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Dust off those videotape storage shelves, or boot up your streaming device. Two friends are trying to work through those classic films they’ve let build into a backlog by going through a whole century of film, decade by decade, year by year. Presented by Better Feeling Films; UK based hosts Liam Delaney and Oliver Jones will be your rambling guides as they go on their adventure through film history.

The Seventh Seal is a 1957 Swedish historical fantasy film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, it has become an icon in cinema becoming a veritable shorthand for arthouse cinema and inspiring countless homages and parodies, meaning it has cemented itself in social consciousness. The film itself tells the story of a medieval knight (Max von Sydow), who after returning from the Crusades finds his homeland devastated from the Black Death, and when finding Death (Bengt Ekerot) waiting for him undergoes a crisis of faith and challenges him to a literal game of chess. We also spend sometime talking about Sound of Metal, the Meg, Sliding Doors, Minari, Adam Curtis and the Lady and the Dale. 

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If there are two names that are synonymous with the western it is John Ford and John Wayne, who over their career together made countless Westerns that came to define the genre, and American film making. The Searchers, from 1956 is possibly not only their most epic but the most defining film of each of their career. It has come to be seen as one of the most influential films of all time, and has a list of accolades sees it on lists for greatest film ever made by the American Film Institute, Entertainment Weekly, The British Film Institute's Sight & Sound and Cahiers du Cinéma, plus many others. This week we try and find out it is it worthy of this accolade and delve into what it actually a rather stark and uncomfortable portrayal of racism on the American frontier. We also talk Golden Girls, Disney and Netflix's The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. 

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The blacklisting and expulsion of Jules Dassin from Hollywood after he was named in the House of Unamerican Activities, meant that the director ended up taking on this adaption of a French crime novel, a turning it into a noir classic that ties French filmmaking with American action, in something quite unique. Rififi was a sensation in 1955, earning Dassin Best Director at Cannes, and earning rave reviews in America which led to Dassin being the first blacklisted director to have a film open in America with his name on it, eventually leading to the end of the blacklist itself. Paul Nadin joins us to helps us prepare for the heist of the century.

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Natalie Gardner joins Liam to discuss the 1950 film All About Eve, a giant film of the 1950's, getting a record amount of Academy Award nominations. Directed by Joseph Mankiewicz starring the amazing Bette Davis (who we particularly gush over in the episode) as Margo Channing, a highly regarded but aging Broadway star and Anne Baxter playing Eve Harrington, an ambitious young fan who manoeuvres herself into Channing's life, ultimately threatening Channing's career and her personal relationships in seeking fame and fortune as an actress in Broadway. It also features an early onscreen debut of icon Marilyn Monroe. 

If you can please help support live theatre during the pandemic by supporting these charities:

Theatre Artists Fund

Theatre Support Fund

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We're back! But instead of our scheduled miniseries episode we are taking a a small detour to explore some other films of the 50s, while Ollie is busy with his new music video. Brandon Kahn is here and he has brought along a 1958 French Noir classic which can be seen as a precursor to the French New Wave, Elevator to the Gallows, where two lovers' seemingly perfect murder plan goes awry due to a broken elevator, which sets off a chain of events though one night in Paris. Directed by Louis Malle and stars Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet but is probably best known for a ground-breaking haunting soundtrack which was improvised by Jazz legend Miles Davis. 

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As it is Christmas we've decided to celebrate the festive season on the podcast by watching a largely forgotten Disney film from 1985. One Magic Christmas positions itself as being a wonderful tale of Christmas but it is northing short of a depressing horror story. Where Santa decides, in order to teach the message of Christmas to a mother played by Mary Steenburgen, he needs to take some rather extreme and drastic steps. By showing her just how tough Christmas can actually be. This is all watched over by the most unlikely angel possible Harry Dean Stanton. After you've experienced One Magic Christmas you'll never quite experience Christmas in the same way again.  

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Man's atomic age is here, horrifying hordes appear! Exo-Skeleton armor, Exo-Skeleton might, Exo-Skeleton horror, Exo-Skeleton bite. Beware of them! Gordon Douglas' Them! is a 1954 horror movie that started the trend for 'big bug' movies, which became a huge trend in horror combining a fear of invasion, nuclear power and insects which summarised 50s fears. Staring James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, and James Arness, the plot is simple, a nest of gigantic irradiated ants become a national threat when two young queen ants escaped to establish new nests. Filmmaker James Raynor joins us to talk about this horror classic which has some of the most amount of flamethrower action in any picture ever!
 

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In 1953 trailblazing director Ida Lupino made the first ever Hollywood film noir shot by a woman. The Hitch-Hiker tells the story of two fishing buddies (Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy) who pick up a paranoid hitchhiker (William Talman) during a trip to Mexico, who turns out to be a psychopath who had committed multiple murders. The film was based upon a true crime story of Billy Cook and it shocked audiences with it's grittiness and hard-hitting story and bizarre claustrophobia of the desert backdrop.

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MGM and Vincente Minnelli's The Bad and the Beautiful is an unblinking look at hubris and ego in Hollywood's Golden Era. Kirk Douglas stars as Hollywood producer Jonathan Shields, and we see his career through the three peoples personal experiences; director Fred Amiel (Barry Sullivan), movie star Georgia Lorrison (Lana Turner), and screenwriter James Lee Bartlow (Dick Powell), who explain how he both destroyed their personal lives but made their careers.  It's a visually splendid picture that is a great example of studio film making with John Houseman bringing personal experience and applying a Citizen Kane like structure to Hollywood. Filmmaker Brandon Kahn helps us dissect this classic.

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When it comes to a name in British comedy, Ealing Studios is a name that has persisted throughout the years. Alec Guinness had made his name for these comedies and in 1951 he was teaming up with Alexander Mackendrick to make a strange science fiction comedy about an unassuming scientist who makes a fabric that is both indestructible and doesn't stain, and the fall out which occurs when both the textile mill owners and the trade unions realise this will put them out of work. The Man in the White Suit, is not one of the better known Ealing Comedies but it is certainly one of the most cynically unique of them.

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