Thursday, March 9, 2017

Robert Osborne - Requiescat in Pace

When I recorded a movie on Turner Classic Movies, I often tried to get Robert Osborne's intro on the recording.  I will miss that very much.

Classic film fans mourn the passing of our Robert Osborne this week.  It is, for us, the end of an era.

We know something about the ending of eras.  To love classic films is to be acutely aware of the passage of time.  Fractures in the timeline are part of the study of classic films as much as they are in life.  Acknowledging them involves a degree of mourning, to be sure, but they always are accompanied by the sweet, blessed balm of pleasant memory and lessons learned.  So it will be with Mr. Osborne.

We'll always have Paris.

His appeal as a host to me and millions of old movie fans of all ages -- he is as dear to the millennials as he is to senior citizens -- is likely that rare mixture of wisdom, geniality, gentleness, and the respect he gives us as movie buffs.  Such gentlemanliness engenders our respect for him.  Also, for those of us who began our fandom long before the days of the Internet, who know what it was like to research a favorite film or actor from Who's Who volumes in the local town library -- we appreciate what effort it must have taken for him to compile his first book in 1965, Academy Awards Illustrated. Maybe we even used that book, if we were lucky enough that our library had a copy, for our own exploration of info on old movies.

Mr. Osborne is gone.  But that's almost like saying Humphrey Bogart is gone, or Clark Gable, or Barbara Stanwyck.  Are they really? If TCM gives us regular visits with our friends on the silver screen, then how are they gone?  We will still enjoy Mr. Osborne's influence in our lives, and enjoy the memory of his visits with us.

TCM is to hold a tribute weekend next week showing some of Mr. Osborne's many interviews.  I hope that they will make this a regular feature on the channel, perhaps at least once a week.  It will be delightful to visit with him again, in between our reunions with Hattie McDaniel, Bette Davis, and Paul Henried.

Several wonderful classic film bloggers have paid tribute to Robert Osborne this week.  Here are a few of them:

A Shroud of Thoughts by Terence Towles Canote.

Comet Over Hollywood by Jessica Pickens

Journeys in Classic Film by Kristen Lopez


Caftan Woman said...

Like the cherished relative who first introduced us to a particular film, many of us will associate different movies with sharing it with Robert Osborne.

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Indeed, CW.

Melissa Clark said...

Every tribute to Robert Osborne I've read this week has made me cry. He touched so many lives, including mine, and was a one-of-a-kind gentleman. He'll be missed, but never forgotten.


Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

You're right, Melissa. I know he had mentioned receiving letters and emails from people telling him how important TCM was in their lives; I hope he also knew how much he, personally, meant to us.

Melissa Clark said...

I hope so too, Jacqueline. I'm really glad TCM was able to do a tribute to him and his work for the 20th anniversary of the network, while he was still here to experience it and feel the love so many have for him. So often those kinds of things only come together after the person is gone.

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Yes, that was great.

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