Heard the sad news yesterday that Robert Osbourne died. Such a classy gentleman who announced TCM movies for years, a remarkable film historian, who joked that he became a journalist after Lucille Ball saw him act and told him to switch careers! I loved Robert Osbourne; he didn’t look 84 at all. I will miss him on TCM; actually, he’s been gone awhile so I have been missing him.
Last night Turner showed Richard Burton’s films, as he is Star of the Month. Had the foresight to record because I have been falling sound asleep at 6:30 PM, 7PM, etc…and awakening at 1:30 AM. So, although I awakened at 1AM this morning after several hours sleep, it was no punishment to rise, make coffee and watch two Burton films back to back that are among my favorites of his–although the first I have not seen since I was a little girl on Joliet Street, but have since devoured the book: “My Cousin Rachel.” Moody, excellent film, excellent book and story by Daphne Du Maurier, and although there was a gap in their ages, the chemistry between Burton and Olivia de Havilland was amazing. I loved it as a child although I know much of its suggestion and subtlety was way over my head back then but I remembering relishing Burton’s voice, de Havilland’s performance, the sea and the moodiness. The second film was one I have seen several times, and relish it every time I do watch it, although it’s been several years: “Prince of Players.” The first time I saw it was again on Joliet Street when I was a little girl, and the scene that stayed with me the most was towards the end, after Edwin’s brother John murders Lincoln; he is on stage was Hamlet being pelted by cat calls, eggs, vegetables and just stoically sits there. I later saw it in California when I was 18 and loved it even more. From time to time, it crosses my path, though not for a long time, and last night, in the middle of the night, I sat there relishing it all over again, the Shakespearean dialogue, the story, the characters, Burton’s and Raymond Massey’s performances. And one little scene between Booth and his wife Mary sitting under a tree at a picnic, with words spoken by her that already seemed written in my own heart, and I wondered, crazily, if all the time my love of this film had somehow been an omen of sorts.
I would like to visit Edwin Booth’s, Players Club in Gramercy sometime.