A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 30, 2006
Million Dollar Movie
Remember WOR Channel 9's "Million Dollar Movie"? Remember the theme music, from Gone With the Wind?

Before Turner Classic Movies and Blockbuster, there was "Million Dollar Movie." The title was straight from the 1930s and 1940s, when a movie with a budget of "a million dollars" was a big thing.

WOR started the "Million Dollar Movie" in 1954 to fill the time slots when the baseball season ended. The movie King Kong, for example, could be seen regularly. For movie buffs, it was heaven.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWOR-TV
WWOR-TV, channel nine, is currently the New York City affiliate station of the UPN television network. Licensed to Secaucus, New Jersey, the station serves the New York City metropolitan area. WWOR is owned by Fox Television Stations, a division of the News Corporation, but goes by its legal name WWOR-TV, Incorporated. In areas of the United States where UPN programs are not available over-the-air, WWOR is seen via satellite to subscribers of Echostar's Dish Network. Prior to 1995, it was one of the leading independent stations in the country, as well as a cable superstation.

http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/movies/documents/04381663.asp
Million Dollar Baby
Directed by Clint Eastwood. Screenplay by Paul Haggis, based on stories by F. X. Toole. With Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, and Morgan Freeman. A Warner Bros. release (132 minutes). At the Boston Common, the Fenway, the Fresh Pond, and the Circle/Chestnut Hill and in the suburbs.

First, the title. A million dollars is not a lot for a baby when actors get 10 times that for being in films that no one sees. It's a Depression-era kind of title, and it resounds with phrases like "Million Dollar Movie," the name of a program of yore on WOR-TV in New York that gave an afterlife to classics of American cinema

http://www.retrojunk.com/details_commercial/1347/
By musicradio77 On 01/10/2006

When I wa a kid, I used to love the movies that WOR-TV ran 1940's and 1950's movies under the "Movie 9" name. It was usually on in the afternoon from the late 70's until 1980's. It had the opening shot of movie actors in paint where it was done in illustration. I missed the "Movie 9" shows since it was on in the afternoon. WOR-TV was the place for movies like the "Million Dollar Movie", "The 4 O'Clock Movie", "The Big Preview", "The Late Movie" and "9 All Night".

19 September 1954, New York Times, pg. X15:
Starting this week, WOR-TV will have the first showing of its "Million Dollar Movie" series, a package of thirty never-before-seen-on-television films. The first will be "Magic Town," starring Jane Wyman and James Stewart. Each picture will be shown for one week, starting on Tuesday, and will be seen nightly from 7:30 to 9 P. M. and from 10 to 11:30 P. M. There also will be a matinee on Saturday and Sunday at 4:30 P. M., a total of sixteen showings per week.

15 October 1981, Los Angeles Times, pg. I10:
In fact, it was to fill the evening hours after the baseball season ended that Channel 9 developed its "Million Dollar Movie."

19 December 1994, New York Times, pg. D10:
The older, more obscure movies that used to be shown on your local broadcast television station as the "Million Dollar Movie" are increasingly in the hands of those two classic movie channels, and are thus available only to movie buffs who have invested in cable (and whose cable systems offer the channels, which has been a problem for the Turner enterprise).

16 April 1995, New York Times, pg. BR11:
MILLION DOLLAR MOVIE
By Michael Powell.
Introduction by Martin Scorsese.
Illustrated. 626 pp. New York:
Random House. $30.

Posted by Barry Popik
Radio/Television • (59) Comments • Tuesday, May 30, 2006 • Permalink


I loved Million Dollar Movie.  There was a movie that played regularly on it, the title of which I cannot remember.  The story line featured a young boy who, one hot summer night, slept on his fire escape and witnessed a man kill a woman.  The plot involved the child fleeing the man; they eventually end up in a circus tent (I think), and the man falls from a height (perhaps a high wire?) when the boy pushes a timber.  If you could supply the name of the movie for me, you would end a years-long frustration.  Thanks in advance!  Laura

Posted by Laura Held  on  05/13  at  07:26 PM

Laura—that movie is called “The Window” with Bobby Driscoll.  A classic film noir!

Posted by Frank Coleman  on  07/31  at  08:18 PM

I loved Million Dollar Movie.  There was a movie that played regularly on it, the title of which I cannot remember.  It was a western, and there was a scene in the beginning where someone a bad guy I believe, was hit in the head with a very heavy chain, and wore a bandage for most of the remainder of the film.  I do remember the character’s name, Barker.  I think John Wayne and Gabby Hayes were in the movie.  I need to find something constructive to do.  Maybe like get a job.

Posted by John  on  11/24  at  11:28 AM

I mean the music that plays in the starting when casting is shown and SRK is in the plane...I want to download that theme as my ringtone. Can anyone tell me where can I download it?
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Posted by MySpace profile  on  11/27  at  01:17 AM

Hi, back in the mid 50s I would watch the Million Dollar Movie series.  The same movies played for one week and again on Saturday & Sunday
Matinee. The movie involved a little girl 6-10 years old, a beautiful garden angel dressed in a white hooded cape, a rich old lady that lived with her daughter, and some of the parts I remember were: The little girl loved talking to her garden angel friend. She liked the old rich lady but was scared of her daughter. The rich lady gives her a ring, & with wide opened eyes and very surprised she says “A RING, A BEAUTIFUL RING”. The old lady’s daughter calls the child upstairs, and attempts to strangle the little girl but realizes the child was showing her love.  I would love to see this movie again. The little girl resembles a little like Natlie wood and the garden angel looked like a Maureen O’Hara, Donna Reed.  Hope you can help.  Thank you for keeping us happy.

Posted by Darlean Masbella  on  11/30  at  10:45 PM

Hi Again,
I truly enjoyed watching the Million Dollar Movie.
I read that the Million Dollar Movie series had a package of thirty never-before-seen-on-television films. Is that thirty package series available for the public?  Hope to hear from you.
Thank you again.

Darlean

Posted by Darlean Masbella  on  11/30  at  11:07 PM

I would watch Million Dollar Movie everyday as a child and adult until it was replaced.  It was so wonderful watching and hearing the “Yule Log” at Christmas time.  There was a movie I loved.  It was a foreign film with sub-titles.  It was a fantasy epic, maybe Russian.  I know it had Barbarians or people similar.  It had a wind demon and so many other different characters.  Pure fantasy!  Does anyone remember and can give me the title?  I would love to purchase it if available.

Posted by Linda Stanard  on  12/10  at  08:35 PM

Can anyone tell me the name of a film playing on The Million Dollar Movie, when I was a child (late fifties, maybe early 60s.) The name was a city, “Phoenix” I think. It was about racial hatred. One horrible scene showed a murdered little black girl thrown from a car.

Posted by E. Brown  on  12/21  at  12:22 PM

I wonder if anyone knows where i could veiw the original opening from million dollar movie, with the gone with the wind music?

Posted by Rick  on  01/07  at  12:29 PM

I loved the Million Dollar Movie and always looked forward to watching it while I was growing up in the late 50’s and early-mid 60’s. There was a movie featured once that really touched me as a child. The entire movie is sketchy to me now, but it had an angel in a tree that I believe was a little boy that was outside of the house he lived in while he was alive. An older man angel came for him and tried to convince the little boy to leave his place in the tree outside of his old house and go with him. Could anyone please tell me the name of such a movie? I know that there is not much information to go on, but what I DO remember is that this movie touched me so VIVIDLY...much like The Yearling and Old Yeller did. It changed my whole view of what is truly important in life while I was still a child, making such an impact that it influenced my career choice in life. I would like to find out the name so that I might be able to rewatch it and find out why it has driven me crazy for half a century and why and what about it had such a life-changing impact on a child! It has haunted me my whole life. Thank you for any help anyone can give.

Posted by Cynthia  on  01/17  at  03:37 AM

I’ve read Nancy Miller’s newest article and it’s remarkable! I’m trying to read all these articles afterward. Thanks for the great stuff!
Watch Movies Online

Posted by Adley  on  03/12  at  12:05 PM

E. Brown,
The movie was “The Phenix City Story” (1955) Starring John McIntyre.

Posted by Carlos  on  03/18  at  12:53 PM

There was an old western that came on in either the late 50’s or early 60’s that I watched so much that I learned most of the script.  I don’t remember the name of the movie but I believe it took place in Mission Texas.  If u can find this movie for me it would end YEARS of searching.

Posted by DON JACKSON  on  04/06  at  03:12 PM

There was an old western that came on in either the late 50’s or early 60’s that I watched so much that I learned most of the script.  I don’t remember the name of the movie but I believe it took place in Mission Texas.  If u can find this movie for me it would end YEARS of searching.

Posted by Donald Jackson  on  04/11  at  12:06 PM

I was never in the area to get that station, but we had one like that that played sports and tons of old movies that was on the air for years.  it to was an independent station but got purchased by one of the minor networks later on.

Posted by Ron Douglas  on  04/20  at  04:46 PM

I too would love to know more about the “original” opening/lead-in to “Million Dollar Movie” that I used to watch in the late 1960’s.  It had the same soundtrack score (Lara’s theme from “Gone with the Wind") as the later 70’s-ear MDM, but entirely different visuals.  I vaguely recall that it showed a man wearing a white raincoat, slowly and somberly making his way through the cstreets of New York.  At one point he steps onto an escalator.  The whole sequence presented an image of urban loneliness amid the anonymity of a huge, crowded city.  What was this?!  A sequence created specially for MMD?  something borrowed from some film?  I’d be so grateful if anyone could let me know!

Posted by Jesse Rosenberg  on  05/05  at  07:09 AM

I too often watched the Million Dollar Movie as a child.  There was one movie that I was intrigued with.  All I can remember is that there was a big volcano that erupted with hot lava and adults and children were running from the lava..very scary.  Does anyone know the name of that film?  Thanks

Posted by Ethel  on  06/01  at  07:56 PM

I am entertained to the Million Dollar Movie, i can feel the thrill and excitement while watching the movie. It has a great soundtrack that makes me sing even after watching it.

Posted by solid pool cover  on  06/10  at  01:16 AM

Million dollor movie is one of my best movie i love every bit of action in it.

Posted by dvd movie online rental  on  08/19  at  02:34 AM

Darlean,

The movie you’re referring to is Curse of the Cat People with Simone Simon. The little girl was Ann Todd.

Posted by Joy  on  08/20  at  07:36 PM

When I was a child, there was a Million Dollar Movie where there where three (3) climbers during the winter.  One man fell off the cliff but was tired to the other 2 men.  The man that fell yelled.  The 2 men pulled him up.  When he got near the top of the ledge, the one climber left go of the rope and the climber fell to his “death”.  The other climber asked the first man why did you let him go.  The first climber said “Didn’t you see him.” See what (2nd climber asked).  Didn’t you see his head, it was torn off.  It was a SciFi about an alien.  I would love to know the title to this movie.

Posted by Julia Stahl  on  09/06  at  09:22 PM

The Movie was called “The crawling eye”

Posted by Al  on  09/21  at  06:19 PM

Thank you for writing this great post.

Posted by baseball DVD's  on  09/27  at  02:13 AM

linda the movie was russian and it was called the sword and the dragon 1956.

Posted by kevin  on  10/09  at  03:20 PM

I can always remember my dad with “Million Dollar Movie”. It reminds so much of my childhood memory.

Posted by pos software  on  10/12  at  05:06 AM

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