Robert Osborne and Robert Wagner have known each other a long time, so when I sat down with them on April 16, 2013 to talk about TCM’s Road to Hollywood presentation of THE PINK PANTHER, the interview became a spirited three-way conversation about the magic of film and filmmaking, as well as why there is no substitute for seeing a classic film in a theater. At one point Mr. Osborne referred to the process of editing film as a miracle, and, as with so many other things he’s said over the years as a host on TCM, it was something I hadn’t thought of before.
Naturally, we talked about Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers, director and co-star respectively, of PANTHER, and for all I’ve read about the film, including what Mr. Wagner wrote in his excellent autobiography, Pieces of My Heart, there were still surprises about the process. Effusive, illuminating, and thought-provoking, the two Roberts were more than a great interview, they were a time-machine back to an earlier age, including a brush with D.W. Griffith that Wagner had in his teens. As if that weren’t enough, that our conversation occurred on Charlie Chaplin’s birthday brought up their favorite memories of that icon. That Mr. Wagner had gone to school with Mr. Chaplin’s son Sydney made the recollection all the more special.