Welcome Back, Bob!

Robert Osborne: classic film champion since 1994.

Dear Turner Classic Movie Fans Everywhere:

As all of you are very well aware, this week marks the return of the one, the only, wonderful Mr. Robert Osborne who, after a five-month hiatus, resumes his primetime hosting duties on the TCM stage this week, December 1st.

Welcome Back Bob” is a week-long celebration brought to you by the online constituency of the classic film community. The Kitty Packard Pictorial and classic film blogger Will McKinley are sponsoring this humble little tribute, but the voices that truly matter are YOURS: everyone who makes up our vital, virtual community of classic film fanatics. We are, I think it’s safe to say, a close knit, affectionate community of film lovers and, with Bob Osborne being a patron saint of classic film, it is only fitting to rally together this week to share what it is we love about our dear Robert O— and classic film itself— and why it is such a unifying force.

Here’s how it works:

Hop on over to the Welcome Back Bob Tumblr page this week and voice up in any way you like: share memories, a video, a photo, a “Welcome Back Bob” graphic, a blog post, or even just a li’l old tweet– the sky’s the limit! If you post something on your blog or tumblr, tweet @MissCarley and we’ll repost it. And if/when you do tweet, make sure to tag it with #WelcomeBackBob so we can find it and share it!

Project Keaton: Jonathan Melville's Holyrood or Bust(er)

Edinburgh-based journalist Jonathan Melville has written for everyone from the Guardian to the Edinburgh Daily News and, as a true-blue cineaste, has just launched a classic film blog: Holyrood or Bust

In honor of Buster, he is temporarily calling his blog Holyrood or Bust(er) (<–clever, he?) and he will be reviewing many of the films showcased on Turner Classic Movies for their Keaton month. Which, by the way, is pretty darn impressive since TCM’s Keaton schedule will not be airing in the UK … He’s already got The General under his belt, so stop by and stay tuned!

Project Keaton: Jonathan Melville’s Holyrood or Bust(er)

Edinburgh-based journalist Jonathan Melville has written for everyone from the Guardian to the Edinburgh Daily News and, as a true-blue cineaste, has just launched a classic film blog: Holyrood or Bust

In honor of Buster, he is temporarily calling his blog Holyrood or Bust(er) (<–clever, he?) and he will be reviewing many of the films showcased on Turner Classic Movies for their Keaton month. Which, by the way, is pretty darn impressive since TCM’s Keaton schedule will not be airing in the UK … He’s already got The General under his belt, so stop by and stay tuned!

Project Keaton


For the month of October, the Pictorial will be heavily focusing on the life, work and art of the legendary Buster Keaton. It felt right we should do so, given Buster’s 116th birthday on October 4th, the month-long salute to Keaton’s films on Turner Classic Movies, and some exciting new releases from Kino video.

Project Keaton will be a month long open forum in which writers, artists, everyday Joes and everyday Janes (like me) from all over the world are being invited to tip their pork pie to Buster. The goal is to foster a month of creative exchange, with Buster as muse, and to celebrate one of cinema’s few, true geniuses.

There are no rules as to content: essays, reviews, art, critiques, tributes, prose, poetry, all are welcome. And, since this is a month long project, there are no pressing deadlines: participants may contribute as little or as much as they wish any time at all during the course of October.

The Pictorial has some fun Keaton-related giveaways planned (more on that later!) and plenty of goodies to keep your slapstick sweet tooth satisfied. (Alliteration foul, I know, couldn’t resist.)

I’m also hoping Project Keaton will provide a great cross-platform for writers and artists to explore each others work. All participants’ contributions will receive coverage here on the Pictorial blog, our Twitter feed as well as the special Project Keaton Tumblr and Facebook page.

If you are interested in participating, please send an email to thekeatonproject@gmail.com or respond to this thread with your appropriate contact email and we’ll add you to the Project Keaton roster.

C’mon, everyone. Let’s really give Buster something to smile about!

Shameless Plug: TCM’s September Pre-Code Podcast

Turner Classic Movies logo.

As all you readers of the Pictorial are well aware, I’m something of a Turner Classic Movies junkie… As I know many of you are too! Which is why I’m just plain tickled pink over the fact that TCM recently asked my pal Will McKinley and I to participate in their September podcast.  Will lives in New York City and I’m based in L.A., but I just so happened to have a holiday planned in the Big Apple so we were able to, most happily, oblige!

TCM’s podcast host Scott McGee, a really lovely guy, sat down (virtually) with Will and I for a lovely long chat about the month’s programming. We touched on everything from Metropolis to The Red Shoes, but they decided to post our conversation about the pre-code classics Baby Face and The Story of Temple Drake. It was a heck of a lot of fun, and one hell of a privilege, and I hope it’s as much fun to watch as it was to make:

Check it out here!

Shameless Plug: TCM's September Pre-Code Podcast

Turner Classic Movies logo.

As all you readers of the Pictorial are well aware, I’m something of a Turner Classic Movies junkie… As I know many of you are too! Which is why I’m just plain tickled pink over the fact that TCM recently asked my pal Will McKinley and I to participate in their September podcast.  Will lives in New York City and I’m based in L.A., but I just so happened to have a holiday planned in the Big Apple so we were able to, most happily, oblige!

TCM’s podcast host Scott McGee, a really lovely guy, sat down (virtually) with Will and I for a lovely long chat about the month’s programming. We touched on everything from Metropolis to The Red Shoes, but they decided to post our conversation about the pre-code classics Baby Face and The Story of Temple Drake. It was a heck of a lot of fun, and one hell of a privilege, and I hope it’s as much fun to watch as it was to make:

Check it out here!

Remembering Remember WENN

Do you Remember WENN? Oh, I so Remember WENN. In the pre-TCM days when American Movie Classics was still American Movie Classics, Remember WENN was the refreshingly original bit of programming that consistently hit the “Ahhh, that’s nice” spot.

Remember WENN

The show was a complete anomaly from day one. Premiering in 1996, the same year that American TV sets were faithfully tuned in to ER, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond and Law & Order (the latter of which people still do), a show like Remember WENN was an oddity. Writer Rupert Holmes had crafted a period dramedy set at a Pittsburgh radio station during WWII with no modern considerations: No laugh track. No big names. No established audience.

The show‘s executive producer, David Metzler, had this to say in a 1997 interview: “When we first sold AMC on the idea, we promised them something that would be completely consistent with their programming, that would have the feel and look of a 40s movie. The aim was to create a show where viewers couldn’t immediately tell, either through the writing or visual style, whether this was new programming or a classic films.”

The show was a big gamble for AMC, but the station’s faithful viewers–and we were reverently faithful during that period–tuned in loyally each week. In those days, the Internet was a relatively new and somewhat exclusive phenomena, hardly the global village it is today, and therefore AMC did not benefit from the close-knit community that its modern day counterpart, Turner Classic Movies, enjoys today. We were there, we simply had no means of connectivity. Perhaps if Remember WENN had been borne under more liberal architecture, it’s lifespan would have lasted.

“Originally,” said Metzler, “we were going to end the show before Peal Harbor. Then we were going to end with Pearl Harbor. … Frankly I could see us doing this show during the early days of television.”

It was not to be. The show was canceled at the end of it’s fourth season– not coincidentally in 1998, the same year that AMC came under new management… and things were never quite the same again.

The cast of Remember WENN