Monday, December 28, 2020

The Studio System on Tuesdays on TCM in January

The theme for Tuesday nights on Turner Classic Movies this January is "The Studio System." While I am sure that most classic movie buffs are aware of what the studio system was, for those of you who might not be, the studio system was the system under which the American movie industry operated during much of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Under the studio system the film industry was controlled by only a few major studios, many of who owned their own theatre chains and used block booking (a practice whereby multiple films would be sold to theatres at once) to further sell the movies they made. Under the studio system most stars were under contract to studios, who effectively controlled their careers. As to the major studios who operated under the studio system, they were the Big Five (MGM, Paramount, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, and RKO) and the Little Three (Universal, Columbia, and United Artists).

During The Studio System on Tuesday nights in January, TCM will show movies that characterized the various  major studios during the Golden Age of Hollywood. For MGM they will be showing such films as The Women (1939) and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). For Paramount they will be showing such films as I'm No Angel (1933) and The Nutty Professor (1963). For Warner Bros. they will be showing such films as The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and The Maltese Falcon (1941). For 20th Century Fox they will be showing such films as The Mark of Zorro (1941) and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947). For RKO they'll be showing such films as Swing Time (1936) and Citizen Kane (1941). For Universal they are showing such films as Dracula (1931) and It Started with Eve (1941). For Columbia they will be showing such films as His Girl Friday (1940) and Gilda (1946).

I am not going to be recommending any films as I usually would, as every single film being shown on "The Studio System" on Tuesday nights in January is a classic and worth checking out. Quite simply this is not only one of the best line-ups ever on Turner Classic Movies, it is a line-up featuring some of the greatest films ever made. That having been said, I do have two caveats about the films selected for "The Studio System." The first is that the only musical being show as representative of MGM is Summer Stock (1950). Given how closely associated MGM is with the Hollywood musical in most people's minds (people think of MGM and musicals the same way they think of Warner Bros. and gangster movies or Universal and horror movies), I would think they would have shown at least one other MGM musical. The Wizard of Oz (1939), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Singin' in the Rain (1952), or Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) would have been great choices. The second is that out of the various "Road to..." movies produced by Paramount, they chose Road to Utopia (1946). While I love Road to Utopia, I think I can speak for most fans of the "Road to..." movies when I say they should have shown Road to Morocco (1942), generally considered to be the best of the "Road to..." movies.

Regardless, The Studio System on Tuesday nights on TCM in January is well worth checking out, whether one is an experienced classic movie buff revisiting old favourites or a new fan discovering some of the best movies ever made.

1 comment:

Caftan Woman said...

Agreeing with your caveats, I have no argument with their selections for this interesting spotlight. Nonetheless, it gives rise to a fun game of what we would select if given the opportunity. The mind reels!