Interview with former AMC TV host Bob Dorian

interview with amc host bob dorianA while back I wrote an essay comparing the two primary classic movie channels on cable/satellite, Do classic movies need to be censored? AMC versus TCM. In the article I talked about former AMC host Bob Dorian and lamented his departure from the channel which, I still believe, was the beginning of its downfall.

You can imagine my delight when a few months later I noticed I’d gotten a comment from Melissa Dorian, AMC host Bob Dorian’s daughter, saying that her dad had read my piece and loved it.

Sweet! I emailed her back and asked if Bob would be willing to answer some interview questions. After much back and forth, and even more time passing, we completed our email interview…

Were you ever in the movies, Bob?

“Yes, I’ve been in the movies at least once a week from the time I was about seven. But I’ve appeared in very few. Woody Allen’s Curse of the Jade Scorpion, and Hollywood Ending; an award winning independent Civil War film called Strike the Tent which also featured Mickey Rooney, Tipi Hedren and Amy Redford.

According to some cult film enthusiasts, my greatest achievement was The Evil Dead (directed by Sam Raimi, long before his association with Spiderman) “I was the voice on the tape that launched a reign of terror on all those poor unsuspecting teenagers”?

What makes a film a Classic?

Classics are films you want to see over and over again. Timeless films. Films that worked in the past, still work today and will continue to work in the future.

How old are you?

AMC TV host and actor Bob Dorian as a young boy
Bob Dorian as a young actor

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. once told me a story about how he and Cary Grant flipped a coin to decide who should play which part when they were making Gunga Din. When they were flipping that coin… I was five. [Note: the entertaining Gunga Din came out in 1939 so.. 1938 minus five years = 1933]

How many movies do you watch in a week?

About six or eight; mostly on TCM. For the most part, I don’t care for AMC’s erratic library and those films I might choose to watch are ruined by commercials. [amen, brother!]

How did AMC come about?

Back in the early eighties, I was called upon to play Dracula in a TV spot for an early video game. It was a very long two day shoot, with most of my time spent in a tight coffin filled with way too much smoke. Lunchtime usually lapsed into long conversations about all those great old movies the producer and I enjoyed when we were growing up.

In one of those odd-ball coincidences that seem to happen from time to time (for those of us who are honest enough to admit accident over talent), I had a call from this same producer about two years later. “Norm Blumenthal,” the voice on the other end of the phone said, “Remember me? We did those Dracula spots together.” (How could I forget? My lungs still hurt.) There’s a new channel called AMC”, he said, “and they’re looking for an announcer to introduce old movies. I told them what they needed was an actor not an announcer, someone who grew up with these films. Would you be interested?”

Among the people they were looking at, at the time were two Broadway actors, a well known TV film critic and a few others who were more involved in writing as a profession. After “call backs” I heard the powers that be had been thinking of pairing the TV critic and me as a sort of Siskal and Ebert duo. Interestingly, one of the AMC execs said “Wait a minute. The critic might not be too crazy about some of the films we’ve brought in. This guy Dorian likes everything!” That was it.

What are your favorite films and why?

There are just too many films, and too many reasons why I like them to answer that in 500 words or less. But, I’ll give it a try.

Let’s start with Citizen Kane. Not so much the story, but the way it was told, by a 25 year-old genius who’d never before directed. Every scene includes a subtle special effect the audience never sees. Greg Toland’s deep focus photography. Here’s a question for you… If Kane he was alone when he died, who heard him utter those final words?

Casablanca: one of the greatest love stories ever told. They were writing the script one day at a time; no one knew where it was going. Bogart hated it. Bergman thought it was silly. Nobody knew how it was going to end. That famous last line, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” didn’t start out that way. The original was “Louis, I might have known you’d mix your patriotism with a little larceny.”

Fred and Ginger movies: The Gay Divorcee, Top Hat and Swing Time are particular favorites. [I’ll vote for Swing Time given that short list]

All About Eve. Suffering from a cracked vertebra, Claudette Colbert was replaced by Bette Davis for the role of Margo Channing. I can’t imagine anyone else ever playing that part.

Pygmalion: Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller (’38) Several scenes, not in Shaw’s original, found their way into Learner and Lowe’s 50’s classic My Fair Lady. [how can anyone not like this wonderful film?] AMC host and actor Bob Dorian, older

Singin’ in the Rain: the all-too-true story of the shift from the silent screen to talkies. Gene Kelly’s classic title song will live forever and Donald O’Connor’s Make ’em Laugh number, I think, is one of the greatest comedy song and dance routines ever put on film. [this is also one of my kids favorite films, as it happens]

Twentieth Century: classic Barrymore.

Dinner At Eight: Marie Dressler has one of the most memorable closing lines in Hollywood history: Jean Harlow: I was reading this nutty kind of book… this guy says that machinery is going to take the place of everything.” Marie Dressler (eying her up and down) replies, “Oh my dear, that’s something you need never worry about.”

Others in no particular order: The Wizard of Oz, His Girl Friday, Bringing up Baby, The Day The Earth Stood Still, the original Frankenstein, Dracula, The Invisible Man, King Kong, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Gunga Din, It’s a Wonderful Life, Nightmare Alley, You Can’t Take It With You, 42nd Street, The House On 92nd Street, Easter Parade, Little Miss Marker, Meet Me In St. Louis, Rear Window, Spellbound.


Sunset Boulevard (Gloria Swanson – No one could have come close to that performance), Cyrano De Bergerac and Destination Moon.


Dr. Strangelove (the negative is gone!), The Graduate and The Producers.


The Sting, Godfathers I and II, Jaws, Network (an unfortunately accurate prophecy of what the media was to become), All the President’s Men, Manhattan, Annie Hall, and Mrs. Henderson Presents.


My Favorite Year, Radio Days, Broadway Danny Rose (You can see I’m a Woody Allen fan)


Bullets Over Broadway

tcm host robert osborne
TCM host Robert Osborne

Do you know TCM host Robert Osborne?

Like yourself, I admire what Robert Osborn does. I’ve never met him but I’m sure we’d have a lot in common. The major difference between us is that Osborne is a film historian. I’m hardly that. What I am is an actor and a fan. I love good films (and a lot of bad ones), and I know a lot of great stories.

On a more theoretical note, do you think we should we separate the artists’ work from their personal lives?

Yes, I think one has nothing do with the other. But, when the artist tries to impose his or her personal views on the public at large, I see a problem. People have a tendency to give celebrities far more credibility then they deserve. The reason we see them on product endorsements is because their influence affects millions. The truth is, celebrities don’t know any more than you or I do; often they know a lot less. The problem is we believe them – especially if they’re on television. Beal said it best:

We deal in illusions man, none of it is true. But you, sit there, day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds. We’re all you know! You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here. You’re beginning to think that the tube is reality, and that your own lives are unreal. You DO – whatever the tube tells you, you dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you even have sex like the tube; this is – mass madness, you maniacs! In God’s name, you people are the real thing. WE – are the illusion!

Do you believe that? I do.

Many thanks to both Melissa and Bob Dorian for this fascinating interview. Now to get Robert Osborne to answer the same questions…

77 comments on “Interview with former AMC TV host Bob Dorian

  1. That was fascinating. Unfortunately, I never got to see AMC when it was good. I read somewhere (not sure if it’s true) that like TCM, AMC was supposed to provide commercial-free non-censured movies and for some reason they put commercials and censure movies anyway. I wonder what’s the story there.
    Did you pee your pants when you realized he was the voice from Evil Dead?

    • AMC was doing it long before TCM. The way I remember it, TCM was the copycat network that ended up outlasting the original. Maybe it was brand loyalty on my part, but I liked AMC, and hosts Dorian and Clooney, better at the time than Robert Osborne over at TCM. I never understood the mumbo jumbo behind AMC going to it’s present format. Some new executives took over and decided they wanted to make more money. Whatever. TCM manages to somehow make money. And now TCM has my loyalty. AMC has some good original programming, some not so good original programming, and their format, chopping up films with endless commercials, SUCKS! IF IT’S NOT BROKEN, DON’T FIX IT STUPID… unless you just don’t care about your viewers. Apparently the new management people just didn’t care.

      • What I read was when TCM started, Ted Turner wanted the great classic films for HIS channel, so AMC lost the rights to a lot of films. Before TCM, there was TBS (Turner broadcasting channel) and TNT. Both showed classic movies on regular television before TCM debuted in 1994.

  2. I didn’t watch TV for eight years between the years my son was 2 until he was 10. He asked for cable television for his 10th birthday. Oddly enough we still don’t watch much TV, but mostly On Demand movies. I missed the whole AMC era. We both prefer more inter-active type of media, and watch moviesas a special event … sitting in the living room … and we talk about what is happening in the film.
    PS. I was told to come see your blog because we share a similar theme … and we do!

  3. I would so dearly love for TCM to invite Bob to co-host its “The Essentials” one year. But I know he’s not enough of a “name” for that.
    The old AMC was wonderful. Bob, Nick Clooney, “Remember WENN”, the AMC Film Preservation Festival…*sigh*…

    • My, oh, my…..big sigh…just mentioning …Remember Wenn!!?? Bob Dorian. Nick Clooney. Bob was so passionate. I am a forever classic movie devotee….and support film preservation always. 2009 was quite a while ago, but thanks..I’m still alive and well this day in 2016 having just watched Sunset Boulevard….another sigh.

  4. This was a outstanding interview, it was a plesure to read it. I had wonder what happen to the hosts of AMC Bob Dorian & Nick Clooney. I like the old “AMC” no commercials.
    I was trying to enjoy a movie today on AMC “Hang’em High” to many commercials they interruped the flow of the movie.
    I would like to see Bob Dorian and Nick Clooney do an essential on a Sunday with Robert Osborne.

  5. Thank you for this interview and information.
    I miss Bob Dorian and his stories on the movies, we were devoted fans.
    Because of the changes and commercials, we no longer watch AMC.
    Frank and Mary

  6. I remember watching AMC religiously in the 80’s and 90’s, subscribing to their monthly magazine and enjoying Bob Dorian’s commentary. It was such a treat to watch a film, usually an older classic not shown on the premium cable channels with no commercials. What a shock to one day tune in and have annoying ads popping up, right in the middle of a line of dialog sometimes! I guess that was in the early 2000’s and I have not watched a movie on AMC since. It became just another commercial filled, bothersome channel to be avoided at all costs. If I happen to see a movie listed on AMC that I have not seen or would like to see, I’ll make a note of it and go rent it if I can!
    I love TCM nowadays, and watch IT religiously. So much fascinating history to be learned.
    I always wondered what happened to Bob Dorian, so I googled him and came up with this blog. Very good! I’m happy to hear is still actively in “the business”.
    Bill In Tonawanda, NY

  7. I miss the old AMC with Bob Dorian as the host of so many classic movies without commercials. He was so full of trivia that I will never forget. He was a big part of my major interest in classic movies on AMC. It is too bad, but I guess it has become a commercial money driven world.
    I Miss Bob Dorian!

  8. Just found this blog by searching for Bob Dorian. I too miss his insight into old films. I am so glad that TCM still has unraped films in its vaults.
    I too would like to see a round table with Bob Dorian, Nick Clooney, Robert Osborne and Ben Mankewitz. (please forgive my misspelling of your name.) It would be a great course in filmology.
    As far as Citizen Kane: I too wondered how the whole “Rosebud” inquiry started if Kane died alone. Also: I just read a script to “RKO 281” and I have a copy of that DVD. Question: Is Ben Mankawitz of TCM related to the Mank who wrote “Citizen Kane”?
    Thank you for a great interview.

  9. Great interview – I’m glad to see Bob’s still active and as enthused as ever. It’s amazing that, despite his very revealing historical cinema commentary, personal bio info was never a part of it.
    Illustrative, perhaps, was his comment, with which I whole heartedly agree, that the artist’s work must be kept apart from their personal lives. In fact, my appreciation of their work is adversely affected by some of the statements these performers are called upon to grace us with. Somehow they develop the notion that publicity translates into expertise.
    A true gentleman and a class act…

  10. Incredibly excellent interview! Loved Mr. Dorian on AMC (have the Tracy-Hepburn classic, “Desk Set” from AMC, New Year’s 1988-89 on tape, one of my all-time favorites…and Mr. Dorian made it all the more enjoyable=). Agree with MUCH of what he spoke about here, and would love to see him and Robert Osborne together on TCM!
    Thanks again and God bless you.

  11. Great interview. And his assertions all seem true if not believable. I loved it when he’d come out with this really profound observation or recollection or story, and you’d slap you head and go “WOW!!!!”, and he’d say, in the lowest key manner POSSIBLE, “now, let’s look at this…”.
    I loved that! He was so understated when he wanted to be. He had the great stories and classy understatement, which is why I liked him a bit better than Mr. Osborne, who is good nonetheless. And ayeeeemen on the advertisements!

  12. I remember and enjoyed Bob Dorian. He had an informative, laid-back manner. AMC was a competitor of TCM, and Bob Dorian was part of the reason. Commercials, designed for the futile, have eliminated AMC as watchable by many. Happily, we still have TCM and Robert Osborne.

  13. I do so miss AMC and Bob Dorian. I discovered AMC in 1988 during a stay-at-home from work during
    recovery from surgery. AMC was my favorite channel, as TCM is now. When I turned the tv on one day, and saw a commercial for the USPostal Service, I thought I was accidentally on the wrong channel.
    Later, seeing an Elvira look-alike introduce a movie ended my patience and love affair with AMC. Glad I have memories of AMC with Mr. Dorian, and so glad he is doing well. What a treat it would be to see him on TCM one day with Mr. Osborne – 2 wonderful hosts on the same screen. Here’s hoping they make it happen.

  14. There was a question about Ben Mankiewicz. He is the grandson of Herman Mankiewicz who, along with Orson Welles, wrote Citizen Kane.
    When TCM first came out, most of the original widescreen movies were presented in that format causing AMC to have a campaign on the widescreen format. There was a time when Bob Dorian had great intros and closings, but as he neared his end with AMC, most of his intros were shortened to under a minute and his closing were 30 seconds or less. Hindsight is 20-20 but that was the beginning of the end of AMC; at least the way we all knew and loved it. I thought Nick Clooney did a great job also. However, you can’t say who was better; you just appreciated them the way they were.
    I love Robert Osborne and he comes to Sedona for our movie festival but he has lost some serious weight and I hope it’s just from a diet. If anything ever happens to him, I fear TCM may go a similar way that AMC did as Ben Mankiewicz is only 42 and likes a lot of the newer movies. Not that there aren’t some great ones, I just like the real oldies but goodies. Here’s a list of some that I’d like to see if they’re not burnt out.
    “The Third Voice” 1960 with Edmond O’Brien, Laraine Day and Julie London:
    “An Inspector Calls” 1954 with Alastair Sim:
    “The Constant Nymph” 1943 with a fabulous cast including Charles Boyer, Joan Fontaine and Alexis Smith:

  15. I, too, loved AMC in the 90s, before commercials, pop ups, and “modern tastes” took over. My fondest memories are of Remember WENN, on which Bob Dorian appeared several times as a frustrated sponsor. All of that is gone now, and it is a huge loss for those who recall when television meant wholesome entertainment.

  16. Could we get a petition together to get Bob Dorian and the old AMC format back! I loved the movies and the format! I would watch AMC even after the movies were over and see interesting facts and occupations. For instance, the model who dressed in different clothes and did self portrait painting! Such a different time! It was nostalgia at its best! I once saw Bob Dorian when he came to tell stories before a screening of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma in Denver’s historic Paramount Theatre! The place was packed! What a night!

  17. I miss the old AMC als, commercials ruin the flow of the films. Movies were meant to be viewed with no interruptions. I simply quit watching AMC and now watch TCM exclusively when it comes to Classic Films. I prefer the films of the 30’s 40’s and 50’s

  18. I met Bob Dorian twenty years ago after I had just played Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady in Cleveland, and he had just played Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady on Long Island, where I was originally from. I had watched AMC back then, when it was free of commercial interruption and when they refused to air black and white films that were butchered by adding color.
    I visited the AMC studios with my twin sister, and presented him with a special poem written by a professional poet I hired, that expressed my love for old movies, and my bond with Mr. Dorian due to our mutual love for My Fair Lady and the roles each of us played. He gave us a tour of the AMC studios, and took us to lunch. I still have the photos, and remember that time with much fondness.
    I was so sad to see how AMC had changed, and of course, to no longer see him as host.
    Bob, if you are reading this, I never did play Eliza again, but it is a memory I will treasure forever!
    Your friend,

  19. bob dorian and I worked for the same radio sation back in the Jurassic days. I had the pleasure of doing a lot of radio commercials with bob. He, I remember was an extremely talented man with his finger on every aspect of the show business pie. I hope he is well and doing the thing he loves which is every aspecy of show business….

  20. Bob was great on AMC and the Remember WENN production was really good.
    Now-No Bob Dorian AND tons of commerical interuptions AND AMC interuptions telling you all about their upcoming shows bla, bla, bla.
    I might watch AMC about 1 time per year now.
    The only good thing about AMC is that you can leave to go shopping or whatever and when you return (because of all interuptions) you haven’t miss a thing!
    Bob was a great host-I miss him.

  21. I always enjoyed Bob’s easygoing and informative style. I was so glad when AMC started airing 24/7 the movies I learned at my nan’s knee. I was equally sad when they strayed from their roots by doing a virtual 180. I pray that they will one day wake-up and see the error of their ways, until then I’ll be getting ALL of my classic movie fare from TCM!

  22. Like others who have responded earlier, Bob Dorian and AMC were one of my favorite channels on cable/satellite. The changes AMC made ruined me from watching them. I now watch TCM and FMC (Fox Movie Channel) no commercials, uncut and wide screen. I do agree Bob and Robert (at the very least on the essentials) would be awesome.

  23. Like the other comments I remember the classics of AMC. I subscribed to their magazine and even saw Bob in person when he hosted the showing of Strangers on a Train at Seattle’s 5th Avenue theater years ago. Now I watch TCM and enjoy the old movies and Robert Osborne’s commentary. Is there a reason Mr Dorian has not been invited to co-host an evening with Robert O.?

  24. Loved the interview and all the discussion afterward. Are TCM and FMC the only non-premium channels that show movies with no commercial interruption? I try in vain but can’t find any others.

  25. Mr Dorian was the very best there was at what he did, far more “homey” and pleasant than the rather dull, glib Mr Osborne on TCM.
    I wish him very well and would like to thank him for the wonderful work he did on AMC. He brought class to that show and that network.

  26. I remember AMC, before TMC. As I understand it, when Ted started his own channel, hoarding the films he personally owned, AMC was forced to start showing commercials & offering a much less broad spectrum of films.
    I LOVED Bob. I have lots of his ‘Reflections on the Silver Screen’ on VHS. Great interviews. Where else could you get an hour with Bob Mitchum–uncut?
    Now, I watch AMC only for original programming—like Breaking Bad.

  27. I, too miss the old AMC. When they changed over, I wrote an email to Cablevision (who owns AMC) asking why they made the change – they said it was due to customer response, and now the channel offered “more value” to the viewers. Yeah, sure. They used to tout themselves as the channel for people who love movies, in a commercial that was interrupting a movie. Yes, of course, movie lovers love to have their movies interrupted by commercials. Since then, I have absolutely refused to watch that channel. I’ve never seen Mad Men or any other series they put out. TCM is where it’s at.

  28. Thank you so much for that treasure,I agree with everyone’s comments about Mr. Dorian. Love what Mr. Dorian said about what HE watches!! I still have my monthly guide magazines, and I left when Mr. Dorian did. Thanks again

  29. The night AMC changed their format from the Bob Dorian format to this current quagmire, they ran Fahrenheit 451. I called AMC and left rapier-like commentary. Nothing against the movie, just too much coincidence regarding the following of the mad, idiotic masses, Naziism and the burning of Dresden. Maybe I’ve gone too far in my analogy, but it pissed me off.

  30. I, like some other folks here, was curious about what Bob was up to these days. He was an awesome host, always giving great insight and anecdotes to the movies being presented. It was like sitting down w/ a very good friend and chatting about some of your favorite films. Too bad it all changed. AMC used to be as good as TCM is now. I really like Robert Osborne and his style as well.
    Thanks for a great interview and wishing Bob all the best.

  31. Like so many others I was searching for information on Bob Dorian when I came across this interview. My mother and I were faithful fans of AMC back when it truly was an American movie classic channel. We would sit down with a big bowl of popcorn and talk about how handsome and charming Mr. Dorian was and how it seems that he had something so many men lack these days. Then the movies would come on and we’d talk about the actors and actresses and who they had married and who their children were. And we’d discuss this scene and that scene and why we liked it.
    With the demise of the “real” AMC came the demise of movie night with my mother. We often lamented the loss of those great movies and never quite got as involved with TCM. She died in 2002 of cancer. We spent many hours in those last months of her life remembering how much fun we’d had watching AMC together. Now I watch (as I am doing even as I type this) those great old movies on TCM. I like Robert Osborne. But he lacks the charm my mother and I so loved in Bob Dorian.
    I think a lot of the problem with AMC is in their belief that the younger generation isn’t all that interested in those old 1930’s and 1940’s movies. Nothing could be farther from the truth. My mother taught me a love of those old movies and, though I am 45, I have passed that love on to my 28 year old son. I wish AMC could open their eyes and realize that there is an entire world of people – young and old – who truly love those old black and white films shown uncut and uninterrupted. It isn’t fair that we have so few channels to choose from when we want to sit down and watch a great old movie.

    • Please people … just know this … AMC does NOT care what we think! They do not CARE that we love Bogard and Bacall. All they care about is the money (thus the commercials). They know we all LOVE those old films. They know this! But … they can make MORE money doing what they are doing now … if not, they’d try something else. Sure, there’s money to be made showing old films, but there’s obviously more in “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” and all the others things they’re doing (which I don’t really know to be perfectly honest 😉

      We have no choice but to move on. We have out memories.

      AMC introduced me, as a young adult, to a whole new world … that’s as good as it’s going to get. TG for Netflix, and my local library system! And TCM (remember when Ted was going to color all the old movies because he didn’t think enough people would watch B&W? TG that stopped!

      Bless you all and keep watching …

      Myrna Loy
      Gregory Peck
      Marlene Dietrich
      Sidney Poitier
      Lauren Bacall
      Spencer Tracy
      Olivia DeHaviland – she’s still with us!!
      Archibald Leach 😉

  32. I am still angry with the abrupt cancellation of Remember WENN. I used to be a fan of AMC but have not watched since they went to commercials and since I started to receive TCM. TCM is the best!

  33. They should put BOB DORIAN opposite Robert Osborn NOT the character that is there now. He tries & thinks that he is funny & knows it all. The truth is that he DOESN’T have a clue OR the experience. Probably got the job because of who 1 or both of his parents .

  34. I was very happy to find this blog. I miss Bob Dorian and it’s hard to believe a great classic movie channel like AMC could be shot down, Jesse James style.
    Thankfully we have TCM and Bob Osborne. I like Mr. Osborne, but “homey” Bob Dorian is a act that’s hard to follow. I think Ben Mankewitz is a little out of place, too young to fully appreciate those old classics, which seem to be getting newer now days.

  35. I worked with Bob on those AMC shows, and you couldn’t asked for a nicer guy to work with. The best part of those days was during our down time listening to his stories watching him do his magic tricks. Great memories.

  36. I loved Bob Dorian on the “old” AMC. When Robert Osborne first started on TCM, I remember thinking how “stiff” he was compared with Dorian. Well, it turns out that Osborne’s TV presence has grown and I now love him just as much as I did Dorian.
    I disagree a bit with other posters. I do not think that Osborne and Dorian would mesh with Dorian as a guest programmer. It’s just a matter of style. I think this is why Bob Dorian and Ben Mankiewicz never share the AMC screen at the same time. Probably wise. (I enjoy both Dorian and Ben for different reasons. A little cynicism works now and then.)
    As to AMC, it had a very down period. I wish it were still the terrific channel it once was. Nevertheless one has to judge it in its current incarnation as a commercial-based “cable network”. It is hard to deny that it a resounding success on those terms.

  37. AMC will again take it’s place with TCM in Cinema presentations and it’s ratings would soar if they brought back Bob Dorian. We miss you still Bob Dorian. You rightfully should be the other TCM host,too, as well as hosting AMC.

  38. Yes, like everyone else who has commented here, I was watching episodes of Remember Wenn on the internet and wondered whatever happened to Bob Dorian – and ended up here. AMC was always THE station to watch in our house when Bob Dorian was on – the little tidbits he provided both before and after each movie were always as enjoyable as the movie itself. The one that still stands out in my mind is about how they dyed everyone’s hair for Life With Father, and couldn’t rinse the dye out because the city shut off the water main. Stories like that would make a very interesting book – hopefully someday soon it will be in the bookstores. HINT!

  39. I remember the first time I came across AMC back in the early 80s. I caught an old movie favorite of mine in the middle and watched the end. Then I watched the next movie it was another old one I enjoyed very much. Next thing I knew the first movie was on again. This was interesting so I kept tuned in. In the beginning it was a 12 hour a day channel that showed 2 movies per day movie 1 then movie 2 then movie 1 then movie 2. It was great you could always catch the parts you missed a few hours later. I was intrigued by this and watched it for weeks. Bob Dorian was great and so was AMC. Now it is not worth my time and effort.

  40. I miss Bob Dorian so much. AMC is just not the same anymore. With the commercials now, I don’t enjoy the movies as well. It just breaks the flow of the whole movie. Bob, for all the years that I watch you HOST the AMC channel. You did a smashing job. You are sorely missed. God Bless you & God’s speed to you in your life. I think your a terrific man. No one could ever replace you. I enjoyed you for so many years. The best to you in all your future endeavors. Be Blessed!

  41. Growing up in and still living in the ‘sticks’ I remember finally getting satellite TV in the mid 90s and finding AMC when it was a real TV channel. I was in my mid twenties and I fell in love with classic movies because of AMC and TCM. I constantly flipped between the two and planned out recording old movies on my VCR.
    Since that time AMC has become just another cable channel and is no longer a classic movies network. Like many classic movie lovers I felt that AMC abandoned the supporters that made it all possible for them. Now I do not watch AMC.
    I have a lot of respect for Bob Dorian and Robert Osborne because they kept the old movies alive. I just hope that all the old classics that AMC has in their vault will be released to TCM so they can be seen again.
    This was a really good interview. I’d often wondered what happened to Bob Dorian.

  42. When AMC started up it was a tremendous breath of fresh air and TV. Bob made it very enjoyable with his insight and comments. My father was the biggest fan of AMC and Dorian .Hasn’t watched since the format was changed. I do think Dorian would be great with Osborne on TCM.

  43. Great article. AMC used to be good when Bob Dorian hosted. He gave great commentary regarding the actors in the movie he was showing. I refuse to watch AMC now as it is no better than all the rest of the channels on television. The movies are ones I never watch and there are a million commercials. What was AMC thinking when they changed their format???? They lost their fans immediately. Thank goodness for TCM and Robert Osborne.

  44. while surfing the web, there was bob dorian. We both worked at walk radio and did a few commercials together. I remember bob as a most talented man. His worked at AMC was top notch, and like typical corporate minds they decided if it’s not broke, brake it. But after all money is money! Yes I believe that bob would be an excllent choice for TCM. I personally retired from radio in 1992, and got out at the right time. The profession has gone down hill since. I wish bob the best from my ninety year old heart…

  45. I love Bob Dorian! I used to watch him while in high school and in college while he was on AMC. His voice and character – wonderful and inviting. He brought me Jimmy Stewart and my now Favorite Cary Grant. Moments of watching his movies with my Mom and Dad who have since passed are moments I will never forget. TCM needs to replace Mankewitz and put Bob Dorian on there!!! Please!!!

  46. Like so many others here, I just wondered what happened to the interesting and likable man, Bob Dorian. Hope he ‘s still doing well! and, like so many here, I too no longer watch AMC due to the unfortunate change in the format! It used to be great! Now it is far worse than many of it’s counterparts on cable. a boring line up, bland, tasteless repeats, and way too many comercials!

  47. Enjoyed the article. Like many others I miss bob, his stories and visits to old theaters. No longer watch amc due to commercials. Love tcm


  48. It’s funny how things turn. I found this article trying to remember the name Bob Dorian. I was thinking about the irony that Bob Dorian was a leader in the anti-colorization movement, that Turner Media was a major colorizer, and this year AMC was showing the terribly colorized Turner version of “Miracle on 34th Street”.

  49. I learned so much from Bob Dorian on the original American Movie Classics: What type of airplane shot down “King Kong.” How was the Kipling character “blotted out” of the theatrical showings of “Gunga Din.” I have missed him and America Movie Classics for years. Thank God for Ted Turner.

  50. What a great interview. I have been terribly curious about what became of this gentle affable host–extremely humble and very similar to the demeanor of Robert Osborne

    • Bob Dorian – thank you from the bottom of my heart for introducing me tof a whole new world of fabulous films, movie stars (real! movie stars), great stories, and movie scenes to wrench your heart. (I’m 60 now and my ability to come up with names and words is failing, but I remember my beloved movies just like friends and family). Some of my favorite scenes – that YOU first brought to me – when Paul lit 2 cigarettes, one for himself and one for his lady love; the final scene in Anna Karenina; Ingrid Bergman as that “bad girl” in love with “good guy” Cary Grant … oh those swizzy clothes she wore! A paper doll book based on that movie could have made a lot of money!!! Spencer and Kate in “Look Who’s Coming to Dinner” wOw! Rock Hudson and Doris Day!! Lucille Ball in her early days … what a fabulous broad!! Bob, I miss you and your great stories. I hope you and your family are well.

  51. Thank you for this fascinating interview with the wonderful Bob Dorian. I still miss him (and Nick Clooney) and the old AMC so much. I loved the movies shown during AMC’s “golden” era, and Mr. Dorian’s great introductions and comments. It would be great if TCM invited him to appear now and then. If he or his daughter should read this, many thanks and all best wishes.

  52. Please someone tell Bob Dorian how much I missed him. I watched him every day on AMC. Ge was so kind and kniwledgeable!! I was just divorced and AMC was my favorite channel, aling with my children. I subscribed to the magazine, and gad many of his comments on my Sony Beta tapes. I hope he is well. Elizabeth Gabber, Salinas, CA

  53. I love Bob Dorian. What a shame AMC sold out! I hate that channel now. I guess Turner buying the MGM library didn’t help things any but there were enough old movies for both stations. There were old classics that AMC showed that TMC still has never shown. Good movies too. There was room for both stations. But AMC sold out – then started adding infomercials to boot! Now showing CSI. Shows and movies that you can see just about on any channel on any given dat, i,e. TNT, USA, Spike, FX, Comedy Channel, not mention the local network stations. AMC is just not special any more. They are coming up with their own programming. Some good and some bad. Even with all of this – why let Bob Dorian go. He could have come up with some awesome back stories to these movies. AMC use to have Cowboy Saturdays all day long – now they even relegated that to several hours in the morning, sometimes extending in the early afternoon but gone is the all day westerns which people absolutely loved! I just don’t get AMC. Bob could have hosted those Saturday westerns wonderfully. Another thing that irks me is why did TMC blackball Dorian just because he was on AMC. Instead of hiring Ben Mankiewicz to host three days a week out in Hollywood – why didn’t they come after Bob Dorian. Wow, what a great feather in the Turner cap that would be. Surely there should be no jealousy between the former Bobs on Osborne’s part. If so how petty would that be. I can’t stand Ben Mankiiewicz. Dorian would have been a much, much better choice for the job. Ben is the nephew of The producer/director Joseph Mankiewicz. But really what does he know – he doesn’t have the knowledge of Dorian. Such a pity. Dorian just dropped off the face of TV and so many of us loved him every bit as much as we like Osborne. Someone read this and have enough sense to hire Bob Dorian and put him back on the air. Turner doesn’t have enough sense to do it. And I thought he was a smart guy when it came to classic films and the introduction process of these wonderful films but hiring Mankiewicz over Dorian proved me so wrong.

  54. Have wondered for years what happened to Bob Dorian. His affable presence on the old AMC helped to prove there was an audience for classic, quality movies and paved the way for TCM. Thank you for giving Mr. Dorian his props!

  55. we miss you mr dornin,,i was looking through some vhs tapes that I made over years ago,,and appropreate that the movie was the ww 2 ‘ Since You Went Away”. with joseph cotton,,,keanan wynn,, and of cource Claudette Colbare,,,Yes since YOU went away. 1988. in our memories, prayerfully yours. joh sadar piney fork , ohio

  56. thanks for all those great films , my step dad was a fellow actor and he remembers youwith fondness, as he too was a mostly bit part player.. wish you were back….

  57. I really enjoyed reading this interview with Mr. Dorian. I really miss the ‘good old days’ of American Movie Classics! I enjoyed watching the old cliff-hanger serials on Saturday morning. I also liked how they would show a movie trailer and then show that same film afterwards! They had a lot of good movies on back then.
    My favorite segment was “American Pop!” on Saturday night. I taped a bunch of them on VHS. A lot of them I still watch.
    Mr. Dorian can count me as one of his fans.

  58. I watched AMC in the old days pretty much constantly. Bob Dorian was a real asset to the channel and provided great commentary, even if he isn’t an “historian”. I miss him and the old AMC very much. I’m a 30’s and 40’s “B” movie fan, and AMC had a lot of those back then. I haven’t watched it for a decade or more. Good interview with Bob, and best of luck to him, and Thanks!

  59. It was in 1988 I first heard the basso voice of Bob Dorian on AMC. I had taken my newly widowed Mother (Betty Corey) for a fun-filled trek to Disney World. After a day of long lines, heat, whining tykes, walking a million miles we returned to our fun-filled, LARGE family friendly hotel via cram packed monorail. In order to drown out the melodious sound of happy, slappy, little tykes high on caffeine, tearing up and down the hall we turned on TV and heard the Emcee query ” I always wondered what her now was”, it was Bob Dorian commenting on the old movie “I Wonder Who ‘s Kissing Her Now”, being lovers of the great films of the 30’s, 40’s & 50’s we became fans of AMC and Bob Dorian, but alas, like all good things, AMC became commercial and now we have Robert Osbourne and TMC to bring us great films, actors and actresses. As Gloria said “they had faces then”. Thanks, Bob, for the memories

  60. I was also a fan of bob dorian back in AMC`s golden years in the 90s.Not unlike osborne,he had a pleasant demeanor and speaking voice and always had an entertaining way of introducing a film that made you look forward to it all the more.But AMC sold out,their programming went to hell,and then came the commercials.I dont even watch AMC when i get desperate,its that bad.Hard to believe AMC was once much like TCM is today.

  61. Yes, thanks, Bob, for so many cherished memories, your special magic, and knowledge I still find valuable every day. Best wishes to you and your family.

  62. Back in the mid 1980s, I was a college student living off campus, and I met a young lady who shared my passion for movies. I didn’t have much money, so most nights we stayed home with a big bowl of hot, fresh popcorn and watched film after film on American Movie Classics. One of the most memorable nights was New Year’s Eve 1988. We splurged and cooked a spectacular prime rib dinner. As soon as darkness and snow fell outside, we sipped champagne and settled in for a quiet evening with AMC. Their set was decorated for the holidays, and Bob Dorian wore a tux that night. The movie was A Matter of Innocence with Hayley Mills and Sashi Kapoor. Well, so many years have passed, and eventually my lady and I went our separate ways, to different parts of the country. But, we still stay in touch on social media. And on occasion we’ll ask one another, “Hey, remember that New Year’s Eve we spent with Bob Dorian?”

    It’s kind of heart warming to read all these comments about Bob and the old AMC. I hold nothing but the fondest memories of those days. Bob was just a class act, so affable and genteel. I gave up on AMC over a decade ago. And although I still watch TMC from time to time, Robert Osbourne and Ben Mankiewicz simply can’t hold a candle to Bob Dorian. I’m glad that he’s still with us. Thanks for the memories, Bob, and for so many years of entertainment.

  63. AMC used to stand for American Movie Classics. Now it must be All Movies Have Commercials. Sure miss the Bob Dorian and Nick Clooney days. The executives really screwed up that channel. Thank God for TCM. I remember thinking to myself there’s no way. Turner can do what AMC has done. What a copycat. Boy was I proved wrong. TCM is a fantastic Channel. Hosts a and all. I used to drive my wife crazy, when Bob Dorian would come on to introduce the movies before he started I would yell “Take it away Bob!”

    drive my wife crazy.

    • I was told when AMC changed to commercials, then AMC became know at Always More Commercials.

  64. Wow, what a great interview – I’m just sorry I didn’t find it years ago!
    I too remember AMC when it was better than TCM – they did what TCM is doing now, and at the time Turner was busy colorizing movies that shouldn’t be colorized.
    Bob Dorian always had an interesting story about the movie being shown – one before and one after. It was always an education as well as entertainment to tune in to AMC.
    I wish TCM would consider him to replace the late Robert Osborne.
    My favorite movie story of his was about Life With Father. All the characters had red hair, and none of the actors did – so they all dyed their hair every day, the red dye being so caustic it could only stay in for a few hours at a time. One day during filming the dying was complete and a road crew nearby broke the water main – when it came time to wash out the dye, there was no water. Everybody was scrambling to find enough water to wash out the dye before the actors started losing their hair.

  65. I was fortunate enough to see the AMC channel when it began, and unfortunately when it went main stream. It was my favorite, and I too love Bob Dorian as the host. Something about his delivery made me feel that he was familiar and comfortable, and that’s how classic movies make me feel, familiar and comfortable. Then, one by one, the movies started having a little commercial time thrown in, then more modern day movies were thrown into the mix, which confused me at the time. These movies weren’t good when they came out, why were they taking the place of my classic films? I was so happy when TCM came on, but would have loved it if Bob Dorian had become the host of that network, so that once again things would be familiar and comfortable.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love Ben Mankiewicz too, and I liked Robert Osborne, but Bob was the bomb, in a good way!! But I mustn’t complain, for fear now that Robert Osborne is gone, the same fate will engulf TCM!! Please, please TCM, stay just as you are, now that You are familiar and comfortable!!

  66. When AMC changed its format in 2002, there was outrage. Enough outrage that on December 1, 2002, our local cable company dropped AMC and replaced it with Turner Classic Movies. Hallelujah! Best thing to happen. Unfortunately on April 1, 2009, our local cable company moved Turner Classic Movies from Basic Cable Package to the higher priced Digital Tier and returned AMC to it’s old spot. It was no April Fools Joke.

  67. Thank you for this interview with Bob Dorian. I was probably the only 12-year-old in the early 90s watching him introduce AMC movies. I was just thinking, “I wonder whatever happened to Bob Dorian” and was so happy this search result appeared.

  68. As you may know, we lost Bob earlier this month after a brief illness. I’ve enjoyed reading all these comments again and feel this interview stands as a true representation of the man we knew as “Bob, the Movie Guy”. Thank you all for your contributions, and thanks especially to Dave, who took the time to put it all together.

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