Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Turner Classic Movies, Channel #41

Before television was popular the local cinema showed movies and shorts in a schedule similar to today's TV programs. Cartoons, newsreels, propaganda, commercials, and movies.

TCM has an enormous collection of the classics and if you're feeling nostalgic this is the place.

No commercials.
No editing.

Most people don't notice but when movies are put on television even cable they are edited. This always confused me why, for example, the Men In Black in theaters had one small scene cut during HBO's run, then had three scenes cut on regular cable.

With TCM you see it all. This may not appeal to everyone since the sensitivity of 1940s America may not translate well today. Still I take into account the time it was made and am very impressed people were not as awful as the secondhand stories one might hear.

I just watched a 1935 classic the third of six Perry Mason movies.

The Case of the Lucky Legs
Perry Mason, played by Warren William, is on the case of some broad who is accused of murder. William plays Mason to the hilt. Why no one shoots the famed lawyer is a surprise, his arogance is titanic in nature. The secretary steals the movie.

The breaks between movies are filled with original trailers and mini tributes to the old actors. Hearing Michael Caine talk about his encounter with Cary Grant was nice. After Grant retired he could walk down the street without being noticed. While Caine thought this was sad I think it is great. The ability to act for years then live a normal life is something wonderful, especially in today's internet-24/7-stalking-paparazzi.

This is a very refreshing channel that dedicates itself to movies the way they were originally meant to be seen.

Sidenote: I can't keep up. Please stop dying.
Fred Travalena a great impressionist in the time when this was a respected art form.
Karl Malden a serious legend in his field.


  1. TCM has been one of my favorite channels ever since it first hit the cable lineup 20-some years ago. These days it is even more valuable to me because it is the only place to find those great old black-and-white films.

    I knew about Karl Malden, but I didn't realize Fred Travalena had died. I was just telling my husband yesterday that this will be remembered as the summer when so many personalities died.

  2. I hope Ted Turner is doing well since he's the only reason this station is still great.


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