A Few Words in Memory of Robert Osborne

Robert Osborne is the reason you’re reading this blog.

In fact, it’s safe to say the vast majority of classic film blogs exist because of Robert Osborne and TCM. If you know someone under the age of 30 (like me) who loves classic films, Robert Osborne is the reason why.

The future was never bright for the preservation and remembrance of films. Films of yesteryear have been destroyed, discarded or left in poor condition. Important and influential film stars still remain forgotten, their impact and legacy forever faded. With this track record, the idea that millennials and octogenarians alike would be enjoying old films now sounds absurd. That exact thing has happened, thanks to Robert Osborne and TCM.

I discovered Turner Classic Movies sometime during high school, and was hooked immediately. Each month, I’d go through the full schedule and write down every film I needed to see and record. Suddenly, a treasure trove of films appeared before me, and I needed to see all of it. All the while, the genial face of the network encouraged me to explore more of my newfound love. That is what Robert Osborne did best. It wasn’t that he knew everything about the films (and he did). It was that he loved them, and was excited to share that love.

And that is precisely why I’m here, and maybe why you’re here too. It is the reason why classic films are more alive now than they ever have been. Robert Osborne’s love of film has kept those films of yesteryear alive and thriving. And his knowledge and love of film has inspired others to share that love too. It sparked a desire to write, research and watch that I continue to act on.

I should say that I didn’t have a special relationship with Robert Osborne. After all, I only knew him from TV. But in a way, I did have a special relationship with him. We all did, those of us who owe our film love to the man. That is something special.

Robert Osborne lives on not just through those introductions I still have on DVD. He lives on through every person who passes on the same love of film he gave. He lives on with every enthusiastic sharing of a film, every introduction to a classic piece of cinema. Over the years, Robert Osborne breathed new life into long forgotten stars and unheralded films. In making classic films immortal, Robert Osborne is now immortal as well. 

See you at the movies.