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The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby Lzcutter » August 3rd, 2009, 11:04 pm

Hey Charlie,

A poster on another board asked that we post this question for her:

I should very much like to know what are the chances TCM might be showing these movies any time soon:

Becky Sharp (the UCLA-restored version, anyway)
Alice in Wonderland (1933),
The Great Gatsby (1949)
The Blue Lagoon (1949).
State Fair (1933 Will Rogers version).
Lynn in Lake Balboa

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby myrnaloyisdope » August 4th, 2009, 1:29 am

Hi Charlie,

just wanted to say how much TCM is appreciated, as its seemingly the last film network devoted to playing a wide range of films, and thankfully commercial free.

A couple of questions:

1. How'd you land such a sweet gig?

2. Any chance of showing some Lubitsch silents? Particularly Forbidden Paradise with Pola Negri. I'd also love to see Paul Fejos' Lonesome, I think it's one of the great forgotten films of all time.

3. It seems odd to me that licensing would be such a headache, particularly on silents, as they have limited commercial prospects. Wouldn't it be in the best interest of the studios to try and make whatever they can off these films?
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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby ChiO » August 4th, 2009, 7:30 am

Welcome, Charlie:

Three related questions --

1. What market research is considered when selecting films and themes?
2. What are the demographics of the "typical" TCM viewer and how important is that "typical" viewer when programming?
3. Is there a theme that you, personally, have been wanting to program, but haven't for reasons other than film availability?
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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby MissGoddess » August 4th, 2009, 9:56 am

tcmprogrammr wrote:MissGoddess - I hope my earlier reply on hd answered your question.

Thank you very much, Mr T. It certainly did and I am so excited for August 19th (when the channel debuts here
in New York)!
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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby moira finnie » August 4th, 2009, 10:21 am

Here are a couple more questions from a TCM viewer submitted by email for you to please review.

This person also wanted to let you know that the "variety of films shown on TCM in the last year has been especially amazing -- Kay Francis, pre-Codes, B movies, rare Columbia titles, British films, and on and on. TCM is very important to our entire family, including my children and my parents!"

I recently read on the TCM message boards that TCM will be able to show more Universal and Paramount movies in a year or two. Is Mr. Tabesh able to provide any more details at this point? I am hoping there are many Ray Milland and Claudette Colbert movies in our future -- ARISE, MY LOVE and JUNGLE PRINCESS are high on my viewing wish list! Will TCM continue to have access to Columbia titles for the foreseeable future?

Occasionally I notice that a print shown on TCM doesn't appear to be of the same quality as a DVD I own of the same title; I've noticed this a couple times with MGM musicals. If my perception is correct, is there any particular logistical reason that TCM isn't able to show the best print available? Just curious.
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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby mongoII » August 4th, 2009, 2:11 pm

Hi Charlie,

I believe I may have met you at the TCM 15th Anniversary dinner last November. I was one of the lucky 15 chosen to be a guest programmer.
I want to congratulate you on the wonderful job you do in choosing the programming for our viewing pleasure. The last few months have been top notch to say the least. I'm looking forward to Claude Rains in September.

By any chance would you happen to have a film titled "Girls in the Night" (1953) from Universal tucked away in your archive? It made the rounds in the 1950s on a double bill with UI's "City Across the River".
I'd just love to see it again.

Thanks again,

Joe aka Mongo
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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby Gagman 66 » August 4th, 2009, 2:31 pm

Dear Mr. Tabesh,

:) Yes, please If possible I would greatly appreciate any info you can discover on LILAC TIME, or any other Colleen Moore or for that matter Marion Davies, Renee Adoree, Ramon Novarro, or John Gilbert, Silent films that are being worked on and we might see on TCM. I figure there is a very good chance of seeing Gilbert's TWELVE MILES OUT since it has Joan Crawford. Any Silents of her's have appeared to be a priority in the past. Even if they were not in great shape. I have not seen this movie either. You did mention to ne about a year ago that Colleen's HER WILD OAT was very much on your Radar after it's terrific reception at the 2008 San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

LILAC TIME probably has more interest from some of Colleen's films would, because of Gary Cooper. Just like CHILDREN OF DIVORCE should have some better than the average Silent marketability, with both Clara Bow and Coop in the cast. Plus Esther Ralston which may not mean much to allot of people, but sure does to me. The other thing is though the film was credited to Frank Lloyd much of it was actually directed by Josef' Von Sternberg. So his fans should also be interested. CHILDREN OF DIVORCE is really a "Holy Grail Silent" for allot of Fans. This film has been all but impossible to see outside of live screenings. Though it was restored by the Library of Congress back in 2000 or 2001.

And of course I can't express my concern enough for the Herbert Brenon' s Silent version of BEAU GESTE. A film I am greatly fearful of becoming lost and it is such a great movie. That is why it would be wonderful to get TCM involved in some way. I'm truly frustrated that the 1926 film has never had an official release in any home video format, and the rather watered down sound version has been on DVD not once, but twice. In-fact, I 'm not sure that it has ever been on Television in this country? Since these are Paramount titles, I am aware that they are not as likely to surface as the MGM and WB/First National Silents are. On that score with the Fox Silents I am still awaiting possibble TCM premiers of Frank Borzage's SEVENTH HEAVEN and STREET ANGEL. Although, I must confess that I dio not currently have the Fox Movie channel. So I do not know if they have broadcast those two outstanding films?

On the up-side, it looks like Warner Archive is releasing THE VIKING in all it's Two-Color Technicolor glory later this month? That is truly huge news, and hopefully will signal the return of this movie to TCM as well. I am still hoping that they will put out TIDE OF EMPIRE. and NOAH'S ARK too, and that they will likewise resurface on TCM. I understand the mix-up that occurred with Delores Costello's GLORIOUS BETSY. so is that a film that was on the short list for new scores? Or perhaps THE SEA BEAST (1926) one of the two remaining John Barrymore Silents released by Warner Brothers that has not yet been scored. Again with Delores Costello.

I think I mentioned this to you in a E-mail. Milestone was supposed to be putting out some Mary Pickford titles for the first time for the 30th Anniversary of her death back in 1979, this past May. Films such as POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL and THE HOODLUM would be new to DVD. Unfortunately, the releases were delayed. Jeffrey Mark Silverman who has worked for TCM in the past, (composed the Music to the Silent SCARAMOUCHE), has written and recorded a new score for SPARROWS. This the 2006 LOC restoration, so figures to be a vast improvement over any previously offered version. Is there a chance that we might be seeing this on TCM, even if the DVD might not be ready for a while yet? I ask this since TCM ran Milestone's BIG STAKES in May which has not been released on DVD. Thank you very much for that premier by the way. There have also been other instances of Milestone-tie ins broadcast on TCM like the Charley Chase One and Two-reelers for example that never made it to DVD.

Again, I am rambling on here like I always do. So I will end this for now. Just can't express my gratitude enough for TCM, and all you hard work.
Last edited by Gagman 66 on August 4th, 2009, 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby tcmprogrammr » August 4th, 2009, 4:55 pm

Time to reply to a couple questions - Lynn, as to the specific requests ("Becky Sharp," "Alice in Wonderland," etc.) all are possible. As you can tell, we get a lot of movie requests. And while we've greatly increased our access to just about every major library out there, we're still limited in the number of films from each that we can play in a given year. So the best I can do is tell you that we will honestly note these as requests and if the right situation comes up, and the film is available from the distributor, we will prioritize those over others that might also fit. (Does that make sense?) As for "Becky Sharp" specifically, I think we need to figure out how to get the UCLA restoration because we did have a version at one point that we thought was from UCLA but we were mistaken. We will try to figure that one out.

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby knitwit45 » August 4th, 2009, 5:01 pm

Thanks, Mr. T. for the interesting view into the workings of TCM.

Any chance of showing "The Captive Heart" with Michael Redgrave? I saw it once on the History Channel, of all places. Wonderful movie!

Thanks, too, for spending a large part of your undoubtedly hectic days with us.


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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby tcmprogrammr » August 4th, 2009, 5:08 pm

myrnaloyisdope - First, I'm very lucky. My first real job out of college was as a temp at a local channel in L.A. called The Z Channel - I'm sure many of you have heard of it. I basically just worked my way up and over from there. The Z Channel became SportsChannel and I stayed there for a few years, then I went to Encore in Denver (now Starz/Encore), then I came to Atlanta to work at TCM. As for silents, in addition to preserving or restoring the film itself and making a transfer, it's necessary to add a score, which means there's a significant expense involved. And while there are passionate fans of silent films it's a relatively small market. TCM as a network can afford to fully fund a couple of additional silents each year, which we do, and we can contribute a license fee (that doesn't cover the costs) to a few more. But there are still plenty more that need to work to be ready for television or dvd. As you suggest, the underlying rights are almost always available (not always). But there are a lot of great silents out there that need to be seen (as Jeffrey can tell you better than anyone), including several Lubitsch films. Of course, we have played "The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg," "The Patriot" and one or two more.

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby tcmprogrammr » August 4th, 2009, 5:09 pm

I will try to answer the rest later this evening.

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby CharlieT » August 4th, 2009, 5:14 pm

As one CharlieT to another, thanks for taking the time to visit and answer everyone's questions.

I was also hoping for a Fox Jeanne Crain movie - Home In Indiana - since the final racing scenes were filmed in my hometown. Any chance?

Also, after attending my high school class reunion this past weekend, I've sort of become addicted to hearing the phrase, "Hi, Charlie!". Thanks for the fix. :D
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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby CoffeeDan » August 4th, 2009, 5:15 pm

TCM was instumental in making me a fan of John Gilbert, and I would like to see more of his films, especially his talkies. I heard that HIS GLORIOUS NIGHT (1929), Gilbert's ill-fated talkie debut, was fully restored a few years back, and I'd love to see it on TCM (I understand it's currently owned by Paramount). And, since you've been showing so many Columbia rarities, how about Gilbert's last film, THE CAPTAIN HATES THE SEA? Thanks in advance for your reply!

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby Ollie » August 4th, 2009, 5:17 pm

Charlie, I have enjoyed so many never-before-seen films. It amazes me that, for decades of being a film fan, I end with a weekly stack of film titles that I never heard of and enjoy immensely. "Where have these been all my life?!!" seems like a constant question for me.

You named a few small 'festivals' - a collection of a few films in a day, for example. For example, there was a HERE COMES and THERE GOES festival half-day. These weren't great films, but it was great to watch them.

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby MichiganJ » August 4th, 2009, 5:23 pm

Hi Charlie,

Not a question, just a hearty thanks for the programing. Thanks especially for including international movies as well as some terrific cult/underground films.

I hope that however the ratings are evaluated that "time shifting" viewing is somehow taken into consideration. Including Silent Sundays, many of the movies I'm interested in are on overnight, so I do tend to watch them later in the week.

Again many thanks. You and your colleagues have introduced me to many of, what are now, my favorite films.

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