Sunday, May 31, 2009

American Movie Classics

There was a time when I bought TV Guide just to see what AMC would be running. For classy and classic movies AMC was the place to go. I have to admit I switched to Turner Classic as soon as it appeared though every once in awhile I'd flip to AMC to check out its offering. Then one day I noticed something terrible had happened to the channel.

Here's By Lee Pfeiffer from Cinema Retro

"You would think that AMC, the American cable channel, would be happy with the fact that their esteemed series Madmen is winning Emmys and generating big profits. However, this is the same network in which the brain dead executive types destroyed the policy of showing uncut classic movies in favor of presenting chopped up, edited crap. All true retro movie lovers long ago turned away from AMC in favor of Turner Classic Movies. With its lineup of films reduced to either outright trash or genuine classics destroyed by frequent commercial breaks and ham-handed editing in the interests of time constraints, the only thing AMC has going for it is original programming."

for the rest and a link to Nikki Finke's take on what AMC is doing to ruin Madmen this season, go here:

http://www.cinemaretro.com/index.php

7 comments:

Randy Johnson said...

I very seldom look at AMC for all the reasons cited. Turner is the place to go. I DVR a lot of films off that, just recently recording three Jungle Jim movies that are waiting to be seen.

Craig Clarke said...

This broke my little movie-lover's heart when it happened. The first step was commercials between the movies, moving on later to breaking them up. Dropping Bob Dorian (who hosted the beginning and ending info sections, a la Robert Osbourne on TCM today), however, was really the ending point for me. He was like a helping hand through the world of classic film.

Fred Blosser said...

Fox Movie Channel falls somewhere between TCM and the abyss that is AMC. It seems to have fewer titles on the shelf than TCM and goes in for really heavy rotation (dear lord, how many more times will they show YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN and BRUBAKER), and for some reason, even if a movie is widescreen, they'll often show it fullscreen (BERNADINE -- yeh, I know, Pat Boone, but still). On the other hand, they run the movies uninterrupted, the widescreen prints look fine, and they sometimes come up with titles that haven't made it to DVD (I THE JURY 1983 remake, 99 AND 44/100 PERCENT DEAD, THE KREMLIN LETTER).

Brendan DuBois said...

TCM is one of our favorite channels, and AMC is a ghost of its former self... just a few weeks ago, me and the missus were watching "Apollo 13" on AMC... a movie I've seen so many times I practically know the dialogue.

Anyway, those who have seen the movie will know what I'm talking about: the Apollo 13 launch sequence is one of the most stirring bits of film ever produced... and the morons at AMC put a commercial break in the middle of it! As the Saturn V was rising up! Amazing!

Enough to make you cry....

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The one I miss most thus is the Monitor Channel, which when not doing CNN imitation news shows was working its way through the Janus Collection of classic films (PBS had access to this in the '70s and they form a big chunk of Criterion's list). These days, the one I wish I had is Ovation, which is a bit like Bravo before that channel was traduced, and the ones I'm glad I do have include IFC, the Sundance Channel, and, albeit with a much lower batting aveage, the Encore channels (if we don't count them, along with their corporate siblings the Starz channels, pay-cable). But Starz/Encore Will run the R cuts of the occasional unrated film, such as YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS. Pity, that.

Todd Mason said...

Also, Mort Sahl's show on the Monitor Channel was pleasant.