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The Turner Classic Movies channel turns 25, and we get all the TV gifts – The San Diego Union

When the Turner Classic Movies channel turned 25 over the weekend, television’s silver-screen headquarters celebrated its silver anniversary with a chunk of solid-gold programming.

Throughout the month of April, TCM is paying tribute to the films of Greta Garbo (the cable network’s first Star of the Month from May of 1994); airing specials featuring the late (and much-missed) Robert Osborne; rolling out a “Best of the Essentials” Saturday-night showcase highlighting movies that remind us what a classic film is supposed to look like (which means “Singin’ in the Rain” and “This is Spinal Tap”); and showing us 25 audience faves chosen by the winners of TCM’s fan-dedication contest.

In other words, it is business as usual from a class-act channel that has always been in the business of delivering the cinematic goods straight to our living rooms. And in a time when we have so many TV options, we have to go full Marie Kondo on our Netflix queues, we need the discerning TCM touch more than ever.

Before Turner Classic Movies debuted in 1994, classic-movie fans had to work a lot harder to get our fix. We could take our chances at the video store, where the definition of “classic” was more fluid than “The Blob.” Maybe “classic” really meant “classic.” Especially if you were a customer at Kensington Video. Or maybe it just meant a movie that looked old to a 19-year-old Blockbuster clerk.

We could also check out the American Movie Classics channel, which was perfectly fine, but was also heavy on repeats and short on silent- and foreign films. The premium cable networks weren’t big on vintage flicks, and the networks were too big on commercials.

Then came Turner Classic Movies, and our escape-hatch prayers were answered.

Thanks to the deep pockets of mogul Ted Turner, the TCM library included the

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