This week’s show begins with a cold open about Spanish film star Carmen Sevilla. It continues with Dean and Phil previewing an email from a loyal listener (that they will answer on NEXT week’s show). The email involves the ongoing Writer’s Guild strike and Dean and Phil use it as a springboard to discussing the latest labor negotiation news in Hollywood and to ponder the question “Is Ryan Murphy (once again) the worst person in the world?” Last week, the life and career of Oscar-winner Glenda Jackson was celebrated. This week, Phil reveals tidbits from her final (?) still-to-be-released movie, The Great Escaper (starring Michael Caine). After that, Dean and Phil offer up remembrances of three more great stars of the silver (and small) screen: Julian Sands, Frederic Forrest, and Treat Williams. The second half of the show is all about Indiana Jones (and “The Dial of Destiny”), Akira Kurosawa (and two of his independent films), and the Martin Scorsese classic Raging Bull.
Dean and Phil commiserate about power outages in Dean’s Michigan neighborhood and about snow in Los Angeles! More important than winter season weather, however, are which way the winds are blowing in Hollywood’s award season and they discuss the latest news and how it affects handicapping this year’s Best Picture Oscar race. Long before it was called “Best Picture”, the top Oscar was called “Best Production” and Phil analyzes one of its earliest recipients – Cimarron, one of the only westerns ever to win the top prize from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Another western also has Phil’s attention: Red Sun starring Charles Bronson, Toshiro Mifune and Alain Delon. Phil follows up on last week’s remembrance of Raquel Welch, by sharing thoughts on and stories about one of her earliest films, Lady in Cement starring Frank Sinatra. Finally, Phil saw a screening of the great Italian classic The Conformist and discussion of this leads to appreciations on the art of editing and some of its greatest practitioners, as well as an appreciation for the great production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti. Dean also saw a movie this week – the current (modest) box office hit 80 for Brady and Dean actually sings its praises! Dean also has two personal stories about the great stand-up comedian-turned-actor Richard Belzer (with whom he starred in and episode of “The X-Files” exploring the origin of the Lone Gunmen). Other notables remembered in “Celebrity Deaths” include a big screen star of the 60s and 70s, and a 6 time Emmy-nominated television actress of the 80’s and 90s.
A lot of post-production work went into making this one of our best shows of the year! Dean regales with stories of drinking and jury duty, Phil remembers dear friend and true iconoclast Konrad Monti. Dean and Phil discuss Amazon’s “The Boys” (a show Dean might have actually influenced!) and the dire future of movie-going in the wake of James Bond and “Black Widow” being pushed again, which led to the 2nd largest U.S. theater chain closing, while the first largest still hasn’t fully re-opened! A terrific, and highly musical “Celebrity Deaths” involves celebrations of a great jazz musician (and subject of an awesome Netflix documentary), songwriter-singer-turned-actor Mac Davis, and 70’s-pop-queen-turned-therapist Helen Reddy! Finally, we transport you back to a certain rooftop in the historic L.A. neighborhood of Los Feliz for the conclusion of Dean and Phil’s ruminations on what filmmakers might make the list of their all-time favorites.