Sunday, May 17, 2015

Standard disclaimer about a block of shorts

This week's Silent Sunday Nights doesn't have a feature, but a block of four Laurel and Hardy silent two reelers. The block begins at 12:15 AM, following The Blue Angel. The 12:15 AM start instead of midnight is definitely correct, since the two prime time features have to run in a 135-minute and a two-hour block. But as always when TCM runs a block of shorts like this, there are problems in the scheduling.

Each of the shorts runs about 20 minutes, so TCM's online schedule has them in an 90-minute block, with the TCM Import, Here's Your Life, starting at 1:45 AM. More on that in a bit. As for the shorts, the on-line schedule lists them in chronological order:

Do Detectives Think? from 1927;
You're Darn Tootin' from 1928;
Double Whoopee from 1929; and
Big Business, also from 1929.

The printable monthly schedule, however, has them in a different order, with the two 1929 shorts first (starting with Double Whoopee, and then going backward, ending with Do Detectives Think?. More distressingly, the monthly schedule lists Here's Your Life beginning at 2:15 AM, not 1:45. This is where things get a bit distressing.

IMDb lists two running times for Here's Your Life: 169 minutes, and 110 minutes. Presumably, when TCM planned out the monthly schedule ages ago, they must have been expecting to get a 110-minute print of Here's Your Life, which would make sense since the monthly schedule has the following feature, All These Women, starting at 4:15 AM. The online schedule, however, lists the 169-minute running time. This is a bit of a problem as the online schedule has All These Women beginning at 4:30 AM. This would put Here's Your Life into a 165-minute slot, or four minutes shorter than the movie. If you add an intro -- I think Ben or Robert still do intros for the imports -- and the stuff for the next movies up, that would run Here's Your Life a good five minutes over the time slot and delay the start of All These Women. At least All These Women is only 80 minutes, and all the schedules have the first movie of Monday morning, Frank Capra's Forbidden, beginning at 6:00 AM, so the schedules will definitely converge by then.

As for the box guide, it actually lists to-the-minute starting times for each of the shorts. It follows the first half of the online schedule, but switches Big Business and Double Whoopee. Like the online schedule, it has Here's Your Life going from 1:45 AM to 4:30 AM.

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