Thursday films/Saturday films

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Recently I was home & talking to my brother in law about this concept; films that would come on the tv that you’d find yourself watching just because they were on and this was mostly in pre-internet times for us. The definition of the titles as per RTÉ in the late nineties/early noughties:

Thursday films:

Usually foreign language but also usually Lynch, anything basically considered “arty” I guess. Very antiquated perspective in an age when my parents watch subtitled shows without thinking twice about it.. .Oh yeah, also during the summer for some reason, most likely schedule lull. Notable films I remember watching during this time:

- All About My Mother
- A Ma Soeur
-Breaking the Waves
- Delicatessen
- The Elephant Man
- Boogie Nights
- Hilary and Jackie

Saturday films:
Big films with big stars, usually at least a few years old (RTÉ spent all its money on getting episodes of the Sopranos to air a day after they did in the US, true story)

Notable classics of the genre:

- Heat
- The Fugitive
- Face/Off
- Falling Down
- The Firm
- The Usual Suspects

What was the point of this? Oh yeah anyway: Even though I have access to basically any film any time now, the lack of choice back then made me more likely to watch something I’d never heard of just for something to do. I found my way to directors I liked that way years before I might have done so; it makes me recall film watching as a slower, more attentive experience.

I guess my question is: what was your equivalent of this and what unexpected favourites did you stumble across this way?

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Monday, 13 May 2024 16:57 (two months ago) link

Sunday night BBC2 I associate with downbeat cult 70s US films: Two-Lane Blacktop, Five Easy Pieces, Fat City, Electra Glide In Blue, The Last Detail, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Freebie and the Bean, Brewster McCloud, Thieves Like Us, The Long Goodbye, Straight Time... the list is endless.

I've left the box of soup near your shoes (Tom D.), Monday, 13 May 2024 17:07 (two months ago) link

Which my dad used to watch and say, "See that America, what a terrible place".

I've left the box of soup near your shoes (Tom D.), Monday, 13 May 2024 17:08 (two months ago) link

Rafferty and the Gold-Dust twins, Rancho Deluxe, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Vanishing Point...

henry s, Monday, 13 May 2024 19:08 (two months ago) link

thunderbolt and lighfoot 100% came to mind

close encounters of the third knid (darraghmac), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 05:16 (two months ago) link

Grew up in the UK where I'd watch just about any film that came on the tv (circa "Moviedrome" years). Once my dad randomly taped Cactus by Paul Cox for me. He knew nothing about it and neither did I... it was great and led me to seek out the rest of Cox's work.

Kim Kimberly, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 05:49 (two months ago) link

our family has a limited viewing schedule for the kids: a 30 minute program on Wednesday and the Saturday is movie night.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 05:59 (two months ago) link

Moviedrome otm, watching or taping the Alex Cox version on Sunday was my intro to a lot of things - I would have been 14 when it began so just an incredible cult film primer, absolute catnip to culturally voracious teen. Good to see a list of them all:

My dad died around that time (God, a month before moviedrome began, no wonder I'm a bit gappy on that first run) and I associate an earlier kind of late-on-Sunday film with him - Eastwood westerns, Mean Machine (aka The Longest Yard), not-really-cult 70s tough action. He'd watch them alone. I've def got a soft spot for that past-my-bedtime stuff.

woof, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 08:39 (two months ago) link

There's a really great period when pre-streaming Freeview came on and they would repeat certain films all the time.

I would always catch Rambo part I and the first two of Nolan's Batman trilogy and Scarface. I watched these about 20 times.

I wasn't trying to, just switched it on and it was just there.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 09:52 (two months ago) link

These were all on ITV 2. They were particularly guilty of this though you had many channels doing it

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 09:53 (two months ago) link

RTE did their own version of Moviedrome (The Last Picture Show with Brian Reddin) on Friday night. Id always watch it (or tape it if I was out that night). So my idea of a Friday Night Movie is tied up with that. It was mainly downbeat 70's New Hollywood stuff (King of Marvin Gardens, Last Detail, Long Goodbye, Fat City) and b&w Brit kitchen sink films (Room at the top, Friday Night Saturday Morning)

Saxophone Of Futility (Michael B), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 10:06 (two months ago) link

digging to time-locate the saturday night films of my childhood - in this case, Smokey and the Bandit - and just shaking my head remembering that old world where the first UK TV showing would be 5 years after the film was released.

woof, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 10:49 (two months ago) link

My mam has always been a big film fan (my dad used to be too, I suppose, but he wouldn't have the attention span to sit through a whole film now) and she used to let us sit up on a Saturday night after our baths to watch whatever film was on. I especially remember Mean Machine, The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, and The French Connection being in this category. And she would always check the paper to see what old films were on BBC 2 on a Saturday afternoon, even though I usually had to watch those on my own because she had to do stuff around the house. Although we did watch Casablanca together the first time I saw it, and Judgement at Nuremberg.

For me, indie or non-Hollywood films are for Friday nights, and blockbusters are for Saturdays.

trishyb, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 12:45 (two months ago) link

Yes I used to watch black & white movies with my Mum all the time and precociously and no doubt irritatingly ask her who all the actors were. Saturday afternoon, BBC2, was indeed often where they were shown. Film noir, Cagney, Edward G, Bogart were favourites.

Westerns used to be on ITV on Saturday mornings before the wrestling but I never liked westerns... less than the wrestling.

Saturday mornings on BBC they used to show silent comedies - Chaplin, Keaton, Harry Langdon, Harold Lloyd etc - and you absolutely NEVER see silent films on TV anymore.

I've left the box of soup near your shoes (Tom D.), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 12:55 (two months ago) link

I'm guessing YouTube is now the number one platform for silent films. TPTV sometime show the odd silent comedy etc. And lots of the boutique video labels have at least some silent films in their catalogue. I mean, world historical cinema is generally MORE accessible now than it was 'back in the day', even though I mourn and miss things like C4's Godard seasons, or Judith Williamson's 'Fatal Attraction' noir series on BBC2.

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 13:34 (two months ago) link

Silent films were considered kids stuff though, they were programmed when children were watching, along with Tom & Jerry, Bugs, Merrie Melodies etc.

I've left the box of soup near your shoes (Tom D.), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 13:37 (two months ago) link

I associate an earlier kind of late-on-Sunday film with him - Eastwood westerns, Mean Machine (aka The Longest Yard), not-really-cult 70s tough action. He'd watch them alone. I've def got a soft spot for that past-my-bedtime stuff.

just self-correcting - I was misremembering - these are distinctly saturday night films.

Anyway, I'm off to get drunk and mournfully watch Every Which Way But Loose.

woof, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 14:18 (two months ago) link

xp yes exactly hooray for harold fucking lloyd doo do, doo do, doo do, da der der burned into a generation's memory

woof, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 14:30 (two months ago) link


I've left the box of soup near your shoes (Tom D.), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 14:36 (two months ago) link


Saxophone Of Futility (Michael B), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 14:37 (two months ago) link

damn how did I not know that Harold Lloyd got into nude/cheesecake photography and shot Bettie Page and Monroe?

woof, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 14:44 (two months ago) link

'Here comes Harold with his camera. Just set up the tripod, Harold - should be an easy job!'

woof, Tuesday, 14 May 2024 14:47 (two months ago) link

Woof this thread was worth making just to read yr posts!

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 16:33 (two months ago) link

Rain or shine
All the time
A pair of glasses and a smile

(I think that was it)

Had no idea about his later career as a pornographer!

in praise of Ski Troop Attack (1960) (Matt #2), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 16:38 (two months ago) link

Late ‘70s/early ‘80s, pre-VHS era: Saturday morning black-and-white comedies, especially Laurel & Hardy and the Crosby/Hope movies. Then Saturday afternoons were classic scary movies — I especially remember the Karloff Frankenstein and The Black Cat. (My sister and I would cover the windows with blankets to make the room as dark and spooky as possible.)

Saturday night movies were usually big events of some kind, either a major Hollywood film or some made-for-TV spectacle. Lots of WWII action — The Great Escape, A Bridge Too Far, Guns of Navarone. There was the Richard Thomas “All’s Quiet on the Western Front.” One I remember loving that’s gone on to some cult status in the internet age was “The Bermuda Depths,” which despite the cheeseball title is a pretty good/weird Rankin/Bass production involving giant sea turtles.

A pair of glasses and a smile

Me and my brother used to say this about our dad... it was ironic.

I've left the box of soup near your shoes (Tom D.), Tuesday, 14 May 2024 19:31 (two months ago) link

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