April 14, 2009

To celebrate 15 wonderful years, I asked for you to send me anecdotes about your favorite bits of movie trivia passed on to you by Robert Osborne (or, if you are one of "the unfortunates" and don't have TCM, normal trivia worked fine too!) Thanks to everyone who participated-- I really had fun reading everyone's e-mails! Here are all of the entries- enjoy!

"I think the one thing that I learned from Robert Osborne is that he taught me to appreciate the craft and the dedication put into movies. I never paid attention to the people behind the scenes and Robert so graciously opened my mind to the people behind the scenes. He always feeds my mind with movie knowledge I never thought I would know. So that's what I've learned from dear old Robert Osborne." - Nicole

"One thing that I learned from the classic film man himself, Robert Osbourne, was from the TCM website and the 50 Most Unforgettable Actors Of The Studio Era book when he said that John Garfield was originally considered for the role of Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire" but he turned it down because he supposedly didn't want to be overshadowed by the female lead. That I found very surprising because that is one of the roles Marlon Brando is synonymous with and to picture Garfield in it is interesting." - Caitlin

"My favorite was for Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte, before Joan Crawford had to drop out. She filmed the scene in which she gets out of the taxi, looks up at Bette Davis, and goes inside all in one continuous take. Someone -- I forget who -- later walked in on Bette miming the whole scene in her room, trying to figure out how Joan did it! In addition to giving me an amusing mental image, I thought it was interesting because all I ever hear about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford is that they hated each other; this tidbit is at least a change of pace from all that." - Caitlin from
Princess Fire and Music

"One thing I've learned is that Robert Osborne is not an oracle. He once introduced Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) as a film featuring Harry Belafonte "with nary a song in sight." The only problem is, Belafonte plays a xylophone player in a nightclub band...and sings two songs in the picture, one a duet with Mae Barnes ("All Men Are Evil")." - Ivan from
The Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

[Even with one mistake under his belt, Ivan, I still contend that he IS an oracle! -Kate]

"My favourite bit of movie trivia, think I put it on my blog somewhere, is that the great Sig Rumann plays a medical expert called in to expose a patient with fake symptoms in four separate movies between 1937 and 1966." -Matthew from
Movietone News

"One of the first things I remember learning from the great RO is the importance of 1939 in classic film history. TCM was doing a showcase of the films from 1939 and he talked about it before each one. I found the magic of that year so fascinating. I was a newbie film buff at the time, and the idea that Hollywood had one blockbuster year that has never been duplicated since was just captivating. He offered a few suggestions as to why 1939 worked so well, including the studio system being at full swing. I tried to come up with some ideas of my own, and it fueled my desire to find out more about this whole classic film thing. I still haven’t got the answer, but I’m much smarter than I was before! -- I have one more trivia bit, that you can use or not use – up to you. --I know RO has talked about the kooky Marjorie Main and her fear of germs. I’m pretty sure he said once, possibly at the beginning of Meet Me In Saint Louis, that Marjorie would wear gloves at all times when she wasn’t doing a scene. I just find that image so hilarious: Marjorie sitting in a chair off to the side of a set, with some cotton gloves protecting her hands." - Casey from
Noir Girl

"I've learned so much from Robert Osborne. It all kind of amalgamates in my brain with my other movie trivia so I don't remember what I learned from him or what I learned elsewhere. One thing cool I learned about Film Noir is that when a person is half in shadow and half in light it symbolizes how they are in between good and bad. Noir is always blurring the lines of what is good and what is bad and characters in noir usually have elements of both. I believe Osborne pointed this out once for Double Indemnity. My friend Kevin, who is a Film Noir afficianado, taught me this too." - Raquelle from
Out of the Past

"Bette Davis hated working with Errol Flynn. Yet later, when she was retired, she watched one of their movies she said he did good work." - Jamie

"When Clementine and Joel are in the Montauk beach house in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Clementine finds an envelope that says David and Ruth Laskin. David and Ruth are the first names of Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey's assistants." - Alexandra

"2005: first ROBERT OSBORNE'S CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL in Athens, GA. (guests have included Jane Powell, Parker Posey, Maximilian Schell, Louise Fletcher, Patricia Neal, Mickey Rooney, Roger Mayer, Jean Firstenberg, Pia Lindstrom, Ann Rutherford)" - Sandy

"I just watched the DVD commentary on "Each Dawn I Die." One of the things George Raft is known for is refusing some of the roles that then went to Bogart and made him a star (such as High Sierra and Casablanca). The interesting trivia mentioned in the commentary was that Bogart actually lost the role of Stacey in "Each Dawn I Die" to Raft! A little bit of turnabout, there, and a good thing too. Just as the other films are much better suited to Bogart's persona, this one fits Raft. I'd say it all worked out well. Stacey's dialogue had to be rewritten to switch it from Bogart's style to Raft's before filming." - DKoren from
Sidewalk Crossings

"My favorite piece of film trivia off the top of my head is that the oldest existing animated feature is THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED, directed by Lotte Reiniger. the other is a bit more poignant: Lois Weber, the godmother of narrative film, died penniless in the early '20s. Frances Marion, a writer who frequently collaborated with Mary Pickford (to the point of writing her newspaper column), put up the money for her funeral." - Chelsea

"While I can't recall one exact thing I've learned from Robby O (pet name :D), I have learned that it IS possible to see almost every classic movie ever made a few dozen times. If it weren't for him and Ben Mankiewicz, my path on the yellow brick movie road would be hectic
and lead to numerous forks in the road. They've both sort of steered me in the direction of favorite classic movies with their introductions during the weekends or primetime every night. Consequently, after listening to them talk about behind the scenes hijinks or "that wasn't intended to happen, but director ___ loved it so much he kept it in the film", It's kind of opened a door on the old Hollywood glamor that I've come to love and admire so much. -- OY GEVALT, that was long!" - Sarah

"*Spencer Tracy did not star with Humphrey Bogart in Desperate Hours because the two argued over top billing (that still blows my mind). *Marlene Dietrich tried to seduce Robert Donat when they made Knight Without Armor but was chagrined to learn that Donat was faithful to his wife. *Though divorced from one another, William Powell and Carole Lombard got along famously while making My Man Godfrey. *Much of the film Bombshell, in which Jean Harlow starred, was based on Harlow's own life. I could go on and on. Osborne enriches every film he introduces on TCM. He is integral in making it the world's great TV station. Thanks for helping me remember and appreciate him." - Richard from Riku Writes- Mostly About Films

"Only one thing? I've learned so many little factoids from listening to Robert Osborne. One recent one was that Robert Mitchum got the lead in Out of the Past only after Humphrey Bogart and others turned it down." - Wendy from
Movie Viewing Girl

"The Wizard of Oz is my favorite movie ever. Here's a bit of Wizard trivia. The man playing the fortune teller/Wizard's costume included an old coat. He wore this as the fortune teller. While on set, he dug through the pockets and found a tag reading Property of L. Frank Baum (the author of The Wizard of Oz). The coat was purchased at a thrift store by the costume department. Mr. Baum frequently donated." - Nichola

If you entered, I'll be e-mailing you tonight to inquire what print you'd like and where to send it... I already started working on some new paintings & the UPS tracking indicates that my new laptop will be on my doorstep any minute now! So assuming all goes well, there will be new paintings up TONIGHT! I'll wait until they're posted to ask which prints entrants would like, just in case you want one of the new ones! In the mean time, if you entered, you can look at my existing art on www.silentsandtalkies.etsy.com to see what you have to choose from :)

Thanks again to everyone who entered, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TCM!!!


Terence Towles Canote said...

Great post, Katie. It was fun reading what everyone has learned from Robert Osborne. And I do have to agree with you, he is an oracle!

Anonymous said...

these are terrific, katie! thanks so much for sharing!

Caitlin said...

This was a great idea. Thanks for putting it all together!

Unknown said...

Thanks everyone!