Title: CHRISTMAS ON UK TV
Description: Worst ever for classic fans
Classic Movie Man - December 12, 2006 06:30 PM (GMT)
Before I go into nostalgic and ranting mode about classic films on TV (a yearly duty I feel these days) I think I'll offer my recommendations of classic films for UK fans on TV this Xmas. I have the double issue Radio Times here as I type.
A warning don't expect too much but here are my choices (I've kept to BBC, ITV, CH4 and 5 (though I couldn't find anything worth watching on there I'm afraid).
The Nun's Story (1959) BBC2 3.15 - 5.45 p.m.
Genevieve (1953) BBC2 12.20 - 1.45 p.m.
Some Like It Hot (1959) CH4 4.35 - 6.45 p.m.
The King and I (1956) ITV1 11.35 a.m. - 2.05 p.m.
FRIDAY 29TH DECEMBER
My Fair Lady (1964) BBC2 11.40 a.m. - 2.25 p.m.
The African Queen (1951) CH4 5.45 - 7.40 p.m.
SATURDAY 30TH DECEMBER
The Alamo (1960) ITV1 11.20 a.m. - 2.10 p.m.
El Cid (1961) BBC2 11.50 a.m. - 2.40 p.m.
NEW YEAR'S DAY
Calamity Jane (1953) ITV1 9.55 - 11.50 a.m.
Zulu (1963) ITV1 1.30 - 4.05 p.m.
3:10 To Yuma (1957) BBC2 1.35 - 3.05 p.m.
TUESDAY 2ND JANUARY
The Big Country (1958) CH4 12.30 - 3.30 p.m.
Great Expectations (1946) BBC2 12.50 - 2.45 p.m.
WEDNESDAY 3RD JANUARY
Pillow Talk (1959) BBC2 1.05 - 2.45 p.m.
Warlock (1959) CH4 1.15 - 3.30 p.m.
Oh yes if you are a fan of the B movie series the Falcon with George Sanders they are on late nights on BBC2.
Nostalgia : I remember 20-25 years ago when I was just discovering the world of classic film I would wait with great anticipation for the Radio Times for the two week Xmas and New Year period. The BBC in particular really delivered for classic film fans back then, it was like a mini film festival.
In 1981 they had a comprehensive season of Harold Lloyd films, in 1983 the Marx Brothers, in 1984 Charlie Chaplin, in 1985 Orson Welles. We had seasons devoted to Garbo and Fred Astaire, the Arthur Freed unit at MGM : sometimes multiple seasons in the same year.
Now looking at what I've typed saddens and shocks me. Not only no longer comprehensive seasons but very few black and white movies are being shown. Children's BBC appears to have taken over the early morning hours where they used to show an odd classic, even one or two were better than none now we are practically down to that.
You could of course argue that not many people are interested in old films anymore. That is probably sadly true but the BBC is a publicly funded insitution, it is meant to provide something for everyone particularly at Christmas. It might be too much for BBC1 and ITV1 to now show old films as they relentlessly chase after ratings but I thought BBC2 and CH4 were set up to be different and cater for more obscure interests. The BBC continues to take our licence money yet things generally are just getting worse and worse.
It is so sad. If I was growing up now I wouldn't be seeing the Marx Brothers or Judy Garland or film noir etc because they aren't shown on mainstream channels anymore. Not surprising some youngsters won't watch anything in black and white. You certainly can't have any idea about film history based on what is being shown. How times have changed. I suggest classic movie fans invest in a lot of DVDs of your faves because its the only way you'll see them if you rely on terrestrial TV over the Xmas period or if you live in the UK any other time of year for that matter.
Tinyhippy - December 12, 2006 07:17 PM (GMT)
I used to look forward to the Radio Times Christmas listings too (although I've only been a classic film fan for a few years so I haven't noticed the decline like you have). British television is really bad about showing older films. It's disgusting what they charge for a TV licence and yet, what do you get? When I lived in the UK I very rarely watched terrestrial TV for that reason. :bang: Thank God for DVD!!!
I'll make sure my child sees many black and white and classic films as she grows up. I don't want her to be one of those kids who won't watch B&W films at all. I have some young children coming to stay with us for Christmas (aged 10 and 7). I'm going to put It's A Wonderful Life on for them to watch. Since these kids have never sat through a B&W film in their lives, it'll be interesting to see the reaction. :unsure:
I just thought, it's doubly worse for you too, Classic Movie Man, because TCM-UK also doesn't have much to offer. :(
Geoffies - December 13, 2006 08:06 AM (GMT)
I've reached the point where I don't even bother to check the TV at Xmas. I gave up buying The Radio Times years ago.
David Alp - December 13, 2006 06:35 PM (GMT)
I also vividly remember the Christmas's when I used to pour over the Radio Times and simply be in seventh heaven because of what was due to be broadcast... We used to be spoilt for choice... I agree with everyone, its very sad nowadays, there are hardly any classic movies playing, and the ones that they are showing I have already got on DVD... If only I'd had a DVD recorder in the 1980's I could have captured so many rare movies.... Even as recently as 1998 Channel four ran "Sunny Side Up" 1929, the early Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell talkie, but those days are seemingly gone...
Geoffies - December 14, 2006 01:06 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (David Alp @ Dec 13 2006, 06:35 PM)|
| I also vividly remember the Christmas's when I used to pour over the Radio Times and simply be in seventh heaven because of what was due to be broadcast... |
I think you referred to Xmas 1987 in another post. I got excited with what was on offer that year. KING OF JAZZ and three of the less frequently shown Fred and Gingers amongst others.
As for SUNNY SIDE UP, the second time it was shown on TV in 1981, I was on holiday in Tunisia and saw it was on when I picked up a UK newspaper. For a brief moment I wished I was back home recording it. I had to wait until 1998.
vienna - December 14, 2006 03:06 PM (GMT)
I do so agree - I havent expected rare films on Xmas tv for years. I too remember the years when the BBC had seasons of films. Sadly I no longer expect to see a new vintage film on tv.
And yes, thank heavens for dvd.
Phil1970 - December 14, 2006 07:41 PM (GMT)
Yes it is rather dissapointing seeing how few classics are on this Christmas. Like others on here I remember the days when I used to eagerly buy the bumper T.V. guide in anticipation, aswell as a shedload of blank videocassettes for recording purposes. Not anymore though.
David Alp - December 15, 2006 10:20 PM (GMT)
Yes Geoff that was definitely the year of King Of Jazz, (1987)... God I remember that year well... Very strange though how channel four cut off the last minute of footage on that broadcast?? I never knew there was a bit more until I bought the Universal VHS release.
Geoffies - December 15, 2006 10:44 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (David Alp @ Dec 15 2006, 10:20 PM)|
| Yes Geoff that was definitely the year of King Of Jazz, (1987)... God I remember that year well... Very strange though how channel four cut off the last minute of footage on that broadcast?? I never knew there was a bit more until I bought the Universal VHS release. |
It's taken almost 20 years to see the complete ending of KING OF JAZZ. In the early 1990's Sky showed the shortened version (the re-release) and the ending was more satisfactory but even that omitted Paul Whiteman bowing to the audience at the end. Finally saw it complete on THE KING OF JAZZ website we were discussing a few months ago.
I believe you have a very battered a copy of the finale of GOLD DIGGERS OF BROADWAY. Am I correct in thinking the last minute is missing from that?