Talking Movies, Episode 14: Billy Wilder

billy wilder 1In Episode 14, Scott and I talk about Billy Wilder, one of the most prolific and versatile directors of all time.

Samuel “Billy” Wilder began his career as a journalist and screenwriter in Berlin in the 1920s, but fled for Paris during the rise of the Nazi Party. There he made his directorial debut with Mauvaise Graine (1934) and then continued his journey to Hollywood. Scott and I discuss how his love for writing, his escape from the Nazis, and his early partnerships with Charles Brackett and Ernst Lubitsch influenced his filmmaking.

We’ll also talk about his unparalleled range as a director: his ability to pump out both classic comedies, like Sabrina (1954), Seven Year Itch (1955), and Some Like it Hot (1959), and timeless films noir like Double Indemnity (1944) and The Lost Weekend (1945). But perhaps his greatest talent as a director was to elicit memorable, award worthy, and often atypical performances from his actors. Scott and I will talk about these performances, especially those from our features of the week: Sunset Boulevard (1950), Ace in the Hole (1951), Stalag 17 (1953), and Witness for the Prosecution (1957). So for an exciting discussion on these topics and many more, tune into Episode 14 of Talking Movies!

~ Talking Movies is a podcast series covering classic films from the 20th century. In this episode, our guest co-host is Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter and the founder/editor-in-chief of ScottFeinberg.com.
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Talking Movies, Episode 13: Humphrey Bogart

bogie 1In Episode 13 Scott and I talk about the life and works of one the greatest male actors of all time: Humphrey Bogart. We’ll start in the 1930s–when Bogie was not yet a huge star–with the film Dark Victory (1939) in which he plays third fiddle to Bette Davis and George Brent. Then we’ll move onto the 1940s, when Bogie did take over the big screens as the classic hardboiled lead. There we’ll see The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942), The Big Sleep (1946), and Key Largo (1948). But Bogie had lots range, too, which we’ll get to enjoy in The Treasure of The Sierra Madre (1948), where he plays a gold prospector crippled by greed, in The African Queen (1951), where he plays a coarse but adventurous boat captain alongside Katharine Hepburn, and in The Caine Mutiny (1954), where he plays a paranoid naval captain.

Scott and I will also discuss Bogie’s on and off-screen relationship with Lauren Bacall, his close friendship (and drinking partnership) with John Huston, and his leadership of the original Rat Pack. For a discussion of these topics and many more, tune into Episode 13!

~ Talking Movies is a podcast series covering classic films from the 20th century. In this episode, our guest co-host is Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter and the founder/editor-in-chief of ScottFeinberg.com.

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Talking Movies, Episode 12: Fritz Lang

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In Episode 12 of Talking Movies, Scott and I circle back to the 1920s to start a new survey of the classics. But rather than sort by genre and decade, as we’ve done in the past, we’ll now focus each week on a specific actor or director. Through this approach we can really get to know the Hollywood greats and examine their careers holistically.

Thus we start with one of the most enigmatic and influential directors of all time, Fritz Lang. First we’ll look at two films he made while still in Germany–Metropolis (1927) and (1931)–and discuss his influences and roots in Expressionism. From there we move to his Hollywood years, as we watch two classics, Fury (1936) and The Big Heat (1953). Additionally, we’ll talk about Lang’s life and his lasting influence on American cinema, especially in the Sci-fi and Film Noir genres. Tune in to Episode 12 for a discussion on these topics and many more!

~ Talking Movies is a podcast series covering classic films from the 20th century. In this episode, our guest co-host is Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter and the founder/editor-in-chief of ScottFeinberg.com.

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Talking Movies, Episode 11

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In Episode 11, Scott and I talk about war, journalism, and politics–admittedly heavy topics for a segment on 1970s comedies. But these were important issues of the times and also of our movies de jour: Mash (1970), Network (1976), and Being There (1979). Still, we’ll find time for a few laughs and also for a chat about the actors and directors responsible for these great satires. Tune in!

~ Talking Movies is a podcast series covering classic films from the 20th century. In this episode, our guest co-host is Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter and the founder/editor-in-chief of ScottFeinberg.com.
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Talking Movies, Episode 10

the apt 1the nutty professor 2The_Producers_(1968)
In Episode 10 of Talking Movies, Scott and I chat about three comedies from the 1960s. First Billy Wilder’s black-and-white, Best Picture winning comedy-drama, The Apartment (1960), starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray. Then two other riotous comedies from the 60s: The Nutty Professor (1963), starring and directed by Jerry Lewis, and The Producers (1968), directed by Mel Brooks and starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. As usual, we’ll examine cultural and political trends that influenced–or were influenced by–these movies, and also talk about the intriguing careers of their casts and crews.

~ Talking Movies is a podcast series covering classic films from the 20th century. In this episode, our guest co-host is Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter and the founder/editor-in-chief of ScottFeinberg.com

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Talking Movies, Episode 9

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In Episode 9, Scott and I meet in person to discuss three classics from the 1950s: Harvey (1950), Some Like it Hot (1959), and Pillow Talk (1959). First, we’ll look into the culture issues and etiquettes of the time, and discuss how they relate to these three movies. Then we’ll move onto the iconic careers of Jimmy Stewart, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe, Billy Wilder, and Doris Day and Rock Hudson–one of the highest grossing duo of the 1950s. For a discussion of these topics and many more, tune into Episode 9 of Talking Movies!

~ Talking Movies is a podcast series covering classic films from the 20th century. In this episode, our guest co-host is Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter and the founder/editor-in-chief of ScottFeinberg.com

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Talking Movies, Episode 8

The-Great-DictatorTo-Be-Or-Not-To-Behail the conquering hero
In Episode 8 of Talking Movies, Scott and I discuss three satirical comedies from the 1940s that deal with Hitler and World War II: The Great Dictator (1940), To Be or Not to Be (1942), and Hail the Conquering Hero (1944). First, we’ll talk about Charlie Chaplin’s controversial masterpiece and his fading popularity–a consequence of his political and social expression. We’ll look into the careers of two other masterful and witty directors, Ernst Lubitsch and Preston Sturges, and discuss their bodies of work. Finally, we’ll talk about the origins of satire and dark comedy movies as vehicles for social messages. For a discussion of these topics and many more, tune in to Episode 8 of Talking Movies!

~ Talking Movies is a podcast series covering classic films from the 20th century. In this episode, our guest co-host is Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter and the founder/editor-in-chief of ScottFeinberg.com.
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