Saturday, December 9, 2023

Upcoming Christmas and non-Christmas stuff, Dec. 9-10, 2023

I mentioned at the start of the month how TCM would be having a Christmas marathon in the run-up to Christmas, as well as some Christmas programming on weekends. This weekend, the Christmas programming kicks off at 4:00 PM with It Happened on Fifth Avenue, a movie I first blogged about 13 years ago and which has become a staple of TCM's Christmas programming. That will be followed at 6:15 PM by Remember the Night, in which prosecutor Fred MacMurray plays probation officer to shoplifter Barbara Stanwyck over the holidays in order to keep her out of jail; as you can guess they fall in love along the way.

I bring up Remember the Night because I also saw it show up on one of the ad-supported streaming services. I routinely look to see what movies they're showing to see if there's something worth watching to do a review on, and noticed that several of them have added holiday channels showing a limited number of Christmas movies in heavy rotation. Scrooged is, I think, on the Roku Channel's version, and one of them has a colorized version of It's a Wonderful Life that most likely dates from the days when that movie was in the public domain. I wonder what copyright violations are being skirted or committed by showing that one. As for Remember the Night, one of the streaming services -- I think it might have been Plex -- had it, but in a 2:30 slot. TCM says the movie is only 94 minutes, and they're putting it uncut in a 105-minute slot, which would also include the intro from Dave or Alicia. The streaming service basically means 1/3 of the slot is ad breaks, which is unwatchable. And believe me, I had it on for a few minutes. Maybe five minutes of the movie before an abrupt ad break lasting two and a half minutes. Well, no ads, just public domain piano arrangements of Christmas tunes.

Tomorrow, Dec. 10, TCM has Neptune's Daughter at 8:00 AM. As I understand it, the movie was not originally conceived as a Christmas movie, but it did give us the Christmas standard "Baby It's Cold Outside". Note that the song is performed twice, once by Esther Williams who can't stay and Ricardo Montalbán telling her it's cold outside, and a second time with the roles reversed: Red Skelton doesn't want to stay and Betty Garrett informs him of the weather. So the next time some killjoy tries to suggest that "Baby It's Cold Outside" shouldn't be played because it's supposedly sexist and anti-woman, tell them this. Not that it will stop them; there's a reason such people are nasty bullies.

For really non-Christmas stuff, a couple of movies on FXM that are in the rotation and I haven't mentioned recently include the Rex Harrison version of Unfaithfully Yours, Dec. 10 at 8:35 AM, and We're Not Married, Dec. 10 at 1:30 PM.

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