This weekend, Dean and Phil got together in-person on the “American Riviera” for a fascinating discussion inspired by a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!). The conversation involves the importance of awards not only recognizing and rewarding great work, but also rewarding the great stories surrounding the making of that work! Somehow that inspires Phil to reappraise the entire filmography of James Mason. That great Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot, gets more time in the spotlight, as Dean and Phil take a little more time giving both a doff of the cap and a wag of the finger to Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile and Phil, who took the time during the week to unearth the final Peter Ustinov performance as Agatha Christie’s protagonist, has some thoughts about Appointment with Death from the infamous Cannon Film Group. Finally, in a riff on their usual “Celebrity Deaths” section, Dean and Phil discuss three non-celebrity friends who died recently.
This week, Dean and Phil follow up on one of their best episodes ever by discussing the importance of manners as they relate to masks, shoes, and award shows! They have some bracing words about the nature of “safety” in show business. Then, they turn their attention to the Oscar-winning documentary Summer of Soul before discussing Oscar-winner George Chakiris and what he thought made original West Side Story choreographer Jerome Robbins so great. They also discuss the importance of representation, which leads to a discussion of an early Vincente Minnelli film, Cabin in the Sky from 1943, featuring an incredible all-black cast. That leads to a discussion of the version of A Star is Born produced by and starring Minnelli’s one-time wife, Judy Garland. It was a remake, of course, and has been remade twice more. And speaking of remakes, Dean and Phil conclude by analyzing Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile, why it failed as a movie and what is being blamed for its failure at the box office.
Since it is Valentine’s Day, it’s only fitting that Dean and Phil are offering up a show that is nothing less than a love letter to movies, movie-going AND great comedic acting on television! In addition to a great story about Howard (“Dr. Johnny Fever”) Hesseman that involves the legendary Jack (“Dragnet”) Webb, and analysis of a handful of nominated films, shows and performances, Dean and Phil also engage in free-wheeling discussion about how we judge film and TV, how these works are consumed and what awards shows need to be moving forward. All that, plus a legend of visual effects and the Queen of Italian Cinema both get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.
With how much ground your friends in podcasting cover on this week’s show, you’ll forgive them going almost eight minutes overtime, won’t you? The show starts with a “Live Event of the Week” as Phil regales Dean with tales of his 49th birthday celebrations on a day that involved marionettes, Norse mythology and the oldest restaurant in Hollywood. Then, for the first time in ages, Dean and Phil discuss what they’re reading. After that, it’s onto “Celebrity Deaths” which contains a correction of a correction from last week, as well as remembrances of a former teen idol, a jazz great, a country music great, a gospel great and two award-winning actors. Then, a few more thoughts about the latest news involving toxic masculinity, the United States Senate and “Whataboutism” before Dean and Phil roll up their sleeves to discuss almost a dozen movies, including both the 1974 and 2017 versions of Murder on the Orient Express, Orson Welles’ 1952 Othello, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, and this year’s award hopefuls Last Flag Flying, Call Me By Your Name,Lady Bird, Mudbound, Hostiles and The Disaster Artist.