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Robert Osborne Commentary


voranis
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I noticed Saturday night that Robert Osborne did not do any commentary for Along Came Jones. I used to think maybe he doesn't do commentary for movies shown after 2am, but I have seem him doing commentary for movies ending as late as 4am or so on Saturday night. Then I was told he does commentary only for the first four movies of the night. Well, Along Came Jones was the fourth movie of the night, and it aired well before 4am, yet he didn't do any commentary for it. Does anyone know what the guidelines are for how many movies he does commentary for?

 

I mean, if it's an evening of Leslie Caron or Gene Kelly, who seem to be two of his favorites, he is often doing commentary for movies airing until 4am or later, even on a weeknight, much less a Saturday. Does he not like westerns very much so he just didn't do commentary for Along Came Jones ?

 

I know I've asked about this before, but I keep hoping someone has talked to the TCM programmers and gotten a definitive answer. TCM seems to operate under a pattern, and I'm just trying to identify what the pattern is, if there is one...

 

Robbie

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> {quote:title=voranis wrote:}{quote}

> I noticed Saturday night that Robert Osborne did not do any commentary for Along Came Jones. I used to think maybe he doesn't do commentary for movies shown after 2am, but I have seem him doing commentary for movies ending as late as 4am or so on Saturday night. Then I was told he does commentary only for the first four movies of the night. Well, Along Came Jones was the fourth movie of the night, and it aired well before 4am, yet he didn't do any commentary for it. Does anyone know what the guidelines are for how many movies he does commentary for?

>

> I mean, if it's an evening of Leslie Caron or Gene Kelly, who seem to be two of his favorites, he is often doing commentary for movies airing until 4am or later, even on a weeknight, much less a Saturday. Does he not like westerns very much so he just didn't do commentary for Along Came Jones ?

>

> I know I've asked about this before, but I keep hoping someone has talked to the TCM programmers and gotten a definitive answer. TCM seems to operate under a pattern, and I'm just trying to identify what the pattern is, if there is one...

>

> Robbie

 

I don't think the time of day makes one iota of a difference. Since the commentaries are all recorded way in advance of the films' airing, there should really be around the clock commentaries. I think TCM is trying to promote the illusion the the commentaries are delivered in real time, but we know better, don't we?

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*"Maybe the only "Along Came Jones " that he is familiar with, like yours truly, is the Coasters' song."* - finance

 

Is that different from the Ray Stevens version? (Only one I know.)

 

And to 'voranis' / Robbie -

 

Yes, typically, RO introduces four films every evening - and that is counting any films that are part of a franchise series like "The Essentials", "Silent Sunday Night" and "TCM Imports". On occasion, If there is a fifth film to an evening's theme, he has been known to introduce that also. But on Fridays, he will only introduce films shown prior to "TCM Underground". That is usually just three titles.

 

That he didn't "introduce" *Along Came Jones* could be for many reasons. It is possible that it might have been cut "for time" on taping day. Robert Osborne has a larger number of intros to record in December. If the past is any indication, Robert Osborne will be introducing most of the films shown during the day on Christmas Day and also those shown on New Year's Day. That's a another eight or ten intros to record. Plus, RO always dresses in a tux for the New Year's Eve intros and that change of apparel can eat away at the "clock". The crew may even have to redress the set for New Year's Eve. Those things do take time. If the crew was running behind or there were other technical issues that delayed tapings, a later intro to nightly line-up may have been jettisoned in an attempt to get back on schedule. But that idea of being "behind" is all speculation on my part.

 

Whatever the reason may be, it is only an anomoly. I have even seen him introduce films that DIDN'T have "his" intro (The "TCM Feature Presentation with Robert Osborne" intro) and were led instead with the "Over-night" intro with all the Noir clips. I have seen him intro a film but not do an outro. But, for the majority of evenings, Robert Osborne introduces four films on the TCM schedule. I am sure TCM is flattered that you are watching that closely and that you are wondering if there is a pattern to RO's intros each night.

 

TCM has investigated the possiblity of getting Robert Osborne into the Guiness Book Of World Records for having appeared on television over more consecutive nights than anyone in televison history. RO has been a participant in the programming every night that TCM has been on the air. That's 16 years - and 17 years come April. And it will be a sad day in TCM City when Robert Osborne isn't there every evening.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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> {quote:title=hlywdkjk wrote:}{quote}

> *"Maybe the only "Along Came Jones " that he is familiar with, like yours truly, is the Coasters' song."* - finance

>

> Is that different from the Ray Stevens version? (Only one I know.)

>

The Ray Stevens 1969 version is a remake of The Coasters' 1959 orignal.

 

And neither one of them had anything to do with the 1945 movie.

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> {quote:title=hlywdkjk wrote:}{quote}

> Yes, typically, RO introduces four films every evening - and that is counting any films that are part of a franchise series like "The Essentials", "Silent Sunday Night" and "TCM Imports". On occasion, If there is a fifth film to an evening's theme, he has been known to introduce that also.

 

Yeah, he did commentary for five short films one night when Carole Lombard was SOTM, but he didn't do it for the fifth film one night when five equally short Barbara Stanwyck films were shown one night when she was SOTM. This got me wondering if he doesn't like Stanwyck much, which would be of interest to me since she is my favorite actress.

 

> But on Fridays, he will only introduce films shown prior to "TCM Underground". That is usually just three titles.

 

Yeah, I know he doesn't do commentary for the TCM Underground so he only does it for what is usually a fewer number of films on Friday night before Underground starts.

 

>

> That he didn't "introduce" *Along Came Jones* could be for many reasons. It is possible that it might have been cut "for time" on taping day. Robert Osborne has a larger number of intros to record in December. If the past is any indication, Robert Osborne will be introducing most of the films shown during the day on Christmas Day and also those shown on New Year's Day. That's a another eight or ten intros to record. Plus, RO always dresses in a tux for the New Year's Eve intros and that change of apparel can eat away at the "clock". The crew may even have to redress the set for New Year's Eve. Those things do take time. If the crew was running behind or there were other technical issues that delayed tapings, a later intro to nightly line-up may have been jettisoned in an attempt to get back on schedule. But that idea of being "behind" is all speculation on my part.

 

That's interesting about it possibly being cut for time. I used to think he lived in Atlanta and worked most of the time at the TCM studios in Atlanta but then I read in these forums a few years ago that he lives in California (?) and flies out to the TCM studios and records a whole bunch of commentaries at once. Or does he record the commentaries at a mock set out in California and they are edited and assembled at the TCM studios in Atlanta? I still like to pretend he is doing them live.

 

I've noticed on any holiday--well really on any government/banking holiday--he does the commentaries for any films beginning after noon. So that would include Christmas and New Year's Day. I always enjoy the tux night on New Year's Eve as it makes it seem very festive.

 

I sometimes wonder if a film gets cut from the commentary list because he isn't particularly interested in the film. I am always curious to know what his likes and dislikes are with films.

 

>

> Whatever the reason may be, it is only an anomoly. I have even seen him introduce films that DIDN'T have "his" intro (The "TCM Feature Presentation with Robert Osborne" intro) and were led instead with the "Over-night" intro with all the Noir clips. I have seen him intro a film but not do an outro. But, for the majority of evenings, Robert Osborne introduces four films on the TCM schedule. I am sure TCM is flattered that you are watching that closely and that you are wondering if there is a pattern to RO's intros each night.

 

His commentaries are my favorite part--it's primarily what I tune in for. I like Ben M.'s commentaries too, but RO's are my favorite. I actually like watching his commentaries more than the movies in some cases. One of my friends says I am the only person he knows who seems to be more interested in the theme music and opening/closing credits of TV shows (at least, of older TV shows when they actually used to have distinct opening and closing themes) than I am in the shows themselves. And I'm the one everyone else has to wait for when a movie ends at a theater because I want to sit through all the closing credits.

 

I am something of an anomaly myself in these forums as I am primarily a TV fan, being someone who rarely had a way to get to a theater as a child, but I have an increasing appreciation of movies as an adult, and TCM has gone a long way to increasing that appreciation.

 

>

> TCM has investigated the possiblity of getting Robert Osborne into the Guiness Book Of World Records for having appeared on television over more consecutive nights than anyone in televison history. RO has been a participant in the programming every night that TCM has been on the air. That's 16 years - and 17 years come April. And it will be a sad day in TCM City when Robert Osborne isn't there every evening.

 

I notice he looks a little more gaunt in recent years than he used to, and it reminds me that there will come a day when he is no longer there every evening, but it's something I try not to think about as it is too sad to contemplate.

 

Robbie

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*This got me wondering if he doesn't like Stanwyck much, which would be of interest to me since she is my favorite actress.*

 

He has said on more than one occasion that Stanwyck is one of his favorites, if not his number one favorite.

 

 

*That's interesting about it possibly being cut for time. I used to think he lived in Atlanta and worked most of the time at the TCM studios in Atlanta but then I read in these forums a few years ago that he lives in California (?) and flies out to the TCM studios and records a whole bunch of commentaries at once. Or does he record the commentaries at a mock set out in California and they are edited and assembled at the TCM studios in Atlanta?*

 

He actually lives most of the time in New York City. He goes to Atlanta each month to film the intros and outros for the films. He also travels there to film the wrap arounds for *The Essentials* with Alec Baldwin as well as any new promos that TCM has on the schedule.

 

On occasion when a Guest Programmer or a special guest is located in Los Angeles (and can't travel to Atlanta in a timely manner), he and the TCM crew will travel to City of Angels and film (Buzz Aldrin comes to mind) on a set there.

 

I believe they also travel to NYC to film those who can't travel to Atlanta in a timely manner.

 

But those are few and far between.

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> {quote:title=voranis wrote:}{quote}

>One of my friends says I am the only person he knows who seems to be more interested in the theme music and opening/closing credits of TV shows (at least, of older TV shows when they actually used to have distinct opening and closing themes) than I am in the shows themselves. And I'm the one everyone else has to wait for when a movie ends at a theater because I want to sit through all the closing credits.

>

That's me, too!

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> {quote:title=musicalnovelty wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=voranis wrote:}{quote}

> > And I'm the one everyone else has to wait for when a movie ends at a theater because I want to sit through all the closing credits.

> >

> That's me, too!

 

Me three!

It seems to me watching a movie is like a meal. I enjoy my appetizer opening music & titles and savor every aspect of the meal. The closing credits and music help me come down from the emotional digestion of absorbing the story. I at least need a few moments of fanfare during "The End" to sigh and finish.

 

I find these days no one pays attention to the opening (often incorporated into the opening scenes) and they definitely leave after "The End" because there IS nothing to digest. Closing credits are long with teeny print & unfamiliar names and usually some dumb 15 year old former top 40 hit. The story you just saw was nonsensical, so there IS nothing to digest.

 

I often have a tough time getting my friends to appreciate notable older film chestnuts (MILDRED PIERCE, LADY EVE, etc) because they just don't get absorbed into the story and have little empathy for the charactors. Their attention span is nil.

 

They treat films like a Happy Meal instead of an event like Thanksgiving dinner.

The intro/outros are like discussing the meal with others at the table, and Saul Bass titles are like shrimp cocktail!

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*"He actually lives most of the time in New York City. He goes to Atlanta each month to film the intros and outros for the films. He also travels there to film the wrap arounds for The Essentials with Alec Baldwin as well as any new promos that TCM has on the schedule."* - lzcutter

 

RO has been recording new promos for the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival lately too - both video segments or new voice-overs to highlight recently added events to the Festival schedule - like comments for the D23 partneship with the Festival and the screenings of "Silly Symphonies" and of *Fantasia*.

 

I also forgot to mention that he is recording the half-hour "Now Playing: The Show" each month. And this Fall, there were the "Moguls and Movie Stars" post-screening discussions to tape with Mr. Wilkman, and the "historians." Robert Osborne has had a very full plate these past few months.

 

If I remember correctly, it used to take just a few days in Atlanta for Robert to record all his intros. With all these additional "projects" lately, I wouldn't be surprised if he his there a day or two longer now. And I believe that the segments for the upcoming season of "The Essentials" are recorded in November.

 

*"On occasion when a Guest Programmer or a special guest is located in Los Angeles (and can't travel to Atlanta in a timely manner), he and the TCM crew will travel to City of Angels and film (Buzz Aldrin comes to mind) on a set there."*

 

Tiny Lister too. And Anthony Hopkins. And Cloris Leachman. But there is a set used in NYC too.

 

I have noticed - and I bet others have to - that there is a "Red Chair" set that is often lit so that it looks like there is daylight in the two windows on the back wall. I think the entire "Private Screenings: Liza Minnelli" was taped that way. I've often thought that that was an indication that those segments or programs were taped in NYC.

 

*"I sometimes wonder if a film gets cut from the commentary list because he isn't particularly interested in the film. I am always curious to know what his likes and dislikes are with films."* - 'voranis' / Robbie

 

I don't think that is ever the case. Nor would Robert Osborne ever turn down a chance to speak on a Barbara Stanwyck film. With your appreciation of Miss Stanwyck, the two of you would hit it off immediately. When "the plebians" visited Atlanta two years ago, Robert Osborne was particularly excited that two invited guests had chosen Stanwyck films to introduce on TCM.

 

*"I notice he looks a little more gaunt in recent years than he used to..."* - 'voranis' / Robbie

 

Robert Osborne was on a doctor supervised diet that led to his weight loss. I think the gaunt appearance was exaggerated because his wardrobe wasn't updated at the same time and some shirt collars and jackets were too large for the newly svelte RO. I think he looks great these days and he definitely cuts a dashing figure in person.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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> {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote}

> *This got me wondering if he doesn't like Stanwyck much, which would be of interest to me since she is my favorite actress.*

>

> He has said on more than one occasion that Stanwyck is one of his favorites, if not his number one favorite.

>

 

That's great to know!

 

Robbie

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> {quote:title=hlywdkjk wrote:}{quote}

> *"He actually lives most of the time in New York City. He goes to Atlanta each month to film the intros and outros for the films. He also travels there to film the wrap arounds for The Essentials with Alec Baldwin as well as any new promos that TCM has on the schedule."* - lzcutter

>

> RO has been recording new promos for the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival lately too - both video segments or new voice-overs to highlight recently added events to the Festival schedule - like comments for the D23 partneship with the Festival and the screenings of "Silly Symphonies" and of *Fantasia*.

>

> I also forgot to mention that he is recording the half-hour "Now Playing: The Show" each month. And this Fall, there were the "Moguls and Movie Stars" post-screening discussions to tape with Mr. Wilkman, and the "historians." Robert Osborne has had a very full plate these past few months.

>

> If I remember correctly, it used to take just a few days in Atlanta for Robert to record all his intros. With all these additional "projects" lately, I wouldn't be surprised if he his there a day or two longer now. And I believe that the segments for the upcoming season of "The Essentials" are recorded in November.

 

I guess there is a lot more work for him to do now, so it makes sense that some films will get cut from the commentary list. I noticed he only did 3 films on John Wayne Westerns night, which again makes me wonder if he or someone at the studio doesn't like westerns and decided those were the best candidates to get cut. First the Gary Cooper western Along Came Jones, then the fourth film on John Wayne night...

 

> I have noticed - and I bet others have to - that there is a "Red Chair" set that is often lit so that it looks like there is daylight in the two windows on the back wall. I think the entire "Private Screenings: Liza Minnelli" was taped that way. I've often thought that that was an indication that those segments or programs were taped in NYC.

 

Aren't a lot of the Private Screenings shows done in the Red Chair set? It's very noticeable--it almost looks like the whole room is bathed in red light.

 

>

> *"I sometimes wonder if a film gets cut from the commentary list because he isn't particularly interested in the film. I am always curious to know what his likes and dislikes are with films."* - 'voranis' / Robbie

>

> I don't think that is ever the case. Nor would Robert Osborne ever turn down a chance to speak on a Barbara Stanwyck film. With your appreciation of Miss Stanwyck, the two of you would hit it off immediately. When "the plebians" visited Atlanta two years ago, Robert Osborne was particularly excited that two invited guests had chosen Stanwyck films to introduce on TCM.

 

That's great to hear!

 

>

> *"I notice he looks a little more gaunt in recent years than he used to..."* - 'voranis' / Robbie

>

> Robert Osborne was on a doctor supervised diet that led to his weight loss. I think the gaunt appearance was exaggerated because his wardrobe wasn't updated at the same time and some shirt collars and jackets were too large for the newly svelte RO. I think he looks great these days and he definitely cuts a dashing figure in person.

 

I want to clarify that I know he is not ill--I know from reading these forums that he's not. It's just that a lot of older people, when they get ill, begin to get very thin--some examples from TV are Alice Pearce from Bewitched and Zara Cully from The Jeffersons. Both of them got very thin in the last seasons in which they appeared before they died. The fact that he is thinner reminds me of this fact, even though it does not apply in his case, but it still makes me think about the fact that there will come a day...but then I try put it out of my mind. The way things are going with my health, I may be gone before he is anyway. I hope he is there every evening on TCM for many, many years to come.

 

Robbie

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*"Aren't a lot of the Private Screenings shows done in the Red Chair set? It's very noticeable--it almost looks like the whole room is bathed in red light."* - 'voranis' / Robbie

 

Yes, all Private Screenings are done with the "Red Chair" configuration of the set - but the set is much larger and multiple variations of it are used for intros. In fact, I don't think the "Red Chairs" are even on the set if Robert Osborne is doing intros by himself. I believe TCM replaces them with a sofa and coffee table for "solo" intros.

 

5287731291_46e60e7479_o.jpg

 

In the photo above, taken from the "balcony" at the top of the stairs that one can often glimpse in certain RO intros, you can get an idea of how the entire set is laid out. The "Red Chairs" are placed in front of the set's fireplace - unseen but which would be on the left side of the photo - and is the configuration used for "interview" segments.

 

The open doorway one sees at the top of the photo is the entrance to the set/studio. Directly to the right upon entering (or looking to the left in the photo), and behind the wall one sees at the top-left of the photo, is where the director and the tech folks work. It is full of monitors, etc.

 

There is a separate "travelling Red Chair set" that can be set up in NYC or LA to film Private Screenings or Guest Programmer segments which consists of a replica of the fireplace wall for background and the chairs/ottoman, etc. It is my thinking that it is the "travelling set" that is often lit with "daylight" in the windows that one can see to left and right of the fireplace - and which, unfortunately, one can't see in the above photo.

 

And that is my studio tour.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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