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 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 8:05 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

Over the last few months I've noticed a real decline in his posture and presentation on TCM. I just watched CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE and his slurred words and clumsy gait were more noticible than ever. I wish him well, but I think it's time for him to retire.

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 9:21 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

I've notice some physical problems, and enunciation problems, but I don't get any sense that he doesn't still have all his mental faculties. Are you sure the word you want is "senile"?

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 9:26 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....Over the last few months I've noticed a real decline in his posture and presentation on TCM. I just watched CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE and his slurred words and clusy gait were more noticible than ever. I wish him well, but I think it's time for him to retire.....


Osborne is certainly not a young man, and I suspect he's had some health problems over the last few years, but I also sense that this occasional slurring of speech is not a regular thing. He does endless intros and interstitials in any given month and I feel certain they are done in very tight shooting schedule blocks all within a short few days or a week for the entire month. I suspect that he becomes very tired at the end of the day. He is also doing writing for the monthly TCM magazine, hosting chores at film festivals and acting as a goodwill ambassador for TCM at other events. Does he still have his column in Hollywood Reporter, too? He's probably overworked at times for a man of his age.

But let's assume they retire him soon.

One wonders who is currently in the public limelight, and has the depth, knowledge, agreeability with the public, bearing, and stamina to hold this position---and to be willing to do it as a full-time job---giving up most all other career positions for decades to come. Remember.....Osborne has been doing this for 15 years now.

Do you really want the Eve Harrington who is waiting in the wings---Ben Mankiewicz????

Mankiewicz is, I suspect, the favorite protegee of Tom Brown, one of the chief execs of TCM. In several filmed interstitial pieces done for the network you see them riding around together in a convertible in Hollywood---visiting sights of interest, chatting with locals in iconic venues, talking up the magic of the movies with a slightly backhanded bow to the past. They're just like "good old boys" out for a ride.

Do you really want Ben Mankiewicz---with so little warmth and charmth smile ---taking over? Ben Mankiewicz---who doesn't know quite what to do with his hands when he talks, and has a video spiel on TCM promoting a TCM iPhone APP with the words, "How cool is that?" Ben Mankiewicz---who seems to parrot the concepts and teachings of his film school teachers?
Ben Mankiewicz---who really doesn't KNOW, or seem to care about, many of the old films in the TCM library? This IS in end, an "Old Films" channel, not a "New Films" channel.

For myself, I'm not a great Alec Baldwin fan, but I have been tremendously impressed with Baldwin's bearing and the obvious love and tremendous knowledge of old movies he's displayed in his chats with Bob Osborne, when they introduce "The Essentials" movies each week. In the past, TCM tried a whole number of people with Osborne in this position, and now seem to have stuck with Baldwin for a quite a few blocks of the shows. In other news sources, Baldwin has expressed a desire to "retire" from acting. Personally, I hope this might lead to HIM becoming the new overall spokesperson for TCM---and the new Robert Osborne.

As for age and infirmity, I frankly always enjoyed Lionel Barrymore, bent over and acting most of his films from a wheelchair, than I did a young, hunky Marlon Brando acting on his feet. smile

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 10:21 PM   
 By:   quiller007   (Member)



You mean to tell me that you guys actually still watch TCM?
All of you should own your own dvds or blu-rays of the entire TCM
library by now. Slacking off, eh? Get with it! NOW!!!!! smile

Den

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 10:30 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....You mean to tell me that you guys actually still watch TCM?
All of you should own your own dvds or blu-rays of the entire TCM
library by now. Slacking off, eh? Get with it! NOW!!!!!......



I don't know about all the others, but I HAVE to keep burning DVD-Rs because TCM might introduce a new, improved transfer of the film---print-quality-wise, or aspect-ratio-wise, or sound-wise---without ever announcing it first.

Also, the more copies you have, the more chance one copy will survive---digital deterioration, scratching, incompatible playability, or the Rapture.

So, I reserve the right to have OCD, right to the end!

To paraphrase Margaret O'Brien: "I'm taking ALL my DVDs with me---even the dead ones!"

smile

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2011 - 12:44 AM   
 By:   quiller007   (Member)

To paraphrase Margaret O'Brien: "I'm taking ALL my DVDs with me---even the dead ones!"smile


Don't forget to take your 4000 vhs tapes on your way out. smile

My dad had slightly over 4000 vhs tapes when he left this world in 2004.
Unfortunately he didn't take them with him, and I was left with
having to dispose of the darn things. You know how long it takes to
dump that many tapes (via a recycle bin)? Sheesh!
Funny thing is, is that there were actually over 12,000 movies on those
tapes, since he recorded everything on the slow speed (slp), making them
basically worthless since most of them had accumulated tracking problems
and dropouts. Some still played fine if I could find the correct vcr to
play them on - meaning the same recorder/player that they were recorded on.
Only problem was after going through something like 14 or 15 vcrs
in 20 years time, there was only one supervhs JVC player that still worked.
I only kept about 400 tapes that had movies that I like - mainly titles
that haven't been released on dvd yet and may not ever get released.
I tried giving the tapes away to family members and friends but nobody wanted
to be strattled with them, and who could blame them really? Nearly all those
movies are now available on dvd or through the WB archives. Oh well.
Now that SANDS OF THE KALAHARI is finally getting released, that's
one more tape I can dump. smile

Den

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2011 - 8:39 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

I first noticed Osborne's speech difficulties over a year ago. But, like Manderley says, he would be very difficult if not impossible to replace. No other host has his encyclopedic knowledge of just about every aspect of classic films-- not only the stars, but also the technical and artistic people behind the scenes. You can tell he really knows this stuff backwards and forwards when he introduces a film. I have no problem tolerating his enunciation as long as he's willing to continue sharing his knowledge with the TCM audience.

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2011 - 9:30 AM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

Since I've switched to FIOS and they do not have TCM HD, I've pretty much stopped watching the channel. However, I'll take a slurred Osborne over the tedious Alec Baldwin, any damn day of the week. I'll take Ben over Alec, too. I've always hated that they got some celebrity to talk movies on that channel. I loved it when they had actual viewers on, and wished they had kept that up. Far more interesting, to hear real people share their movie memories and opinions.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2011 - 9:32 AM   
 By:   bulleteyes   (Member)

I noticed at least two years ago the Mr. Osborne, always perfectly tailored, was wearing suits that did not fit. On closer inspection it was evident he had lost weight, was grey in his countenance and at times did slur his words. After a month or so he had his suits tailored again (it was evident he had not regained weight) and his vocal work was stronger and only tended to slip very slightly and not nearly as often. Something did alter his health and he soldiered on. He is remarkable. I do not have access to the channel any longer and I miss him and I miss seeing almost all that channel had to offer.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2011 - 12:14 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Over the last few months I've noticed a real decline in his posture and presentation on TCM. I just watched CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE and his slurred words and clumsy gait were more noticible than ever. I wish him well, but I think it's time for him to retire.


Yeah, I've been noticing this too. It's a damn shame. He's one of the best. But Manderley nailed it, there could be many reasons for what's happened. I hope he's around for a while.

I don't think that the fact that Alec Baldwin is a famous actor diminishes his credibility one bit. I enjoy listening to his comments and opinions when he's on (even though Osborne habitually cuts him off-LOL). Baldwin's comments are both knowledgable and insightful, and his enthusiasm for the art-form is obvious. He's a worthy successor.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2011 - 12:19 PM   
 By:   L BENDER   (Member)

Over the last few months I've noticed a real decline in his posture and presentation on TCM. I just watched CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE and his slurred words and clumsy gait were more noticible than ever. I wish him well, but I think it's time for him to retire.end quote- You think Stephen Hawking should retire? I think not.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2011 - 6:40 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

A few weeks ago at the TCM Festival here in L.A., a friend and I attended a late-night showing of SHALL WE DANCE, hosted by Ben Mankiewicz. He was tired, and he had to vamp for a while before his guest showed up for the introductory interview. Both my friend and I came to the same pleasantly surprised conclusion, that in the absence of the video-taping camera and the obligation to follow a script, Mankiewicz was more relaxed than we'd ever seen him be on TCM. He was funny, he was cool, and yes, he even displayed a modicum of charmth and warmth.

If he DOES end up taking over for Mr. Osborne, I think Ben might just surprise everybody, himself included -- IF, that is, he can let himself relax and have fun with the gig, and, if he has the strength of character to not let himself be "handled" to a fare-thee-well and allows his own personal gifts to rise to the surface.

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2011 - 8:04 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

I don't know how AMC loyalists (if any exist) would take it,
but I wouldn't mind seeing either of these two guys give it another whirl,
if they feel up to it:


Bob Dorian



Nick Clooney (the one on the left).

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2011 - 9:14 PM   
 By:   philip*eric   (Member)

I don't know how AMC loyalists (if any exist) would take it,
but I wouldn't mind seeing either of these two guys give it another whirl,
if they feel up to it:


Bob Dorian



Nick Clooney (the one on the left).


Totally - both were expert hosts on the old AMERICAN MOVIE CLASSICS- that channel shouldn't be called AMC any more. Bob Dorian had a warmth that even Osbourne doesn't have . Last I heard of him he was playing Uncle Henry in a tour of the musical WIZARD OF OZ. imdb says he does local theater and magic. It doesnt say his age though...

 
 Posted:   May 24, 2011 - 7:56 AM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

I've also wondered about Mr. Oborne's speech difficulties and they don't appear to be due to any mental infirmaties as he appears lucid and sharp, but rather physical ones. I'll take him before anyone else until it starts to become too difficult or embarassing for him. I'll always have his TCM bobblehead!

As for the next host for my favorite TV channel? Besides the aforementiond ex-AMC hosts, not really sure.

 
 Posted:   May 24, 2011 - 8:20 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

As for the next host for my favorite TV channel? Besides the aforementiond ex-AMC hosts, not really sure.

Alec Baldwin could do it! Seems like he's being primed for it (The Essentials plus the Gene Wilder interview he did a couple years ago).

 
 Posted:   May 24, 2011 - 9:32 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

As for age and infirmity, I frankly always enjoyed Lionel Barrymore, bent over and acting most of his films from a wheelchair, than I did a young, hunky Marlon Brando acting on his feet. smile

Manderley, I agree except that I sure wish Barrymore had at least put in his upper plates when he recorded the STORY OF DR. KILDARE radio episodes! He sounds more like Gabby Hayes than Dr. Gillespie!

 
 Posted:   May 24, 2011 - 9:49 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Since I've switched to FIOS and they do not have TCM HD, I've pretty much stopped watching the channel. However, I'll take a slurred Osborne over the tedious Alec Baldwin, any damn day of the week. I'll take Ben over Alec, too. I've always hated that they got some celebrity to talk movies on that channel. I loved it when they had actual viewers on, and wished they had kept that up. Far more interesting, to hear real people share their movie memories and opinions.

Alec Baldwin IS a real person who has been watching movies on TV his whole life. He's an informed film buff with very interesting insights. Who ever said "celebrities" can't also be fans of movies? He lets his passion come through when he's enthusing about a film or a performance.

 
 
 Posted:   May 24, 2011 - 12:21 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



[ Who ever said "celebrities" can't also be fans of movies? He lets his passion
come through when he's enthusing about a film or a performance.
]



Which is PRECISELY why we'd third wink Ron's statement in profoundly preferring
Mr. Bee to carry the cinematic hosting torch if and when Bob decides to move on and over



(but never out).

 
 Posted:   May 24, 2011 - 2:24 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

smile

 
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