Where did all the great movies go?
In The Guardian, Matthew Sweet reminisces fondly about the days when British terrestrial TV showed movie classics. He builds up a good case, demonstrating that the big networks just don't bother with old movies these days.
Twenty years ago this month, the film preview pages of the TV Times and Radio Times looked like a handout from the film studies department of the University of Sussex. ... On Saturday nights, the channel continued its stately progress through the entire canon of pre-Hammer horror pictures: the complete works of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, Carl Dreyer's Vampyr, pervy monochrome Hollywood oddities starring Lionel Atwill and George Zucco. And Sunday nights were devoted to satisfying students of British cinema in the 1960s: Poor Cow, Up the Junction, Petulia, The Knack ... and How to Get It, Alfie, Georgy Girl, Charlie Bubbles.Ah, yes. I remember both those seasons well. It was in that '60s season that my lifelong obsession with Billy Liar (1963) began. And my horror obsession had its roots in Channel Four's late-night black-and-white movies. At the beginning of every week, I'd go through the Radio Times (or both the Radio Times and TV Times back when you had to buy two every week!) and circle the films I was going to watch. Why bother in these cinematically deprived days?
Full article here.