Sunday, September 03, 2006

Why I can never really hate Ted Turner

Turner Classic Movies is the greatest channel on television. In the past few months I have watched these films and more (all uncut and commercial free, of course), some of which are not available on dvd:

Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, A)
Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, B)
American Graffiti (George Lucas, A)
To Be or Not to Be (Ernst Lubitsch, B+)
My Man Godfrey (Gregory La Cava, A-)
Captain Blood (Michael Curtiz, B+)
High Sierra (Raoul Walsh, B+)
The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, A-)
Get Yourself a College Girl (Sidney Miller, C-)
Ecstacy (Gustav Machaty, B-)
H.M. Pulham, Esq. (King Vidor, B)
Charge of the Light Brigade (Michael Curtiz, B-)
Adventures of Robin Hood (Michael Curtiz & William Keighley, A-)
On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan, A+)
Born to Be Bad (Nicholas Ray, B-)
Waterloo Bridge (Mervyn LeRoy, A-)
Sergeant York (Howard Hawks, A)
Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, A-)
Key Largo (John Huston, B+)
Nothing Sacred (William A. Wellman, B)
The Devil and Miss Jones (Sam Wood, B+)
Meet John Doe (Frank Capra, B)
Top Hat (Mark Sandrich, A-)
Swing Time (George Stevens, A-)
Flying Down to Rio (Thornton Freeland, C)
Monkey Business (Howard Hawks, B)
Bachelor Mother (Garson Kanin, A-)
Enchantment (Irving Reis, B-)
Crossroads (Jack Conway, C+)
The Strawberry Blonde (Raoul Walsh, A-)
The Petrified Forest (Archie Mayo, B-)
The Man Who Came to Dinner (William Keighley, B+)
Pinky (Elia Kazan, A-)
Gold Diggers 1933 (Mervyn LeRoy, B+)
Dinner at Eight (George Cukor, B)
Stage Door (Gregory La Cava, B+)
A Foreign Affair (Billy Wilder, B+)

And... I'm still waiting to watch:
Hercules, Samson and Ulysses (Pietro Francisci, 1963)
The Invisible Boy (Herman Hoffman, 1957)
Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, 1933)
The Exterminating Angel (Luis Bunuel, 1962)
Tortilla Flat (Victor Fleming, 1942)
The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970)
Ball of Fire (Howard Hawks, 1941)

And in addition to all the great movies, I've managed to watch several hours of classic cartoons from MGM, Hanna-Barbera, Warner Bros., etc. on TCM's Cartoon Alley program (on Saturday mornings, appropriately enough).

4 comments:

LeaJo said...

Wow...that's really, really impressive (and a little bit scary too).
Good job!

Nate said...

A formidable list. Do you realize this kind of moviegoing puts you in the 99th percentile of Americans?

I can't tell you how much of my film education consisted of just sitting and watching. TCM was responsible for nearly half of everything I saw between ages 11-17. I really ought to write Ted a letter...

The Derelict said...

(and a little bit scary too)

Hey! At least I didn't watch the House season finale four times. ;)

Do you realize this kind of moviegoing puts you in the 99th percentile of Americans?

Hee! My quest to become the female counterpart to Quentin Tarantino continues!

It's really a shame that these movies don't have a forum besides TCM. As great as the channel is, it's still a cable channel (that some households don't even receive), and it's a niche channel at that, perceived to be for old people and obsessed film buffs (like myself). I don't think many people even think of TCM as being a "movie channel" in the sense of HBO or Starz or even Fox Movie Channel (which also shows older movies). "Old Movies" has become a genre just like sci-fi, horror, romantic comedy, action, etc. (they even have their own shelf in the video stores and libraries, the "Classics" section). People talk of a dislike or disinterest in "old movies" as if talking about a dislike or disinterest in high fantasy novels or historical epics. But a person with a general antipathy to "old movies" might find they actually enjoy certain films, like Astaire and Rogers musicals, or Hitchcock thrillers.

Of course, I posted this list mostly because I was astonished by the depth and breadth of programing TCM provides. Mediocre films from the 30s and 40s, teenage B-movies from the 60s, true cinematic classics, and great foreign films.

LeaJo said...

Hey! The House season finale is a cinematic masterpiece (and better than most of the movies I saw this summer)! Don't judge me! :)

Topic? I'm ashamed to admit that I participate in this habit of grouping old movies as stricly "old movies" and not the actual genres they fit into. It's a bad habit, yet it's hard to break. When I think "movies", I think HBO.

I don't really know how this could change though. How do you think we could fix this?