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Syndication

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

"I don't really know what the truth is.  I don't suppose anybody will ever really know.  Nine of us now seem to feel that the defendant is innocent, but we're just gambling on probabilities - we may be wrong.  We may be trying to let a guilty man go free, I don't know.  Nobody really can.  But we have a reasonable doubt, and that's something that's very valuable in our system.  No jury can declare a man guilty unless it's sure."

How do you make a 96 minute movie consisting of twelve people talking in a room interesting?  Based on a teleplay of the same name, Sidney Lumet's 12 Angry Men (1957) does just that, transforming a jury's deliberations into a taut thriller.  This may have been Lumet's first feature film, but it's a debut worthy of a master of suspense like Alfred Hitchcock.

12 Angry Men was nominated for three Oscars, including Best Picture, but lost out to The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).  It may have lost at the Oscars, but it certainly hasn't lost the test of time.

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_58_12_Angry_Men_1957.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

"Here a woman wouldn't go in the house of a single man.  Just spending time together implies sleeping together."

For the uninitiated, Francesco Rosi is known as something of an artistic crusader for the poverty-stricken and hardworking people of Southern Italy.  Most of his films were political in nature, and often criticized the government's treatment of some of its more underprivileged citizens.

Christ Stopped at Eboli is no exception.  Think of it as a classic Italian version of Northern Exposure: a doctor is exiled to a small town in Southern Italy, where he learns to appreciate the lifestyle and morals of the people there.  It's long, it's languid, and it just might make you think.  Listen in to learn more!

Do you 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_57_Christ_Stopped_at_Eboli_1979.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Episode 56: The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

"I told you he was a spirit. If you're his friend, you can talk to him whenever you want. Just close your eyes and call him... It's me, Ana... It's me, Ana..."

Hailed by some as the single best movie to ever come out of Spain, The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) is the directorial debut of Victor Erice.  Inspired by James Whale's Frankenstein (1931), this isn't a horror movie, but rather the story of the imagination and curiosity of a little girl in a tiny Castilian village in the early 1940's.

Deliberately paced and beautifully photographed, The Spirit of the Beehive was the debut of child actress Ana Torrent, who is now a household name in Spain and works extensively in film and television.  Despite the film's critical success, Erice has only made three movies since, including one in 2016.

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_56_The_Spirit_of_the_Beehive_1973.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Episode 55: Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)

Although he's primarily known for dark films like The Seventh Seal (1957) and Persona (1966), Ingmar Bergman skyrocketed to fame with Smiles of Summer Night (1955), a surprising quaint little farce in the nature of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Featuring a leading cast used in previous films (most notably Gunnar Bjornstrand and Eva Dahlbeck), Bergman's script explores the sexuality of a myriad of people from different social sets; of course, since this was made in 1955, the sexuality is conveyed in subtext beneath some clever dialogue and witty repartee, which is really where all the fun is in this film.  Bergman would go on to win an award for Best Poetic Humor at the Cannes Film Festival, and Swedish cinema hasn't been the same since.

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 Facebook page. 

Direct download: Episode_55_Smiles_of_a_Summer_Night_1955.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Episode 54: Day for Night (1973)

"What is a film director?  A man who's asked questions about everything.  Sometimes he knows the answers."

Day for Night (1973) is probably popular in the history of cinema for creating a rift between two founders of the French New Wave, Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard.  Truffaut was accused by Godard (and others) of selling out with this film, presumably by catering to the masses and also lying about his own personal life in the script.

Either way you look at it, Day for Night is not a love letter to cinema, but the procedure of creating cinema.  Told in a documentary style, it depicts the drama among the cast and crew of a typical (and not very good) movie.  It is Truffaut's comical commentary on his professional world, and remains, at its very least, a delightful little trifle of a movie.

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 Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_54_Day_for_Night_1973.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

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