Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
TopBilled

The Overplayed and the Underplayed

Recommended Posts

Right--thanks, that was a typo. The argument is still the same. Whatever year it was-- if TCM keeps showing one or two 'big' and 'prestigious' films from that year, it gives the impression that we can write off the rest of Hollywood product from that same year. It is really saying that our minds are tiny and cannot hold much information, so through repetitious rebroadcasting let's just say Year X equals Film X. Then we move on to the next year and saturate our memory banks with one film from that year, and on and on. When the reality is that nearly 150 films were turned out each year, and now because of a selective process by a cable channel telling us what is Essential, most of the other titles are becoming increasingly forgotten, lost in time.

1944 is an especially interesting year. You've got some great noir-type films, such as DOUBLE INDEMNITY and LAURA, and at the other extreme, "feel good" films in the midst of the war effort, such as GOING MY WAY.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the record, I record very few "feel good" movies----you couldn't pay me enough to watch any movie with Hope, Crosby, Skelton, or Esther Williams----and yet from 1944 alone I recorded 53 different feature titles from TCM just between 2009 and 2013.  It's not as if it's only a tiny handful of highlight films have been presented.  You just have to be paying attention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the record, I record very few "feel good" movies----you couldn't pay me enough to watch any movie with Hope, Crosby, Skelton, or Esther Williams----and yet from 1944 alone I recorded 53 different feature titles from TCM just between 2009 and 2013.  It's not as if it's only a tiny handful of highlight films have been presented.  You just have to be paying attention.

So that means they don't need to show LAURA as often as they do, because there are so many other 1944 titles they like to air. Thanks for that. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the record, I record very few "feel good" movies----you couldn't pay me enough to watch any movie with Hope, Crosby, Skelton, or Esther Williams----and yet from 1944 alone I recorded 53 different feature titles from TCM just between 2009 and 2013.  It's not as if it's only a tiny handful of highlight films have been presented.  You just have to be paying attention.

It's interesting how many films were made during WW II. You'd think production would have been severely curtailed because so many movie people were presumably off fighting. Maybe only the ones under, like, 35.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"You just have to be paying attention"

 

Topbilled - I think you deftly sidestepped Andy's point - which is YOU JUST HAVE TO BE PAYING ATTENTION.( re: so-called lack of 1944 titles shown on TCM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "king" of the overplayed hall of fame is the "Letterboxing" short.

Yes, I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking of the late, great Sidney Pollack getting the heebie-jeebies thinking of watching "Ben-Hur" in pan and scan!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think It Happened One Night is overplayed.  I've only seen it twice on TCM, once in 2006 and then a few months ago.  I know it's been on more than that, but never at a time I'd be able to see it.  Foreign Correspondent and To Be or Not to Be are certainly not overplayed in Canada.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking of the late, great Sidney Pollack getting the heebie-jeebies thinking of watching "Ben-Hur" in pan and scan!

 

If pan and scan cut out 40% of Ben-Hur, by definition that would be a 40% improvement. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"You just have to be paying attention"

 

Topbilled - I think you deftly sidestepped Andy's point - which is YOU JUST HAVE TO BE PAYING ATTENTION.( re: so-called lack of 1944 titles shown on TCM.

 

You're right.  My point had nothing to do with Laura, which never even made it to TCM until very recently and hasn't been shown nearly as often as other 1944 movies such as Meet Me In St. Louis, Going My Way, and Gaslight, all of which are prime candidates for the Overplayed Hall of Fame. The point is that since I've been able to record 53 different 1944 films just since 2009, and given that I record very few musicals and no rah-rah war movies at all, it's hard for me to imagine that 1944 has been given short shrift.

 

A further point I might add is that while the studios remained active during the war years, they were the equivalent of wartime baseball.  The number of "notable films" listed for 1943 and 1944 in wiki's year-by-year compilation is much shorter than similar lists for the immediate pre-war and post-war  years.  Given that so many of the leading young actors were off to war and many production supplies were being rationed, the fact that movies in the war years also suffered both in quantity and quality should come as a shock to no one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Curiously not discussed much on this thread is CASABLANCA, which, according to the VARIETY article that came out on the occasion of TCM's 20th anniversary, is, in fact, the most-played movie in the network's history, having aired "over 125 times", which would mean on average it's been shown about once every two months since TCM began. I'm curious as to what it means that posters here have barely even mention when they have much stronger negative feelings about films that have been played far less often, Does it get a "free pass" because it is so universally loved, or do people just kind of take it for granted by this point?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think It Happened One Night is overplayed.  I've only seen it twice on TCM, once in 2006 and then a few months ago.

You must've been out playing basketball with the boyz. It has aired at least five times in 2014, if not more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Curiously not discussed much on this thread is CASABLANCA, which, according to the VARIETY article that came out on the occasion of TCM's 20th anniversary, is, in fact, the most-played movie in the network's history, having aired "over 125 times", which would mean on average it's been shown about once every two months since TCM began. I'm curious as to what it means that posters here have barely even mention when they have much stronger negative feelings about films that have been played far less often, Does it get a "free pass" because it is so universally loved, or do people just kind of take it for granted by this point?

You're right-- we could toss CASABLANCA into the mix. It's TCM's go-to Bogey title. In the later years of her life, Ingrid Bergman voiced much disdain for it-- she felt she did many other much better films. She was upset that all anyone wanted to talk about when they interviewed her was CASABLANCA. The stars became a victim of its success, in life and now after death. TCM perpetuates that by overplaying what they consider 'essential' classic titles.

 

To answer your question, I certainly do not give CASABLANCA a free pass. I charge it a toll when it crosses the bridge into comfort TV heaven on TCM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Topbilled - I think you deftly sidestepped Andy's point.

Gold star for Vertigo. I decided that if Andy was going to manipulate the data, then anyone could manipulate his interpretation of it. Ultimately Andy's point could be swept under the rug with other claims-- which of course the folks meeting this week at the Conference of Apologists may not be able to swallow. Here have another cup of coffee-- it goes down easier that way.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right.  My point had nothing to do with Laura, which never even made it to TCM until very recently and hasn't been shown nearly as often as other 1944 movies such as Meet Me In St. Louis, Going My Way, and Gaslight, all of which are prime candidates for the Overplayed Hall of Fame. The point is that since I've been able to record 53 different 1944 films just since 2009, and given that I record very few musicals and no rah-rah war movies at all, it's hard for me to imagine that 1944 has been given short shrift.

 

 

First, we're not talking about how many films a person has been able to record. Some of them may be scratchy public domain prints that didn't cost TCM a dime to broadcast. Many others may just be those already in the Turner Library. But when LAURA goes to the head of the class, that's a problem-- it should not be the main go-to film of 1944, or the main go-to noir of any year, for TCM programmers. So yeah I am going to biotch about that and loudly.

 

GOING MY WAY is their go-to Paramount film from 1944 because they can use it at Oscar time and because it gives off the impression that they play Bing Crosby films, which let's face it-- they hardly if ever play most of his Paramount catalogue. But in no way does GOING MY WAY surpass LAURA with the number of broadcasts. To suggest that is just wrong.

 

Also, a few posters have said that it's okay for TCM to play LAURA ad nauseum right now because the channel never played LAURA until this year. Okay, so let's see, that is like being a kid whose mother never let him have chocolate milk-- and when he went to stay at Aunt Bessie's for the weekend, he got all chocolate milk he wanted, and that's way it should be, since he was making up for all the times mom didn't let him drink it at home...? Never mind the fact he wound up getting a stomach ache and Aunt Bessie had to explain to mom why the kid started to throw up violently. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right-- we could toss CASABLANCA into the mix. It's TCM's go-to Bogey title. In the later years of her life, Ingrid Bergman voiced much disdain for it-- she felt she did many other much better films. She was upset that all anyone wanted to talk about when they interviewed her was CASABLANCA. The stars became a victim of its success, in life and now after death. TCM perpetuates that by overplaying what they consider 'essential' classic titles.

 

To answer your question, I certainly do not give CASABLANCA a free pass. I charge it a toll when it crosses the bridge into comfort TV heaven on TCM.

Ingrid DID do many better films-------GASLIGHT, NOTORIOUS, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE for starters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, we're not talking about how many films a person has been able to record. Some of them may be scratchy public domain prints that didn't cost TCM a dime to broadcast. Many others may just be those already in the Turner Library.

 

Funny, but those 53 movies from 1944 that I've recorded don't give me any problems in viewing or listening.  They can't all be of Blu-Ray quality, but so what?

 

But when LAURA goes to the head of the class, that's a problem-- it should not be the main go-to film of 1944, or the main go-to noir of any year, for TCM programmers. So yeah I am going to biotch about that and loudly.

 

So what are you saying?  That NO movie should be a go-to movie for any given year?

 

If that's all you're saying, then I don't disagree.  And in fact I also agree with your wish to stop overplaying so many titles, whether or not I think that's likely to happen.

 

But if all you're complaining about is the specific choice of Laura as the go-to movie for 1944, then I couldn't disagree more.  I'd be perfectly satisfied to leave Laura on the shelf for the next few years, but since Laura also happens to be one of the premier films of all time, it's certainly no worse a choice for 1944's "go-to" movie than any other.  The problem is overplaying in general, not the overplaying of this or that particular film.

 

GOING MY WAY is their go-to Paramount film from 1944 because they can use it as Oscar time and because it gives off the impression that they play Bing Crosby films, which let's face it-- they hardly if ever play most of his Paramount catalogue. But in no way does GOING MY WAY surpass LAURA with the number of broadcasts. To suggest that is just wrong.

 

No, it's simply factual, unless you're just talking about the past year.  Going My Way has probably been played 10 times as often as Laura over the course of TCM's 20 year history.  So have To Have and Have Not, Meet Me in St. Louis, Gaslight, Kismet,  National Velvet, Cover Girl, and God knows how many other movies from 1944 alone.  You can complain all you want about Laura, but you can't change the facts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ingrid DID do many better films-------GASLIGHT, NOTORIOUS, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE for starters.

Yes, she did and girlfriend knew it. She wasn't afraid to criticize reporters and interviewers who were hung up on CASABLANCA. She knew that she didn't spend 50 years on screen doing only one performance. She wanted them to look at her whole career, not gloss over her talents by perpetually citing the same movie again and again. She was sick of it. And so am I, quite frankly.

 

Don't forget her later work, too-- ANASTASIA is a perfect performance. THE INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS is also very good. But I think she was most proud of FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS and JOAN OF ARC. She thought she should have won the Oscar for the Hemingway picture-- and the winner that year, Jennifer Jones, thought so too. In fact, Jones apologized to Bergman afterward for taking the Oscar away from her. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So what are you saying?  That NO movie should be a go-to movie for any given year?

 

That's exactly what I'm saying. As for the Crosby film, I was talking about its airplay since LAURA arrived on the scene. 

 

I think your comments are slightly deceptive, though. You keep mentioning films from '44 in the Turner Library. Let's look at everything from '44-- from Universal, Paramount and Republic too-- then see how many films from that year TCM does not show very often or even at all. I mean how can they when the money and time is going towards LAURA?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So what are you saying?  That NO movie should be a go-to movie for any given year?

 

That's exactly what I'm saying.

 

Then I don't disagree with your overall point about overplayed films. 

 

As for the Crosby film, I was talking about its airplay since LAURA arrived on the scene. 

 

That's fine.  Were you also complaining about the overplaying of On My Way and Meet Me In St. Louis prior to the arrival of Laura?

 

I think your comments are slightly deceptive, though. You keep mentioning films from '44 in the Turner Library. Let's look at everything from '44-- from Universal, Paramount and Republic too--

 

When I said I've recorded 53 different movies from 1944 off TCM, I wasn't just referring to the Turner Library, since I don't particularly care where the movies come from as long as they're shown.

 

then see how many films from that year TCM does not show very often or even at all. I mean how can they when the money and time is going towards LAURA?

 

Given that Laura has maybe played all of half a dozen times since it was first premiered on TCM, isn't that putting an awful lot of blame on one film's shoulders?  Laura over the past year is at worst but one example of the much larger issue, an issue which existed long before Laura came around and will likely continue long after the contract for Laura expires.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's exactly what I'm saying.

 

Then I don't disagree with your overall point about overplayed films. 

 

As for the Crosby film, I was talking about its airplay since LAURA arrived on the scene. 

 

That's fine.  Were you also complaining about the overplaying of On My Way and Meet Me In St. Louis prior to the arrival of Laura?

 

I think your comments are slightly deceptive, though. You keep mentioning films from '44 in the Turner Library. Let's look at everything from '44-- from Universal, Paramount and Republic too--

 

When I said I've recorded 53 different movies from 1944 off TCM, I wasn't just referring to the Turner Library, since I don't particularly care where the movies come from as long as they're shown.

 

then see how many films from that year TCM does not show very often or even at all. I mean how can they when the money and time is going towards LAURA?

 

Given that Laura has maybe played all of half a dozen times since it was first premiered on TCM, isn't that putting an awful lot of blame on one film's shoulders?  Laura over the past year is at worst but one example of the much larger issue, an issue which existed long before Laura came around and will likely continue long after the contract for Laura expires.

We have to keep putting the blame on the programmers' fixation on LAURA, because it's already shown up in a 2015 schedule and it will undoubtedly air a half dozen (if not more) times next year. The channel is trending on overplaying LAURA and we can click 'x' on it and say 'I don't care for TCM to keep scheduling this movie all the time.' As consumers, we have the power to do that and do it loudly and clearly so the programmers get the message.

 

Meanwhile, I think you should care (everyone should care) whether more films come outside from outside the Turner Library. If not, then what we have are films that become unofficially lost (and more importantly, they do not get restored or put on home video because aside from those attending rare screenings at film festivals, people new to classic film never know they existed).  We wind up with people, especially TCM viewers, getting a distorted representation of what Hollywood actually produced during given years of the golden age. This is a huge problem that cannot be under-emphasized.

 

As for MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, that is definitely an overplayed title from the Turner Library. It ironically comes at the expense of THE WIZARD OF OZ not being shown very much. Why does THE WIZARD OF OZ, also in the Turner Library, get scheduled only once a year on TCM, during the summer when it's Judy Garland's birthday? It's Judy's most famous film, yet the programmers are hung up on MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS. Obviously, it is TCM and its programmers that are determining visibility of classic films, not fans. This is causing a disconnect. You cannot tell me that more people are requesting MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS than THE WIZARD OF OZ. Or that more people are requesting GAY PURR-EE than THE WIZARD OF OZ.

 

Or that people do not want to see more Universal, Paramount and Republic classics. Because I am certain they do.

 

As long as they keep running certain titles into the ground, I am going to keep building The Overplayed Hall of Fame in TopBilled's back yard. I might even start selling souvenirs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It hardly matters what the actors think of their own films/ performances. It is not surprising that Bergman got tired of discussing Casablanca (the most popular of her films) since it is pretty much Bogart's picture. But then who wants to sit through the tiresome box office flop, Joan of Arc or the pretentious For Whom the Bell Tolls today, let alone discuss them? And as for either of those turgid melodramas Gaslight and/ or Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde being "better movies" than Casablanca, that is highly debatable. I am also curious about your source, Topbilled re: Bergman thought she should have won for Bells and Jennifer Jones apologizing for winning.

As for more recent films being on the 31 Days of Oscar schedule - terriic!! - since many of the new films are wonderful. After all, it is Turner Classic Movies, not Turner Precode Classic Movies The word classic can be easily applied to The Artist, The King's Speech or Chicago and is a dubious word for movies based simply on their release date. There were certainly as many terrible movies made in Hollywood's so-called Golden Age (which TCM dutiully shows) as today. I would not miss many of these lousy studio movies if better movies from the 60's on replaced them.Frankly, all the crying on the board about newer films replacing older ones is such a tired rant here that there ought to be a permanent thread for the whiners in that regard - they can clutch their pearls all they want and mourn the

world's changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It hardly matters what the actors think of their own films/ performances. It is not surprising that Bergman got tired of discussing Casablanca (the most popular of her films) since it is pretty much Bogart's picture. But then who wants to sit through the tiresome box office flop, Joan of Arc or the pretentious For Whom the Bell Tolls today, let alone discuss them? And as for either of those turgid melodramas Gaslight and/ or Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde being "better movies" than Casablanca, that is highly debatable. I am also curious about your source, Topbilled re: Bergman thought she should have won for Bells and Jennifer Jones apologizing for winning.

 

I don't remember if it was in Memo from David O. Selznick or some biography I read about Bergman. It happened after the awards ceremony, when they were at a party hosted by Selznick. Jones told Bergman 'your Maria should have won.' And Ingrid while humble and congratulatory, agreed. Maria was the part she played with consummate skill in FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS.

 

In a way it doesn't matter if something is a box office flop-- because in any film, a great performance can occur. Another Bergman film, which I think is very uneven and not very good on many levels-- SARATOGA TRUNK-- contains another gem of a performance. Ingrid proved that even in bad movies she could outdistance other actresses. Loretta Young who was a very close personal friend of Ingrid's in the last years of their lives said Ingrid was the best actress of that generation. So we have Young and Jones, both Oscar winners themselves, bowing down to the great Ingrid Bergman. It leads one to ask 'Bette Davis-- who dat?'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as they keep running certain titles into the ground, I am going to keep building The Overplayed Hall of Fame in TopBilled's back yard. I might even start selling souvenirs.

 

I find your harping on Laura a bit much, but again, I also wish that TCM would step up with its premieres from all possible sources (the B-studio libraries in particular), and ease off on the repeats.  Christmas in December and Christmas in July, too---but not including that particular overplayed title. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as they keep running certain titles into the ground, I am going to keep building The Overplayed Hall of Fame in TopBilled's back yard. I might even start selling souvenirs.

 

I find your harping on Laura a bit much, but again, I also wish that TCM would step up with its premieres from all possible sources (the B-studio libraries in particular), and ease off on the repeats.  Christmas in December and Christmas in July, too---but not including that particular overplayed title. ;)

Right-- I think instead of coughing up the dough for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (don't you love how I keep harping on that!)-- they could have used the money to negotiate with NBC and air IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE in July (let NBC keep it in December) and do a very clever Christmas in July theme with that!  

 

Now that would be something, and it would put the C back in TCM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right-- I think instead of coughing up the dough for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (don't you love how I keep harping on that!)

 

You have my permission to fire bricks and bazookas at any J.R.R. Tolkien based movie.  Blast away! B)

 

-- they could have used the money to negotiate with NBC and air IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE in July (let NBC keep it in December) and do a very clever Christmas in July theme with that!

 

I like that splendid idea, although the question is whether any showing of It's A Wonderful Life can be had at any price at this point.  I'm just glad I have my DVD of that all-time classic, so I don't have to be dependent on TCM to see it anytime I want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
×
×
  • Create New...