Pop Culture

Eight Great Movie Podcasts to Try Once You’ve Finished You Must Remember This

The local multiplex is closed. Film production has ceased. The summer blockbuster season is in jeopardy. But that doesn’t mean we can’t keep talking about the movies.

Podcasts are stepping into the void, keeping film buffs engaged during the duration of the pandemic. The gold standard, of course, is Karina Longworth’s You Must Remember This, an impressively-researched storytelling podcast that explores early Hollywood history (and sometimes its more recent past, as in Longworth’s spinoff series Make Me Over). But whatever your movie-love, there is probably a podcast for it. Here are eight that may broaden your cinematic horizons or inspire you to take fresh looks at familiar and favorite films.

Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast

The movies loom large in nearly every episode of this podcast that lovingly but irreverently celebrates a bygone era of Show Business, with a capital S and B. Gilbert Gottfried and cohost Frank Santopadre are encyclopedic film buffs and champions of character actors. The podcast, which features freewheeling conversations with filmmakers, actors, producers, screenwriters, historians, and iconic musicians and entertainers, recently marked its 300th episode. In its early years, mini-episodes focused on a specific classic, obscure, or under-seen film, such as Treasure of Sierra Madre, The Terror of Tiny Town, and Local Hero.

Try this episode: “Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.” The comedy writers and biopic masters are here to talk Dolemite is My Name. But before getting to the main event, the discussion digresses to “a bunch of other things nobody cares about,” like the obscure spy spoof The Last of the Secret Agents? and Otto Preminger’s mind-boggling, psychedelic ’60s farce Skidoo. This podcast is made for people who do care about those things.

The Marx Brothers Council Podcast

Embraced by rebellious college students in the 1970s, the Marx Brothers would seem to be made for these times with their “I’m Against It” philosophy, which pricked the bubbles of high society, government, and authority. The podcast was inspired by the Marx Brothers Council Facebook group, hosted by Marx historians and aficionados Matthew Coniam, author of The Annotated Marx Brothers; Noah Diamond, who recreated and mounted a production of I’ll Say She Is, the brothers’ long-lost Broadway musical, and wrote a book about it; and Bob Gassel. Special guests have included Joe Adamson, author of Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Sometimes Zeppo; Frank Ferrante, who recently marked the 35th anniversary of performing his one-man show, An Evening with Groucho; and screenwriters Scott Alexander and Cinco Paul.

Try this episode: “You’ll Duck Soup the Rest of Your Life.” An exhaustive examination of the comedy classic that conventional wisdom ranks as the Marx-iest of Marx Brothers films. But Coniam, for one, is against it, and he makes an interesting case that much of the film’s comedy is uncharacteristic of the pure Marxian spirit. Wrong, but interesting.

The Movies That Made Me

Joe Dante, director of Gremlins and founder of the instantly addictive Trailers from Hell website, and Josh Olson, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of A History of Violence, welcome filmmakers, actors, and screenwriters to talk about films—some that you recognize, some that you’ve hardly even heard of—that rocked their worlds. Dante may or may not have seen every movie ever made, as Olson joked in an episode, but he has seen the 1958 sci-fi obscurity Space Master X-7—which blew recent guest Laraine Newman’s mind. “I am so impressed you know this stuff,” she exclaimed. The ground covered in each episode is staggering. In the Newman episode alone, references are made to such disparate films as the under-seen 1980 new age satire Serial, David Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly, and Verotika, which from the sound of it has The Room-like potential for so-bad-it’s-good cult status.

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