The 1001 Movies Podcast
Episode 31: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

After making A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and For a Few Dollars More (1965), Sergio Leone outdid his European contemporaries who were churning out spaghetti Westerns with The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).  After the trilogy was released across the Atlantic, Leone revitalized the Western, a genre that was born with The Great Train Robbery (1903) but was dwindling by the mid 1960's.

Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach starred as the film's three titular characters, and everyone involved eventually went on to prosperous characters, particularly Clint Eastwood and composer Ennio Morricone.  The movie is widely available on Blu Ray and DVD.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, "like" the podcast's Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_31_The_Good_the_Bad_and_the_Ugly_1966.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm CST

Episode 30: Mad Max (1979)

With audiences still reeling from the success Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), we turn our sights to the one that started it all, George Miller's Mad Max (1979), which turns out to be a revenge flick set in a dystopia rather than a post-apocalyptic action movie, much like its sequels.

Not only did Mad Max jump start Miller's career, but it was also the breakthrough role for a young and handsome Mel Gibson, who was cast to play Max.  Inspired by the injuries Miller observed while working in an emergency room, the film still remains a breathtaking glimpse of "guerrilla filmmaking", with remarkable onscreen car crashes and close calls with the stuntmen.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's page on Facebook.

Direct download: Episode_30_Mad_Max_1979.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:46pm CST

Episode 29: Babe (1995)

If you ever want to see a grown man cry, show him Chris Noonan's Australian Babe (1995), the hit movie about a little pig that went a long way.  The movie flew under the radar until it was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, and it's been called "the Citizen Kane of talking pig movies."  While the special effects are groundbreaking (it won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects), the tale of the unprejudiced heart of a baby pig and how he changes the world of those around him is touching and timeless.

Babe is currently widely available on DVD and Blu Ray and can also be seen for free by Amazon Prime members.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and follow the podcast on Facebook.

Direct download: Episode_29_Babe_1995.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:49pm CST

Episode 28: The Great Train Robbery (1903)

The birth of the American Western, as well as the birth of narrative filmmaking, began with Edwin S. Porter's The Great Train Robbery (1903).  A product of Thomas Edison's production company, it was the first breakthrough film since George Melies' A Trip to the Moon (1902).

With a running time of only ten and a half minutes long, multiple versions of The Great Train Robbery can be seen on YouTube and it's also available on DVD.  It is only the second film listed in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and "like" the podcast on Facebook to keep track of new releases.

Direct download: Episode_28_The_Great_Train_Robbery_1903.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm CST

Episode 27: The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)

Vittorio De Sica may have been nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in A Farewell to Arms (1957), but he's remembered for directing Italian neorealist films like Shoeshine (1946) and Bicycle Thieves (1948).

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970), made just four years before his death, was De Sica's last great film, made at a time when critics were beginning to think that his career as a great director had screeched to a halt.  It brought his name back into the spotlight and, among others, earned the film an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviepodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC, and be sure to "like" the podcast on Facebook.

 

Direct download: Episode_27_The_Garden_of_the_Finzi-Continis_1970.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:37pm CST

Episode 26: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964)

When you think of the Soviet Union, their accomplishments in filmmaking will probably not come to mind.  In fact, prior to 1964, Soviet cinema consisted almost exclusively of social realist films, until director Sergei Paradjanov made Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, which told the tale of a Carpathian love story in the 1800's.

Paradjanov, who would later make The Color of Pomegranates (another film on the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list), was blacklisted for Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, which was just one tragic milestone in his tumultuous life.  It remains a landmark in Soviet cinema.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_26_Shadows_of_Forgotten_Ancestors_1964.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:40pm CST

Episode 25: The Great Escape (1963)

Known for Bad Day at Black Rock (1950) and The Magnificent Seven (1960), director John Sturges had established his career making dramas with strong male ensemble casts.  The Great Escape (1963) became his pet project after he established himself in Hollywood, and it's no exception to Sturges' other films, letting the actors shine brilliantly.

The Great Escape is an amazing true story based on the book by an actual prisoner who was involved in the events.  The film was a resounding success, and earned an Oscar nomination for editor Ferris Webster.  It is currently widely available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Have a question or a comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_25_The_Great_Escape_1963.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:07pm CST

Episode 24: Beau Travail (1999)

On the outside, Claire Denis' Beau Travail (1999) is slathered with homoeroticism, which is exactly why the French Legion wasn't too happy that she made it.  However, it's really a film about alienation and one man's downward spiral into isolation, insanity, and tragedy.  (And, yes, I've just described every other French film prior to 2000 ever made.)

The film is currently available on DVD, and those of you who frequent speciality shops (or want to drop $30 for a copy of your own) may be able to find it.

Look for us on Facebook, follow the podcast on Twitter via @1001moviesPC and email Sean with comments or questions at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com.

Direct download: Episode_24_Beau_Travail_1999.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:49pm CST

Episode 23: The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

The Outlaw Josey Wales is the result of Clint Eastwood's former collaboration with director Sergio Leone on "The Man with No Name Trilogy", a tender Western with an ensemble cast and a non-traditional ending.

The film was the fifth one directed by Eastwood and was the beginning of his trail-blazing career which continues to this day with films like American Sniper and Jersey Boys.  Jerry Fielding received an Oscar nomination for his score in The Outlaw Josey Wales.  The film is currently widely available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_23_The_Outlaw_Josey_Wales_1976.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:03pm CST

Episode 22: Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Independent cinema has been around as long as cinema itself has, but in the 1990's it burst into neighborhood movie houses and was given as much credit by average filmgoer's as the standard Hollywood fare.  Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, his first film, arguably started it all.

Although Tarantino didn't make himself a househould name until two years later with Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs is the film with which he cut his teeth on the humorous and naturalistic dialogue he's known for today, as well as his style of non-linear storytelling.  It is now widely available on DVD and Blu-Ray and, as of this writing, is streaming on Netflix.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviesPC@gmail.com, look for the podcast on Facebook, and follow it on Twitter via @1001moviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_22_Reservoir_Dogs_1992.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm CST

Episode 21: Beauty and the Beast (1946)

Beauty and the Beast has been interpreted by filmmakers many times, and although the most popular is probably the 1991 Disney movie, in 1946 French director Jean Cocteau put his own interpretation on film.

Haunting and surrealistic, Beauty and the Beast marks an important point in French cinema history, having come just after the War when many filmmakers were finding their footing after the German occupation.  It's a well-loved classic, and the images will be hard to forget.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_21_Beauty_and_the_Beast_1946.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:21pm CST

Episode 20: Red Psalm (1972)

If I asked you to name the biggest contributor to Hungarian cinema, you'd probably be at a loss for words.  Miklos Jancso is probably the answer, and his work included a number of films that dealt with themes of wartime and revolution, always with a historical backdrop.

Red Psalm is certainly no exception to Jancso's work.  Part musical and part historical commentary, it weaves a spell that I have never seen in a movie before, and Jancso fills it with rich themes and imagery.  Take a listen and, if your interest is piqued, I would recommend getting your hands on the DVD, which is readily available online.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC, and look for the podcast's (relatively new) Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_20_Red_Psalm_1972.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:23pm CST

Episode 19: Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Mutiny on the Bounty is the true story of the falling out between Fletcher Christian and Captain Bligh, a falling out with disasterous results that resulted in many men fleeing England and many other without heads.  Frank Lloyd's 1935 epic was the third rendition for the big screen and was produced by MGM for a whopping record-breaking $2 million.

A testament to the production values of one of Hollywood's golden ages, Mutiny on the Bounty went on to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, and was nominated for seven others: Clark Gable, Charles Laughton, and Franchot Tone were all nominated for Best Actor, and the picture was also nominted for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Music, and Best Film Editing.

Email the host with questions or comment at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC, and also look for the podcast on Facebook.

Direct download: Episode_19_Mutiny_on_the_Bounty_1935.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Episode 18: Wild Reeds (1994)

Wild Reeds is Andre Techine's coming-of-age story set during the backdrop of the Algerian War in the early 1960's.  The film was a smashing success in France, and is lauded by many as one of the masterpieces of queer cinema from the 1990's, although it's unlikely that Techine intended the film's gay character to be a subplot that involves the lives of three other characters.

The film snagged a number of the top prizes at the Cesar Awards (France's equivalent of the Oscars).  Although it is currently out of print and no longer on DVD, you can find a cheap used copy on the internet.

Have a question for the host.  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow the podcast on Twitter via @1001moviespc.

Direct download: Episode_18_Wild_Reeds_1994.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Long before 50 Shades of Grey or any of its ilk, there was Last Tango in Paris, the sultry erotic drama starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider.  Most people probably haven't seen it but know it by reputation; that reputation usually involves something involving a stick of butter.

Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, the film revolutionized the genre and art house cinema.  It resulted in a debate over censorship, a short prison sentence for Bertolucci, and two Academy Award nominations.  In this episode we take a look at the history of the film and the careers of its director and lead male star up to the point it was made.

Have a question or a comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter via @1001moviespc.

Direct download: Episode_17_Last_Tango_in_Paris_1972.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Frank Sinatra had just won an Oscar before he signed up to star in Otto Preminger's The Man with the Golden Arm, but who knew he could really act?  In a day when films about [insert drug name here] addiction and abuse seem like a dime a dozen, Sinatra delivers a top notch performance that has aged like a fine wine after 60 years.

Performances aside, Preminger delivers the goods with the film, which was arguably part of his crusade snubbing the Hollywood production code which would never permit mainstream studios to release a picture about drugs.  Indeed, the chemistry between Sinatra and Preminger, two Hollywood celebrities who everyone predicted would never bond, is part of the magic of this production.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow him in Twitter via @1001moviespc.

Direct download: Episode_16_The_Man_with_the_Golden_Arm_1955.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Director Tran Anh Hung is arguably the biggest name in Vietnamese cinema, which is unfortunate because film is not one of the country's popular exports.  What Vietnamese cinema lacks in quantity, however, it makes up for in quality with Cyclo, a fascinating little gem of a gangster picture that sprouted up just when Quentin Tarantino was becoming a household name.

It's fair to note that Cyclo is not technically a Vietnamese film: Tran was born there, but has lived most of his life in France and much of the production team is French.  Nevertheless, the film captures the essence of metropolitan Vietnamese life, an admirable accomplishment without the common backdrop of wartime.

One note: sometimes in this episode I refer to director Tran Anh Hung as "Tran" and sometimes as "Hung".  Since he and I obviously aren't friends, I prefer to refer to him formally using his family name.  I understand that in most Asian cultures this would be his "first" name, which would be "Tran".  My apologies for my confusion on that part.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter via @1001moviespc.  Also, if you're enjoying the show, please leave some love for it on iTunes to help get us some more listeners.

Direct download: Episode_15_Cyclo_1995.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

We'll linger a little longer on Italian neorealism with a film by another one of the movement's proponents, Michelangelo Antonioni.

When it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, L'avventura was jeered at by the audience, probably because during the entirety of its almost two-and-a-half-hours running time it has only the bare semblance of a plot.  However, critics and filmmakers later embraced the film as something new and ambitious, and by the 1980's it may have unwittingly become one of the most influential films of all time.  Antonioni's sixth film and his first to reach critical success, it's a masterpiece of cinema and something that (for me anyways) should probably be seen more than once to appreciate the scope of what was created.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com.  Also, if you're enjoying this journey into the world of film so far, please leave us some feedback on iTunes!

Direct download: Episode_14_Lavventura_1960.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Luchino Visconti was known for dabbling with neorealism, but Senso mixed his love of the opera and melodrama with the film movement that his name is attached to.

Italy's first Technicolor film, Senso is a love story set during the Austrian occupation of Venice in the 1860's.  The film is a visual feast, with sweeping setpieces that reflect Visconti's love of the opera.  Alida Valli and Farley Granger (whose English was dubbed into Italian for the film's Italian release) give stellar performances as the leads, particularly Valli, who won a Golden Globe for her effort.  This is another title currently readily available on Blu-Ray and DVD from the Criterion Collection; viewing the heavily-cut American version of the film from the disc's special features is to experience an exercise of how not to edit a film.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast.com.  Also, if you're enjoying our journey, please leave some positive feedback on iTunes!

Direct download: Episode_13_Senso_1954.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Continuing with the theme of Holocaust dramas (yes, each film really is drawn at random), we jump back three years to 1987 and Louis Malle's Au revoir les enfants.

This story of secrets, innocence, and eventually mistaken betrayal is one of my undiscovered favorites so far on this podcast, and is sadly one of Malle's final films before his death of lymphoma in 1995.  This story of a French schoolboy who slowly learns that his best friend is a Jew sheltered by the schoolmaster is provacative, sad, and mesmerizing.  It would go on to win the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.  Au revoir les enfants is currently avaialble on Blu-Ray and DVD via the Criterion Collection.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com.  Also, if you're enjoying the journey thus far, please leave a favorable review on iTunes!

Direct download: Episode_12_Au_revoir_les_enfants_1987.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Film is not exactly rife with female Polish directors, which makes Agnieszka Holland exceptional.  She focused primarily on television and documentary work before writing and directing the epic Europa Europa.

Dozens of films have been made about the Holocaust but, as The Washington Post put it, "[there are] only a handful as passionate, as subtly intelligent, as universal as this one."  Europa Europa tells the true story of Salomon Perel, a Jewish boy who finds himself jumping from the frying pan into the fire after he accidentally enlists in the German army and moves from one situation to another to hide his identity and escape alive.  Not to be confused with the Lars von Trier film Europa, the film is available on DVD, although scrupulous purchasers might consider buying a used copy: a new copy is currently available for about $65 on Amazon.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_11_Europa_Europa_1990.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Fresh off of our discussion of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, we set our sights on My Man Godfrey, another comedy from 1936.  Directed by Gregory La Cava, the film is a satire of the lives of the naive and wealthy family residing in their Park Avenue and the merry misadventures that occur when they employ a new butler, Godfrey, who teaches them a few life lessons before the film's conclusion.

La Cava's films are laced with similar social and political satire, such as Gabriel over the White House (1933) and She Married Her Boss (1935).  Commentary aside, My Man Godfrey's true charm is that it still holds up today.  Several editions, many with questionable quality, have been released on DVD, but obviously the Criterion Collection edition remains the best.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_10_My_Man_Godfrey_1936.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

When you mention Frank Capra, most people will thank of It's a Wonderful Life, or any of a handful of other movies starring James Stewart.  In the 1930's, however, Capra was probably Hollywood most prolific director, earning a string of Oscar nominations for his charming screwball comedies with traditional American values.

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town was another notch on Capra's belt after his film It Happened One Night hit the grand slam after winning all four major Academy Awards.  Featuring Gary Cooper as the titular character from a small town who is thrown into a frenzy of money-grubbing New York lawyers and businessmen, the movie was hugely successful and earned Capra another Oscar for Best Director.  Fun aside fact: it's also fetaures the first instance of the word "doodle", which soon found itself in the English vernacular.  The film is readily (and cheaply) available on DVD.

Have a comment or a question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_9_Mr._Deeds_Goes_to_Town_1936.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

After penning Dogme 95, a manifesto urging filmmakers to subscribe to a particular method, Danish director Lars von Trier made Breaking the Waves, about the ways of rigidly living by a particular religious dogma.  The film follows the rules set down by von Trier, but for a select few shots that are beautifully touched up by computer imagery and graced with pop music from the 1970's.

Based on a fairy tale von Trier read as a child, the story follow doe-eyed Bess (Emily Watson) as she marries oil rig worker Jan (Stellan Skarsgard) and copes with the tragedy that follows, both with the rigid religious rules laid down by the elders of her small Scottish village and the frustrations of sexuality.  The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.  The film is now available on Blu Ray and DVD via the Criterion Collection.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001movies@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_8_Breaking_the_Waves_1996.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Considering the number of films that Bollywood has spawned, it's surprising that there's a dearth of them in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.  One of the few inclusions is Deewaar, a 1975 (somewhat musical) drama directed by Yash Chopra and featuring Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

"Deewaar" translated into English means The Wall, in this case referring to the divide between two brothers, one who has joined the police force and the other who has chosen a life of crime.  Whether you consider yourself a fan of Bollywood or not, you have to admit it's a great drama, even if you don't enjoy the musical bits that are so characteristic of the genre.  Deewaar is available on region-free Blu Ray from some international retailers.

Have a question or feedback for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_7_Deewaar_1975.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

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