Thursday, March 09, 2017
Thanks, Robert Osborne and We'll Miss You!
In yet another sucker-punch to the forces of civility, Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne passed at 84 earlier this week.
Since, for this blogger and many more, classic movies rank very high among those brilliant yet remarkably reliable north stars to follow when those pesky pot holes, valleys and dilemmas of life (both unexpected and totally expected) rear their snarky little heads, seeing Robert Osborne on TCM was always most welcome.
Robert's mojo was straightforward: urbane, sophisticated, intelligent, charming, funny and well-spoken. The author of Academy Awards Illustrated and former columnist for The Hollywood Reporter also knew more about stage, screen, showbiz and the history of motion pictures than anyone! Madame Blogmeister and I were big fans of his weekly show The Essentials: Mr. Osborne's enthusiastic co-hosts included Alec Baldwin, Drew Barrymore and Sally Field.
Found the discussions before and after the movie on The Essentials to frequently be great television.
We especially loved Mr. Osborne's numerous informative and perceptive stories about great movies that played on TCM. Here's a preface and coda to Scarface, the hard-boiled 1932 Howard Hawks crime thriller starring Paul Muni - it is brilliant and the tidbits on product placement and the soon-to-be-enforced Production Code are fascinating.
It would be an understatement to say that Mr. Osborne possessed uncanny interviewing skills. Here he is, getting interviewed - and talking classic movies and theater - on Theater Talk.
There are some other very enjoyable interviews, such as Robert Osborne's appearance with avid classic movie buffs Gilbert Gottfried and Frank Santopadre on an outstanding episode of Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast.
This writer and equally avid classic movie buff did not get to meet him, but did see Robert introduce what turned out to be an amazing lecture by his fellow film historian Kevin Brownlow. Funny, I have an inkling that bringing up the subjects of recent posts at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog, very likely Robert would have immediately launched into GREAT stories about each and every of them.
R.I.P. and thanks, Robert - film buffs around the world are missing you big time!
Turner Classic Movies will be presenting a tribute to Robert Osborne, featuring many exceptional interviews he conducted for the Private Screenings program, on March 18-19, and also at the TCM Classic Film Festival from April 6-9.