The American Film Institute has announced the launch of The Osborne Collection, a celebration on the Institute’s website of the life and work of the beloved movie historian and whiz TCM host Robert Osborne, who died in 2017. The collection will debut on May 3, which is Osborne’s birthday, and it will feature many of Osborne’s insightful (and quite soothing) film introductions, including clips for “The Best Years of Our Lives,” “Bringing Up Baby,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “From Here to Eternity,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “National Velvet,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “North by Northwest,” “Psycho,” “A Star Is Born,” “The Thin Man,” and “Top Hat.”
As a bonus, the Collection will be connected to the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, the Institute’s exhaustive chronicle of the first century of American film and, it turns out, a handy resource for Osborne himself.
Meanwhile, in honor of the launch and in celebration of Osborne’s birthday, a conversation between TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz and Scott Feinberg over at IndieWire sister publication The Hollywood Reporter exploring Osborne’s work and legacy. Watch here on May 3.
“Bob’s passion for classic film was contagious, and he generously shared that passion with the world. His pioneering tenure as TCM’s host best illustrated his encyclopedic knowledge of film history and made his name synonymous with thoughtful film introductions,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI’s president and CEO. “With this new Collection, AFI celebrates his impact on the world of film scholarship — and ensures that Osborne’s spirit endures at AFI.”
Featured on the new microsite are Osborne’s introductions for seven films that will be screened as part of this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival launching on May 6 and running through May 9. Those titles include “North by Northwest,” “A Star Is Born,” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” The festival features more than 100 films and over 30 special guests in a new virtual experience May 6-9 on the TCM channel and HBO Max.
Per the Institute, Osborne’s connection to AFI began in 1977 when Olivia de Havilland invited him to escort her to the AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony honoring Bette Davis, which left an indelible mark on the young journalist. Soon after, Osborne joined the staff of The Hollywood Reporter to become a daily columnist beginning in 1982 through 2009 with the “Rambling Reporter” series, as well as a reviewer for movies and Broadway plays. When Turner Classic Movies made its cable TV debut in 1994, Osborne was the channel’s primetime host and he remained the face of TCM until his retirement in 2016.