Thursday, March 31, 2011

More briefs

Today is the 76th birthday os Oscar-winning actress Shirley Jones, and I'm a bit surprised to see that I hadn't done a birthday post for her before. Jones won her Oscar for Elmer Gantry, from which the photo at left is taken. I'm also a bit surprised to see I haven't done a full-length post on that particular movie. One more surprise is that there aren't many good photos of Jones together with Glenn Ford in The Courtship of Eddie's Father floating around the Internet. If there are, I'm just not looking for them in the right place.

The more distressing brief is that the folks at TCM still haven't fixed a lot of the things that broke their site when they "upgraded" it a few weeks back. The big one is the monthly schedule, which is invaluable to me in jogging my memory as to which movies I'd like to post about. Before, each movie would have a helpful one-sentence synopsis to describe the movie, and the whole schedule was in a convenient text format:

6:30 PM Mr. Winkle Goes to War (1944)
A henpecked husband surprises his family by coming back from World War II a hero. Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Ruth Warrick, Ted Donaldson. Dir: Alfred E. Green BW-79 mins, TV-G

(In the original, there are actually tabs which separate the time and title of the movie, and indents the synopsis, which makes the thing easier to read.)

They've gotten rid of that synopsis, and put each movie in HTML paragraph tags, which makes copying the schedule take up more space and puts blank lines in the wrong places. Plus, having the synopsis is really handy, because there are times when I can't remember a movie's title, but will be able to recognize the movie from the synopsis. And there are movies I would never have watched if the synopsis didn't seem interesting. (At least the cast is still there.) "Helpfully", if you want the synopsis, TCM is driving eyeballs to its site by having each title in the monthly schedule be a link to the movie's page on the TCM database, which presumably brings in more ad revenue.

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