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C'mon, did you really interpret my motivation for stating twelve reasons why I'm loving the oscar fest this month to be compelling? I don't think so. I was trying to be redundant because everything I wrote either I, or someone else, or maybe even you, previously wrote, and I included two really base observations that I think are indisputable (thanks for the nod, sugarpuss). I like Osborne's ties. I really do. I wouldn't wear them but that doesn't mean I find them objectionable. It's a good metaphor for TCM's content. Not everything is to everyone's taste, and that's just that. I won't go into your recommending that people go out and pirate movies because that's what you do. I don't want to do what you do. You can't even spell my name properly.

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Way back when, when I was smaller than I still am, I thought movie-makers of the late '50s, '60s, and '70s made really ugly, badly-composed films. Then I learned all about CinemaScope and Panavision and the difference between DeLuxe and Technicolor and now I love whenever the films I watched when I was a kid turn up on TCM, and not at my local library (because if they do have The Graduate or whatever, it's usually pan-and-scan or, in the case of many films, public domain, because they're too cheap to buy Kino or Criterion), I love it because, as you say, we get to see them in all their magnificent glory, regardless of content. Unfortunately, films of the '80s are considered relics by today's younger citizens so, by default, that does make them 'classics', really. To kids who think John Wayne is an Asian kung-fu star, The Graduate is more than a relic, it's a bona-fide antique. I like Back to the Future because it's funny and it's got Crispin Glover in it, and anything with Crispin Glover in it is okay with me, and it's okay with me that you don't have to like it. Doesn't TCM celebrate movies, regardless of age? Doesn't Bogdonovich say something like, "There's no such thing as an old film, just films you haven't seen?" Now I'm redundant again. I already posted that.


I forget who posted something about certain positive parties who have contributed to this thread being "TCM sycophants." I haven't got a week to go looking for it but I wonder how I really gain anything by repeatedly saying that I just think TCM does a damn good job at what they do? I don't think I'm going to get anymore Allen Jenkins or Dan Duryea movies, but that's okay with me. You watch The Graduate and love it. If I'm not still caught up in Shakespeare's "A Winter's Tale" (which I should've been re-reading tonight but this is far more enlightening), maybe I'll watch it too. I've never actually seen the entire film...but I didn't think it was that big a deal that TCM is showing it, or The V.I.P.s, (which is really good to laugh at when you're deeply down), even though I'd really rather see something by Syberberg.

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I swear, that letterbox tutorial TCM shows between movies should be a primer for newcomers to film. Before TCM, I used to complain about the black bars. Now? I go crazy whenever a channel shows a film in pan and scan. The Fox Movie Channel sometimes shows a letterboxed movie in the pan and scan format. It drives me up the wall when they the movie opens with the "Cinemascope" logo and then flip to a full frame format after the credits. I love the fact that TCM respects the letterbox format and you have to give them credit for that. Many posters say to watch the modern movies on the pay channels, but I've noticed that the Encore channels and HBO/Cinemax do not show movies in the letterbox format (HBO is the exception when it comes to their own brand of shows and movies). On occasion, Starz, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Flix, IFC and Sundance do show letterbox but only on occasion.


Honestly, I've never seen Back to the Future. I know the plot and I know, despite the grumblings of it being "modern", it's a good movie. It's very popular among my friends. I'll probably give it a chance and if I don't like it, I don't like it. There's nothing wrong with personal taste! I don't think anyone needs to prove themselves as a classic movie fan. I know earlier in the thread people were being judged by their tv picks and musical taste as well. That's ridiculous. A good movie is a good movie regardless of the year it was made. I know I'm being just as redundant with that. But does anyone really think the classic actors in the disputed "modern" movies just want people to watch them in their "classic" works? No. They keep making movies for a reason (and not just for a paycheck, although the money helps, I'm sure). Awakenings, for instance, is a really good movie. It's touching and sad and has just as much emotion, plot and character development in it as any 1940's tearjerker or film noir, but it's the year--1990--that makes people complain. Films do not have expiration dates on them! It's all about quality. Now if TCM were showing Ashton Kutcher movies, I'd start getting angry along with everyone else. But judging from the upcoming schedules, they aren't. They're sticking with classics. The posters who broke it down mathematically by year proved that.


I know I'm just another mindless TCM cheerleader drone according to some posters on the board, but I agree with you and think the programmers do a damn good job as well. You'll be hard pressed to find another channel that cares about movies as much as TCM does. Despite all the disagreements in this thread, I do enjoy reading it because there are so many opposite perspectives. It's interesting, to say the least.


And The V.I.P's is good melodramatic fun. All those sudsy late 50's/60's soap opera type movies are, although my absolute favorite 60's melodrama is, hands down, The Carpetbaggers.

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Also, I found the closest thing to a TCM "mission statement" on a 1999 webpage of TCM's history, short as it was then. It begins with this statement: "Turner Classic Movies presents the greatest films of all time, from the '20s through the '80s (emphasis mine) -- featuring the silent screen, international pictures, as well as all of Hollywood's genres -- commercial-free, uninterrupted, 24 hours a day.">>


I think Coffeedan's research says it all. No one has been able to find a better "mission statement" IN WRITING in all these pages of doom and glooom.


Who among us are the fortune tellers? Only time will tell.


Till then all this talk of TCM becoming ACM, Bravo or fill in the blank, is just

that, speculation.


Will the doom and gloomers prevail or will the TCM lover prevail?


Who knows? Obviously none of us.


TCM has NOT become ACM. Despite various posts to the contrary, the evidence shows that TCM has not sold out.


Could TCM show some films less frequently? Yes.


But one thing to keep in mind in all of this is the changing face of technology (much faster than when TCM started out ten years ago) and the ability of studios, their home entertainment divisions, their libraries, and everyone else to try to stay current with broadcast quality.


It's one thing to sit at home on your computer and imagine the perfect movie channel.


The delivery of that idea is a horse of different color.


I give TCM high marks for trying to market to a variety of needs and tastes 24/7.


You can call me a loyalist, but until you show me station doing it 24/7 (which FMC is not doing). uncut, unedited and in the original format, good luck.

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Personally, I think it pretty unlikely that someone would have access to TCM (seen thru cable, primarily) and NOT have access to a library, video store, Netflix, or any number of network channels who play some of these modern films.


I mean, if you are in such a remote location that Netflix won't deliver to you, I find it hard to believe there would be a cable company anywhere around either.


Don't get me wrong - I LOVE some of the modern Oscar-winning films this month. "Bridges of Madision County" is one of my top 3 tear-jerker chic flicks of all time, in fact. But I have it on DVD, Blockbuster and Hollywood Videos have it on their shelves, Netflix has it in stock, and it has played several times on network TV. Probably been on Encore too. And it was no doubt on HBO, Showtime, or whatever a few years ago when it came out.


Now, I'm not complaining, because I can't see every film TCM plays every month in any event, and I don't mind that there are a few I won't watch.


But to pretend that it is just as difficult to see "Bridges of Madison County" as it is to see "Hold Back the Dawn" is REALLY a stretch, guys. A stretch, quite frankly, that I don't buy in the least.


Maybe there IS one person on the planet who hasn't seen "Benji". But I suspect that person has had TONS of opportunities. They just haven't CHOSEN to see "Benji". And is that what TCM is about? - catering to the ONE person out there who has not seen a film that they never thought important enough to see before now?


As I said, I'm not complaining because I thing TCM is great and I thank my lucky stars for it. But some of the arguments being made in this thread seem a bit of a stretch to me.

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path40a, I completely agree.


A handful modern films a month does *not* make it on the way to being AMC.


That's why I said in my post that "I'm not complaining". If TCM was anything approaching AMC, I wouldn't be posting here at all, because I wouldn't be watching this channel.

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This is my first posting, so I hope all you veterans will bear with me. My wife and I have been getting TCM for a little less than two years, but I?ve been a fan (vicariously) since long before that. Even before we could afford to subscribe, via satellite, I would check my local TV listings, make the time-zone adjustment, and ask my sister-in law on the East Coast to tape any old movies I had to have. Thanks to her and TCM, I own tapes of 12 Ann Sheridan movies, many of them rare, films that were shown in years past on February 21st, her birthday. Since Annie is my all-time favorite actress, these films are priceless to me.


I?ve just recently discovered this message board, and I spent a long time yesterday and today tracking all the postings on this thread, and I must say I find the entire debate somewhat amusing, but very heartening. Obviously, everyone who has chimed in on Fred C. Dobbs? original doom-and -gloom posting cares very passionately about classic films and the state of TCM. In an age when 90 percent of what Hollywood produces is vapid celluloid that would insult the intelligence of a gerbil, it?s comforting to know there are still so many people out there who want to sustain an avenue for viewing movies from the golden era.


My own feeling is that while TCM seems to have morphed lately into something less than a ?classic? classic movie channel, it?s still so far superior to any alternative, how can anyone really complain. I remember when AMC was showing old films during the 1980s, and frankly on its best day, AMC couldn?t compare to what TCM has been doing for years, and is still doing. Today, with commercials and other nonsense, AMC is virtually unwatchable. (Instead of commercials, in between films we get Edward Hopper graphics, plus Chet Baker vocals; that alone almost makes it worth tuning in.) So, if we have to put up with a few more recent films, and repeated showings of some of the great ones, it seems like a good trade-off for seeing all the other rare movies you?ll never find anywhere else, and that includes video stores or on the Internet, because many of them will never make it to DVD. I?m thinking of many of the Warners and MGM films from the 1930s, without a major star, but still beloved by anyone with a fondness for films of that era. Many of the films I?ve seen on TCM I?ve never seen anywhere else?including on local TV stations, when that?s all they used to show was old movies, or in the many revival theaters I used to frequent in New York and Los Angeles.


So I guess for someone like me who has loved old movies since I grew up watching them in New York on WOR?s Million Dollar Movie, and Channel 2?s The Late Show, TCM is and always will be ?the stuff that dreams are made of.?

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Whoa! Nicely said. I agree TCM is the most wonderful channel. And I also agree there is plenty of time in the day to show newer movies too. Obviously, 50 years from now, present-day movies will be looked upon as classics. BUT, there are many TCM viewers who are concerned that even a small change in the type of movies shown may be a step down a slippery slope (such as the one AMC took). I pay an extra cable fee each month to receive TCM. It is not included in the basic cable service in our area. My feeling is that if somebody else is crazy about 1970 and 1980 movies, they should also fork out some extra bucks for a premium channel such as ENCORE or HBO. Seriously, FOX Movie Channel and TCM are our only hope of seeing old movies.

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from coffedan's post a few days ago and now three pages back:


At times, TCM has had more modern films in the schedule than it does now. It has also had fewer of those films. But as much as the numbers go up and down, the programmers do maintain some basic proportions. The modern films have always been part of the programming mix, right from the very beginning, but they have never overwhelmed the rest of the schedule. There are a few exceptions, but TCM has kept to showing modern films that are at least 10 years old (the most recent film in this month's schedule is from 1996), which I think is distance enough for determining a "classic.">>


from rickspade:

My own feeling is that while TCM seems to have morphed lately into something less than a ?classic? classic movie channel, it?s still so far superior to any alternative, how can anyone really complain.>>



The whole point is that TCM has not recently morphed, changed or abandoned it's original intent. It is actually holding the line, not sliding down any slippery slope.


While some viewers and posters maintain that TCM has changed the evidence says differently. The evidence shows TCM has tried to be incredibly consistent in the movies it schedules.


As I said earlier in this thread, the ever changing face of technology may be playing a bigger role than we realize in what is actually available in the digital form that TCM can broadcast in, from the teens, twenties and 30s.


But they are out there, every day, swinging for the fences. Is every day a home run in classic films? No, but they are consistently trying to make everyone in the

bleachers happy.


And no matter how you phrase it, that is not an easy job to do. But they keep trying and they keep swinging.


And at the end of the day, that really is what matters most.

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I guess it seems like there are more modern movies on TCM now than before because they are always on at primetime or weekends, which is the times that I am able to tune in. I noticed someone a few days ago brought up a schedule from I believe 1999. It only had less than 5 movies from the 80's and one from the 90's. That is how I would prefer TCM, but you can't have it all. I also noticed the mission statement doesn't say anything about showing movies from the 90's and beyond. I guess this wouldn't bother me so much if they would distribute them throughout the day and in the middle of the night (where I am finding the best and the rarely shown movies lately). Thank goodness for DVD recorders.

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Hi there sweetbabykmd. Still slugging it out? I decided to bow out,as there's no point in debating the matter when I've decided to just skip TCM for the month anyway. I'm sure someone will have something to say about that,but the last time I checked,this is still the land of the free and it's my right to avoid TCM until th programming gets back on track. This will make two months together that I've hardly watched TCM. I would've watched more last month,for the Robert Montgomery movies,but some of those got pre-empted,so...




I've no doubt that someone will have plenty to say on why I'm wrong and "close-minded" to not try to appreciate the "modern classics" being mostly shown this month.They will also have something to say about me even mentioning it.I mean,apparently I shouldn't say anything unless I toe the line and cheer TCM all the way no matter what they do.OK,they can show all these "modern classics",and anyone who likes them can watch,and even boost TCM for ahowing them.By the same token,I can NOT watch and express my distaste for them,and my disagreement with TCM's inclusion of them.





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I don't think alot of the fear expressed in this thread is coming from what is actually happening. I think it's coming from what happened with AMC.


It's just human nature, really. If you burn your hand on the stove, you remember it and take precautions to not let it happen to you again.


The reactions in this thread are no different from that.


I think last month with the anime in prime time and this month with the modern Oscar-winning pictures in prime time has just put alot of people on alert.


I don't think anyone believes TMC is becoming AMC. But I think alot of people are speaking up out of fear. Fear of *any* step down the road that AMC took.


They were burned once. They do not want to be burned again.


And really, who can blame them?

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Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.


What happened to AMC is now happening to TCM. Repeated films shown over an over again, such as ?Bringing up Baby?. New junk films like ?The Boys from Brazil?. The placing of real ?classic? films such as the Robert Montgomery and Warren William series in the middle of the night where no one can see them, and in large groups so that no one can tape all of them.


Ted Turner doesn?t own TCM anymore. Some guys at Time-Warner up in New York are making all the decisions now.


TCM is not the ?classic? film network it was 10 years ago. It?s not as good as it was just 5 years ago. Now it?s showing a bunch of non-classic junk films that have already been shown on many other cable channels. This is a move toward a younger audience that will watch these junk films.


I?m paying for this channel and I have a right to critique it as it begins to decline, as my satellite bill continues to go up.

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Melanie, if people like ourselves didn't come on here regularly and speak our minds, this message board would sound like one big commercial for TCM. "Oh, isn't The Birdcage wonderful? I just can't wait to see Sleepless in Seattle again....Oh and Beaches and Yentl..." Yuck!


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Oh, I agree with you about your right to critique TMC, Fred.


Last I checked this was a DISCUSSION board. And that means ALL opinions should be allowed expression. Not just the ones that are gushing over everything TCM does.


And I do agree with you on one very important matter. Some of these guys are saying "if you don't like it, change the channel". But if every other channel is showing these same modern films over and over, then there is nothing to change TO.


The whole point of TCM to begin with was to be an outlet for a niche audience that was *not being served anywhere else*.


And members of that niche audience have every right to 'defend their turf'. Especially in this case because it is the last turf of it's kind. There IS no alternative way to see alot of the classic films. They are not EVER on Encore, HBO, Showtime, or the networks. They are not on DVD or even VHS. TCM is IT - their one and only hope of seeing many films.


TCM is not *anyone's* only hope of seeing "Benji".


So while I don't agree with you that it's quite 'as bad as all that' *yet*, I actually appreciate what you are doing. Because *someone* has to keep their finger in the ****, you know. ;)

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That's nice. I'm computer illiterate, really, and I don't know anything about HTML tags, it's a field I steer totally clear of. But they do seem perfectly appropriate for this thread, particularly the angry tomato banging his head against a wall. One of the great things about life is the power of independent thought. This thread has got to the point where I'm seriously doubting that the power independent thought is considered a plus in anyone. It's too bad, really.

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?And I do agree with you on one very important matter. Some of these guys are saying "if you don't like it, change the channel". But if every other channel is showing these same modern films over and over, then there is nothing to change TO.?


Exactly. I?m paying Direct TV $44 a month -- $528 a year ? so I won?t have to change channels. I could get a cheaper satellite service without TCM in it, but I don?t wanna. I want TCM as Ted Turner originally designed it, as a premium channel with premium classic old movies, while the basic-cable TNT and TBS plays the modern junky movies. I don?t want to pay $528 a year for 3 Turner channels of junky movies plus AMC and Fox junky movies too. If I want to see junky movies I go to the local theaters and the video rental stores or watch the junk-movie channels. Or I could just watch NBC, ABC, and CBS. They are free and filled with junky movies.


What is happening this month on TCM, with all the bad modern movies, is like a football fan paying extra for an all-football channel and then getting a lot of golf and bowling programs in prime time, with the football programs being shown occasionally at 2 AM.

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What I think I was alluding to, or really meant to write, was that, at least in this thread, the power of independent thought has been confused with simple whining. I think there's a difference between the two. And I don't think I jump down anyone's throat. If you consider anything I've written in a respond to you as constituting jumping down your throat, I apologize. It certainly wasn't my intention.

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