Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Briefs for January 7

I'm not certain what was the most enjoyable part of last night's Priavte Screenings interview with Robert Osborne. I think I'd have to say all the commercials did early on in his career, thinking about life insurance and drinking lots of beer. Well, technically you're not allowed to drink the beer in beer commercials, but there were three or four different beer commercials in there, mostly for brands I'd never heard of. It made me wonder if Osborne ever actually tried those beers back in the day before doing the commercials.

Oh, there was also the very first introduction Osborne did, all the way back in 1994. I don't remember the precise wording, but he specifically mentioned that TCM would combine movies from MGM and Warner Bros. (it seems he ommitted RKO), combined with more recent films, something that stuck out at me as I immediately wondered what the folks on the TCM message boards who get in a tizzy every time a movie after about 1968 airs would think about that comment.

TCM is honoring the 90th anniversary of Columbia Pictures today with a lineup of high-quality movies, most of which I've already blogged about. This is one of the bad things about TCM's not having a relationship with Columbia the way they do with the old Turner Library of MGM, Warner Bros., and RKO films where they can much more easily get movies from those studios to air. Back in October 2008 TCM had an 80th anniversary salute to RKO and was able to run a lot of relatively obscure movies. If you're only going to be able to do one day's worth of movies to honor a studio, I think it's much more reasonable to show the famous ones. Besides, we've seen too many unfortunate cases of TCM having ot strike a Columbia movie off the schedule because the proper print apparently wasn't available.

In among the Columbia pictures are two Traveltalks shorts appropriate for the programming: Glimpses of Argentina, at 3:50 PM between Cover Girl and Gilda is listed on the on-line schedule as being from 1952, but dollars to doughnuts it's the 1938 Traveltalks short. IMDb's imperfect search on the title didn't yield anything from 1952. The other short is India on Parade from 1937, at 3:30 AM following Gandhi.

Finally, FMC is running For Heaven's Sake tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM. I'm somewhat surprised that the daytime schedule of FMC is still trudging along, still without commercials. And they've got some new-to-FMC titles on the schedule. Or, at least, titles that haven't shown up in years such as this one, which I saw years ago when it previously aired on FMC but haven't seen since, and isn't on DVD. The plot involves Clifton Webb and Edmund Gwenn as angels who come down to earth to help a juvenile angel fulfill its destiny of being born human to a couple (Bob Cummings and Joan Bennett) whose marriage seems to be on the rocks.

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