English TV & American TV

America has a hundred channels to watch and nothing worth watching.  Britain has four channels and every evening there is something worth watching.

I won’t make a long & boring list of what is worth watching in England.  I’ll just take the wee hours of the morning -- the ridiculous hours past midnight --and give you a very partial list of the movies worth watching.   Most of these great movies aren’t available on television in America -- even during the prime time hours of the evening they are not available.

One of the greatest film makers of all time is Akiro Kurasawa.  Some of you know the great movie called the Magnificent Seven.  It is based on Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai.  One of Clint Eastwood’s Spagghetti westerns is based on one of my favorite movies of all time, Akiro Kurosowa’s Yojimbo.  I am looking at the list of movies available during one two week stretch -- and remember these are only the movies available after midnight.  You could see Yojimbo, the sequel to Yojimbo, called Sanjuro -- a movie I’ve been searching for in American Video stores, and two others by Kurosawa -- Dersu Uzala & Kagemusha.

I can hear several of you saying “I wouldn’t watch those weird sounding Japanese Films.”  Well, for you freaks who love American flicks, here is a partial list of the films available during these two weeks -- and again, I’m only listing the one’s after midnight that I thought you’d recognize as good films, as films worth watching: Citizen Kane, Annie Hall, The Buddy Holly Story, Cape Fear, Superman II, Alfred Hitchcock’s Charade, Alfie, & Clueless.  To be honest, my list of great American films is short, but I don’t think there are that many great American Films.

Here is a list of foreign films -- films that even American audiences know about: La Dolce Vita, Breathless, Missing, Seven Women, Time Bandits.

So far I’ve listed seventeen movies worth watching in one two week period -- and again these are movies that are being shown after midnight.  During this two week period they also happen to be focusing on the Japanese Godzilla pictures, so you could watch Gidrah, the Three Headed Monster, Godzilla Vs Mothra, Godzilla vs Hedora, & Godzilla’s Revenge.

I won’t list the movies you could watch before midnight: that list is too long. My basic point is that there is more that is worth watching on four channels in England after midnight than there is worth watching on 100 channels all day long in America.

I used to dream of retiring to England just so I could watch their TV.  Is that why I married a British woman -- to make my dream come true?  I don’t think that’s why I married her, but clearly part of my dream will come true because every year I will spend part of the year in England watching television & part of the year in America -- not watching television.


Copyright 2004   Henry Morgenstein

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