Say Goodbye to Hollywood: RIP Robert Osborne of TCM

“Hi, I’m Robert Osborne”.

Those four words, delivered in a smooth-as-honey voice, were delivered to classic films lovers watching TCM for over twenty years. Now that voice has been silenced, as fans learned today of Osborne’s death at the age of 84. He had been off our screens since early 2016 due to an undisclosed ailment, and we all eagerly hoped and prayed for his return. Alas, it’s not to be.

Robert Osborne wanted to be an actor when he first arrived in Hollywood in the 1950’s. He signed a contract with Desilu Studios, and soon began a close, lifelong friendship with superstar Lucille Ball. Osborne had small roles in episodic TV, and a couple of films (but I’d be hard-pressed to pick him out in SPARTACUS or PSYCHO), but his acting career went nowhere. Ball suggested he put his journalism degree from the University of Washington to good use, along with his extensive knowledge of Hollywood history. He wrote “Academy Awards Illustrated” in 1965, then used his newfound credibility to become a television and newspaper entertainment reporter. His seminal work “50 Golden Years of Oscar”, first published in 1977, has become must-reading for classic movie lovers, and has been updated every ten years.

By this time, Osborne was a regular columnist for The Hollywood Reporter. He hosted films on the fledgling The Movie Channel until Ted Turner came calling. Turner held the rights to the MGM library and was eager to compete with AMC. He brought Osborne on board, and it was a match made in heaven. Osborne’s easy going style and vast familiarity of Hollywood history made him welcome in millions of homes. He was comfortable as a slipper, relaxed and gracious, never talking down to his audience. The classic film community will miss Robert Osborne’s presence in our living rooms, and I think this “TCM Remembers” clips says it better and more eloquently than I ever could:

Godspeed, Mr. Osborne. Job well done.

OUTLAW GANG ATTEMPTS OSCAR ROBBERY!!

Extry! Extry! Here, hot off the presses, is a photo of the desperate outlaws trying to escape…

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Seriously, never in all my Oscar-watching days have I seen them give the Best Picture award to the wrong picture!! Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway looked befuddled, when a Price Waterhouse official came and straightened out the snafu. Seems Warren was handed the “wrong” envelope when he announced LA LA LAND as the winner instead of MOONLIGHT! The Academy has vowed to look into the whole sordid affair, and will call in Inspector Clouseau to investigate!

Congrats to both films. More Oscar musings:

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*LA LA LAND may have not won Best Picture, but did bring home six statuettes, including Best Actress Emma Stone, and Best Director Damien Chazelle. I really need to see this film!

*It was a good night for our local New England artists. Besides Providence, R.I.’s Chazelle, local boy Casey Affleck (from right down the Cape in Falmouth) copped Best Actor for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, while Viola Davis (across the border in Central Falls, R.I.) won Best Supporting Actress for FENCES.

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*Speaking of Davis, she gave the most emotional speech of the night on art, life, and love that was straight from the heart. Bravo, Viola!!

*Jimmy Kimmel was great in the host position, and thankfully he kept the politics to a minimum. What he did was funny (To Meryl Streep: “Nice dress. Is that Ivanka?”) without being overbearing. His running “feud” with Matt Damon is a modern-day version of the Jack Benny/Fred Allen shenanigans of the 1930’s-40’s and just as funny .

*The Oscar version of Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets” was hysterical.

*Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson electrified the audience with his stirring rendition of “You’re Welcome” from MOANA! Just kidding.

*Justin Timberlake really did electrify everyone by opening the show singing “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from TROLLS, and Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day”. Best opening in decades!

*The part where the people on the tour bus were brought into Hollywood’s Dolby Theater would have been a lot funnier if the tourists were all wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ hats, don’t you think?

*The women of filmland were all thinner than the mic stand! Ladies…this is not healthy. You all look like anorexic junkies! Please, go eat!! (Except you, Jennifer Anniston… you’re perfect!) (And you, Amy Adams. Ditto!)

*As usual I have issues with the “In Memoriam” segment. Apparently, so does producer Jan Chapman, whose picture was shown in place of costume designer Janet Patterson. Glad to hear you’re okay, Jan!!

*The Academy could’ve at least acknowledged the late Herschell Gordon Lewis, who virtually created an entire film genre on a $1.98 budget, though I knew they wouldn’t. But the fact they forget Madeleine LeBeau…

…unforgivable! Also omitted were Billy Chapin, Gloria DeHaven, Bernard Fox, Bert Kwouk, Theresa Saldana, William Schallert, Our Gang’s Jerry Tucker, Robert Vaughn, and Alan Young. I will give them credit for including Lupita Tovar, however.

*All in all, a better show than 2016. See you at the movies!

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PREVIEWS OF COMING ATTRACTIONS

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What’s with all the question marks, you ask? Good question!

Here’s the answer: I’ll be busy attending a week-long, job-related seminar and time will NOT be on my side! I’ve got a couple of posts almost ready to go, but I’m unsure of exactly when. I’m going to try and get something Oscar-related for tomorrow, after that you’ll just have to stay tuned! Meanwhile, feel free to roam the archives, check out the Facebook page, and oh, yes… watch classic movies!

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PREVIEWS OF COMING ATTRACTIONS

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Coming up: Clint Eastwood, Sergio Leone, and “The Dollars Trilogy”

Tuesday: A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS

Thursday: FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE

Saturday: THE GOOD THE BAD & THE UGLY

(Don’t forget to like & follow ‘Cracked Rear Viewer’ on Facebook, and @gary_loggins on Twitter for daily extras!)

PREVIEWS OF COMING ATTRACTIONS

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This week features more movie delights:

Tuesday: The classic noir LAURA

Thursday: The comedy team of Wheeler & Woolsey in HOLD EM JAIL (sorry, no trailer available)
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Saturday: THE SEVEN PER CENT SOLUTION
Follow me on Facebook at Cracked Rear Viewer for daily extras, and on Twitter for more @gary_loggins

My Favorite Super Bowl Commercial 2017

I admit I didn’t pay much attention to the ads during last night’s nail-biting Super Bowl, but this one caught my eye. A rowdy gang of bikers are partying hardy, when one comes in and tells his brothers they’re “Blocked in!”. The gang goes outside ready for action, when they see a shiny new Mercedes AMG GT Roadster. Who’s driving? None other than Mr. Easy Rider himself, Peter Fonda! The ad was directed by the Coen Brothers, and as we say in New England, it’s “wicked funny”! Enjoy!

THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS ARE YOUR SUPER BOWL LI CHAMPIONS!!

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As you may or may not know, I’m a native New Englander, born and raised in Massachusetts. I watched the Patriots back when, quite frankly, they sucked. It was only when Bill Bellichick became coach and Tom Brady took over at quarterback they turned into an NFL powerhouse. Since then, I’ve watched many a classic football game and enjoyed their victories in Super Bowls past.

But nothing compares to last night. Last night was absolutely incredible. In all my years of watching football, it was… dare I say it?… the Greatest Game Ever!!

I knew the Falcons were no joke, but the way they dominated in the first half was shocking. The party I was at had grown eerily silent, and many people chose to leave after watching Lady Gaga perform. My fellow diehards and I stayed, hoping for a miracle.

We were not disappointed.

Down 28-3 in the third quarter, Brady and his bunch put it in high gear. The defense, shredded early on by Boston College alum Matt Ryan, came back to life. 28-3 turned into 28-9, thanks to a missed Stephen Gostkowski extra point. Gostkowski redeemed himself with a field goal, leaving the Pats with 16 points to make up for a tie, something that’s never happened in Super Bowl history.

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Brady’s pass to Danny Amendola made it 28-18, and a two-point conversion by James White made it 28-20. Eight points down. Nearly impossible. Then came “The Catch” by Julian Edelman, between not two, but three Atlanta defenders, an impossible catch thrown by The Greatest of All Time. A touchdown from Brady to White made it 28-26, and yet another two-point conversion, this time by Amendola, tied the game. We’re headed to the first-ever Super Bowl overtime!

New England won the coin toss, marched down the field, and the unsung James White punched the ball into the end zone for Championship #5! The remaining partygoers went nuts, celebrating an incredible, unprecedented Patriots victory! And you know we all loved it when the odious Roger Goodell took the stage to present the trophy and got the shit booed out of him! Once again, the New England Patriots are your Super Bowl champions, and once again Tom Brady is game MVP, with 466 yards and two touchdowns. The Drive for Five is complete.

Mission accomplished!!

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