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Syndication

Episode 48: Stagecoach (1939)

"If there's anything I don't like, it's driving a stagecoach through Apache country."

It just doesn't get more American than John Ford.  Starting his career during the silent film era, Ford soon became the father of the American Western, from silent epics like The Iron Horse (1924) to classics like The Searchers (1956).

Stagecoach (1939) is the first film Ford made starring John Wayne, and it was a partnership that would last throughout both men's careers.  Although Stagecoach is a Western at heart, it's also a fascinating little character study, plucking several seemingly unrelated and different people and having them interact.  Thomas Mitchell won an Oscar for his portrayal of the drunken Doc Boone.

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

Direct download: Episode_48_Stagecoach_1939.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Episode 47: Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

"Why must fireflies die so young?"

Long before Studio Ghibli put itself on the map with Spirited Away (2001), the production company's co-founder, Isao Takahata, made a little animated film called Grave of the Fireflies (1988), a simple but remarkably depressing story about two sibling children struggling to survive after their Japanese town is firebombed.

Often overlooked for some of Studio Ghibli's other productions, Grave of the Fireflies delivers an emotional gut punch that is surprising effective for an animated feature.  Bring tissues.  You have been warned.

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

Direct download: Episode_47_Grave_of_the_Fireflies_1988.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Episode 46: Ace in the Hole (1951)

"It's a good story today.  Tomorrow, they'll wrap a fish in it."

Billy Wilder is one of Hollywood's most popular classic directors, and many of his films continue to amuse and thrill audiences to this day.  Ace in the Hole (1951) was a bit of a departure for Wilder, with an unsympathetic protagonist (played brilliantly by Kirk Douglas) and a tragic ending that's a far cry from Wilder's Some Like it Hot (1959).

Ace in the Hole is about blind ambition and how far some would go for fame and fortune, as well as crossing the line without knowing it until it's too late.  The film bombed on its release, but is now regarded as one of Wilder's most influential films.

 

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

Direct download: Episode_46_Ace_in_the_Hole_1951.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Episode 45: The Golden Coach (1953)

"At the end of the second act, when Colombine goes, driven away by her masters, there is a tradition you seem not to know.  The comedians bow to her."

Known primarily for his films like Grand Illusion (1937) and Rules of the Game (1939), Jean Renoir left France in the 1940's to make movies in Hollywood.  Europe eventually drew him back, however, and in the 1950's he made a trio of films which were later called his "Stage and Spectacle" trilogy by some.  The first of these was The Golden Coach (1953).

A fable about wealth and opulence when it's injected with humility in the form of a charming actress named Camilla (played by Anna Magnani), The Golden Coach is not widely known as one of Renoir's best films, but this doesn't lessen the fact that it's a delightful little drama peppered with sweet comedy.  It is indeed a surprising little gem.

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

Direct download: Episode_45_The_Golden_Coach_1953.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Episode 44: A Clockwork Orange (1971)

"Goodness is something to be chosen.  When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man."

Stanley Kubrick dropped his plans for making an epic biopic about the life of Napoleon Bonaparte to make Clockwork Orange (1971), based on the novel by Anthony Burgess.  Today it remains one of Kubrick's most infamous films, with images rarely seen in popular cinema, but nevertheless stunned critics and audiences alike with its artful prose and cinematography that has since become a Kubrick trademark.

Although it was popular (snagging Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing), the film had its fair share of controversy, and until Kubrick's death had a self-imposed ban in the United Kingdom.  Today it is held up as one of the greatest works of 1970's cinema, and for obvious reasons.

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_44_A_Clockwork_Orange_1971.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Episode 43: Vampyr (1932)

"Accounts from many ages and lands tell of terrible demons called vampires.  Under the bright light of the full moon, they rise from their graves to suck the blood of children and young adults and thus prolong their shadowy existence."

Just after Dracula (1931) haunted American theaters, a Danish filmmaker named Carl Theodor Dreyer was testing the waters of European horror with Vampyr (1932), a simple tale with a paradoxical hallucinogenic plot that some argue topped Dreyer's previous masterpiece, The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928).

Vampyr is the story of a girl who is bitten by the titular monster and her family's efforts to cure her of the resulting disease, but it is told in such a way that viewers are challenged to figure out if what they are seeing is actually part of the plot, or a fever dream on the part of the protagonist.  Watching it is an experience not to be forgotten, and second viewings can be even better; even if one were to criticize its simplistic story, it still stands alone 84 years later as a bizarre work of art and an outstanding early contribution to the horror genre.

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

Direct download: Episode_43_Vampyr_1932.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Episode 42: Le samourai (1967)

"He's a lone wolf."

"He's a wounded wolf; now there will be a trail.  He must be disposed of quickly."

French director Jean-Pierre Melville may not be known to modern audiences, but in France in the 1960's he was a true popular and independent filmmaker, two things that could paradoxically spell success for a director at that time and place.

"Le samourai" (1967) features nary a samurai (nor anything else Japanese, for that matter).  It's about a hitman named Jef who finds himself the target of a client after completing a job for him.  A thriller with obvious neorealist influences, it's a tight portrait of a lonely professional with bare necessities...and a twist ending!

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

Direct download: Episode_42_Le_samourai_1967.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Episode 41: To Be or Not to Be (1942)

"The named a brandy after Napoleon, they made a herring out of Bismarck, and the Fuhrer is going to end up as a piece of cheese!"

Ernst Lubitsch was one of Hollywood's biggest imports in the 1930's and 1940's, directing comedies starring Hollywood names like Ninotchka (1939) with Greta Garbo and The Shop Around the Corner (1940) with James Stewart.  He titillated the censors with films about sex...without scripts that hardly mentioned sex at all?

As Europe became embroiled in World War II, Lubitsch made To Be or Not to Be (1942), a film that would poke fun at another taboo: Adolf Hitler.  Audiences and critics at the time hated it, but through the years it's become Lubitsch's most popular film, earning cult status with a script filled with innuendos and dark humor and fantastic performances by Jack Benny and Carole Lombard.

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

Direct download: Episode_41_To_Be_or_Not_to_Be_1942.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Episode 40: The Battle of Algiers (1965)

"It's hard to start a revolution.  Even harder to continue it.  And hardest of all to win it.  But, it's only afterwards, when we have won, that the true difficulties begin.  In short, Ali, there's still much to do."

In our post-9/11 world, it's difficult to understand a culture that would be willing to kill innocent people for its cause, and to sympathize with it is downright impossible.  It's confounding that someone made a film in the 1960's about Muslim nationalists that is unbelievably sympathetic to their cause...and, more importantly, makes the viewer feel the same.

"The Battle of Algiers" (1965) was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo at a time when Algeria was occupied by France, and the citizens of Algiers found themselves resorting to terrorism to fight for independence.  It's depressing, shocking, and jaw-dropping...to say the least.

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

Direct download: Episode_40_The_Battle_of_Algiers_1965.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Episode 39: Amarcord (1973)

Enough can't be said about the life and films of Federico Fellini.  One of the greatest filmmakers of all time, his movies merge bizarrely between the autobiographical and the surreal.  He was taunted by both women and fascism, and both of these were expressed in Amarcord (1973) his most autobiographical of all his films.

Amarcord is the picaresque (and picturesque) story of a year in the life of the tiny Italian town of Rimini, Fellini's birthplace and his home throughout his youth.  Although none of the events or characters depicted in the film directly reflect anything in reality, they are the result of a 52-year-old man's jumbled memories of many years before.

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

Direct download: Episode_39_Amarcord_1973.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CST