How Television Transformed Classic Movies Into Cult Favorites

November 15, 2013

With today’s technology, television shows and movies are more large and bold than ever before. Yet, modern movies would not be the way they are without the early pioneers of filmmaking.

Fortunately, through pioneering and consistent reruns, many classic movies have achieved cult status with the masses.

Gone With the Wind


Gone With the Wind was produced by David O. Selznick (Selznick International Pictures) in 1939 based on the 1936 Pulitzer-winning novel written by Margaret Mitchell.

The story is set in the 19th century American South and is about the romantic pursuit of Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) by Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh).

Following the success of its cinema debut, the film enjoyed its first worldwide viewing on HBO on June 11th, 1976.

In November of that year, the movie made its network television debut through NBC where it was shown in two parts on successive evenings.

At the time, Gone With the Wind became the highest rating TV program ever shown on a single network.

Today, Gone With the Wind can still be seen on your living room television.

To be able to watch the movie with ease, and enjoy plenty of other classics, you can use cable, satellite, and Internet services.

The Wizard of Oz


The version of The Wizard of Oz that most people know and love was produced in 1939 based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

The musical fantasy film stars Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale and follows the character’s adventures through Oz after fleeing her aunt and uncle’s home.

The Wizard of Oz debuted on television on November 3rd, 1956, by CBS. On December 13th, 1959, the movie was presented as a two-hour Christmas special in an earlier time slot to appeal to an even larger audience.

For about three decades, the movie was only shown once a year until the rights were given to Turner Entertainment. Since 1999, The Wizard of Oz has been shown several times a year as opposed to annually.



Many people are familiar with the 1983 version of Scarface starring Al Pacino as Tony Montana.

However, it was actually a remake on the 1932 film based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Armitage Trail.

The 1983 movie follows the story of a Cuban refugee turned drug cartel kingpin during the 1980s.

Although it was originally met with mixed reviews, it is now considered to be a mob film classic.

The television version of the movie premiered on ABC on January 7th, 1989.

The film was heavily cut for content and time with much of its dialogue having to be censored.

For people that also want to enjoy the 1932 film, it is part of a limited addition two-disc Blu-ray set released by Universal Studios on September 6th, 2011.

Without many movie reruns on television, many people would never know of such classics.

Fortunately, with satellite services, classics can stay alive and help more people fall in love with film.