Friday, 13 December 2019

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Episodes

White Christmas (1954)

maverickEpisode 181: The second film in our pairing of musicals written specifically for the silver screen, we move ahead two years to the film that signified Paramount unveiling their new widescreen technology which they called "VistaVision!" "White Christmas," directed by Michael Curtiz, finds Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) celebrating Christmas at the front in Germany, 1944, where they're giving their regiment a holiday program on Christmas Eve, which is also when their respected commander, Major General Thomas F. Waverly (Dean Jagger), is being transferred. Phil saves Bob from a collapsing building, thus setting the stage for Phil bamboozling Bob into starting a two-man act after the war. After they become quite successful, they're asked to review the Haynes Sisters act by an old pal from the army. This leads them to change their plans and head to Vermont with Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera Ellen) Haynes, where they find a warm-weather-locked skiing inn. And, as it turns out, the inn is run by someone they know from way back, and they hatch a plan to help save the inn from the lack of business caused by the high temperatures! Plus, find out what two films the trio will be talking about for Christmas this year!



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Singin' In the Rain (1952)

maverickEpisode 180: This episode begins our pairing of musicals made specifically for the silver screen with perhaps THE movie musical of all time, 1952's "Singin' In the Rain!" Directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, the film stars Kelly as silent-film heartthrob Don Lockwood, who is an on-screen couple with Lina Lamont, played amazingly by Jean Hagen. Donald O'Connor plays Cosmo Brown, Don's best friend since childhood and the musician that plays the music to put Lena and Don in the right mood for their on-screen romantic adventure. But when Don meets Kathy Seldone, played by Debbie Reynolds in her first major dancing role, sparks fly (in the wrong direction at first, of course). Set in Hollywood right as the industry was transitioning from silent films to talking pictures, the romance has to keep out of sight of a jealous Lena and navigate the Hollywood system at the same time! Arguably the most famous cinematic musical in film history, it's a classic for a very good reason; it's an amazingly well put-together story in just about every way!



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Manhattan (1979)

maverickEpisode 179: The second film in our Woody Allen film pairing moves ahead two years to 1979 for the love-letter crafted specifically to and for New York City, "Manhattan!" Also directed and written by, and starring Woody Allen, it tells the story of Isaac, a 42-year-old man who is dating a 17-year-old beauty, Tracy (played by Mariel Hemingway). His best friend Yale (Michael Murphy) is married, but having an affair with Mary (Diane Keaton), and introduces Isaac and Mary. Sparks fly, and soon enough Mary's cut things off with Yale and Isaac has broken up with Tracy. The two give their relationship the old NYC try, but will it work out? You'll have to watch the movie to find out, as the trio resolutely refuse to spoil the ending, although that's close to the only thing all three agree on. Plus, find out what two musicals written specifically for film will be the subject of the next set of reviews!



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Annie Hall (1977)

maverickEpisode 178: This pairing focuses on the work of writer/ director Woody Allen, and the trio jump into the film that won Allen a Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Academy Award, along with a Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar for leading lady Diane Keaton! Directed, written by, and starring Woody Allen, "Annie Hall" is the story of the ill-fated relationship between Alvy Singer (Allen) and Annie Hall (Keaton). Told almost as a retrospective on their relationship, the film also features Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon in a rare cinematic role, Shelly Duvall, Colleen Dewhurst, and Christopher Walken. Plus, cameos from Dick Cavett, Jeff Goldblum, Shelly Hack, Beverly D'Angelo, and (if you look REALLY closely) Sigourney Weaver! This is also the farthest apart the trio have ever been regarding a movie in the history of the podcast!



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Saving Private Ryan (1998)

maverickEpisode 177: The second film in our pairing of modern war movies is from 1998, and may very well be the finest, most honest, most horror-filled, and most accurate war film in the history of cinema. "Saving Private Ryan" was directed by modern master Steven Spielberg, and features an amazing cast of talented actors including Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg, Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi, Jeremy Davies, Matt Damon, Ted Danson, Paul Giamatti, and Dennis Farina, to name but a few! The first 30 minutes of the movie takes you to the invasion of Normandy in a way no film has ever even attempted, let alone succeeded this well! Brutal, bloody, and brilliant, this film (like "Full Metal Jacket") doesn't shy away from showing the horrors of war, but being set in World War Two, it doesn't take quite as pessimistic an approach as the previous film. And then, find out what director (enjoyed by two of the three hosts) will be the focus of the next pairing, and which host isn't looking forward to it at all!



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