Say Goodbye to Hollywood: RIP Robert Osborne of TCM


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“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…

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A Few Thoughts On The Passing of Robert Osborne


Robert Osborne, the longtime host of TCM, passed away today.  He was 84 years old.

I write those words with the heaviest of hearts.  I never met Robert Osborne.  I did not actually know Robert Osborne but, like a lot of classic film lovers, I felt as if I did.

Usually, I am not the most patient of film watchers.  When I show up for a movie, I want the movie to start as quickly as possible.  In theaters, I’m usually the one who is cursing under her breath during the whole spiel about how to safely exit in case of a fire.  I once got in trouble in a film class when the professor heard me muttering, “Shut up and start the movie.”

But, whenever I watched a movie on TCM, I always made sure to watch Osborne’s introduction.  It didn’t matter what movie he was introducing.  Over the years, I watched Robert Osborne introduce everything from acclaimed Oscar winners to quirky grindhouse features.  And, without fail, his introductions always made the viewing experience better.  It wasn’t just that he was knowledgeable.  It wasn’t just that he was erudite.  It was that he loved the films as much as I did.  Robert Osborne was just as happy to introduce a film directed by Jess Franco as he was to introduce one directed by William Wyler.  Regardless of genre, regardless of director, regardless of reputation, Osborne treated all films and all filmmakers with equal respect.  Today’s film community, so full of elitism and willful ignorance, could stand to learn a little from Robert Osborne.

I’m going to miss Robert Osborne.  In many ways, he was the mentor that every film lover wishes that they could have had.

Don’t get me wrong.  I will never stop watching TCM and Ben Mankiewicz is a wonderful host in his own right.

But I will never forget Robert Osborne and I imagine that I’ll never watch or discover another film on TCM without missing him and his articulate love for the movies.

A Movie A Day #65: Hitler’s Daughter (1990, directed by James A. Contner)


Ted Scott (Patrick Cassidy), a White House press aide, is contacted by his former professor, Dr. Bauman (Donald Davis).  Bauman gives Ted a file that he claims will prove that not only did Adolf Hitler have a daughter but she was subsequently smuggled into America and is now on the verge of occupying the White House.  Ted thinks that Bauman’s crazy but then Bauman is murdered and Ted is framed for the crime.  With both the police and the bad guys after him and with time running out, Ted must now figure out who is Hitler’s daughter.  Is it Sharon Franklin (Melody Anderson), the famous TV anchorwoman who is having an affair with a Senator?  Is it Patricia Benedict (Veronica Cartwright), the wife of the Vice President?  Or is it Senator Leona Crawford Gordon (Kay Lenz), who has just been put on the opposition party’s presidential ticket?

Hitler’s Daughter was originally made for the USA Network and, throughout the 1990s, it would frequently air late at night.  As far as the film’s quality is concerned, Kay Lenz was beautiful as ever but otherwise, Hitler’s Daughter was a typically forgettable low-budget made-for-tv thriller, complete with bad guys who can shoot everyone but the main character, exploding cars, and villains who carefully explain their plans before trying to kill the heroes.  It does end on a down note, with almost everyone dead.  This probably seemed edgy in 1990 but it seems predictable today.  Exactly ten years after this otherwise forgotten movie aired, Hitler’s Daughter was briefly again in the public spotlight a group of online conspiracy nuts claimed that Hillary Clinton was trying to suppress the movie’s release on video would harm her chances of getting elected to the Senate.

Far better than the movie is the novel on which it was based.  Written by Timothy B. Benford, the literary Hitler’s Daughter is an entertaining and enjoyably pulpy page turner.  Benford was the former police commissioner of Mountainside, New Jersey when he wrote Hitler’s Daughter in 1983 and the book touched with an nerve with at least a few readers.  According to a story in The New York Times, shortly after the novel was published, Benford woke up to discover a wooden swastika burning on his front lawn.  The movie stick closely to the book’s plot but never translates what worked on the page to the screen.

Artist Profile: Elaine Duillo


Born in Brooklyn, New York, Elaine Duillo was long known as the “Queen of Romance Cover Art.”  She actually painted covers in several different genres for several different publishing companies.  In fact, she was so prolific that it’s sometimes hard to know which covers were actually painted by Elaine and which have been incorrectly attributed to her.  When I was looking for her work, I found a lot of good covers that I couldn’t share because I wasn’t sure whether she had actually done them.  To the best of my research, all the covers below were actually done by Elaine Duillo.

Elaine Duillo, one of the best known female cover artists and one whose work is highly valued by collectors, was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2003.

Here is just some of her work:

Music Video of the Day: Fernando by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström) + Spanish Version


After yesterday’s long post on Money, Money, Money; here’s a nice and easy one. There are only two noteworthy things I can find.

One is that it was popular enough to warrant both a Swedish and Spanish version in addition to this English one. However, I can’t find a Spanish specific version of the music video like you can with some of their later songs. The best I could find is the video below that says it was recorded for the Lina Morgan Show and dubbed. Seeing as I can’t find any record of this being a music video rather than a live performance with some effects put in, I’m just including it here.

The other is that the song was originally released by Frida for her solo album Frida ensam, and then was done by ABBA. Apparently, the Swedish lyrics differ quite a bit from the English one. Here is the song sung in Swedish with English subtitles.

Enjoy!

ABBA retrospective:

  1. Bald Headed Woman by The Hep Stars (1966, dir. ???)
  2. En Stilla Flirt by Agnetha & ??? (1969, dir. ???) + 8 Hootenanny Singers Videos From 1966
  3. Tangokavaljeren by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  4. Vårkänslor (ja, de’ ä våren) by Agnetha & Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  5. Titta in i men lilla kajuta by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  6. Nu Ska Vi Vara Snälla by Björn & Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  7. Finns Det Flickor by Björn & Sten Nilsson (1969, dir. ???)
  8. Nu Ska Vi Opp, Opp, Opp by Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  9. Det Kommer En Vår by Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  10. Beate-Christine by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  11. En Stilla Flirt by Agnetha & ??? (1969, dir. ???) + 8 Hootenanny Singers Videos From 1966
  12. Att Älska I Vårens Tid by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  13. Min Soldat by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  14. Söderhavets Sång by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  15. Ring, Ring by ABBA (1973, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  16. Ring, Ring by ABBA (1973, dir. ???)
  17. Love Isn’t Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough) by ABBA (1973, dir. ???)
  18. Waterloo by ABBA (1974, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  19. Hasta Mañana by ABBA (1974, dir. ???)
  20. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  21. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by ABBA (1975, dir. ???)
  22. Bang-A-Boomerang by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  23. SOS by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  24. Mamma Mia by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  25. Knowing Me, Knowing You by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  26. Tropical Loveland by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  27. When I Kissed The Teacher by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  28. Tiger by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  29. Money, Money, Money by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  30. Money, Money, Money by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström)