of TCM scheduling, if you keep allocating four hours for LAWRENCE OF ARABIA every two months, then it begins to look like filler. Sometimes I would rather see three Monogram westerns in the space of that four hour block just to give a little contrast and variety with programming.

 

We don't always need a great movie-- sometimes just a different movie will suffice. :)

Even a lousy one?

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