Today marks the 25th anniversary of the first broadcast of TCM, on April 14, 1994. The channel was launched in the heart of Times square, with the launch commemorating the exact centennial date of the first public presentation of movies in North America. The network's first feature presentation was a world television premiere of the uninterrupted and commercial free road-show version of Gone with The Wind.
Over the subsequent years, TCM has remained the most consistently well-curated, well-preserved, and well-programmed television station. Thanks to the Turner library containing the best of Warner Bros. and MGM, as well as United Artists, RKO, and Fleichser Studios, the network is never at a loss for quality programming. With original host Robert Osborne and the new stable of hosts led by Ben Mankiewicz, the films have always been in good hands. The information that the hosts provide is insightful and informative and succeeds in making you feel like you are part of that club.
The network has expanded their focus, creating excellent documentary programming like Moguls and Movie Stars, outlining the early history of Hollywood. They have further expanded their product to include restorations of classic films from the Turner Library, excellent books on all aspects of classic filmmaking, and one of the best film festivals you can attend.
Jamie and I have attended two of the TCM Classic Film Festivals and cannot wait to go back. The opportunity to see these films on the big screen as they were intended, with hosts and guests that are tied to the presentation is an experience like no other. How fitting that the 10th Annual Festival is wrapping up this weekend as TCM celebrates 25 years.
Tonight, TCM is programming with The Sweet Smell of Success, It Happened One Night, The Petrified Forest, and Cat People.
Why not make it a classic film night and settle in for your favorite great classic movie?
I think we will be.