Do Classic Movies Need to be Censored? AMC versus TCM

This won’t be news to anyone who knows me: I’m a big fan of movies, particularly older movies, and watch at least a movie or two every day. As I type this, for example, I’m watching a 1957 classic sci-fi film called The 27th Day, recorded off Turner Classic Movies.

AMC logo and TCM logo

In the universe of old movies, there are two cable / satellite channels that cover this genre, TCM, from the Turner network, and American Movie Classics, owned by Rainbow Media (who also owns Women’s Entertainment and the Independent Film Channel). But there’s a big difference between the two: TCM shows films unedited, uncensored and without advertisements, and AMC has been slowly degrading into a tedious network channel, complete with edited content, bleeped-out obscenities, and advertising interjected into the programs.
And that’s just what bugs me the most about AMC, their decision to ruin the movies that they ostensibly “love”…

Why does AMC include advertising? Well, they explain it thusly:
Why did AMC change its format from airing older classic movies?
In October, 2002, AMC changed its format from a classic movie channel to a broader-based movie network to appeal to a larger audience, including younger folks. We have refreshed our movie library to add some newer titles to the mix, but still feature a wide range of movies.

Why did AMC add commercials?
By adding advertising to our schedule, AMC generates additional revenue that enables us to provide a broader range of movies and original programming to our viewers. AMC carries among the fewest commercials per hour of any basic cable channel.

Let me translate: they felt that they weren’t getting a big enough viewership, so they added more contemporary movies (typically from the 80s and 90s). Those movies had higher license fees than classic archival movies, so their expenses increased. To solve the problem they didn’t place ads between movies, what we could call the PBS model, they decided that the more valuable ad placement spots are by interrupting the movies.
In my opinion, at least, that’s a terrible decision and instantly changed AMC from one of my favorite channels to one that I can only watch if I recorded the movie so I could skip through the ads, and even then only as a last resort because while I’m not a fan of obscenities, I am darn concerned with the integrity of a film that I watch, whether color, edit, composition, framing or, yes, dialog.
But AMC doesn’t just bleep out naughty words, they actively censor their content. Here’s how they explain it:
Does AMC edit movies for content?
Yes. Like most advertiser-supported networks, AMC edits programming for certain “objectionable” content, including nudity and offensive language. As a national network available on basic cable, AMC adheres to standards that will be acceptable to the majority of our viewers, our sponsors and our cable and satellite affiliates. Whenever possible, the movie studios provide us with TV-ready versions of their movies designed to be acceptable to most TV networks.

What’s so interesting about this justification is that TCM is also “a national network available on basic cable” yet they don’t edit or alter their films in any way. They have the MPAA warnings prior to the movie, warnings that let you know whether an upcoming movie has violence, obscenities, sexual situations, etc etc.
I might be alone here, but for years I have been disgusted by the editorial decisions that the team at American Movie Classics made when they switched from showing unedited classic movies without advertisements to broadening their library, adding advertising and, the worst offense, editing and censoring their content. Blech.
For me, Turner Classic Movies rocks, and if I had to pick just one channel on my TV when stuck on the proverbial desert island, it’d be TCM, no question.

75 comments on “Do Classic Movies Need to be Censored? AMC versus TCM

  1. HA! I taped that too.
    I remember when the old AMC aired King Kong in it’s uncut glory for the first time anywhere in decades. What a show! They did Citizen Kane too. Once upon a time, AMC was instrumental in creating the business of movie restoration. And if that isn’t enough, every halloween AMC showed all the classic Universal monster movies unedited and commercial free. Yay!
    I suspect that the truth is that MGM’s movie library owned by Turner scared them so much they wet their beds at the thought of trying to directly compete with them when TCM was a start up. So, being goofy media executives they decided to dump host Bob Dorian, add commercials and target housewives instead of classic movie buffs.
    Kinda’ like what happened to Tech TV when those goofy media executives decided to target teenagers instead of tech enthusiasts.
    Anyway, you’re right – AMC blows.
    Meanwhile, TCM gets better every year.

    • I’m fed up with graphic violence and sex. If I wanted porono I would go to a channel that shows porono. I also avoid the violent ones there is enough real violence on the news I don’t need any more. I prefer TCM movies, even the corney ones.

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  3. Dave,
    One of the things I really like about TCM is that, for the most part at least, they show the widescreen versions of movies and not the dreaded “pan and scan” versions. I don’t own a widescreen TV (yet), but even with my “standard” screen I much prefer to see the “letterbox”.
    I could easily be mistaken (since I watch AMC so seldom now), but I don’t recall seeing many widescreen movies on AMC.

  4. Dave, I’ve got to agree with you. AMC was a jewel for classic movie lovers. My wife loved it. Bob Dorian really added class. TCM started almost as a copy-cat, but it has now surpassed AMC in every way, making it the go-to channel for classic movies. AMC seems little better than network’s “”Saturday Night at the Movies.”

  5. Hey, I’m a housewife and I don’t feel like AMC was trying to target me at all. I don’t know who would enjoy the mess they have now. I too loved the classic movies, Bob Dorian, and their own Remember WENN. I switched to TCM as well but if AMC went back to their old ways I would watch them too. It seemed like they had a few movies that TCM might not have and I did love Remember WENN. I hear they aren’t even willing to sell that show on DVD. They really don’t make sense at all.

  6. I COMPLETELY agree with you, Dave. It seems AMC carefully chose their words when they dumbed down and diluted their network. The real reason of course, that they show newer movies (not even GOOD new movies) and barrage us with commercials is to add to their bottom line. As a final insult they edit the movies. This completely ruins the original vision of filmmakers and along with commercials can destroy pacing, tone, character development, and the plot line in general. It’s not even like they HAD to move in this direction- TCM shows that it’s possible to maintain the integrity of classics and still profit. I do not watch AMC and I do not support their advertisers. Keep in mind that it’s not just “old fogies” that feel this way: I’m a viewer in my early 20’s- the “golden” target audience…

  7. I am new to blogging but my first is called Movie Sensation/ My true passion movies 1930 1940. I just finished watching “Angels with Wings” (not sure that is the right title) with Jean Arthur and Cary Grant. I love the way they wrote screen plays then and it is always the ending I want. The camera gives the actor/actess time to show emotion, lets them really act when they fan in on the face. I can hardly believe who they gave the Oscar to this year – just killing, killing and it was hardly the ending anyone wanted. Why they praised the director/writer Martin Scorcee only shows how truly screwed up the morals in Hollywood are. They have done a 360 from what they used to be. What I love about old movies is the good feeling I always have when I watch a black & white. Please read my blog and respond. Thank you Dale

  8. Is TCM now editing films? I “ordered” On Golden Pond on TCM On Demand, and they inserted silence over specific curse words. In one scene where a boy says “Bullshitting” all we hear is “______ing”. In an earlier scene where Norman asks what happened to the “goddamn” Orioles (I think), all we hear is “____damn”.
    This bothers me because for such a classic film as this, for them to be silencing curse words is stupid. A year or 2 ago I “ordered” Network on the same TCM On Demand, and they did NOT edited it….and this one has the F word in there.
    TCM, I hope you’re not resorting to becoming like AMC.

  9. Our family and friends are still wondering what happened to Bob Dorian on AMC. We enjoyed his presentation as much as his commentary and movie picks. The stiff you have now, Osborne, presents like Public Speaking 101. He walks toward the camera, touches his ring finger and after a few beats, puts his hand in his pocket. The same actions every time. The current presenter is boring and we don’t watch that channel much since you dropped Dorian and the previous format.

  10. I loved AMC when Bob Dorian was host. What has become of him? Also, do you know the title of a black and white classic that was shown by Dorian on AMC where the main character does a lot of club hopping and orders cocktails called sidecars everywhere he goes? Thanks

  11. Channel flipping the other night, my husband paused on AMC and said, “This used to be a good channel when Bob Dorian was around, good movies and no commercials.” I thought maybe Bob Dorian was dead, and Googled his name, ended up here. Very good website, good exchange of thoughts and ideas. Not much we can do about the stupid mistakes of others, except protest in a great blog like this. But we CAN keep flipping till we home in on TCM, 99% of the time. Best TV available, in our opinion.
    Wow! Couldn’t believe the note from Tom Novak and mention of Tech TV. Hit the nail on the head. Another stupid mistake, as he pointed out. I’ve been angry for a long time about that, too. Seems when idiots are in charge, they screw up the best of things. So sad that AMC and Tech TV had to bite the dust and then get plain ugly.

  12. I was so glad to see someone with the same attitude toward that whore from hell, AMC.
    They are WORSE than the other commercial channels, I think. They DESTROY any movie they get their devilish hands on.
    They are UNWATCHABLE!

  13. What a nice surprise to find this blog. I’m another fan of the old films and the golden days when AMC was the go-to place for the classics. I’d also be happy to update you on the whereabouts of Bob Dorian (he’s my Dad). His contract was up at about the same time the format was so drastically changing, and so it was a mutual parting of ways. Since AMC, he returned to acting and spent a number of years in theatrical productions around the country (as Arvide in Guys & Dolls, Flo Zeigfeld in Funny Girl and John Barrymore in Barrymore – roles that fit right in with his favorites, don’t you think?) He spent a year on the National Tour of the Wizard of Oz, working with Mickey Rooney and Eartha Kitt and appeared in a few films (Woody Allen’s Hollywood Ending and Curse of the Jade Scorpion – which is my favorite for his gum-shoe character). Anyway, he is very much alive and well and thrilled to hear that anyone even remembers him. (By the way, Karen Korkmas: he wondered if you might be thinking of William Powell and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man – though their drink of choice was a Martini.)

    • Hi Melissa I met your Dad about 27 yrs ago with my twin sister, at his studios on Long Island I am originally from NY, but had lived in Ohio at the time, while my sister stayed on Long Island. She had seen your Dad as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady in Babylon, and had just flown out to see me play Eliza in My Fair Lady in Cleveland. Since I had always watched him on AMC, I was shocked when I discovered it was him who she saw! To make a very long story short, I corresponded with your Dad, and flew to Long Island to meet him with my sister. He gave us a tour of the AMC studios, and took us to lunch. We shared a mutual love for My Fair Lady which forged a friendship. I am now remarried and living in England, but remember your Dad with great fondness. Please say hello to hi. For me. He knew me as Linda Hoffman.

  14. Hi Melissa,
    Thanks for the update on your father. My son and I speak of old movies all the time and reminisce about the movies he grew up with on AMC and your father is a backdrop to his experience. Interestingly, I met your father the day he shot a very well used promo for AMC at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre. I met him across the street from the theatre as he was on his way there. Consequently, that promo was used for years thereafter as AMC promoted the history of America’s movie palaces. I remember asking him what he was doing in town and he told me that he was here to visit his daughter! I remember being impressed with his stature and what a gentleman he was. Karen had a what-was-that-movie question and I have had one that I have kept under my hat for years in case I ran into Bob again on the street. I will take the opportunity here to ask you what this movie is. The movie, a black and white, takes place in New York City in the early 1950’s. It is a Saturday afternoon and from the beginning of the movie this character decides he is going to jump from the building in which he works. He climbs out on the ledge and the entire movie is about getting him down from this precarious position.
    Anyway, thank you for the information about your father, we all miss seeing him on a regular basis and I will have to rent Curse of the Jade Scorpion again to see him in it.
    Best regards, Christian

  15. For years, back in the 80s & 90s I loved AMC. Most of my home-recorded video tapes from the “VHS Era” were the great movies shown on AMC. I fully agree with all of you who say that this channel now sucks – and I avoid it at all costs. I love classic movies that are uncut and I head straight for TCM every time I turn the set on. It is a crime what AMC has done to the movies they DO show – all butchered up, intermingled with loud obnoxious commercials.
    I remember the “Bob Dorian” days well. He is present on many of my tapes introducing the classics AMC used to show. I miss seeing him (and don’t forget Nick Clooney was also another great host)…as I curse the day the “powers that be” at AMC changed (ruined) their format in 2002.
    With the advent of DVD, the internet and other modern channels to obtain movies, who wants to see censored, cut-up movies with commercials as we had to do back in the 1960s & 70s on the old networks?
    AMC has lost a lot of loyal viewers, including me.

  16. I do not have that info; I’m sorry i do not know how to get a url number… but please do something about all those commercials; yes, i know you have to have them…but whew every 5 minutes? and five commercials per minute? it’s just too,too much!

  17. First time user; love it, I too Taped Bob Dorian’s comments and Nick Clooney also, before the movie, miss them both and hope they are well.
    I also taped the AMC logo before the show started, I have been collecting movies atarting with My BETAMAX in 1976. I now never copy AMC junk. Thank You!!
    Sam aka Boompa

  18. In answer to Christian’s question, the movie about the man standing on the ledge deciding whether to jump or not is called “Fourteen Hours.” I don’t think it is available on video or DVD, which is a little strange considering it’s Grace Kelly’s first film role. She plays the young woman deciding whether to get a divorce. I bought a VHS copy of it from Ebay. I’m glad to know there are so many other people out there who feel as I do about AMC changing their format. Some of my most cherished films are those “hard-to-find” classics that I recorded from AMC (including the intro’s by Bob Dorian). It’s wonderful to hear from Melissa about her dad, Bob, and that he is doing well.

  19. I found this site by searching on Bob Dorian’s name, as I was also trying to find out what he did after AMC. I, too, bemoan the loss of what was once my favorite channel, bar none. I suspect the one writer was right when s/he said that AMC must have freaked out when TCM came along and did such a great job. Seems a poor excuse, though. The trouble is, there are now many movies I want to see again that were on AMC and never seem to be shown on TCM. One movie in particular is one I have no title for, and it’s been bugging me for years. Now I can’t write to Bob Dorian to ask if he knows: It’s about a woman whose husband is so busy working that, out of boredom, she decides to get involved in local theatre. He then becomes jealous. There are all these hilarious vignettes wherein she imagines this and that going terribly wrong – sort of like Tom Ewell does in “The Seven Year Itch.” I remember that the title of this movie involves the concept of jealousy. Any help?

  20. Lisa, that’s a totally tough question. All I could dig up was “Husbands are so Jealous” from 1934, but even IMDb is pretty useless for more information: Sorry I can’t do better. Can you give us some additional clues? B&W or color? 30s, 40s, 50s? Was the *wife* the main character, or the husband?

  21. I couldn’t agree with you more. AMC has deteriorated and even though they have some solid titles, they’re so chopped up with commercials, it isn’t worth my time. When a movie that runs 90 minutes without commercials is blocked off for a 2 hr 30 minute time slot, you know there’s trouble. Trivia: AMC’s first film was Sunday Dinner for a Soldier starring Anne Baxter & John Hodiak–husband and wife in real life for a time. I raised my kids on AMC, but now, sadly, never watch it. TCM is my channel of choice and Robert Osbourne one of my heroes.

  22. Like others, I found this Googling for Bob Dorian. I was curious about him after finding an old VHS tape of a AMC documentary on war movies, circa 1999(?), featuring Dorian and promos for AMC’s film preservation festival. Does this fundraiser still exist? (I doubt it) I can count on one hand the number of times I have watched more than 10 minutes of AMC programming since it abandoned the class movie genre. TCM is great and does it better than AMC ever did, but I still miss the choice of two channels to catch older movies. Dorian was a classy presenter.

  23. Excellent Post indeed. Even if we look at the legal aspect governing the TV censorship, the oldest anecdote dates back to 1930’s when Haye’s code was first introduced and which mainly focused on derogatory remarks to specific groups and/or communities. But even in that pretetxt, Classic movies produced and released before that era clearly do not fall under this category and hence no need for unnecessary censorship.

  24. What Happen To Bob Dorian who hosted many classic movies on AMC. He was great and full of a whole bunch of movie trivia. He was a great host.

  25. I was very disappointed when AMC changed its format, abandoned the “classic” movies and added commercials. It matters little that they “advertise the least” of any cable channel; the point is, they do. And it ruined what was a great channel. All in the name of greed. Were they not satisfied with revenues generated from 39 million customers? What a shame!

  26. Like many others, I came upon this site looking to find out what happened to Bob Dorian of AMC (after they became unwatchable). Reading all these comments gives me an idea. Why don’t they get Bob Dorian to host movies at TCM!!! I like their other hosts, but he would be a very good addition. I always thought his energetic and upbeat introductions to the movies made them more fun.

  27. I too came to this site to try to find what happened to Bob Dorian. AMC was the first place I had ever seen “The Best Years of Our Lives.” I love old films because of the old AMC.

  28. Add me to the list of those who found this site by searching for information on Bob Dorian. Melissa, please tell your Dad he is remembered and well liked. And, great column, Dave! Two years or so after the fact I agree with you totally. AMC used to stand for “American Movie Classics”, and the great programming and respect shown for the films backed that up. I think they should change the station name to something more accurate to what they do today … AMWC, perhaps. That would be, “Average Movies With Commercials”. Hats off to TMC !

  29. Hi Everyone: I miss Bob Dorian very much, too. No one introduces films better than Bob. His wealth of film knowledge of who, what, where, when, how & why is unsurpassed. I enjoy TCM but it would be richer if they included Bob Dorian. Does anyone know if there is a petition to TCM about this matter?

  30. I used to watch AMC all the time,but after they quit showing the old classic, I quit watching I hate what they have done with it. It was pleasure to sit down and watch,but its just junk and the same stuff over and over again

  31. I too loved Bob Dorian – Clooney and Burke weren’t bad either. It was obvious he had a passion for the oldies and their old theater venues – and conveyed it with every intro. AMC would show movies, good or routine time killers, that couldn’t have been seen anywhere else. I grew to be such a fan, I contributed to the preservation effort.
    I spit on and curse the sick butchers who changed a great channel into a degenerate defiler of cinema – commercial TV at it’s worst. Must be liberal fascists – they destroy everything they get their filthy hands on.

  32. I’m one of the folks who watches movies far older than am I. Bob Dorian was fantastic. Rather than just watch movies, he presented the backstory very well. His work made some even less than stellar movies a heck of a lot more interesting. I don’t get TCM on my cable lineup. And truthfully, had pretty much written them off for all of the colorizing they started doing years ago. The new AMC format is an absolute crime against humanity. Why not just run solid infomercials. One more example of suits turning something truly spectacular into a brothel. What a pity.
    BRING BACK BOB DORIAN!!! Where he goes, I go!

  33. Add me to the list who found this blog because my wife and I were wondering what happened to Bob Dorian. We watched so many movies on AMC before they changed, we became completely spoiled. Bob, if you read this blog, I just wanted to say thank you. You made watching all movies a real joy.
    Thank God we have TCM. I pray whoever is in charge of TCM never dies. I don’t know if I could go through another destruction of one of my favorite channels.
    Wouldn’t it be great if TCM allowed Bob to present a movie on a single day like they do “The Essentials”. It would give all of us who use to watch AMC a chance to show everyone who missed those golden days what AMC used to look like. Talk about a plus for TCM.

  34. The movie where the main character bar hops and order side cars is: “Star of Midnight”, 1935 with William Powell. I too miss the old AMC format and especially Bob Dorian and Nick Clooney. AMC really is garbage now.

  35. I just e-mailed AMC and told them how much they went down hill in my book when the dumped Bob Dorian. I wish TMC would pick him up. I don’t get TCM now but am going to change cable companies so I can. AMC is just like all the other channels now. I no longer watch it. Also AMC made it very difficult on their website to send them an e-mail. ON PURPOSE I THINK. I recommend all Bob Dorian fans e-mail AMC and tell them what they think. Then e-mail TMC and ask them to pick Dorian up.

  36. Bob Dorian apparently left a lasting impression on me too! Like so many others, I googled “Bob Dorian” today and found this blog. I remember him because of his calm demeanor and the interesting way he described films. He’s truly 1 of a kind more than (most of)the rest of us, ha! Today “Rachel and the Stranger” was on TCM and it suddenly the voice of Mr. Dorian was inside my head talking on its own!

  37. clarification: Mr. Dorian described the movie “Rachel and the Stranger” while hosting AMC. So there is some relevance, fyi! ha! They are in the process of ruining the Boomerang channel but it’s still much better than AMC. But hey, at least AMC had “The She-Creature” for Halloween. AMC even screwed up the Halloween fest by changing from “Monsterfest” to Fear Fest.

  38. I lament the way AMC has gone and never watch it anymore, but most of all I miss Bob Dorian. In 1991, I was very sick and going through a terrible time, all I could stand to watch were the old movies of the 30’s, 40’s and some of the 50’s. But what made it special for me was Mr. Dorian’s kind demeanor, sense of humor and the regularlity with which I could look forward to seeing him. I finally did recover, but Bob Dorian and the wonderful classic movies had alot to do with it. I was so sorry to see him and the format go! I’d love to see Bob Dorian join the team at TCM. Any chance?? Many of us would be thrilled!!
    Very sincerely,
    Lisa Francesca

  39. MEGA-DITTO’S AMC is nearly unbearable to watch. The last 10 minutes of movies become 10s of minutes due to short air time of movie -vs- long air time of comm’s. AMC also likes to show the SAME MOVIE OVER AND OVER Ad Finitum during a few week period.
    Thank Goodnes for TCM.

  40. why has TCM ceased to appear in Switzerland, instead of which there are those dreadful cartoons.Is there a reason for this ? If so, what?

  41. The Nashville Network used to be programming centered around Nashville music. Then it became TNN and added a bunch of TV reruns and other garbage and eventually it became Spike TV. So the channel that had the Grand Ol’ Opry and Fandango now has UFC, and Star Trek and CSI reruns.
    Game Show Network used to be nothing but awesome classic game shows. Then they shrunk their library to run reruns of a handful of gameshows, and took their vast library of black n white game shows that made their channel great, and moved them to a half hour time slot in the early hours of the morning. Then it became GSN and showed a little bit of gameshows mixed with reality TV and other nonsense. Now GSN is a game show network again with some newer, mostly crappy game shows and a handful of old reruns. Nothing like the original.
    AMC and MTV are the only channels remaining, to my knowledge, that have maintained their call letters even though they’ve drastically changed formats. Like many of you, I found this site by googling Bob Dorian. Like most of you, I loved watching AMC day and night, showing me movies I’d never seen before and movies you can’t see on TCM. That channel has been discontinued and in its channel slot is now a random channel with a false advertising channel name that attempts to lure the people who USED to watch the channel, even though they changed programming that intended to completely TURN OFF the people who initially watched the channel!
    This is what happens when the brain children of these great networks end up relinquishing their leadership roles to people who had no interest in this programming when the channels started, and have no interest in the integrity of the programming. Thank God TCM is still around, but I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time before a new person takes over TCM and decides it would be really bitchin’ to completely scrap old movies and go with the same formula AMC has gone with…trying to appeal to all while turning off everybody. To me, AMC is off the air, and that’s really sad.

  42. I wonder why AMC break all those commercials to show small, selected portions of films anyway. They advertise long trailers?
    Anyway, I don’t care for them anymore, and don’t support their adverters either.

  43. What bothers me about the horrible AMC channel is they show the same movies over and over again, and inject a ton of commercials. I pay a lot of money for Comcast and originally you paid for cable and expected little or no commercials. Now you pay even more money for more commercials and even paid programming. Terrible state of affairs.

  44. Melissa (a.k.a., Bob Dorian’s Daughter):
    My husband and I are surprised you and your Dad are surprised people remember him. He has a warm spot in our hearts and always will. We enjoyed having him in our home those AMC glory days.
    Thank you for the update. Please tell your Dad hello from two people in Georgia.

  45. I discovered AMC in the 70’s and thoroughly enjoyed Bob Dorian and the AMC format. It is disgusting now: on Saturday will it be the Jimmy Stewart Western in the morning and Rocky XX when I get home from work ? Don’t forget those Clint Eastwood trilogy of spaghetti Westerns and the Jose Wales movie. That pretty much sums up the entire movie schedule these days. I soooo miss the black and white Fred Astaire movies.

  46. I definitely remember the old AMC and am so sorry they took the path they did. I don’t watch that channel anymore at all – spend most of my time at TCM. I missed Bob Dorian and his insights. Too bad.

  47. Yes, I Googled on Mr. Dorian. First and foremost, I’m glad he’s doing okay and hope he sees how he’s missed. We subscribed to AMC (and BRAVO) back when we had to pay extra for them, and I built up a tape library of basic movies in the years that they didn’t cut, colorize, or interrupt their movies.
    TCM, as far as I know, picked up their mantle and may well have caused them to change their focus when Turner acquired so many movies. Even though Turner, the great colorizer, owns TCM, I don’t think they’ve shown colorized movies in the last few years, if they ever did.
    I still watch AMC once in a while, usually for some mindless action movie — and often just the last half hour — but the commercials are so intrusive, and then they shrink the end credits, speed them up, and talk over them. It would be great to have two good old movie channels to choose from. Well, I guess I could see more old movies on the higher digital channels, but I can’t watch them from where I work, thanks to my cable company’s idiotic decisions.

  48. personally I havent watched AMC since they added commercials. maybe they only have a few but I want straight movie, no interruptions till its over. I think TCM is fantastic and its on my tv at least 60% of the time. I love the “star of the month” marathons they do. I especially loved the Bette Davis ones. I was glued to my set for 24 hours straight drinking coffee to stay away awake through the 24 hour period.It was a VERY long month, but it was fantastic.

  49. I also found this looking to see if i could find out what happened to Bob Dorian. I miss AMC with Bob Dorian but without him its not worth watching. Add the commercials and its just like any other channel now. Nothing special. We miss you Mr. Dorian.

  50. Like so many others have already indicated, I too came across this website in search information about Bob Dorian. He certainly brought a wealth of knowledge to his hosting of AMC. I am glad to know that he is still wih us. It was AMC’s lost. Thank you for sharing that information with us Melissa. Let your father know that his fans awaite his return in another venue.

  51. I was looking for a blank tape (VHS..don’t even own a me a dinosaur) and saw one that had movies for which I now own DVDs. I watched Bob Dorian introduce The Marx Brothers, “The Cocoanuts” in his inimitable way; he told a story of the director and the tough job he had to round up each brother for a take. Wonderful stuff! I’m taping a movie that starts in an hour, but I have retained Mr. Dorian’s introduction. I know I have more as I used to watch AMC all the time but agree with all the ‘post’ers about the demise of AMC and its format change. Bah Humbug I say. Mr. Dorian was a class act, and I am thrilled to have caught his daughter’s comments about her father. Tell him hello from another fan, Melissa.

  52. What a relief to know Bob Dorian is well. I found this site by goggling his name.Have wondered for years why AMC took him of as host. When I first got cable and discovered AMC it was a favorite channel but not anymore. I don’t watch it now. According to TV guide their movie library appears to be very limited.They run the same movies over & over& over.Thank goodness for TCM. Great suggestion someone had for TCM to bring him on board. What an asset that would be. And as of yesterday Robert Osborne for the first time will be off for three months. What a shock it was to see Robert Wagner in Robert’s slot last night. Feel like a family member is gone. However Bob Dorian would fill that void perfectly. Think I too will email TCM with my input. We want you back Bob. You were a great host, and you were Good-Looking too (smiles)

  53. Tonight sunday sept.4 watching no country for old men on amc. it has not been on premium movie channels i don`t how amc got it. i hate the commercials and editing but i wanted to see it,but it`s hard with a commercial every 5 minutes, cutting out part of a good movie.

  54. AMC has made movies unwatchable on their station. What mongoloid idiot did they hire to decide the appropriate place for commercials?

  55. I just got AMC again after a few years of no cable or satellite. What the hell happened? AMC is terrible now. the programming sucks. The days of the Z channel type programming are long gone. The people who are in charge of programming know nothing about movies nor do they care. Accountants run the show. I am seriously shocked by what AMC has become. Commercials Commercials Commercials and a true lack of programming. There is a vast library of movies that is being untapped. They don’t even air Lindsey Anderson films. Horrible.

  56. …happened across this blog when I googled “how does TCM make money with no advertising”.
    don’t have time to read EVERY comment just now–not sure if this has come up before. But does anybody know how it works? is it just Ted Turner BEING NICE??

  57. I, too, found this site googling Bob Dorian. Oh how we miss him! My husband and I watched AMC every night in the early 90’s, while our kids were small. It was our main entertainment. We both love the old movies and old TV shows, today’s fare is putrid garbage.
    We adored Bob Dorian and all of the wonderful backstage stories he would tell. We enjoyed them as much as the movies themselves! We still remember some of them. We, too, taped many movies during that time, and always included Bob’s before and after spots as they were wonderful. He was so comfortable and easy to listen to. So many times in the years since, both of us have lamented out loud, “DANG I miss Bob Dorian!” if we’re watching an old movie. Or “I wonder what Bob Dorian would say about this…” He was perfect. Nick Clooney was ok, but was for us very much a ‘second choice’ compared to Bob.
    I don’t enjoy the stiff one on TCM, many times we even mute him before a movie! LOL. Bob almost seemed like a friend in our living room every evening. There are so many movies AMC used to show that TCM doesn’t, and I miss them. We only wish we would have taped more than we did, but alas, we thought the format was perfect and would never change – how naive we were! At the time, we never dreamed AMC would EVER have commercials.
    As the last person said, Mr. Dorian was the classic gentleman, and we miss him terribly too.
    Bob, if you ever read this – you were loved and appreciated very much. I wish I could shake your hand and tell you so. God bless!

  58. hi, yes amc was the best channel in the universe,now it stinks like other things these days that i used to love i guess everything must change but not for the better.richard

  59. Hey AMC. No need to change the call letters of your crummy station. AMC now stands for A Million Commercials!

  60. I started watching American Movie Classics in the early 1990s, and it was a pleasure to watch old movies with absolutely no commercial interruptions. None! Old flicks from the 1930s to the 1950s. Many of which have yet to be issued on home video. Due to my Air Force commitments I had to relocate to Iceland in the mid-1990s, after which I came here to Georgia (where I remain today). My cable company did not carry AMC, and I kept bugging them. They finally added AMC—just in time for the channel to start running commercials and interrupt the movie. AMC has definitely changed for the worse. They still show old movies, but in the wee hours of Saturday morning and they have been chopped way down to fit into, get this, fifteen-minute slots! If Bob Dorian is still alive and well, he is lamenting as to how AMC has changed for the worse. A pox on the house of those who purchased this once-venerable channel and fouled it all up with reality shows, infomercials (they have them from six to nine a.m. on weekdays!), and the same old few movies over and over again. And not once have they letterboxed the movies completely as they used to. Heaven help us if some schmoe takes over Turner Classic Movies and hip it all up with commercials and utter garbage in the name of being relevant. Well, that’s all. My name is Thomas Tarwater, and thank you for reading my comment.

  61. I miss AMC and Bob Dorian. I HATED THE SWITCH. I grew up with “Bill Kennedy At the Movies” in Detroit. When I found AMC I was over joyed! Now the only thing good at AMC is MAD MEN! DUMP THE COMMERCIALS! OR AT LEAST TWENTY MIN FILM TIME! ONE MINUTE COMMERCIALS.

  62. Yes, it seems sad that in this backward country, TCM seems to be making decisions to blot out certain audio dialog. I watched Andromeda Strain tonight and was bewildered after the audio was deleted when David Wayne’s character Dr. Dutton sees something happen on a video screen. It makes no sense to do these things. If a network is going to play a movie they need to play the movie uncut with no commercials just like it played in the theater, period. I can’t even watch AMC anymore; pathetic.

    • People, there was only room for one classic movie channel, and TCM was it. AMC’s a better channel now because of the original shows and movies that they air.

      If you need to live back in the past so much, you can see TCM, or rent old movies from brick and mortar stores.

      • You’re so wrong “lil’ buddy.” The AMC Channel is playing follow the leader with all of the other cable networks in offering a plethora of worthless junk. You cannot have too many old movie channels. And, hey, if you’re a fan of “reality” shows you’ll really love AMC now. The movies AMC shows are mostly second rate, heavily edited crap. Their so-called original dramatic series’ are quite banal if you ask me.

      • Unfortunately, we can’t. AMC aired many movies that were never released commercially and cannot be rented from brick and mortar stores, ubiquitous Redboxes, or online from Netflix. Also, you should’ve gleaned from the outpouring of comments that many us loved Bob Dorian’s hosting. Bob possessed a warmth and affability that simply doesn’t exist with Robert Osbourne or Ben Mankiewicz. The original AMC was a holy marriage of host and film selection. The same can’t be said of TMC.

        As for living in the past, the reason most people want to go back is because the present fails to live up to a certain standard of class and intelligence. Networks are too busy chasing an elusive demographic who probably wouldn’t watch their programming if you paid them. It wouldn’t surprise me if Osbourne is dumped in the near future and replaced with some model-turned-actor known primarily for playing a vampire on the CW.

      • American Movie Classics came first, creating a niche audience that Ted Turner decided to exploit. American Movie Classics could no longer compete with Turner Classic Movies with the Turner money behind them. It was a sad day when we lost our beloved hosts, however TCM does a fine job filling the void left.

        I find it interesting that several new channels have cropped up over the past couple of years that also show classic films, though chopped up by commercials. Grit and getTV have also been added to my favorites list, which I watch on my DVR in order to skip the irritating commercials.

        While I do enjoy the scripted shows on amc, they should change the name of the network, which no longer fits. What the network is best known for is not the type of movies they play, which are by no means classic, but the award winning scripted shows.

  63. Censoring classic media on cable? WTF? My four favorite all time movies are all Al Pacino films; A Panic in Needle Park, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon and Scarface. I was so pissed when I was watching Scarface on IFC on night and all of the hardcore dialogue was deleted and even the naked lady scenes were defused. The whole impact of Scarface is hearing Pacino shouting FUCK! At least Dog Day Afternoon was left alone and A Panic in Needle Park had all the cool nude scenes and dialogue left intact, and Serpico has been recently shown on TMC unedited:) By the way the AMC channel SUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKSSSSSS!

    The AMC channel is a piece of crap now! Now they’ve got “reality” shows for all of you dumb asses out there. Some lame-ass show called “Comic Book Men” about some middle-age guys hawking old comic books, and another show about some redneck cretins in arm wrestling competitions. Anyone who thinks the AMC Channel is better now than it was in the past is full of something or other!

  64. I first began watching American Movie Classics in my senior year of high school, when it started airing on basic cable. They only aired two movies each day, back to back, and repeated those two movies. The rest of the day, they aired the Weather Channel.

    Bob Dorian brought a bit of film culture into my blue collar world that I would not have otherwise had, and I am forever thankful. Without some of the back stories, I may not have become the die hard film fan I am.

    A somewhat oddly fond memory I have is when one of my brothers would enter the living room and groan, “Oh no, not that black and white channel, again!”

    One of my favorites I discovered, that year, was Imitation of Life with Lana Turner, Juanita Moore, and Susan Kohner, among others. Who would have thought that I’d meet, and marry, a distant cousin of Susan’s? My mother-in-law bought the movie and showed it to the family, indicating that Susan was a cousin of my father-in-law. I was dumbfounded, and excited to share the fact that it was already a favorite of mine.

    I, too, had an extensive VHS library of movies that I taped, also including the intros by Bob or Nick. Sadly, when we downsized, the approximately 200 tapes I had with two or three movies per tape had to go.

    Let’s face it, amc is NOT American Movie Classics, and hasn’t been since they shortened the name. Even my husband, who is not the classic film buff that I am, thinks that the station no longer plays any movies worth watching, especially with the never-ending commercials. Every time we scan through the channel guide, he asks, “How can they call that an American movie classic?”

    I do enjoy the scripted shows, (I have diverse taste in television). However, they should not continue to use the letters amc. It is frustrating hire they have distorted the original purpose of the channel. The unscripted shows are drivel.

    I thoroughly enjoy TCM, but I miss Bob and Nick. The months of February and August are difficult to manage, in our home, because I monopolize the dvr for 31 Days of Oscar and Summer Under the Stars.

    I sincerely hope TCM continues with their format, though I wish they would bring back listing the nominations and wins for each movie aired during 31 Days of Oscar. I’d also love to see Bob Dorian, on there.

  65. Back in the mid 1980s, I was a college student living off campus, and I met a young lady who shared my passion for movies. I didn’t have much money, so most nights we stayed home with a big bowl of hot, fresh popcorn and watched film after film on American Movie Classics. One of the most memorable nights was New Year’s Eve 1988. We splurged and cooked a spectacular prime rib dinner. As soon fell outside, we sipped champagne and settled in for a quiet evening with AMC. Their set was decorated for the holidays, and Bob Dorian wore a tux that night. The movie was A Matter of Innocence with Hayley Mills and Sashi Kapoor. Well, so many years have passed, and eventually my lady and I went our separate ways, to different parts of the country. But, we still stay in touch on social media. And on occasion we’ll ask one another, “Hey, remember that New Years Eve we spent with Bob Dorian?”

    It’s kind of heart warming to read all these comments about Bob and the old AMC. I hold nothing but the fondest memories of those days. Bob was just a class act, so affable and genteel. I gave up on AMC over a decade ago. And although I still watch TMC from time to time, Robert Osbourne and Ben Mankiewicz simply can’t hold a candle to Bob Dorian. I’m glad that he’s still with us. Thanks for the memories, Bob, and for so many years of entertainment.

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