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Old 08-31-2012, 04:42 AM
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Television Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

I'm not sure when TCM went from showing endless repeats of the low-rent parts of the Turner Entertainment catalogue interspersed with special-occasion repeats of major features like Gone with the Wind to becoming a virtual film school, but somewhere over the past 10 years or so it happened. Many's the weeknight I've spent watching movie after movie and been introduced to pictures I'd never heard of before and great actors I knew only by name or from a single famous movie.

Gary Cooper, for instance, I had only seen in High Noon before TCM hooked a sister up with Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Ball of Fire, The Pride of the Yankees, Sergeant York, Friendly Persuasion and to my utter delight, The Fountainhead which was written so incredibly badly it is to lol but performed with surprising coolness, even more surprising kindness and a genuinely disturbing sexual chemistry between Cooper and Patricia Neal. You can totally tell they were doing it hard irl and that it was a conflicted and unhappy affair. Also, it's the only movie to showcase Cooper's freakishly huge hands. Seriously. It's worth watching Rand's idiotic stilted dialogue and propaganda soliloquies just to see those big steam-shovelly scoops in action.

Film historian Robert Osborne is the genius, both in the sense of the inspiring spirit and the brilliance, of the channel. I would like to sup hungrily on his tasty, tasty brains and thereby become imbued with his vast stores of knowledge. I love his introductions and conclusions, and I love how he embiggens the actors who co-host The Essentials with him, Drew Barrymore at the mo.

Also of note are the period commercials they air for upcoming movies, most of which were only broadcast in theaters as teasers, the silent comedy shorts of the Mack Sennet oeuvre, the lack of commercial interruptions or stupid edits of any kind, excellent HD conversions and even the occasional commentary tracks that people with SAP buttons on their remote controls can activate.

Lastly, there's an annual cruise that SharonDee really wants to go on because she has perverted designs on Robert Osborne, and for this, I cannot blame her.
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  #2  
Old 08-31-2012, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

I have been a devout lover of TCM for prolly 15 years now, even though I haven't had cable television in recent years. I still have VHS I taped in the nineties when I was in HS. I remember when I had DVR, I would sit down every Sunday, scroll through the entire week of their schedule and record everything I hadn't seen. Despite being a huge film buff, I always had hours of fun stuff I had never watched before.

Even now, my best friend and I have a kind of movie watching club. She picks films she wants and I will look through the catalog for things I want to see, she records them and we watch them together. Good freaking times. While our tastes are worlds apart in modern movies, the classics resonate with us both.

They have become even more awesome in recent years, I would say, starting from around 2005. I think it is partly because their catalog has expanded exponentially and because they have gained new partnerships and have expanded beyond showing only films in the Criterion collection and films owned by Turner. That was a huge improvement which changed the network for the better.

Also, while I love Mr. Osbourne devotedly, Mr. Mankiewicz is my favorite. His arrival marked a huge change in the kind of films that were selected and was a breath of fresh air for a channel that could be kinda stogy and elitist. Don't get me wrong, the 31 Days of Oscar is a fine tradition and a great way to find important films, but there are many films outside of that institution which deserve time too.

I noticed that around Mankiewicz's arrival more cult films were showing up. B-rated movies, Exploitation films, International films, and most of all Silent Film began popping up more regularly. The last was a huge one, because before then silent films were mostly only watched by film students who had to. No one thought you could show them on a cable network and have an audience.

The first time I noticed Ben was when TCM did a Studio Ghibli week. I am sure they had to negotiate with Disney for the screening rights, but Mankiewicz co-hosted with John Lasseter and it was m a g i c. You could tell the two were friends and were so excited to show the films. It was obvious Lasseter was absolutely tickled to be there and the two just geeked right the fuck out. They showed two dubbed films each evening as a double feature followed by the same films in the original language with subtitles. I had never seen any network anywhere treat animation as a serious film topic before, and had never dared hoped to see anything like that on TCM.

Broadening their programing allowed for a more film school approach to the entire network, I think.

I also attended the anniversary screening of Singing In The Rain earlier this summer and absolutely loved it. Osbourne interviewing Debbie was a hoot, though I wished they hadn't been quite so spoilery before the film because Contra had never seen it. (AINORITE?!) They could have expanded on that after the film.

Actually I meant to ask others who might have seen it elsewhere, was there an interview/conclusion at the end? You know, where Robert Osbourne wraps up and says goodbye? Because my theater was sucking hard that night, lights up through the beginning interviews and the first 10 minutes of the movie, and when THE END came up on the screen we sat in the dark for FOREVER before we all started stumbling out. I was so peeved.
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  #3  
Old 08-31-2012, 07:00 AM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

Quote:
The first time I noticed Ben was when TCM did a Studio Ghibli week. I am sure they had to negotiate with Disney for the screening rights, but Mankiewicz co-hosted with John Lasseter and it was m a g i c. You could tell the two were friends and were so excited to show the films. It was obvious Lasseter was absolutely tickled to be there and the two just geeked right the fuck out. They showed two dubbed films each evening as a double feature followed by the same films in the original language with subtitles. I had never seen any network anywhere treat animation as a serious film topic before, and had never dared hoped to see anything like that on TCM.
I wonder if this is on DVD or being rerun, because WANT TO SEE!
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

I wish I could see Singin' in the Rain for the first time again.
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

Xfinity bought out Comcast and TCM is no longer included in our cable package. :fuming:
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

Love that channel. Miss when my DVR was working. I'm so lazy.
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
I wonder if this is on DVD or being rerun, because WANT TO SEE!
It isn't on DVD and I looked to see if they have plans to rerun it. All I can find are links from the original showing in 2006, which I realize now was to celebrate Miyazaki's 65th birthday. I was also wrong, it wasn't a week. It was a month of double features every Thursday.

For me it was a huge experience, because while I had seen and loved Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, I had not been able to find much of his earlier work. So this was the first time I had ever had the chance to see Totoro, Castle In The Sky, and Nausicaä. And really, isn't that what TCM is all about?

I did find this for you though!


Two more videos on that same channel by the power of youtube!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherMan View Post
I wish I could see Singin' in the Rain for the first time again.
Seriously. I will say, I enjoyed watching him watch it for the first time. I often think about all the factoids I know about the movie while I am watching it now, (there's milk in the rain!), rather than on focusing on the story. I was able to kinda shake that off and experience it again. So if you can find someone who has never seen it, do that because it is the closest you can get.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

Before getting rid of my VHS, I had a taped copy of 'Death Takes a Holiday' starring Fredrick March. It was only released on DVD as a special feature for Meet Joe Black. :(
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

Hi, my name's Janet and I'm a TCM addict. I seriously wish I were European and didn't have to work for the month of August just so I could stay home and watch all of Summer Under the Stars. That's one of my favorite of their programs because you often get to see more obscure films by big actors. I warned most of my coworkers that I was going to be deathly ill on Toshiro Mifune day, but sadly I realized we had a furlough the day after and management would insist on a doctor's note or I'd lose the paid holiday. I hope the Mifune day will lead to more foreign actors in years to come. A Jean Gabin or Jeanne Moreau day would be drool-worthy.

I also love that they are showing more pre-code films which are eye-openers for me. It's fascinating what they got away with and how what we think of as the standard Hollywood or American bias of violence over sex is actually traceable to the Hays office.

I've never thought of going on the cruise, because I'm not a cruise person. I did look into going to their film festival a few years back but I haven't done it yet. I did attend their big screen showing of Casablanca a few months ago. It was delightful! Didn't catch Singing in the Rain because I only found out about it hours before the show and didn't have time to get things together. I hope they do more events like that, because I really enjoy them.
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2012, 02:17 AM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

OMG ROLLERBALL!!1 :hyper:
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:07 AM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

TCM is my go-to channel for movies.

It used to be paired up with Fox Movie Channel, but the latter no longer exists, having died in the Race to the Bottom War.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:39 AM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

GAWD, I don't know how I missed this thread! And yes, liv, I have a nerdy hot-on for Mr. Osborne.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demimonde View Post
Actually I meant to ask others who might have seen it elsewhere, was there an interview/conclusion at the end? You know, where Robert Osbourne wraps up and says goodbye? Because my theater was sucking hard that night, lights up through the beginning interviews and the first 10 minutes of the movie, and when THE END came up on the screen we sat in the dark for FOREVER before we all started stumbling out. I was so peeved.
The theater I attended didn't have the lighting problem until the end and we were all, "Huh? Is there more or should we try to walk out in the dark?" It was the latter; we walked out without lights.

For years I have resisted getting Tivo or my cable company's DVR because most things I want to watch can be found on On Demand or the Internet. If not, I don't mind missing them. But dammit, TCM, why can't you behave like HBO and Showtime and Retro--which is right now showing Vertigo for the umpteenth time--and show some of these movies more than once? The only Bette Davis movies they play when I can see them are the ones I own or have zero interest in seeing again. But they won't come around again for months from now, if ever. Gah!

Ooh, am I still typing? So obsessed with this channel, it ain't right. :sadno:
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

There's a new event series starting this month. I could only find a link to a specific theater chain's announcement, but I checked my local theater and they are at least showing the first one. Unfortunately for me they are all on Wednesdays and I work until 8 on Wednesdays. My boss owes me a few favors because I work night shift whenever he needs me, so I'm going to try to call in one to see Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein at least.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:04 AM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

Sorry Democratic National Convention, but even Bill Clinton can't pry me away from Bogey and Bacall night. :lovey:
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

Lauren Bacall's bar in Dark Passage is the fucking bomb. I can't find a picture of it, dammit.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharonDee View Post
The only Bette Davis movies they play when I can see them are the ones I own or have zero interest in seeing again. But they won't come around again for months from now, if ever. Gah!
Next Friday is Queen Elizabeth night, and you know what that means: double Bettes!!! The Virgin Queen at 8:00 PM and The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex at midnight. :hyper: Jean Simmons and Stewart Granger fill in the middle slot with Young Bess.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

What, no Glenda Jackson? No fair!
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

The original House on the Haunted Hill was on TCM last night. I DVRd it and am watching it now. I've never seen it before. So far it's awesome. Jarrod Barkley is in it! Also the gunsel from The Maltese Falcon! But best of all is Ennis House. I squeed out loud when I saw those first exterior shots. Such a pity the interiors are all standard Victorian set design.
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:59 AM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

Elisha Cook Jr. was awesome.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:16 AM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

Classic movies, eh? Well, for starters, how about Bringing Up Baby? Considering that censorship at the time was so strict that two people couldn't be shown in the same bed, even if they were a married couple who were both reading books or something quite innocent, unless both actors had one leg on the floor (a position so awkward that nearly all films from this period gave married couples twin beds), the amount of not-quite-explicit sexual symbolism they get away with is incredible! It's the first film ever to use the word "gay" in its modern sense, which they got away with because the censors didn't know what it meant. Incidentally, Cary Grant, who sarcastically announces that he's "suddenly gone gay" to explain why he's mysteriously wearing a negligée, was in fact gay. Very, very funny indeed, and there's some fantastic animal acting, especially from the dog. By the way, if you know nothing about this film and the title's putting you off, "Baby" is a leopard.

The Sweet Smell of Success. This is one of the all-time classic portrayals of absolute evil in action. Tony Curtis, usually cast as a pretty-boy heroic leading man, is sleazy to the max, yet ultimately he has a heart in there somewhere. Just not a very big one, and it's well hidden. But Burt Lancaster is simply jaw-dropping as somebody with no redeeming features whatsoever. The fact that it's about rivalry between gossip columnists, and nobody at all gets killed, is beside the point. Just when Tony Curtis has really made your skin crawl, Burt Lancaster walks in and you realize that Tony Curtis may be playing a very flawed human being, but at least he's still human! Basically it's a two-hander featuring two actors really showing what they can do when they aren't typecast as square-jawed blokes who win the fight and get the girl every time. It's let down only by some decorative but useless female in a major role who I can't remember seeing in anything else, so presumably she was screwing the director.

And going right back to the silent era, how about Pandora's Box, or Diary of a Lost Girl, or anything else in which Louise Brooks gets to misbehave, because, well...

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Old 09-16-2012, 01:30 AM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

Do you get Turner Classic Movies in Britain? It's not even available everywhere here in the States, so I'd be surprised if y'all have it there.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:47 AM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

No, Turner Classics as such is not available in the UK. But I'm working on the assumption that any "classic" movie is probably quite old and not completely obscure, so just about anything on the Turner Classics list is probably available for DVD rental or instant streaming to almost anyone reading this. Anyone who can't be bothered to click buttons for a couple of minutes in search of a source not called Turner Classics, or wait a couple of days for the DVD to drop through the letterbox (or even go to their local library, which will probably have a lot of this stuff) doesn't really want to watch these movies anyway.
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:02 AM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

Sure. I wasn't suggesting that the movies you mentioned were only available on TCM or not worth watching on their own or anything like that. They're famous for a reason, namely because they're great films. I was simply curious as to whether you get the channel overseas because it's a classic film-lover's paradise.

Incidentally, TCM has been single-handedly responsible for releasing thousands of classic movies on DVD that hadn't been seen since they were in theaters. Bringing Up Baby has never been out of print and consistently makes greatest movies of all time lists. Norma Shearer's surprisingly liberated pre-code films, on the other hand, had been pretty much forgotten until TCM dug them out of the vault, broadcast them and then released them on DVD.
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livius drusus View Post
Next Friday is Queen Elizabeth night, and you know what that means: double Bettes!!! The Virgin Queen at 8:00 PM and The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex at midnight. :hyper: Jean Simmons and Stewart Granger fill in the middle slot with Young Bess.
I watched all three of them and Bette dominated the night so powerfully that I actually felt bad for Jean Simmons being stuck between Bette's double tour de force. I also felt bad for poor Errol Flynn having to play Essex next to Bette. She's just in a completely different category of talent, ability, intelligence, awareness, everything.
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: Turner Classic Movies Addicts Anonymous

Fun fact: Bette Davis and Errol Flynn couldn't stand each other so in the scene where Elizabeth slaps Essex, she did it for real. And, of course, his anger was also real.

Hmm. But you probably already knew that because I think I learned it from TCM.
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