Sunday, March 31, 2024

Starting April's TCM features early

Today is still March 31, but I wanted to mention one of the TCM spotlights for April today already because it begins first thing on April 1. The year 2024 is the centenary of when Marcus Loew, owner of a theater chain, bought both Goldwyn Pictures (technically named only partly after Sam Goldwyn as he was born Goldfish and only later chahged his name to Goldwyn) and Louis B. Mayer's studio; speficially, the merger happeed in mid-April 1924 as the company became MGM.

Last year saw the 100th anniversary of the founding of Warner Bros., and TCM celebrated that one with a full month of movies coming entirely from the studio (and the distribution arms it wound up controlling at various points). For the MGM anniversary, however, TCM is only running 24-hour marathons every Monday, going from 6:00 AM to 6:00 AM Tuesday, which is why I'm writing up the post on Sunday, March 31, to be able to mention this.

In fact the first picture up is one that's still suitable for the Easter lineup, that being the 1925 silent version of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The movies will be shown roughly chronologically, in that each Monday will be a different era, getting into the 1980s on the evening of April 29. Of course, MGM, unlike Warner Bros., didn't manage the transitional eras of the coming of television and then the end of the Production Code very well, so while the studio still technically exists, it's not exactly a big name like some of the other studios.

Granted, I think that if TCM had wanted to they would have been able to put together a full 30-day lineup of movies. Not saying they should have, of course; I know a lot of people found the month of Warner Bros. a bit tiresome. And if you've read this blog long enough you know some of the problems I have with MGM. But there is a reason they hold a big place in the history of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

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