Turner Classic Movies

For Release: July 24, 2012

 TCM to Examine Hollywood’s Depiction of People with Disabilities

In The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film in October

Lawrence Carter-Long Joins TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz for Historic Month-Long Film Exploration, Presented in Collaboration with Inclusion in the Arts

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will dedicate the month of October to exploring the ways people with disabilities have been portrayed in film. On behalf of Inclusion in the Arts, Lawrence Carter-Long will join TCM host Ben Mankiewicz for The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film. The special month-long exploration will air Tuesdays in October, beginning Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. (ET).

TCM makes today’s announcement to coincide with the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) on July 26. And in a first for TCM, all films will be presented with both closed captioning and audio description (via secondary audio) for audience members with auditory and visual disabilities.

The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film features more than 20 films ranging from the 1920s to the 1980s. Each night’s collection will explore particular aspects, themes, or types of disability, such as blindness, deafness and psychiatric or intellectual disabilities. In addition, one evening of programming will focus on newly disabled veterans returning home from war.

TCM’s exploration of disability in cinema includes many Oscar®-winning and nominated films, such as An Affair to Remember (1957), in which Deborah Kerr’s romantic rendezvous with Cary Grant is nearly derailed by a paralyzing accident; A Patch of Blue (1965), with Elizabeth Hartman as a blind white girl who falls in love with a black man, played by Sidney Poitier; Butterflies Are Free (1972), starring Edward Albert as a blind man attempting to break free from his over-protective mother; and Gaby: A True Story (1987), the powerful tale of a girl with cerebral palsy trying to gain independence as an artist; Johnny Belinda (1948), starring Jane Wyman as a “deaf-mute” forced to defy expectations; The Miracle Worker (1962), starring Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan and Patty Duke as Helen Keller; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), with Jack Nicholson as a patient in a mental institution and Louise Fletcher as the infamous Nurse Ratched; The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), the post-War drama starring Fredric March, Myrna Loy and real-life disabled veteran Harold Russell; and Charly (1968), with Cliff Robertson as an intellectually disabled man who questions the limits of science after being turned into a genius.

The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film also features several lesser-known classics ripe for rediscovery, including the atmospheric Val Lewton chiller Bedlam (1946), the intriguing blind-detective mystery Eyes in the Night (1942); A Child is Waiting (1963), with Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland; the British family drama Mandy (1953); and a bravura performance by wheelchair user Susan Peters in Sign of the Ram (1948). A complete schedule is included.

Each year since 2006, TCM has dedicated one month toward examining how different cultural and ethnic groups have been portrayed in the movies. Several of the programming events have centered on Race and Hollywood, with explorations on how the movies have portrayed African-Americans in 2005, Asians in 2008, Latinos in 2009, Native Americans in 2010 and Arabs in 2011. TCM looked at Hollywood’s depiction of gay and lesbian characters, issues and themes in 2007.

“From returning veterans learning to renegotiate both the assumptions and environments once taken for granted to the rise of independent living, Hollywood depictions of disability have alternately echoed and influenced life outside the movie theater,” said Carter-Long, who curated the series. “Twenty-two years after the passage of the ADA and over a century since Thomas Edison filmed ‘The Fake Beggar,’ TCM and Inclusion in the Arts provide an unprecedented overview of how cinematic projections of isolation and inspiration have played out on the silver screen – and in our lives. When screened together, everything from The Miracle Worker to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest reveals another layer where what you think you know is only the beginning.”


About Lawrence Carter-Long

Widely recognized for his expertise in the arts, access and media, Lawrence Carter-Long is a sought-after media spokesperson on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from medical ethics to media representation of disability. His numerous media appearances have included The New York Times, NBC’s Today Show, CNN, NPR and the BBC, among others. He was a co-host and producer on The Largest Minority Radio Show on WBAI-FM from 2006-2011.

While recognized for his media work, Carter-Long is perhaps best known as the founder and curator of the disTHIS! Film Series, presented in partnership with New York University’s Center for the Study of Disability from 2006 until 2010. The groundbreaking monthly film series brought new audiences and attention to cinematic representation of disability by showcasing edgy, provocative and unconventional portrayals across the disability spectrum with the promise of “No handkerchief necessary; no heroism required.” He was a member of the steering committee of the ReelAbilities: Disabilities Film Festival from 2007-2010 and selected the Emerging Disabled Filmmaker Apprenticeships for the American Film Institute/Silverdocs and VSA Arts from 2009-2011.

For his advocacy, Carter-Long was awarded the Frieda Zames Advocacy Award by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2009 and the Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities in 2010. In May 2011, Carter-Long moved to Washington, D.C. to work as the public affairs specialist for the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency that recommends federal disability policy to the President, Congress and other federal agencies.

Connect with Lawrence Carter-Long

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LawrenceCarterLong

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LCarterLong

National Council on Disability: http://www.ncd.go

About Inclusion in the Arts

Inclusion in the Arts advocates for full inclusion of artists of color and performers with disabilities at all levels of production in film, television, and theatre.   Our principal aim is to achieve full inclusion in American arts and entertainment, such that what we see on our screens and stages truly reflects the society in which we live; where each artist is considered on his/her merits as an individual; where the stories being told are drawn from authentic and diverse experiences; and where our individual humanity can be celebrated.

Connect with Inclusion in the Arts

Website: http://inclusioninthearts.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/InclusionInTheArts

Twitter: @InclusionArts

About Turner Classic Movies (TCM)

Turner Classic Movies is a Peabody Award-winning network that presents great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world. Currently seen in more than 85 million homes, TCM features the insights of veteran primetime host Robert Osborne and weekend daytime host Ben Mankiewicz, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests. As the foremost authority in classic films, TCM offers critically acclaimed original documentaries and specials, along with regular programming events that include The Essentials, 31 Days of Oscar® and Summer Under the Stars. TCM also stages special events and screenings, such as the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood; produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs; and hosts a wealth of materials at its Web site, http://tcm.com, TCM is part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world

Connect with TCM

Website: http://www.tcm.com

Pressroom: http://news.turner.com/tcm

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tcmtv

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tcm | http://www.twitter.com/tcmpr

TCM Publicity Contacts

Heather Sautter, Atlanta, 404/885-0746,

Samantha Graham, New York, 212/275-6821,

Inclusion in the Arts Publicity Contact

Sindy Gordon, New York, 212/730-4750,


The Projected Image:

A History of Disability in Film




The following is a complete schedule of TCM’s The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film, airing Tuesdays in October:


Tuesday, Oct. 2

8 p.m. – An Affair to Remember (1957)

10:15 p.m. – A Patch of Blue (1965)

12:15 p.m. – Butterflies are Free (1972)

2:15 a.m. – Gaby: A True Story (1987)

4:15 a.m. – Sign of the Ram (1948)


Tuesday, Oct. 9

8 p.m. – Lucky Star (1929)

9:45 p.m. – The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

12:45 a.m. – Reach for the Sky (1956)

3:15 a.m. – Bright Victory (1951)


Tuesday, Oct. 16

8 p.m. – Eyes in the Night (1942)

9:30 p.m. – 23 Paces to Baker Street (1956)

11:30 p.m. – Johnny Belinda (1948)

1:30 a.m. – The Miracle Worker (1962)


Tuesday, Oct. 23

8 p.m. – A Child is Waiting (1963)

10 p.m. – Mandy (1953)

Midnight – Of Mice and Men (1939)

2 a.m. – Charly (1968)


Tuesday, Oct. 30

8 p.m. – The Unknown (1927)

9:15 p.m. – Freaks (1932)

10:30 p.m. – Bedlam (1946)

Midnight – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)


All times Eastern.

Schedule subject to change


7 Responses to “Turner Classic Movies”

  1. Harold Crane says:

    Yes, I remembered since I was little boy. One time, I watch a movie at the Elementary School for the Handicapped. It’s title of “Maratha Vineyard” for the Deaf. My first deaf teacher give us to limited or half hour without full movie. My deaf teacher force us to return ours class without see it and other handicapped and multi-handicapped told me that very good in ours school bus. I grow up almost an adult and somehow, I watch on PBS – TV. I found and repeat then I full watch then I understand, right now. There was terrible for rape and kill hers father. She was an innocent in a Maratha Vineyard’s an island of judge. She did not now how to communication during by her Doctor work for a VET (animal). Doctor eager and learn for sign hand that how she know nothing hers an English or never been in public school. That’s true and very good one in a movie. Today, Most people said, “Very good one of Helen Kellen’s movie”. Do can Hellen drive hers a car or work? Not same as us. Thank you for hardly try to understand what do I writing my grammar in fair and not my repsonbile but my teachers were no using a sign hand for many years.

  2. Ruth D. Bernstein says:

    Many thanks to TCM for consistently providing captioned movies and
    captioning the comments of the hosts and their guests. TCM is
    to be congratulated for their support of accessibility for all and
    for teaming up with Inclusion in the Arts for this special series.

  3. Jerry Bergman says:

    It is not clear whether All TCM movies will be captioned starting in October or just during the month. As a movie lover and one of 36 million Americans with hearing loss, I hope that you will make this change permanent.

  4. Tuajuana says:

    I am happy to say that now my dad will be able to see the television with or without his glasses and not complain that he cannot hear it as well as my aunt battling ALS.
    Thank you TCM which is my dads and all of my family members favorite chanel!

  5. Julia says:

    I enjoy this TCM series very much. Mr Carter-Long is a wonderful and well-spoken advocate. I was the guardian of a multiply handicapped young man until his death so I have some experience with the way the disabled live their lives in today’s world. One of the most endearing things about the series for me is that it reminds me so much of Eric and his friends. I cried intermittently through “A Child Is Waiting” just picturing him as one of the students in the film. He would have enjoyed seeing them AND being an Indian in a Thanksgiving play.

    I look forward to the “Freaks” discussion next week. That film really has me conflicted. Some actors were there because their caregivers/agents signed an agreement. But it’s obvious that some of them were there by their own choice in one of the only films they would ever get the chance to feature in. I have to admit that the film amazes me for the variation and endurance of human beings. However, I’m under no illusion that “Freaks” was meant to be other than voyeurism, so maybe I’m a Pollyanna seeing any positive aspects there. I’ll see if there’s any agreement next week.

  6. Dear Lawrence Carter Long,
    Ihave a interest in science fiction movies and movies about people with disabilities. I juat watched the movie Charly which you introduced and I was fascinated by the character in many ways because I feel that I can relate to the character in some respects because I could relate to some of his anxietys and suffer from similiar challenges in my life. I have H

  7. Gary says:

    I cannot believe that “Imitation of Life” wasn’t on on this list!!

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