Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Edgar G. Ulmer schedule heads=up

TCM is running a programming salute to low-budget director Edgar Ulmer all night tonight. The only thing is, it looks as though there might be a scheduling conflict somewhere along the line depending upon whether you're looking at the prinatable monthly schedule downloaded at the beginning of the month, or the recently-updated daily schedule.

The problem stems from the fact that the first movie on the lineup, Her Sister's Secret at 8:00 PM, is an 82-minute movie which was originally scheduled in a 75-minute time slot. Apparently it's a TCM premiere and somehow they got the running time of the print they'd get wrong or something. The rest of the schedule, according to the monthly schedule, runs so:

8:00 PM Her Sister's Secret (82 min)
9:15 PM Documentary (77 min)
10:45 PM Carnegie Hall (136 min)
1:15 AM Murder Is My Beat (77 min)
2:45 AM Detour (68 min)
4:00 AM The Amazing Transparent Man (58 min)
5:00 AM Documentary repeat (77 min)
6:30 AM Sin Takes a Holiday (80 min)

That last film is part of a morning and afternoon of movies for birthday girl Constance Bennett. Now, as you can see, there's no good place for the schedule to catch up. If it weren't for Robert Osborne's introductions, I'd guess that the documentary would run a bit over, Carnegie Hall would start a couple of minutes late, and then the schedule would catch up at 1:15 AM. The fact that you have to add three or four mintues to those running times to include Osborne's comments complicates matters. The TCM on-line schedules and the box guide had the above lineup for quite some time, but when I checked the schedule this morning knowing I was going to write about the schedule conflict, things changed.

The daily schedule now has the entire night running 15 minutes later than the times given above, with the obvious exception of Her Sister's Secret. TCM's programming day begins around 6:00 AM or so, so the daily schedule ends with the documentary. The Wednesday daily schedule has Sin Takes a Holiday listed at 6:30. Since the repeat of the documentary wouldn't have Robert Osborne's comments, this implies that Sin Takes a Holiday is going to begin a few minutes late and this is where the schedule will catch up. This is probably the accurate schedule, but I'm not going to commit myself to anything.

Ah, but things get more interesting if you decide to look at the weekly schedule so you can look at the end of the prime-time lineup and tomorrow morning's schedule on one convenient page. This page is, I think, the one that's quite wrong. The Tuesday night schedule is the same as on the daily page, that is the schedule listed above with everything properly delated 15 minutes. But the Wednesday schedule is listed as having the short 100 Years at the Movies, which runs about nine minutes, starting at 6:00 AM, with Sin Takes a Holiday starting at 6:45 AM and the schedule catching up with the second movie of the day.

The upshot is that if you want to catch all the Ulmer films and Sin Takes a Holiday, be carfeul when you set your DVR.

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