TCM to look at, discuss ‘problematic’ classic films

They are the films that are a part of American history, but looking back through a contemporary lens, they have questionable stereotypes and imagery.

But what should happen to films like “Gone With the Wind,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and other classic films that cross a line?

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Turner Classic Movies has started “Reframed Classics,” a new series examining 18 films that are considered “culturally significant” that were made from the 1920s through the 1960s, The Associated Press reported.

The series started Thursday with “Gone With the Wind.”

The films are hosted by Jacqueline Stewart, TCM’s first African American host, who has studied classic films and Black audiences.

“I grew up in a family of people who loved classic films. Now, how can you love these films if you know that there’s going to be a maid or mammy that shows up?” Stewart told the AP. “Well, I grew up around people who could still love the movie. You appreciate parts of it. You critique other parts of it. That’s something that one can do and it actually can enrich your experience of the film.”

Stewart had previously introduced “Gone With the Wind” on HBO Max to provide social context to the movie’s themes and characters.

She said the debate is needed now.

“I continue to feel a sense of urgency around these topics,” she told the AP. “We’re showing films that really shaped the ways that people continue to think about race and gender and sexuality and ability. It was really important for the group to come together to think about how we can work with each other and work with our fans to deepen the conversations about these films.”

Stewart will be joined by the other TCM hosts: Ben Mankiewicz, Dave Karger, Alicia Malone and Eddie Mueller, the network said.

The films that were selected were considered by Stewart “the classics of the classics.”

Here’s the list of the films and when they will air, according to The Los Angeles Times:

March 4:

  • “Gone With the Wind”
  • “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”
  • “Rope”
  • “The Four Feathers”

March 11

  • “Woman of the Year”
  • “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”
  • “Gunga Din”
  • “Sinbad, the Sailor”
  • “The Jazz Singer”

March 18

  • “The Searchers”
  • “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
  • “Swing Time”
  • “Stagecoach”
  • “Tarzan, the Ape Man”

March 25

  • “My Fair Lady”
  • “The Children’s Hour”
  • “Psycho”
  • “Dragon Seed”

For more on why the films were chosen, click here.

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