This week’s Canadian Thanksgiving installment features follow-ups on several topics from past episodes: Are the most important pop culture figures of the last quarter of the 20th century all named “David”? Why is contemporary art so abundant with creativity and so full of joy? What are some of the most thrilling aspects of Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia? And speaking of Savannah, why is The Pirate House so darn haunting? In addition to those follow-ups, Phil has been researching “Trainee” programs offered by the Writer’s Guild in the wake of their (tentative) deal with the producers. And a loyal listener has thoughts about the best/worst actors to play Hercule Poirot on the big screen. This last leads into Dean’s thoughts about Kenneth Branagh’s A Haunting in Venice before three films starring the great Dirk Bogarde, the soulfulness of Oliver Reed and a brilliant, unheralded masterpiece by the late William Friedkin all get discussed. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, a beloved star of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (and “NCIS”) gets remembered.
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.
On this week’s installment, you will hear a touching email written by a Dean Haglund fan, one whose entire career path was influenced by Dean! You will also learn what Dean’s 3 favorite places are! One MIGHT be The Magic Castle in Hollywood. At least ten movies will get discussed, including classics starring a few of Dean and Phil’s all time favorite actors as well as two of the best films from 2020 – one an all-time great documentary and the other perhaps the most relevant film to be released all of last year. Finally, Phil wants to discuss three 2021 cinematic releases all starring legendary comedians. One is a horror film, one is an action film and one is a comedy about dementia! And speaking of comedians, Norm MacDonald will get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths” as will one of the greatest contemporary actors, an icon of movie musicals and a pioneering female writer and producer.
Your friends in podcasting have been teasing episode #568 for weeks! They had really been looking forward to counting down their all-time favorite Mystery films and the final results prove to be a lot of fun. So, get those Netflix queues handy, because Dean and Phil will hit you with more than two dozen movies they discuss at length with four films actually finding a place on both their Top Tens. There are comedy “whodunits” from the 1930’s, foreign language allegories from the 2000’s, independent films that launched careers, classics from international masters that launched entire sub-genres, mysteries based on books, mysteries based on plays, mysteries set in the farthest reaches of space, mysteries full of post-war romance and cold war anxiety. The biggest mystery of all is after almost eleven years, how do Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness keep managing to provide an hour (plus) of free audio entertainment each week?!
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.