How Dutch television prepared me for Turner Classic Movies | Street Jazz

How Dutch television prepared me for Turner Classic Movies

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For a short time the late 1960s, my father was attached to a small American contingent at RAF Bruggen, in northern Germany. It was there that I developed an appreciation not only for truly great films, but was introduced to writers I have admired ever since.

Located as we were in northern Germany, we picked up TV signals not only from Germany, but also Holland and Belgium. Though Germany could afford to dub shows from the states and Britain into German, Holland and Belgium merely ran subtitles at the bottom of the screen.

Sometimes we might get three shows in English a night, and sometimes you might get only one, but we were grateful for whatever we got.

One of the truly nice things about Dutch TV was the fact that they ran film festivals, showcasing films by well-known writers. It was through this film series that I was first introduced to the works of John Steinbeck and Graham Greene, among others.

And when you watch a well-made film, naturally you want to seek out not only the novels the films were based on, but others by the same writers.

A few months later we were transferred to Zweibrucken Air Force Base, further to the south, where our TV fare was provided by American Forces Television.

Aside from the occasional showing of classic films like High Noon and Gentleman’s Agreement, plus the offerings of Hallmark Hall of Fame productions - not to be compared in any way with the crap the current Hallmark Channel produces - we got a lot of beach movies with Annette Funicello and dubbed German versions of mystery novelist Edgar Wallace stories.

I’ll aways be appreciative of the great gift that Dutch TV gave me, in its way a precursor to Turner Classic Movies, the only movie channel I wouldn’t care to do without.

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The Gash/Voigt Dance Theater

Now on YouTube: THE GASH/VOIGT DANCE THEATER, in a performance from the annual Women's Festival and Conference, held at the UA in the 1990s:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFhzhcsIgmM

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Quote of the Day

You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no results. ~ Gandhi

rsdrake@cox.net


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