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TV Movies You'd Like to see on TCM ... once in a while


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Old tv movies seem to have gone the way of the dodo.  At least they are almost as hard to find.  They used to be a big event on television in the seventies.

You have to search out the older Leonard Maltin guides if you would like to find reference to them.

 

I realize that the distribution rights to many of the best TVM's belong to the big networks.  So this may be a pipe dream.  But if you were to pick from past tv movies which ones would you like to see on TCM uncut and commercial free?  Once in a while that is.

 

I'll start with The Execution of Private Slovik, a 1974 NBC TVM directed by Lamont Johnson featuring a fine performance by Martin Sheen.

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Irwin Allen's Fire! (1977)

 

A question, Bogie56--are mini-series up for nomination also??

Sure, why not!

 

QBVII (1974) had an amazing cast: Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara (together again), Anthony Hopkins, Dan O'Herlihy, Robert Stephens, Milo O'Shea and what I thought was some of their best ever work - Anthony Quayle and Leslie Caron.

 

I'd love to see that mini-series again some time.

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The NIght Stalker

Yeah, baby.  The Night Stalker.  1972 ABC TVM with Darren McGavin that kicked off a tv series, right?

Great support cast in this one too: Ralph Meeker, Elisha Cook, Jr., Ralph Meeker, Charles McGraw and as Ben Mankiewicz once pointed out the creator of that famous diet, Claude Atkins.

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Irwin Allen's Fire! (1977)

 

A question, Bogie56--are mini-series up for nomination also??

I don't think I've ever seen this one.

 

The thing about the old tv movies is that they often had great casts.  

 

I just looked up your Fire! suggestion and see that it has Ernest Borgnine, Vera Miles, Donna Mills, Erik Estrada, Patty Duke, Alex Cord, Lloyd Nolan, Neville Brand, Ty Hardin and one of my favourites Gene Evans.

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I don't know if I'd want to see them on TCM. Perhaps on TCT (Turner Classic Television).

 

The golden age of the TV movie -- roughly 1969-74 -- was the descendant of the Studio One/Playhouse 90 era, and produced a few gems before devolving into true confessions and disease of the week weepies.

 

A few of my favorites:

 

Sole Survivor -- A fantasy-thriller based loosely on the discovery of the wreckage of the WWII bomber Lady Be Good in the Libyan desert (which also inspired a Twilight Zone). The final shot is a classic that can stand up to any Hollywood feature.

 

In Broad Daylight -- essentially a lost Columbo episode in which a blind actor (Richard Boone) plots his wife's murder. Boone made a private eye movie called Goodnight My Love that is very highly regarded, but I've never seen it.

 

Tribes -- generation gap conflict between Marine Sgt Darren McGavin and hippie draftee Jan-Michal Vincent. Much better than it sounds -- the script won an Emmy.

 

Evil Roy Slade -- actually two pilots edited together, for a series to have starred John Astin as the old West's meanest outlaw. Very funny script by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson, with a priceless performance by Dick Shawn as a combination of Roy Rogers and Paladin.

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I don't know if I'd want to see them on TCM. Perhaps on TCT (Turner Classic Television).

 

The golden age of the TV movie -- roughly 1969-74 -- was the descendant of the Studio One/Playhouse 90 era, and produced a few gems before devolving into true confessions and disease of the week weepies.

 

A few of my favorites:

 

Sole Survivor -- A fantasy-thriller based loosely on the discovery of the wreckage of the WWII bomber Lady Be Good in the Libyan desert (which also inspired a Twilight Zone). The final shot is a classic that can stand up to any Hollywood feature.

 

In Broad Daylight -- essentially a lost Columbo episode in which a blind actor (Richard Boone) plots his wife's murder. Boone made a private eye movie called Goodnight My Love that is very highly regarded, but I've never seen it.

 

Tribes -- generation gap conflict between Marine Sgt Darren McGavin and hippie draftee Jan-Michal Vincent. Much better than it sounds -- the script won an Emmy.

 

Evil Roy Slade -- actually two pilots edited together, for a series to have starred John Astin as the old West's meanest outlaw. Very funny script by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson, with a priceless performance by Dick Shawn as a combination of Roy Rogers and Paladin.

I remember these well, Richard.  Sole Survivor with Bill Shatner and Vince Edwards.  I ripped off the story to make a Super 8mm war movie!  I remember seeing Goodnight, My Love as well which costarred Michael Dunn.

 

I don't think we are offered Turner Classic TV in Canada.  We're deprived.  So it would be a once in a while thing on TCM, or nothing for us.

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Someone help me on this--I think Public Broadcasting System aired this in 1973?  Anyway, it was a documentary of an unreleased film of I, Claudius (1937?) starring Charles Laughton & Merle Oberon(?)--anyway, filming was stopped because female lead was in a disastrous car accident which almost killed her.  As I recall, she had successful surgery and was able to continue film career.  But I Claudius (1938?) was never finished--and the few scenes from the documentary looked like the makings of a fascinating film.  What was the title of this???  TCM, is programming this (someone will remember the title) a future possibility ?

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I'd like to see THE THORN BIRDS.  I remember Stanwyck won an Emmy for it but I've never seen it.  I know it was a mini-series more than a one-shot TV movie but maybe TCM could run it somehow someday.  Also I believe THE KILLERS (the Ronald Reagan version) was originally supposed to be a TV movie but was considered to be too violent at the time.  I'd like to see that one, too.  I seem to recall seeing THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT AMELIA (not sure of the title - after all, it's been decades) with Ted Danson that I would like to watch again.  I remember a TV movie about the Nazi parade in Skokie (Illinois) with Danny Kaye in a serious un-Danny Kaye performance that was pretty good.  I also really liked Karl Malden's performance in FATAL VISION (I think that's the title - again, it's been a long time) about the Army doctor who killed his wife and kids and Malden plays the wife's dad.  I believe this was a two-parter shown over a couple of nights and I'd like to see it again.

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1. I'd like to see the Special Television Edition of Close Encounters of the Third Kind

 

    I need to see inside that spacecraft..

 

2. Shogun

 

3. The Questor Tapes (1974)

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Someone help me on this--I think Public Broadcasting System aired this in 1973?  Anyway, it was a documentary of an unreleased film of I, Claudius (1937?) starring Charles Laughton & Merle Oberon(?)--anyway, filming was stopped because female lead was in a disastrous car accident which almost killed her.  As I recall, she had successful surgery and was able to continue film career.  But I Claudius (1938?) was never finished--and the few scenes from the documentary looked like the makings of a fascinating film.  What was the title of this???  TCM, is programming this (someone will remember the title) a future possibility ?

I looked this up in HALLOWELL'S FILM COMPANION and there was a TV movie  in 1965 about the making of I, CLAUDIUS called THE EPIC THAT NEVER WAS.  Is this what you were thinking of?

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Someone help me on this--I think Public Broadcasting System aired this in 1973?  Anyway, it was a documentary of an unreleased film of I, Claudius (1937?) starring Charles Laughton & Merle Oberon(?)--anyway, filming was stopped because female lead was in a disastrous car accident which almost killed her.  As I recall, she had successful surgery and was able to continue film career.  But I Claudius (1938?) was never finished--and the few scenes from the documentary looked like the makings of a fascinating film.  What was the title of this???  TCM, is programming this (someone will remember the title) a future possibility ?

The Epic That Never Was (1965) narrated by Dirk Bogarde.  I caught it in England.  And it may have been an interesting film too.  It certainly would have helped Emlyn William's career who had the showcase role of Caligula.

 

I have the box set of Derek Jacobi's I, Caligula which is magnificent.  One of John Hurt's finest performances.  And Brian Blessed's too if you don't count Flash Gordon which is often quoted in England I must say. 

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Yeah, baby.  The Night Stalker.  1972 ABC TVM with Darren McGavin that kicked off a tv series, right?

Great support cast in this one too: Ralph Meeker, Elisha Cook, Jr., Ralph Meeker, Charles McGraw and as Ben Mankiewicz once pointed out the creator of that famous diet, Claude Atkins.

I believe it was produced by Dan Curtis, of "Dark Shadows" fame .. or infamy. Next came The Night Strangler, and then, the short-lived tv series.

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I don't think I've ever seen this one.

 

The thing about the old tv movies is that they often had great casts.  

 

I just looked up your Fire! suggestion and see that it has Ernest Borgnine, Vera Miles, Donna Mills, Erik Estrada, Patty Duke, Alex Cord, Lloyd Nolan, Neville Brand, Ty Hardin and one of my favourites Gene Evans.

I remember seeing that one. Ty Hardin is on screen for about 1 minute.

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Back in the 80's I saw A Woman of Substance. I believe it was a mini-series and Deborah Kerr had a small role. I cannot remember any other actors from it and what I can recall it was pretty good.

Does anyone know if Sybil was a made for tv movie? I believe it was long.

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Not sure, but with Grit, Get, MeTV, MoviesTV, Cozi, et. al. there may be more of these old TV movies and mini-series being shown.

Many, many of them are available on DVD from the various companies that sell them.  Can list a few if anyone interested.

Another source is your local library.  You know, that place that used to loan out books, but has been taken over by people using its computers.  Many have sections of DVD's and VCR tapes you can wander through or you can go to a website to see what is available.  With some libraries, they will get your selection from another library somewhere.

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Back in the 80's I saw A Woman of Substance. I believe it was a mini-series and Deborah Kerr had a small role. I cannot remember any other actors from it and what I can recall it was pretty good.

Does anyone know if Sybil was a made for tv movie? I believe it was long.

Sybil was a TV movie (or mini-series) in 1976 with Sally Field as Sybil and Joanne Woodward as the shrink.

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Sybil was a TV movie (or mini-series) in 1976 with Sally Field as Sybil and Joanne Woodward as the shrink.

Duh! I just realized Joanne Woodward's role reversal (for the second time). I had once before awhile back, but I guess it didn't stick.

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Guilty Conscience (1985) Anthony Hopkins, Blythe Danner, Dir: David Greene, Color, 104 minutes

"While an unfaithful criminal lawyer considers killing his wife, his spouse develops some schemes of her own."

 

The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath! (1975) Barbara Brylska, Andrey Myagkov, Dir: Eldar Ryazanov, Color, 192 minutes

"Zhenya wakes up at Leningrad airport. Believing that he is still in Moscow, he takes a taxi and goes home. The street name, building and even apartment number, the way an apartment complex looks the same and the key coincide completely - just typical Soviet-type 'economy' architecture. Imagine the surprise of Nadya when she enters her apartment and finds a man without trousers in her bed. What's more - Nadya's fiancé also finds him there..."

 

Formula of Love (1984) Elena Valyushkina, Aleksandr Mikhaylov, Dir: Mark Zakharov, Color, 90 minutes

"A young aristocrat is languishing in his family's country estate, spending his days reading poetry and confessing his love - to a statue."

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