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I love a good Intermission


limey
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Seeing the Doctor Zhivago love-in thread, reminded me how much I miss movies with an intermission. Doubly so for movies with entrance & exit cards/music.

 

Having these always enhanced the movie experience for me, giving anticipation before the body of the feature, a cooldown upon the ending & (ahem) a call of nature break in the middle. So happy TCM keeps these in-situ, when everyone else strips 'em out to shoehorn in some more ads.

 

Plus when a movie runs for 2-3 hours (or more) it felt like you were really getting some value for your admission fee.

 

Things just 'ain't the same no more... *sigh*

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I enjoy them also. There are some films shown on TCM which have intermissions that were clearly intended to be several minutes in duration - at the very least - but have been truncated to mere seconds. I feel cheated somehow.

 

I brought this up a while back and someone offered an explanation, but still... 

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I enjoy them also. There are some films shown on TCM which have intermissions that were clearly intended to be several minutes in duration - at the very least - but have been truncated to mere seconds. I feel cheated somehow.

 

I brought this up a while back and someone offered an explanation, but still... 

How did you determine that truncation had occurred? Abrupt music fade, or memory of the original length, or something else?

 

I have seen a few intermission cards on TCM that were music-less and which didn't hang about very long & wondered the same thing (I think that I subconciously acquiesced to the idea that if the card was static + without music, that it could be cut without compromising the purity of the 'uncut, commercial-free' thing...).

 

I may have to go search for that thread...

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How did you determine that truncation had occurred? Abrupt music fade, or memory of the original length, or something else?

 

I have seen a few intermission cards on TCM that were music-less and which didn't hang about very long & wondered the same thing (I think that I subconciously acquiesced to the idea that if the card was static + without music, that it could be cut without compromising the purity of the 'uncut, commercial-free' thing...).

 

I may have to go search for that thread...

 

I can't actually determine if the short intermissions were intended at time of production, but when it only lasts for 5-10 seconds I get the impression it should have been longer. If it's only 5-10 seconds (and some are), then what's the point of it? - that's my thinking.

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How did you determine that truncation had occurred? Abrupt music fade, or memory of the original length, or something else?

 

I have seen a few intermission cards on TCM that were music-less and which didn't hang about very long & wondered the same thing (I think that I subconciously acquiesced to the idea that if the card was static + without music, that it could be cut without compromising the purity of the 'uncut, commercial-free' thing...).

 

I may have to go search for that thread...

 

I think the explanation I received in an earlier thread was something along the lines of : some intermissions were produced in a static fashion so as to allow individual theaters the ability to tailor their times to suit their operations (i.e. create longer ones to allow for increased concession revenues).

 

Entr'actes, however, span the first and second acts musically

and would produce an obvious omission if edited.

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I can't actually determine if the short intermissions were intended at time of production, but when it only lasts for 5-10 seconds I get the impression it should have been longer. If it's only 5-10 seconds (and some are), then what's the point of it? - that's my thinking.

Ah, I see. My guess is that these short cards may have coincided with a reel change, so made for a convenient break in proceedings for the projectionist?

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Ah, I see. My guess is that these short cards may have coincided with a reel change, so made for a convenient break in proceedings for the projectionist?

 

Well, there are those intended for reel changes, but they would be much longer than the 5-10 second intermissions I'm commenting on. It's these 5-10 second ones which don't allow for a reel change... those must have been inserted to offer theaters the opportunity to tailor their breaks to concession sales. Being a static image, they could just freeze it for as long as they deemed necessary.

 

When these are broadcast here on TCM there is no commercial need to extend the 5-10 second intermissions, so..

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Well, there are those intended for reel changes, but they would be much longer than the 5-10 second intermissions I'm commenting on. It's these 5-10 second ones which don't allow for a reel change... those must have been inserted to offer theaters the opportunity to tailor their breaks to concession sales. Being a static image, they could just freeze it for as long as they deemed necessary.

 

When these are broadcast here on TCM there is no commercial need to extend the 5-10 second intermissions, so..

Shssh! Someone at TCM might decide to sneak in a wine club or 2, on that basis...

;)

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Ah, I see. My guess is that these short cards may have coincided with a reel change, so made for a convenient break in proceedings for the projectionist?

Let's all go to the lobby

Let's all go to the lobby

Let's all go to the lobby

And have ourselves a treat

And have ourselves a treat

And have ourselves a treat

Let's all go to the lobby

Let's all go to the lobby

Let's all go to the lobby

And have ourselves a treat!

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Let's all go to the lobby

Let's all go to the lobby

Let's all go to the lobby

And have ourselves a treat

And have ourselves a treat

And have ourselves a treat

Let's all go to the lobby

Let's all go to the lobby

Let's all go to the lobby

And have ourselves a treat!

 

I used to see that one at the drive-in every Saturday

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Drive-ins. Now that's something else that I wish would make a comeback.

 

TCM should look at (re)opening some drive-ins!

 

Ah yes, Fresh air, stars, double features, cooler of beverages, lawn chairs, off or the little coils that didn't work, and the cartoon hotdogs and "soda's dancing around encouraging you to go get a delicious meal at the little white painted cinder block snack/food stand ... man I'd tear up one of those burgers with onions and mustard in the little shiny bags right now !!

 

 

 

 

P.S. My local drive in ... Opens next month ... probably should go then before the sun stays up too late for me to watch the movies LOL

 

http://www.skyview-drive-in.com/

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I'm glad someone discussed this. I've often thought while watching FUNNY GIRL or LAWRENCE OF ARABIA or whatever TCM film includes an intermission that they surely must have been longer in the actual theater, because they way they show them on TCM, you wouldn't have time to even get out of the theater much less go to the bathroom and get some popcorn.

 

I saw THE HATEFUL EIGHT with its much-ballyhooed nods to old-school road show cinema: overture, 70mm print, intermission. The screen actually went completely black for 10 minutes during intermission. Perhaps that how it was done back in the day as well. I'm too young to know. I always thought a musical interlude played for the full 10 minutes, but perhaps not.

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Drive-ins. Now that's something else that I wish would make a comeback.

 

TCM should look at (re)opening some drive-ins!

 

Around here there is something cool going on. In the summer some companies put up temporary screens at parks , ballfields, etc... and show old movies on them. They invite some of the interesting food trucks for refreshments. Sometimes even a live band playing. Some have seats, others, you bring your own chairs and coolers.

 

Its one way to see movies under the stars.

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Around here there is something cool going on. In the summer some companies put up temporary screens at parks , ballfields, etc... and show old movies on them. They invite some of the interesting food trucks for refreshments. Sometimes even a live band playing. Some have seats, others, you bring your own chairs and coolers.

 

Its one way to see movies under the stars.

 

That's cool Gerald.  I'll have to do some research to see if they are doing that around StL or somewhere near

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Ok----

1st:  Limey:  It wasn't all that long ago('bout a year) that I read an article in my local paper written by the paper's film critic about how movies that run about two hours in length are considered TOO long by audience "standards" these days.

 

I feel the same as you in that movies long enough to require an intermission also seem to be giving people their money's worth( considering the movie is good )  And sometimes, I feel like I was robbed if the movie was much shorter than two hours, and, depending on it's quality, even THEN.

 

But a funny story---  The first movie my DAD ever saw that had an intermission was Liz Taylor's CLEOPATRA.  In fact, he wasn't even familiar with the concept  of a movie intermission.

 

But, long being a Liz Taylor "crusher", he went to see it on his own, my mom never having been able to stomach Taylor.  But she was surprised to see him come home much earlier than he was expected, since she knew how long the movie was supposed to be.

 

She asked him, "What's the matter,  didn't you like the movie?"

 

He answered that it was OK, but he didn't like the ending.  "Seemed like it ended in the middle of the story!"  he claimed.

 

You guessed it.  Turned out that when the film stopped and the lights went up for intermission (which, like Fin, he thought "intermission" was some foreign word for "the end"!) he thought the movie was over!!  :lol:

 

Sepiatone

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I also love that TCM includes the intermission in films which were originally shown that way.  As another poster noted, intermissions during the original theatrical showings were generally about 10 to 15 minutes (provided time for a bathroom break, obtaining a snack, etc.)  I think in most cases music was actually not played during the intermission (although there may have been exceptions to this); the entr'acte music would start playing at the end of the intermission break as a signal to the audience that the second part of the film was about to begin.  As well, the music generally played over a black screen; entr'acte visuals have been added to TV showings (or DVD/blu-ray releases) but were not really part of the original presentation (again there may have been exceptions to this).  For a TV showing (or a DVD/blu-ray) there isn't any need to keep the screen blank for 15 minutes (you can always hit the pause button on the remote control if you need a break) - the inclusion of the intermission card and the entr'acte music is only meant to give a greater sense of the original theatrical experience.

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I too love this! It's so much fun when TCM plays the film exactly as it would have appeared in a theatre.

 

I dig when they have the long intro segments with black screen and just music, and then the long intermissions where one can go get snacks and the fourth libation of the day, or do other unmentionable things.

 

Sometimes I even turn all the lights out to simulate being in a dark theater.

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