Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas repeats

I mentioned back on Friday that TV channels run the same Christmas movies every year, in part because there's a limited number of Christmas movies to run. Well, technically there's a limited number of good Christmas movies to run. Channels can always make new stuff which may or may not be any good.

But the other thing is that when it comes to the stuff they do run, they often run it into the ground during the holiday season. Most cable channels run stuff at the beginning of the prime time block for the benefit of the people on the east coast, and then repeat the program three or four hours later for the folks on the west coast, but when it comes to Christmas movies, they may get sprinkled several times over the course of a month.

Even TCM is not immune to running Christmas movies multiple times during a month. Take this morning's schedule for example. Three of them are showing up this morning and then again later in the month. First up, at 8:30 AM, is the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol. This is the MGM version with Reginald Owen as Ebenezer Scrooge, and almost every character actor MGM could get off another project for however long they were needed, or so it seems. This version isn't quite as dark as some of the other versions, mostly because MGM always had the gloss that made so many things look so good but never worked so well when it came to darkness. (Look for my review of Johnny Eager for example.) It'll be showing up again in this week's Friday evening prime time lineup, at the midnight between Friday and Saturday.

That's followed at 10:00 AM by The Man Who Came to Dinner, in which Monty Woolley visits a family, slips and breaks a leg, and winds up spending six months recuperating, taking over the house in the process. That will be up again this Friday at 8:00 PM, or four hours before the repeat showing of A Christmas Carol.

Finally, at noon today, there's Holiday Affair. This warm movie with Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh will run again next Saturday, December 19, at 1:15 AM. Or, in other words, it's part of the third Friday of Christmas movies and those of you on the west coast would catch it late Friday evening.

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