Thursday, November 23, 2017
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There’s no place like home. On today’s Thanksgiving podcast adventure, Adolfo and Mark discuss the 1939 MGM classic: THE WIZARD OF OZ! On this week’s show:
More Alamo Drafthouse!
Watching CASABLANCA on the big screen
It’s not an isosceles triangle!
What human being on this planet hasn’t seen Wizard of Oz?
A Thanksgiving tradition
The troubled production and box office woes of Oz
Dark Side of the Moon
The power of watching a movie on the big screen
The rotating door of directors
Wizard of Oz on stage
High school productions
A Thanksgiving tradition
Engrained in pop culture
Roseanne Barr as the Wicked Witch?
The bankability of Fantasy films in the 30s.
Why the film was a dream sequence
The darkness of RETURN TO OZ
“Over the Rainbow” was almost cut from the film
Dorothy and Scarecrow love connection?
The pros and cons of blu-ray
The amazing make-up artistry
Shirley Temple: The original Dorothy?
Ray Bolger originally cast as Scarecrow
Buddy Ebsen’s allergic reaction to the silver Tin Man make up, causing him to be recast by Jack Haley
Who were WC Fields and Ed Wynn considered to play?
Frank Morgan, the MGM character actor
Margaret Hamilton severely burned on a stunt
The television broadcast gave the film new life
Midgets groping Judy Garland
There is still one Munchkin left!
Sequels & spinoffs!
Wicked the Broadway Musical
The debut of the Random CHRISTMAS Movie Generator
FILM REFERENCES IN THIS EPISODE:
THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ (1910)
THE WIZARD OF OZ (1925)
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938)
GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940)
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
THE BISHOP’S WIFE (1947)
ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1951)
REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955)
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (1959)
MARY POPPINS (1965)
BONNIE & CLYDE (1967)
GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER (1967)
WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (1971)
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974)
STAR WARS TRILOGY (1977-1983)
MOMENT BY MOMENT (1978)
THE WIZ (1978)
THE SHINING (1980)
BLOW OUT (1981)
THE THING (1982)
E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)
MICHAEL JACKSON’S THRILLER (1982)
A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983)
RETURN TO OZ (1985)
CAPTAIN EO (1986)
THE PRINCESS BRIDE (1987)
THE LOST BOYS (1987)
DIE HARD (1988)
GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH (1990)
HOME ALONE (1990)
MGM WHEN THE LION ROARS (1992)
THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (1992)
FALLING DOWN (1993)
ED WOOD (1994)
BATMAN & ROBIN (1997)
STAR WARS: EPISODE I - THE PHANTOM MENACE (1999)
POKÉMON: THE MOVIE - I CHOOSE YOU! (2000)
THE ROOM (2002)
TIN MAN (2007)
500 DAYS OF SUMMER (2009)
THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY (2001-2003)
ROOM 237 (2012)
THE AVENGERS (2012)
THE HOBBIT TRILOGY (2012-2014)
OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (2013)
THOR: RAGNAROK (2017)
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (2017)
JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017)
AMERICAN ASSASSIN (2017)
KINGSMAN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (2017)
THE DISASTER ARTIST (2017)
IRVING BERLIN’S HOLIDAY INN: THE MUSICAL (2017)
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (2017)
THE POST (2017)
Key & Peele: Gremlins 2
Moment by Moment TV Spot
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910)
The Wizard of Oz (1925)
Return to Oz Trailer
Maragaret Hamilton on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood
Michael Jackson in The Wiz (1978)
Moonwalker Trailer (1988)
Tin Man trailer
TWITTER: @EssentialFilms, @FPMoviePodcast, @Adolfo_Acosta, @Sportsguy515
FACEBOOK: The Essential Films
Monday, November 20, 2017
Brian De Palma
1981 • 107 Minutes • 2.35 : 1 • United States
Cast: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, Dennis Franz
Screenplay: Brian De Palma
Cinematography: Vilmos Zsigmond
Producer: George Litto
National Society of Film Critics Awards
2nd place - NSFC Award
Best Cinematography - Vilmos Zsigmond
MURDER HAS A SOUND ALL ITS OWN!
It's a good scream. It's a good scream.
Jack (Travolta) is a sound effects master, recording some real-life sounds for a low-grade slasher movie one night when a speeding car blows a tire and crashes into a nearby river. Jack jumps into action to try and save the passengers. The driver, unfortunately already dead, Jack is still able to rescue the female passenger, Sally. It's revealed that the dead passenger is the governor and Presidential hopeful, and that Sally was clearly not his wife. Jack is involved in a tale of intrigue and suspense as he goes back to his recording of the accident time and time again, to discover any clues as to what really went down that fateful night. Thrown in a serial killer subplot and this becomes top-notch dePalma.
If the premise sounds familiar, it's because the same basic plot has been done before twice in cinema: first with a photographer as the protagonist in Michelangelo Antonioni's BLOW-UP in 1966 and then a surveillance expert in Francis Ford Coppola's THE CONVERSATION in 1974. And Brian de Palma certainly loves to wear his cinematic influences on his sleeve. See: DRESSED TO KILL/PSYCHO and BODY DOUBLE/VERTIGO. That said, despite the familiar plot, his take on the story may be my personal favorite.
The movie is incredibly well-written, with a conspiracy angle running through out the plot of the film. As Jack's investigation begins to unravel the mystery, you have John Lithgow's character going on a string of random killings in order to manipulate the media into thinking a serial killer is on the loose. That way when he eventually kills Sally in the same gruesome manner, no one will connect her to the larger conspiracy to kill the governor. This is one of Lithgow's earlier film roles and he delivers as the cool and menacing Burke.
Not to be outdone, this may be John Travolta's finest performance ever. Apparently, I'm in good
The fact that Travolta wasn't nominated for an Oscar for this performance is a crime. But what's a real tragedy is that the sound design for this film wasn't recognized at all. That's insane. Never have I heard, perhaps except THE CONVERSATION, where sound effects and recording played such a crucial role in the production and have been so flawlessly executed.
The entire film is a meditation on filmmaking and how sound and images can be manipulated to create a story. There's a brilliant scene of Jack using still photographs and matching them to his edited sound recording to create a "movie" that he believes will shed light on the mystery.
While receiving positive reviews from critics, word got out of the films pitch black bleak ending, which ultimately hurt the box office. Thankfully, with new restorations like the Criterion Collection blu-ray, this film will get rediscovered in the years to come.