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


Bogie56
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I thought CBS' The Autobiography of Miss  Jane Pittman was very good when I saw it in 1974 and that Cicely Tyson was marvellous.

i wouldn't mind seeing this again one day to see how it stands up.

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TCM is TV after all.  But hey, the title of the thread included the words 'once in a while.'  I'm sure they could make space for two hours a month for something like this.  But hey, this is only a thread not a programmers meeting.

 

There have been a few movies made for television that ended up being shown theatrically in other markets too.

 

Scenes From a Marriage, made for Swedish television by Ingmar Bergman was released in cinemas in North America.  Some great performances in that too.  Bib Andersson for one.

 

And it is released on Criterion which TCM seems to have some sort of deal with.

I hadn't realized Scenes From a Marriage was made for TV.  It was the inspiration for one of my guilty pleasures of the past, Knot's Landing.

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There are SO many!!

 

The first one I'll mention is the first one that's coming to mind.

 

An absolutely beautiful love story that had me shivering (and I'm a tough guy) - it was called 'In Love with an Older Woman' (1982). John Ritter was the star. Wonderful movie.

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It's probably not a good idea to have TCM show television movies, since there's a good reason they appeared on television and not on cinema.  However, I am curious about the 1980 movie The Mystery of Eva Ryker which I saw the first half hour or so, but never saw the rest of.

 

The reason was so they could keep people home watching instead of going out to the theater. Made-for-tv movies were direct competition to theater movies. That's why they were made - they were the replacement for what used to be known as b-movies or second features in the theater business. As long as they were stand-alone films - and not part of a series - I have no problem whatsoever with TCM showing them. In fact, they SHOULD show them. They are legitimate movies.

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I've seen IN LOVE WITH AN OLDER WOMAN (1982-Tvm) a few times, d-b.  I never saw it on television, though.  I bought the video release many moons ago.  Most enjoyable with a sensible script.  :)   I give it a 'thumbs up' as well. 

 

     Also:  I believe instead of 'Mystery' the title is "The Memory of Eva Ryker" (1980-Tvm) starring Natalie Wood.

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     Also:  I believe instead of 'Mystery' the title is "The Memory of Eva Ryker" (1980-Tvm) starring Natalie Wood.

I saw this tv-movie as a teen.  I'm almost positive it was The Memory of Eva Ryker--had to do with a torpedoed liner--WWI, Lusitania (?)--maybe WWII--Britannic(?)--a fictional ship(?).

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Also a huge fan of the quirky Twilight Zone-esque Stephen Sondheim musical EVENING PRIMROSE with Tony Perkins and Charmian Carr

 

Which aired in color, originally.  Too bad they can't seem to find a color print of it.

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Made for television films, are the true lost films, these days.  There are so many, and so few find their way to home video or repeated airings.  I'm surprised one of the myriad channels that have appeared since digital television, that feature old television shows, hasn't started to air them as part of their rotation.  However, there is simply no reason why TCM should limited their catalog of films to theatrical films.  Movies are movies, regardless of the intended venue.  The first one that came to mind when I read this thread's topic, was WOMEN IN CHAINS, with Ida Lupino, Lois Nettleton and Jessica Walter.

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I agree with DarkBlue here.

 

Television movies from all periods of time have been for the most part as good as theatrically released films. Lets face it for most of the 1970's through the 1990's television movies attracted many more established and older actors that were no longer being selected for theatrically produced films.

 

Some of the ones I remember are two I just purchased through TrueTVMovies.net

 

This website has many older out-of-print television and theatrical films you can purchase for your collection. For some reason I am a sucker for light romantic comedies, or even dramadies, I think they are named.

 

On YouTube often only parts of films are shown, so I found the above website and purchased a couple of tele movies for the heck of it.

 

One was 1977's Just a Little Inconvenience starring James Stacy, Lee Majors and Barbara Hershey. Its the true story of two lifelong friends who have skied together on the same mountain for years. When one of them goes off to fight in Vietnam (Stacy), the other (Majors) stays in college. Eventually Majors appears in 'Nam and the two of them are together again. Unfortunately Stacy is caught in an ambush and losses his left arm and leg. The two lose touch with one another until Majors catches up with Stacy years later in a bar. The rest of the story is really beautifully told and acted.

 

The other film is with Lindsay Wagner and Perry King called, Their Second Chance, from 1998. Its a story about a young woman who is thinking of getting married and wants to find her birth mother, hoping that she will be able to answer some questions about her heritage. She finally reconnects with Wagner, her birth mother but that is not enough. She also wants to meet her father played by King. Very touching movie with the always reliable and beautiful Wagner.

 

Once last film I would love to see on TCM is a perennial Christmas classic called:

 

The Gathering, starring Edward Asner and Maureen Stapleton from 1977. It is the story of an industrialist who finds out he has a terminal disease and has a short time to live. This happens just before Christmas one year. He is estranged from his wife but goes to her to get info about their children, he kids all took mom's side during the separation so he has not spoken often with several of his kids. Eventually the Stapleton (his estranged wife) finds out the truth and arranges a Christmas reunion for the entire family never telling any of the children why the get together is happening.

 

One of the very best television movies ever produced.

 

I believe TCM could also show longer format television projects like mini series. Why not? Some of those were very well made and had really great stories and acting. One that could be shown is James Michener's Centennial from 1978.

 

This massive 26-1/2 hour series followed the history of the area of the fictional town of Centennial Colorado from the late 18th century to the 1970s. It had a huge cast and was very well received. Luckily, I have the mini series on DVD and often watch certain episodes.

 

Other mini series that could be shown could be:

 

Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

Roots (1977)

The Jewel in the Crown (1984)

Lonesome Dove (1989)

From the Earth to the Moon (1998)

Band of Brothers (2001)

John Adams (2008)

 

The Pacific (2010)

Mildred Pierce (2011)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A House Without a Christmas Tree, Jason Robards, Mildred Natwick,  Lisa Lucas

 

Maybe I'll Come Back in the Spring, Sally Field, David Carradine, Eleanor Parker

 

Divorce His - Divorce Hers, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Carrie Nye

 

The Girl Most LIkely To, Stockard Channing

 

Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate, Helen Hayes, Myrna Loy, Mildred Natwick

 

Sunstroke, Jane Seymour

 

The Mermaid Chair, Kim Basinger

 

Lace ("Which one of you bitches is my mother?"), Phoebe Cates, Brooke Adams, Arielle Dombasle, Bess Armstrong 

 

Wild Palms, Nick Mancuso, Angie Dickinson

 

So many more I've forgotten.  Great thread!  Shouldn't there be a TV station to play such movies, or is there?

I'd like to see any of these I must say.  I recall liking the Burton Taylor Divorce His - Divorce Hers.

 

I've seen The Girl Most Likely To... several times.  I was never a fan of Joan Rivers but thought the idea and black humour for this movie was really good.  It was probably the film that brought Stockard Channing to my attention.  And Ed Asner is good in it too.

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Jenny Seagrove played the main character as a young woman while Kerr played her as the older version. I just looked at the cast list on IMDB and while there were some recognizable names. Barry Bostwick played the love interest and I noticed John Mills and Barry Morse appeared. Even Christopher Gable was in it. I remember watching back then and that I liked it.

 

 

Production value was pretty terrific for A Woman of Substance, so far as TV movies go.  And, in addition to the other cast members you mentioned, a very young Liam Neeson had a fairly major role.  

 

Lydecker

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Brian's Song 1971

Very famous in its time. Almost as famous as 'The Night Stalker'.

 

'The Glass House' (1972) starred Alan Alda and Vic Morrow - a lot of people here would love to see that one. Also starred Clu Gulager and Billy Dee Williams.

 

'Isn't It Shocking?' (1973) was another good one with Alda - and it co-starred Edmond O'Brien, Ruth Gordon and Will Geer.

 

There are so many, they'll be coming to mind for months if I don't actively go looking them up.

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It's kind of hazy, but it might be TRILOGY OF TERROR, if that's the one with Stockard.Channing

 

Stockard wasn't in that.

 

'Trilogy of Terror' (1975) is most famous for its third segment, wherein Karen Black engages in a fight for life against a miniature devil doll.

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I wouldn't mind seeing The Challenge (1970) again.  It starred Darren McGavin and Mako in a sort of Hell In the Pacific knockoff.  

It is directed by Allan Smithee though which is not a particularly good sign,

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90% of TV movies are unremarkable and would be out of place on TCM.

 

However...

 

And Pray For the Wildcats with Andy Griffith, William Shatner and Angie Dickinson. 

 

If you haven't seen this you haven't lived. The dance scene with Griffith and the hippie girl at the cantina is a masterpiece ("We're gettin' it ON!!!").

 

And how could you not list Marjoe? FWIW he gave an interview about the location shoot in Mexico. Shatner was predictably obnoxious, but to Marjoe's surprise, so was Andy Griffith. Robert Reed spent his spare time hitting on the male production assistants.

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90% of TV movies are unremarkable and would be out of place on TCM.

 

However...

 

 

If you haven't seen this you haven't lived. The dance scene with Griffith and the hippie girl at the cantina is a masterpiece ("We're gettin' it ON!!!").

 

And how could you not list Marjoe? FWIW he gave an interview about the location shoot in Mexico. Shatner was predictably obnoxious, but to Marjoe's surprise, so was Andy Griffith. Robert Reed spent his spare time hitting on the male production assistants.

I'd love to read that interview.  Years ago, when in some 'hold your breath' moments I would say to friends "Pray For the Wildcats" and they would wonder what the heck I was on about.

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    I'd have to seriously disagree with the "90% of Tv movies are unremarkable and would be out of place on TCM".  There's plenty of unremarkable theatrical movies as well that get aired on TCM.  What's the difference?  A bad 1930s movie (I thought CAT'S PAW with Harold Lloyd was pretty damn bad) is not some kind of an "improvement" over a low-grade 1970s TVM.  Some bad movies are quite entertaining (like that '50s Sci•Fi movie "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman"; I think it's hilarious and doesn't overstay it's welcome clocking in at 66 minutes) while other Bad movies are just plain BAD and aren't entertaining at all.  ► On another thread there's a mention of an Edmond O'Brien movie which is irritating as Hell.  Not Edmond's fault; I blame the script.  I won't watch that annoying movie again as long as I live.  Twice was plenty!  No more chances with that one.  I'd take any lowly 1975 TVM over another airing of whatever movie that was and that nonsense phrase on the train.  Yecch! 

 

      Just like the limits imposed by the Hays Code on films after mid-1934, there's limits as to what could be shown on '60s,'70s and '80s television but that doesn't have to mean a loss of quality.  It could, but it doesn't have to.  The worst made-for-Tv movie I've seen to date would not have been improved by adding bad words and a heaping load of violence.  It's called NOWHERE TO HIDE (1977)/C-78m. and stars Tony Musante and Lee Van Cleef.  The whole movie is just "off" somehow.  I couldn't put my finger on it, but it's not good.  However, at only 1 hr 18 mins. I could get through it.  That's an 'advantage' of sorts if you wanna call it that:  Many of the TVM's produced in the '60s, '70s and early '80s were meant for 90-minute time slots so even if they're not so great they don't drone on forever.  Not that much different from so many of those '30s "B"-movies that ran between 70-80 minutes and didn't aspire to greatness but were entertaining. 

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     There's lots of 'hidden' TVM's that haven't aired in so long I wonder who would even remember if the film was halfway decent or not.     

 

      "THE MISSING ARE DEADLY" (1974-Tvm) C-78m.  D:  Don McDougall.  Starring Ed Nelson, Josè Ferrer, Leonard Nimoy, George O'Hanlon, Jr., Marjorie Lord, Kathleen Quinlan. 

 

     (Trivia Note:  George O'Hanlon, Jr. -and- Kathleen Quinlan also co-starred in another 1974 Tv movie called "Where Have All the People Gone?"; they played Peter Graves' children). 

 

      Plot summary taken from the 1990 LM Tv Movie & Video Guide: 

 

      "Suspense tale about the panic caused when a disturbed teenager takes a rat infected with a deadly virus from his father's lab.  Average."

------------------------------------------------------------

      ALSO:  In regards to "PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS" (1974-Tvm) I bought a used copy maybe 9 or 10 years ago from Amazon.  It was released by 'Republic Pictures Home Video' in 1987.  I don't know if there's been a legal DVD release, but I do know there's been lots of 'burned' copies from that tape sold on DVD.  I reckon one only has to copy the videocassette 1 time and then it's possible to 'burn' as many discs as one wants to.   

 

      I'd guess I've got some 500 TVM's on video and one TVM on DVD-R (it's KILLDOZER (1974)).  I have always been acquisitive (when it was affordable, that is!) and even with the number of TVM's I rounded up for home viewing there's still so many more out there I'd like to get my hands on. 

 

      I was very fortunate to find a 1987 video release from Denmark of the 1973 TVM "A Cold Night's Death".  Except the video release is under the title "The Alaska Experiment".  The PAL-format tape is in English with small, unobtrusive subtitles on the bottom of the screen.  I lucked out finding that one! 

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Once last film I would love to see on TCM is a perennial Christmas classic called:

 

The Gathering, starring Edward Asner and Maureen Stapleton from 1977. It is the story of an industrialist who finds out he has a terminal disease and has a short time to live. This happens just before Christmas one year. He is estranged from his wife but goes to her to get info about their children, he kids all took mom's side during the separation so he has not spoken often with several of his kids. Eventually the Stapleton (his estranged wife) finds out the truth and arranges a Christmas reunion for the entire family never telling any of the children why the get together is happening.

 

One of the very best television movies ever produced.

 

 

I have this one.  Love it.  It was shot in our own town.  For years there was a family-owned restaurant of the same name.

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