Sunday, June 21, 2009
Channel 11 Film Festival - WPIX-TV Channel 11
To me, the Channel 11 Film Festival has always been a perplexing movie showcase program. Many people who I have conversed with and who were of viewing age during it's run seem split on it. What I mean is, half remember it very well while the other half cannot seem to recall it. I for one, remember it quite well as it's theme music has stayed in my memory to this day. As a matter of fact, when I was young, it's theme music creeped me out for whatever reason. However, it was one of those theme songs that you knew instantly.
Truth be told, I do not know the specifics regarding the Film Festival, in terms of when it exactly started and when it ended. I do know that it was a WPIX staple throughout the 1970's and, arguably, one of it's most popular movie showcases at the time save for Chiller and maybe The Sunday Morning Movie which featured Abbott & Costello films. Almost exclusively housed in a 90 minute time slot, the Film Festival featured a wide variety of films from various genres. At certain times, you could see "high end" films like John Brahm's THE LODGER while other times you would come across minor "B" crime films like PORT OF NEW YORK. Certain weeks would give you a theme to look forward to. Mae West could strut in your living room for a full week or you could laugh to Italian comedies featuring Marcello Mastroianni. As a matter of fact, the Channel 11 Film Festival deserves kudos for featuring quite an array of "foreign" films during it's run. The movie showcase proved quite versatile for channel 11 as it appeared in various time periods throughout the years. Whenever 'PIX decided they needed to combat another stations movie with their own, in came the Film Festival. If they needed a boost in the early afternoon, the Film Festival was there to help. If they needed better late night programming, why not the Film Festival? It was a workhorse. You could see it at 11PM or 11:30PM or Midnight. You could also view it during late night after the late news wrap-up. Heck, you could even get your daytime fix at Noon or 12:30PM! You get the picture.
All in all a well remembered movie showcase, by this fan at least, that more then served it's purpose for Channel 11 over the years. BTW, the aforementioned 1944 film THE LODGER, was the first movie I recall seeing on the Film Festival. I also recall seeing 1948's NAKED CITY. What are your thoughts and memories of THE CHANNEL 11 FILM FESTIVAL? I'd love to read them!