A weekly podcast featuring a different movie must every episode. We explore what makes these movies classics.
Here's the Latest Episode from Classic Movie Musts:
In this episode we're joined again by Ted Walch to discuss Roman Polanski's neo-noir mystery, Chinatown (1974), starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston.
Chinatown is currently #21 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
Opening Credits: 1:36
Feature Presentation: 6:53
End Credits: 54:34
In this episode we welcome screenwriter, professor, and podcaster Aaron Tracy to the show to discuss Sidney Lumet's 12 Angry Men (1957), starring Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb.
Check out Aaron's podcast: To Live and Dialogue in LA.
Opening Credits: 1:38
Feature Presentation: 8:30
In this episode we're joined by Victoria Riskin, daughter of Fay Wray and Robert Riskin, and author of a new book titled after her parents. Max and Victoria discuss one of her father's most inspiring and cautionary films, Meet John Doe (1941), starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck.
Buy Victoria Riskin's book here: https://www.amazon.com/Fay-Wray-Robert-Riskin-Hollywood/dp/1524747289
Or at any fine bookseller!
Opening Credits: 1:43
Feature Presentation: 5:56
End Credits: 47:50
In this episode we discuss, as picked by our Patreon community, Robert Altman's sprawling character drama, Nashville (1975). Starring Henry Gibson, Ronee Blakely, Shelley Duvall, Keith Carradine, Lily Tomlin and many more.
Nashville is currently #59 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode, Max is joined by Ryan L. Terry from R.L. Terry's Reel View Film Blog to discuss Ridley Scott's sci-fi/horror masterpiece, Alien (1979), starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, and Ian Holm.
Opening Credits: 1:54
Feature Presentation: 7:35
End Credits: 54:26
In this episode we discuss the final day of the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival and three fantastic films: Holiday (1938), The Killers (1964), The Godfather: Part II (1974). Tune-in tomorrow for our regularly scheduled programming and a deep dive into Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), and next week Robert Altman's Nashville (1975).
In this episode we recap three wonderful films from Day 3 of the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival: Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), and Star Wars (1977). Join us tomorrow for our final episode discussing the TCM Film Festival.
In this episode we discuss Day 2 of the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival and breakdown four fantastic films: My Favorite Wife (1940), Vanity Street (1932), Open Secret (1948), and Winchester '73 (1950). Join us tomorrow for our festival Day 3 Episode.
In this episode we discuss the opening day of the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival and the two films we watched: Dark Passage (1947) and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947). Tune-in tomorrow for our festival day 2 episode!
Myke Emal from the CineMusts podcast joins us this week to discuss Steven Spielberg's adventure classic, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Join us as we discuss the film the kicked off the Indiana Jones franchise and what the film does cinematically to stand the test of time.
Raiders of the Lost Ark is currently #66 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
Opening Credits: 1:44
Feature Presentation: 8:07
Ending Credits: 1:15:33
This is a special announcement episode to layout our special coverage of the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival (TCMFF). We'll be producing daily episodes from April 15-18 covering all the movies we watched at the festival. Listen to hear which films we'll be watching and discussing! Also, take advantage of our April Patreon promotion: all current patrons and anyone who joins in April gets a handwritten, custom Classic Movie Musts postcard in the mail.
Read more about our TCMFF coverage at patreon.com/classicmoviemusts
In this episode we discuss Spike Lee's masterpiece, Do the Right Thing (1989), starring Spike Lee, Danny Aiello, and John Turturro.
Do the Right Thing is currently #96 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
Opening Credits 1:47
Feature Presentation: 6:26
Buzz from the Backlot: 21:58
Ending Credits: 24:18
In this episode we dance our way through Rouben Mamoulian's innovative early musical, Love Me Tonight (1932), starring Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, and Myrna Loy. Tune-in to hear why this musical was so ahead of it's time, and represented a capstone to Paramount Studio's classical musical cycle.
Opening Credits: 1:47
Feature Presentation: 4:19
Buzz from the Backlot: 21:22
End Credits: 25:43
In this episode we welcome back Ted Walch to discuss Peter Bogdanovich's coming of age drama, The Last Picture Show (1971), starring Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybil Shepherd, Ben Johnson, and Cloris Leachman.
1:37 Opening Credits
6:08 Feature Presentation
1:07:22 Final Segment
In this episode we breakdown one of Stanley Kubrick's early films, the noir influenced heist caper, The Killing (1956). Starring Sterling Hayden and a great ensemble of supporters, this film represents an early experiment in non-linear storytelling, and is an all-time great heist film.
In this episode, we discuss sound design and editing in Bob Fosse's iconic musical, All That Jazz (1979), starring Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Leland Palmer, and Ann Reinking.
In this episode, Max welcomes Raquel Stecher from Out of the Past blog and Quelle Movies blog to discuss Robert Wise's noir boxing drama, The Set-Up (1949). Starring Robert Ryan and Audrey Totter, this hybrid noir boxing drama is both compelling in its own right, as well as an inspiration for many Hollywood classics.
In this episode, we discuss a film suggested and selected by our Patreon community, Gilda (1946), directed by Charles Vidor and starring Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford. Join us we breakdown the constant sexual tension in this film noir musical romance.
In this episode, we discuss Otto Preminger's courtroom drama, Anatomy of a Murder (1959), starring James Stewart, Lee Remick, and George C. Scott. Join us as we examine the combination of objectivity and ambiguity that makes Preminger's film so gripping.
In this episode, we discuss Roman Polanski's horror film, Rosemary's Baby (1968), starring Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, and Ruth Gordon. We examine how Polanski transforms such a mundane world into a deeply disturbing reality.
In this episode, Max welcomes back Ted Walch to tackle the Orson Welles masterpiece, Citizen Kane (1941). Starring Orson Welles himself, this film combines and layers cinematic technique with such deliberate sophistication that it is clearly one of the most important films of all-time.
Citizen Kane is currently #1 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode we welcome Myke Emal from the CineMusts Podcast to help breakdown the historical context and artistic excellence of The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, and Angela Lansbury, this is a timeless political thriller, filled with paranoia and deception.
In this episode we discuss Howard Hawks's Red River (1948), starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift, and dissect the evolution of the male persona in postwar America, as well as a subverting of western genre myths.
In this episode we discuss Billy Wilder's infamous, Sunset Boulevard (1950), starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden, and breakdown Wilder's scathing criticism of Hollywood.
Sunset Boulevard is currently #12 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode, we break down the swashbuckling adventure, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, and Claude Rains. We discuss how director Michael Curtiz enhanced the excitement and tension of the film thanks to dynamic editing techniques that would influence Hollywood action movies for generations.
In this episode, we dissect the Stanley Kubrick horror classic, The Shining (1980), starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd. The Shining is a deceptively simple horror narrative that works largely beneath the surface to reveal psychological breakdown, and the collapse of the American family.
In this episode, we discuss the holiday classic, It's A Wonderful Life (1946). Directed by Frank Capra and starring Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, and Henry Travers, this film wrestles with themes of individual vs. community like only Capra can.
It's A Wonderful Life is currently #20 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode, we're joined again by Ted Walch to discuss a film of legendary stature, Casablanca (1942), starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, and Dooley Wilson.
In this episode, we discuss Bob Fosse's modernist film musical, Cabaret (1972), starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York, and Joel Grey.
Cabaret is currently #63 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
During this episode, we discuss how John Ford uses cinematography, editing, and production design to evoke the power of memory in the family melodrama, How Green Was My Valley (1941), starring Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Donald Crisp, and Roddy McDowell. Join us as we discuss the film that beat Citizen Kane to the Best Picture Oscar.
In this episode, we're joined by teacher and film historian Ted Walch to discuss Charlie Chaplin's first feature length film, The Kid (1921), starring himself and Jackie Coogan.
In this episode, we discuss Sam Peckinpah's modernist western, The Wild Bunch (1969). Surrounding a ruthless, violent group of outlaws, starring William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, and Robert Ryan, The Wild Bunch redefined violence in American movies.
The Wild Bunch is currently #79 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode, we're discussing the Doris Day, Rock Hudson romantic comedy, Pillow Talk (1959). This influential film's success is reflective of equal parts innovation for the genre going forward and inspiration from the screwball comedy that came before.
In this episode, we dive into the musical drama A Star is Born (1954), directed by George Cukor and starring Judy Garland and James Mason. We'll examine how this powerful film leverages Garland's performance and persona to devastating effect.
In this episode, we close out Alfred Hitchcock month with his legendary film Psycho (1960), starring Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. We discuss how Psycho represented the final undoing of Hitchcock's emblematic style, and acts as the ideal capstone to his storied career.
In this episode we discuss the iconic Alfred Hitchcock thriller, Rear Window (1954), starring Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. We'll breakdown how Hitchcock ramped up the suspense by centering the film on an everyday scenario and we'll continue to examine the importance of romance and trust to Hitchcock's films.
Rear Window is currently #48 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode, we discuss Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious (1946). Starring Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, and Claude Rains, this film is a trademark example of Hitchcock's ability to balance suspense, romance, and trust to tremendous effect. Join us for this unforgettable film.
In this episode, we kick off Alfred Hitchcock month on Classic Movie Musts with a look at Hitchcock's first undisputed masterpiece The 39 Steps (1935). Starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll, this "wrong-man" thriller established Hitchcock's directorial style.
In this episode, we discuss Milos Foreman's Amadeus (1984), starring F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce. Despite having the pretensions of a biopic, Amadeus is really a subjective instrospection on the nature of genius. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, Amadeus is #53 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movie of All Time.
In this episode we breakdown the classic dramedy Stage Door (1937). Directed by Gregory LaCava and starring Katherine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers, amongst many other familiar faces, this film is determined by its historical context. We'll examine how this movie bends the conventions of the screwball comedy, balances comedy and cynicism surrounding the Great Depression, and skirts the Hollywood production code.
This is part two of our look at the evolution of the film noir detective genre. Today's episode will focus on the modernist film The Long Goodbye (1973), starring Elliott Gould, and examine how director Robert Altman exaggerates genre myths and conventions to appeal to a more analytical audience.
This episode kicks off a two part look into the film noir detective mystery genre. This week's episode will explore the classical myths, conventions, and iconography associated with this genre as seen in Murder, My Sweet (1944). Murder, My Sweet was directed by Edward Dmytryk and stars Dick Powell and Claire Trevor.
In this episode, Max is joined by comedian Ian Herrin to discuss the Stanley Kubrick poltical satire, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Starring Peter Sellers in a triumverate of rolls, along with George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, and Slim Pickens, Dr. Strangelove perfectly captures Cold War fears and takes them to their extreme conclusion.
Dr. Strangelove is #26 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode, we go down river on The African Queen (1951). Directed by John Huston, and starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, this movie deftly balances adventure, romance, and comedy.
The African Queen is #17 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode, we discuss the Spike Lee classic biopic, Malcolm X (1992). Starring Denzel Washington, this movie foregrounds all the classical elements that define the biopic genre. In doing so, it makes a controversial activist appealing to mainstream audiences.
In this episode, we explore the film noir western, The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), starring Henry Fonda. This movie is a haunting introspection on the nature of masculinity. It's also a fascinating glimpse into the pschye of America on the eve of World War II. This film beautifully and hauntingly combines the themes of the film noir and the icons of the western.
In this episode, we discuss the science fiction classic, Blade Runner (1982). Directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Harrison Ford, this film epitomizes the melding of science fiction, film noir, and cyberpunk. What's more, this film does not appeal to mainstream scifi tendencies, making it all the richer for deep analysis.
In this episode, we delve into the musical/historical spectacle hybrid, The Court Jester (1955). Directed by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, and starring Danny Kaye, Basil Rathbone, and Angela Lansbury. This film epitomizes an era of genre experimentation and lavish Hollywood spending.
In this episode of Classic Movie Musts, we breakdown the iconic film Taxi Driver (1976). Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro and Cybil Shepard. The film also features Jodi Foster and Harvey Keitel.
Taxi Driver is #47 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode of Classic Movie Musts, we discuss the original screwball comedy It Happened One Night (1934). Directed by Frank Capra and starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert.
It Happened One Night is #35 on AFI's Top 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode of Classic Movie Musts we break down the epic adventure Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Directed by David Lean and starring Peter O'Toole, the film also features Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Omar Sharif, and Claude Rains.
Lawrence of Arabia is #5 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode of Classic Movie Musts we taken in the epic culmination of the classic gangster film, White Heat (1949). Directed by Raoul Walsh and featuring and iconic performance by Jame Cagney.
White Heat is #4 on AFI's Top Gangster Films.
In this episode of Classic Movie Musts we discuss the Audrey Hepburn classic Two for the Road (1967). Directed by Stanley Donen, the film also stars Albert Finney. This movie must is an introspection on marriage and time.
In this episode of Classic Movie Musts we take on the classic drama All About Eve (1950), starring Bette Davis and Anne Baxter.
All About Eve is #16 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode of Classic Movie Musts, special guest Ignacio Garat joins to discuss the Francis Ford Coppola Vietnam War epic, Apocalypse Now (1979). Apocalypse Now stars Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando.
Apocalypse Now is #28 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode of classic movie musts we sing the praises of the classic musical Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). Directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Judy Garland, this movies marks the ascendancy of the integrated movie musical.
In this episode of Classic Movie Musts we tackle the classic tragic romance, A Place in the Sun (1951). The film was directed by George Stevens and stars Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shelley Winters.
A Place in the Sun ranks #92 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode of Classic Movie Musts, retired professional cyclist David Zabriskie joins to discuss the cult classic, The Big Lebowski (1998). Directed by the Coen brothers and starring Jeff Bridges and John Goodman.
In this episode of Classic Movie Musts, we brave the Steven Spielberg horror classic, Jaws (1975). Jaws stars Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfus, and Robert Shaw.
Jaws is #48 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode of Classic Movie Musts we saddle up for the classic John Ford western Stagecoach (1939), the breakout film for John Wayne.
Stagecoach is #63 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode of Classic Movie Musts, we laugh our way through the comedy masterpiece Some Like It Hot (1959), starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.
Some Like it Hot is #14 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this epsiode of Classic Movie Musts, we wade into the murky waters of film noir with the Humphrey Bogart classic, The Maltese Falcon (1941). Join us as we examine what makes this such a seminal film.
The Maltese Falcon is #23 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
In this episode of Classic Movie Musts, we explore the iconic musical Singin' in the Rain (1952) and discuss what makes it an absolute movie must. Directed by Stanley Donen and starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds.
Singin' in the Rain is #10 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
This is the trailer for the new weekly movie podcast, Classic Movie Musts. Every episode will explore a different classic film and discuss what makes it a movie must. New episodes post every Friday.