Aug 21

Episode 31: Ministry of Fear

Ministry of FearIn this week’s episode, we have a grand time talking about all that cake in Fritz Lang’s Ministry of Fear!

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because it’s loads of fun and we don’t want to spoil it for you. This film is available on DVD from Amazon and elsewhere, and if you’re lucky, there might still be an illicit copy of the whole film hanging out on YouTube.

Please join us on September 7th for the third and final movie in our Fritz Lang triple feature: Rancho Notorious!

Ministry of Fear (1944)
Ministry of Fear poster Rating: 7.2/10 (4,929 votes)
Director: Fritz Lang
Writer: Seton I. Miller (screenplay), Graham Greene (novel)
Stars: Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond, Hillary Brooke
Runtime: 86 min
Rated: NOT RATED
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Released: 16 Oct 1944
Plot: Stephen Neale has just been released from an asylum during World War 2 in England when he stumbles on a deadly Nazi spy plot by accident, and tries to stop it.

Aug 07

Episode 30: The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

The Testament of Dr. MabuseIn this week’s episode, we thoroughly enjoy a movie banned personally by Joseph Goebbels: The Testament of Dr. Mabuse!

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because the second part of the episode will probably make no sense whatsoever if you don’t. This film is easily available via a great 2-disc set released by Criterion, and is also currently available streaming on Hulu Plus.

Please join us on August 21st for second movie in our Fritz Lang triple feature: Ministry of Fear!

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse poster Rating: 7.9/10 (8,477 votes)
Director: Fritz Lang
Writer: Norbert Jacques (characters), Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou
Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Gustav Diessl, Rudolf Schündler, Oskar Höcker
Runtime: 122 min
Rated: NOT RATED
Genre: Crime
Released: N/A
Plot: A new crime wave grips the city and all clues seem to lead to the nefarious Dr. Mabuse, even though he has been imprisoned in a mental asylum for nearly a decade.

Jul 25

Episode 29: Night of the Hunter

Night of the HunterIn this week’s episode, we take a long look at the only film ever directed by Charles Laughton: Night of the Hunter!

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because we not only discuss spoilers, but we talk about them at length. This film is easily available on DVD, and is also available on many rental streaming channels (Vudu, Amazon, Google Play, etc.)

We apologize for the late delivery of this episode, once again. When you hear our audio on this episode, you’ll understand why. We wound up recording outside the Trylon Theater, so we were plagued by road noise and questionable acoustics unique to the interior of a Honda Civic. We did a lot of cleanup on the audio, but the results are less than perfect. But we had a really great discussion about the film, so we hope the quality of our discussion makes up for the quality of the audio. It will be better next time!

Please join us on August 7th for one of the amazing pre-Noir films of Fritz Lang: The Testament of Dr. Mabuse!

The Night of the Hunter (1955)
The Night of the Hunter poster Rating: 8.1/10 (64,057 votes)
Director: Charles Laughton, Robert Mitchum, Terry Sanders
Writer: Davis Grubb (from the novel by), James Agee (screen play)
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason
Runtime: 92 min
Rated: APPROVED
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Released: 24 Nov 1955
Plot: A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

Jul 18

Episode 28: The Naked Kiss

The Naked KissIn this week’s episode, we revisit Samuel Fuller’s filmography with a viewing of The Naked Kiss!

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because we dive straight into discussion. This film is available on Hulu Plus, Amazon, and iTunes.

We apologize for the late delivery of this episode. Scheduling issues and a computer changeover are to blame. But fear not! The next episode will arrive on July 21st, just a few days from now. Please join us then for the only film directed by acting legend Charles Laughton: Night of the Hunter!

The Naked Kiss (1964)
The Naked Kiss poster Rating: 7.4/10 (4,757 votes)
Director: Samuel Fuller
Writer: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Constance Towers, Anthony Eisley, Michael Dante, Virginia Grey
Runtime: 90 min
Rated: NOT RATED
Genre: Crime, Drama
Released: 29 Oct 1964
Plot: Kelly, a prostitute, finds redemption in the town of Grantville, where she arrives working as a medium-time seller. There, she meets Griff, the police captain of the town, with whom she ...

Jun 21

Episode 27: Pickup on South Street

Pickup on South StreetIn this week’s episode, we go through the pros and cons (heh) of Samuel Fuller’s Pickup on South Street!

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because we go straight into spoiler territory. This film is sadly not available on any “official” streaming channels at this time, but Dailymotion usually has a copy floating around. If you would like to see a version that is less grey-market, the film is easily available on DVD.

Join us on July 7th for second Samuel Fuller film in a row: The Naked Kiss!

Pickup on South Street (1953)
Pickup on South Street poster Rating: 7.8/10 (9,007 votes)
Director: Samuel Fuller
Writer: Samuel Fuller (screenplay), Dwight Taylor (story)
Stars: Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter, Murvyn Vye
Runtime: 80 min
Rated: APPROVED
Genre: Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller
Released: 01 Aug 1953
Plot: A pickpocket unwittingly lifts a message destined for enemy agents and becomes a target for a Communist spy ring.

Jun 07

Episode 26: Rififi

RififiIn this week’s episode, we thoroughly enjoy Jules Dassin’s heist masterpiece, Rififi!

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because spoilers abound! This film comes and goes on Hulu Plus, but it is part of the Criterion Collection, so it is easily available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Join us on June 21st for our episode about Samuel Fuller’s great little crime drama named Pickup on South Street!

Rififi (1955)
Rififi poster Rating: 8.2/10 (18,356 votes)
Director: Jules Dassin
Writer: Auguste Le Breton (novel), Jules Dassin (adaptation), René Wheeler (collaboration), Auguste Le Breton (collaboration), Auguste Le Breton (dialogue)
Stars: Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel, Janine Darcey
Runtime: 122 min
Rated: NOT RATED
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Released: 05 Jun 1956
Plot: Four men plan a technically perfect crime, but the human element intervenes...

May 21

Episode 25: Kiss Me Deadly

Kiss Me DeadlyOn this giddy episode, we visit Robert Aldrich’s groundbreaking Mickey Spillane adaptation, Kiss Me Deadly!

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because we head straight for the spoiler room. This film is a little hard to find on the official streaming channels right now, but Criterion has it on a very nice DVD release, and there is usually an illicit copy available for free on YouTube.

During the episode, Melissa mentions that Xanadu Cinema Pleasure Dome recently did two whole episodes encompassing the entire filmography of Robert Aldrich. So, if you want to learn more about Aldrich, here’s Part 1 and Part 2.

Join us on June 7th for our episode on the tremendous French heist film, Rififi!

Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Kiss Me Deadly poster Rating: 7.7/10 (13,733 votes)
Director: Robert Aldrich
Writer: Mickey Spillane (novel), A.I. Bezzerides (screenplay)
Stars: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Juano Hernandez
Runtime: 106 min
Rated: APPROVED
Genre: Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery
Released: 18 May 1955
Plot: A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit."

May 07

Episode 24: Red Rock West

Red Rock WestThis week, we head into Nicolas Cage territory with Red Rock West, a mid-1990s noir/western from the folks who later brought us Joy Ride.

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because we plunge quickly into the spoiler pool. This film is currently available for streaming rental on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Prime, and Google Play.

Join us on May 21st for our episode on Robert Aldrich’s atomic-age noir, Kiss Me Deadly!

Red Rock West (1993)
Red Rock West poster Rating: 7.0/10 (15,390 votes)
Director: John Dahl
Writer: John Dahl, Rick Dahl
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle, J.T. Walsh
Runtime: 98 min
Rated: R
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Released: 14 May 1993
Plot: When a promised job for Texan Michael fails to materialise in Wyoming, Mike is mistaken by Wayne to be the hitman he hired to kill his unfaithful wife, Suzanne. Mike takes full advantage of...

Apr 21

Episode 23: Caged

CagedThis week, we watch the hard-hitting prototype for every women-in-prison film, Caged.

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because it’s a great film. This film is currently available for streaming rental on iTunes, Vudu, and Google Play.

Join us on May 7th for our episode on Red Rock West!

Caged (1950)
Caged poster Rating: 7.8/10 (2,285 votes)
Director: John Cromwell
Writer: Virginia Kellogg (screenplay), Virginia Kellogg (story), Bernard C. Schoenfeld (story)
Stars: Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Ellen Corby, Hope Emerson
Runtime: 96 min
Rated: N/A
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Released: 19 May 1950
Plot: A naive nineteen year old widow becomes coarsened and cynical when she is sent to a woman's prison and is exposed to hardened criminals and sadistic guards.

Apr 07

Episode 22: Sunset Boulevard

Sunset BoulevardThis week, we finally watch one of the greatest films noir that ever noired: Sunset Boulevard.

(Yes, dear listeners, we also did a full episode on Sunset Boulevard over on the parent podcast Reel Education back in  2014. The two shows are different. The first one features Melissa’s full barrage of trivia; this one is more dedicated to our raw reactions after seeing the film in a packed theater.)

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because wow, it’s a great movie. This film is currently available pretty much everywhere: Netflix Streaming, Amazon Instant, Vudu, Google Play, and YouTube.

Join us on April 21st for our episode on Caged!

Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Sunset Blvd. poster Rating: 8.5/10 (134,366 votes)
Director: Billy Wilder
Writer: Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, D.M. Marshman Jr.
Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson
Runtime: 110 min
Rated: NOT RATED
Genre: Drama, Film-Noir
Released: 25 Aug 1950
Plot: A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.

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