TV’s Most Over Played Movies

most over played moviesThere are movies that we love.  We see them in the theater and can’t wait for them to come out on TV so we can watch them in the comfort of our homes.  Then Ted Turner gets his grubby paws on one of those movies and plays it 738,000 times to the point where even the thought of that once great movie sends us in to a black-out rage.  These are TV’s most over played movies:

Goodfellas (1990)

This is a fantastic movie.  I really do love it.  It’s so over played though that it has lost it’s power.  It needs to be given a break for a while.  Remember the first time you saw the how am I so funny scene?  Now people use that as a joke.


Casino (1995)

Mob movies are certainly popular.  This is another great mob movie that has just been run in to the ground.  It’s on so often that if you just show a picture of a scene from the movie, most of us can tell you exactly where in the movie you are and what is going to happen next along with 100% accurate quotes.


Armageddon (1998)

Two asteroid threatens earth came out in 1998, Armageddon and Deep Impact.  Armageddon was the one with all the big names and that song but guess what?  Deep Impact was actually a better movie.  Not only was it a better movie, but it starred Tea Leoni who is one of my all-time favorite women in Hollywood.  America ignored Deep Impact though and they made Armageddon a hit.  Since then we have been inundated with Armageddon re-runs on TV to the point where we actually start wishing that Ben Affleck’s character dies this time.


Under Siege (1992)

What I really could have done was just put up the Steven Seagal category of movies and say they are all over played.  Since I don’t want to have him take up the whole list, I’ll give you the one movie of his that leads the rest, Under Siege.  You almost forget that this movie wasn’t actually a made for TV movie.


The Fugitive (1993)

Tommy Lee Jones is a hard-charging take no guff from anyone United States Marshall chasing accused murderer Harrison Ford who has managed to escape from custody and turn himself from surgeon to an expert at evading a police force that has existed for over 200 years and has done nothing but chase fugitives but yes, we believed that Harrison Ford could evade capture.


Home Alone (1990)

Funny thing about this movie.  I had most of the movies on this list right off the top of my head.  I needed one more to add to my list so I opened up the guide on my TV and started flipping channels to see what movies were on as I was writing this and guess what?  Home Alone was on and I was immediately reminded that this movie in fact belongs on this list.


Die Hard (1988)

Can you believe this movie turns 25 this year?  Incredible.  And they are still making them (even as I type this, a commercial for the new one just aired).  It was certainly a great movie.  Then TBS got their hands on it and murdered it right in to the ground.  If this can be retired for some time, it can make a comeback.


The last three movies on this list are in their own special category.  I’m not a lawyer, but I believe there was a law passed by Congress that at any given time at least one of the following three movies must be playing on TV at any given time.


Gladiator (2000)

Man did I love this movie when it first came out.  Everyone did.  It won 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor for Russell Crowe (did you remember that?  We all played a part in giving Russell Crowe an Oscar.  Do we still feel good about that?).  Do you remember what else came out that year?  Look back now.  Since you have seen Gladiator 700 times, do you still feel that it was a better movie than Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?  You can’t be sane and believe that.  How about best actor?  Do you know who else was nominated that year along with Crowe?  Tom Hanks for his role in Castaway.  Do you still want to sit here today and tell me that Hanks shouldn’t have won for Castaway?  No way.  Gladiator was a really good movie but after so many re-runs, it has lost some of it’s luster.


Forrest Gump (1994)

This is one of Tom Hanks’ best movies.  We all loved it.  Then, TBS again got their hands on it, and they played it so often that the image of Forrest Gump as actually burned in to the pixels on my TV.  This used to be one of those movies that whenever I saw it in the guide, no matter where it was in the movie, it was an instant stop and I’d watch it through to the end.  Sadly now, when I see it in the guide, I just skip on by.  That is a very sad turn of events for this movie.


The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Putting this movie on TV was a double-edged sword.  It did terribly in the theaters when it was released in 1994 (it had the unfortunate timing of coming out in the same year as Forrest Gump).  It was the 9th ranked film for it’s opening weekend and it only lasted 10 weeks in the theaters grossing just $16 million dollars.  Critics loved the movie though (which to most of us doesn’t help a movie) and the movie was nominated for 7 Academy Awards.  It didn’t win a single award that year and the movie was quietly relegated to the realm of TV.  Then a funny thing started to happen.  TV started to revive this movie.  In 1998, Shawshank was not listed in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies but by 2007 the movie was listed as #72 on their list.  The film is currently ranked #1 on IMDB’s list of the 250 greatest movies.  Pretty astounding for a movie that bombed in the box office.  Now the double edge to this.  TV sure helped revive this movie but someone (Ted Turner) decided that if X amount of a good thing was good, then 1000X of a good thing will be 1000 times better.  It turns out he was wrong.  Even a movie as popular as this one can reach a point where it has been over played.  Shawshank reached that point back in 2007.  It reached that point, passed it, waived at it as it passed by, and kept racing forward in to the darkness of a territory heretofore unknown.  This movie needs to be given a break for a while.  Follow the Disney model.  Put it out for a while and then lock it up in the vault.


There you have it.  The list of films that I feel are TV’s most over played movies.  Do you agree?  Are there movies that I have missed?  Be sure to let me know.

6 Comments on TV’s Most Over Played Movies

  1. Sharon farrell // January 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm //

    Networks buy the movie rights to movies…tbs bought the rights to shawshank after it bombed in theaters for a pittance. They can play it as often as they want without paying anyone another dime…it will never go away!

    • Midwest Mike // January 13, 2013 at 10:09 pm //

      I agree Sharon. The accountants at TBS must try to work it so that their per showing cost of any movie must be around 50 cents an airing.

  2. Seriously?!?! No Top Gun?!? Come on, Mike! That HAS to make the cut! I think it’s on four times a day! At one point, Ion Television played it non-stop for weeks at a time. Used to love it; now, I am SOOO over it.

  3. Starship Troopers is on my list.

  4. Midwest Mark // January 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm //

    Dirty Dancing or Pretty Woman for sure.

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