Film and TV

Ten Movies That Once Ruled the Cable Universe

When I was a kid, my parents bought two things that changed my world and neither was an Atari (though that would come on a Christmas to be named later). The first was a VCR. You may scoff now, but a VCR in 1980 was like a flying car and nearly the same size. The second was a subscription to cable television. It was magical with movies, all sorts of weird TV shows and if you stared long enough at the distortion on the Playboy channel, you occasionally saw some boobs. For a kid barely double digits in age, that was like discovering a stash of porn magazines at your uncle's house, which NEVER happened.

But, early cable television was substantially different from today. Besides being severely limited in terms of channels -- the first ones we had were basically just movie channels -- the programming on the channels we had was remarkably slim. That would gradually change, but my first memories of having cable included repeated viewings of a handful of movies, particularly less well-known comedies of the day.

Over the years, I've thought I should buy all of them just so I can reminisce whenever I want. In fact, I do own a couple. Here are ten of the ones I remember being most overplayed.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke