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Syndication

By the time 1983 rolled around, it seemed inevitable that someone would make a movie about the space race.  The Right Stuff (1983) is Philip Kaufman's practically exhaustive retelling of Tom Wolfe's book chronicles NASA's Mercury program, which trained the first seven astronauts how to travel in space.  Cast with a bunch of then unknowns (including Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, and the recently departed Sam Shepard), the film was a hit with critics (despite a disappointing return at the box office) but remains something of a cult classic today.

Look out for appearances by Jeff Goldblum, Harry Shearer, Veronic Cartwright, and Chuck Yeager himself as a bartender, not to mention special effects and sound editing that could blow your socks off even in 2017.

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

Direct download: Episode_68_The_Right_Stuff_1983.mp3
Category:1001 Movies -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Before he was known for comic book fare like Superman Returns (2006) and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), Bryan Singer directed a little something called The Usual Suspects (1995), which initially became an instant cult classic enjoyed mostly when it was released on home video but now stands out as one of the best dramas of its time, thanks primarily to an Academy Award-winning script by Christopher McQuarrie.

The Usual Suspects also cemented the career of Kevin Spacey, who also scored in the same year as the creepy killer in Se7en (1995).  Spacey won an Oscar as well.  The rest is in the history of cinema's most surprising plot twists.

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

Direct download: Episode_67_The_Usual_Suspects_1995.mp3
Category:1001 Movies -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Perhaps the world's first famous Scots filmmaker, Alexander Mackendrick was not much more than a set designer when he was hired by Britain's Ealing Studios to direct Whisky Galore! (1949).  If you were to ask Mackendrick himself, he would like not cite it as the high point of his career, as the production was plagued with problems between him and the producers.

Based on actual events, Whisky Galore! is the charming little story of an island village in Scotland whose inhabitants conspire to steal a boatload of whiskey from a sunken ship.  Traditional stereotypes may stand out, but at the end of the day most audiences won't help but smile to themselves at Alexander Mackenrick's directorial debut.

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

Direct download: Episode_66_Whisky_Galore_1949.mp3
Category:1001 Movies -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Mel Brooks was lucky.  The Producers (1968) earned him an Academy Award, and if it hadn't been for a chance screening by a popular actor, nobody would have even heard of it by now.

Whether or not you can enjoy its special brand of politically incorrect humor, The Producers marks the beginning of a wonderful career not just for writer/director Mel Brooks, but for actor Gene Wilder.  It was, as history would later prove, the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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

Direct download: Episode_65_The_Producers_1968.mp3
Category:1001 Movies -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Anyone who is anyone knows something about Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946), even if it's just having seen a memorable scene or two.  Capra was fresh off of making propaganda films for the Armed Forces when he created yet another production and made the film, and it's likely the apex of his career.

Although it's cherished nowadays as a holiday classic, It's a Wonderful Life came to be so popular seemingly by mistake, and deserves to be seen occasionally on its own merits rather than an annual holiday treat.

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

Direct download: Episode_64_Its_a_Wonderful_Life_1946.mp3
Category:1001Movies -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Before musicals ruled Hollywood, an unknown filmmaker named Rouben Mamoulian was making movies like City Streets (1931) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), both of which were successful exercises in inventive new types of camerawork and storytelling.  With Love Me Tonight (1932), Mamoulian tried his hand at a musical romantic comedy, and proved surprisingly successful.

Starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, Love Me Tonight is a twisted little musical romantic comedy which, while predictable, bends the envelope when you least expect it.  It's practically forgotten now, but the talent behind it can still be appreciated 85 years later.

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

Direct download: Episode_63_Love_Me_Tonight_1932.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

King of New York (1990) is probably the best 1990's gangster drama you never heard of.  Director Abel Ferrara was best known for cult hits like The Driller Killer (1979) and Ms .45 (1981) before he made this tale of a drug kingpin, played by Christopher Walken in an Oscar-worthy role, who is released from prison and dedicated to do good for the community.

The movie is a perfect vehicle for Walken, who to this today is primarily known as a supporting actor.  King of New York is one of his best roles (if not, hands down, his best), and should not be missed by even his casual fans.

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

Direct download: Episode_62_King_of_New_York_1990.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Since the 1970's, Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin have gained cult status for their homegrown humor about counterculture and drug use.  Although nowadays their appearances together are intermittent, at best, they were probably never as popular in the early 1970's when they became arguably the most popular comedy duo in America with a strong of best-selling albums.

It was inevitable that the two would make a movie, peppered with both original pieces and moments from their albums and stage appearances.  Up in Smoke (1978) became the nation's biggest in-joke, mostly because it was directly marketed to those who would most closely relate to the humor, while those who couldn't relate went blissfully unaware.  Watch out for Tom Skerritt and Stacy Keach before they were known.

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

Direct download: Episode_61_Up_in_Smoke_1978.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

"I'm going to be a great film star!  That is, if booze and sex don't get me first."

One critic called Cabaret (1972) "a musical for people who hate musicals."  As someone who doesn't particularly care for films in which the characters spontaneously burst into song, I heartily agree with this statement.  Bob Fosse's film, which was based on the works of Christopher Isherwood, is snappy, witty, and knows exactly when to drive the plot with dialogue and when to dazzle its viewers with a dance number.

Cabaret was the breakout role for Liza Minnelli, earning her an Oscar and guaranteeing her a slot among Hollywood royalty.  She, Fosse, and supporting actor Joel Grey all took home statues on Oscar night, although the film lost Best Picture to The Godfather (1972).

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_60_Cabaret_1972.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

"That's why when somebody say, 'When you get to the NBA, don't forget about me,' and all that stuff.  Well, I should've said to them, 'If I don't make it, don't you forget about me.'"

When filmmakers Steve James and Frederick Marx set out to make a documentary about high school basketball that they hoped would be seen on PBS, they had no idea that it would become a three hour spectacle that inspired critics and audiences alike.

Hoop Dreams (1994) isn't really about high school basketball, but about the lives of two students and their families as they climb the ladder with hopes of becoming NBA stars.  Yes, those who enjoy basketball will not be disappointed, but there's more in this film that will make almost any viewer jump for joy or cry tears of frustration.

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_59_Hoop_Dreams_1994.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST