Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tonight, on The Movie of the Week

The ABC Movie of the Week (1969-1976) was a weekly television series featuring made-for-TV movies. The show began with dazzling graphics (1969 style) and with this hard to forget introduction:
"The Move of the Week. Presenting the world premier of an original motion picture produced especially for ABC. Tonight, on The Movie of the Week..."
I remember watching these movies with my mom. They were on a little past my bedtime (8:30 PM), but my mother would make an exception and let me stay up to watch. This television anthology series featured a lot of B movies, but there was some remarkably good stuff too, including Tribes with Jan-Michael Vincent, Go Ask Alice with William Shatner (yes, that William Shatner), How Awful About Allan with Anthony Perkins, and That Certain Summer with Martin Sheen and Hal Holbrook, the first TV movie to deal sympathetically with homosexuality. 

Sadly, few of these movies have been re-broadcast. Now, ABC has done something cool! They've put dozens of these movies on Youtube, in full and without commercials. They bring back a lot of memories. The last few days, we've been watching a few of them, including Along Came a Spider with Suzanne Pleshette, and Home for the Holidays with Sally Field, Jessica Walter, Eleanor Parker and Walter Brennan. Even though some of these movies are disappointing, quite a few are still entertaining. 

We forget that in the days of pre-cable television and the internet era, people had few entertainment options. The Movie of the Week was a gem; and although, these movies were low budget and never demanding, the acting was generally first rate and the scripts innovative and tightly written. 

No comments: