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Episodes

Episode 152: Stir Crazy (1980)

stircrazyFor this pairing, we focus on one of the great comedy duos of the 1970s and 1980s, Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor! In 1980's "Stir Crazy," directed by none other than Sidney Poitier, Skip Donahue (Wilder) and Harry Monroe (Pryor) are two down-on-their-luck guys who decide to ditch New York City for a small rural town in the middle of the country, where they get jobs advertising banking in a rather unique way. After bank robbers steal their costumes, the two are locked up and sent to prison, and from there the story really gets rolling! Co-starring George Stanford Brown, JoBeth Williams, Miguel Angel Suarez, Craig T. Nelson, Barry Corbin, and the astonishing Erland van Lidth, this story rolls on and through in a way that could only happen in the movies!



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Episode 151: Poltergeist (1982)

poltergeistWe move ahead to 1982 for our second film, again arguably the scariest film of its decade. This movie is quite different from last episode's topic, as it's a ghost story with a twist, and then another twist, and then another twist! Directed by Tobe Hooper (and perhaps Stephen Spielberg) and co-written by Spielberg, the movie "Poltergeist" is quite a different take on a traditional haunted house story. Starring Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Heather O'Rourke, and Zelda Rubinstein, the story follows a typical American family in the 80s, living in the "Cuesta Verde" subdivision, where Nelson's character Steve Freeling works as a salesman for the builders of the community. Strange things begin to happen in their home, amusing at first, and then they take a much more sinister turn, and that's just the beginning! Truly one of the scariest films of the 80s, and perhaps ever, but one with a bit of humor in it as well. Very Spielberg-ian throughout, and so much fun! Plus, find out what comedy duo the trio will be focusing on for the next pairing!



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Episode 150: The Exorcist (1973)

exorcistIt's a return to horror, with arguably the scariest films from two decades! First up, it's the William Friedkin directed film, based on a story and screenplay by William Peter Blatty, that took the subject of possession in a completely different direction, 1973's "The Exorcist!" Starring Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, Jason Miller, William O'Malley, and Linda Blair. This movie follows 12-year-old Regan MacNeil, daughter of actress Chris MacNeil, as she is beset by what is first believed to be a form of severe mental illness, then a brain disease of some sort, but ends up being diagnosed as a case of demonic possession. Two priests, one old and dedicated, one young and unsure, come to the aid of this family in crisis and attempt to save not only the little girl's life, but her very soul. Nominated for eight oscars including Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Director, the film would garner two: Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Sound. Regardless, it is THE film many cite as the scariest movie they've ever seen!



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Episode 149: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

willywonkaOur second look at the cinematic depictions of Roald Dahl books takes us to the year 1971, and perhaps the finest performance of Gene Wilder's career in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!" Directed by Mel Stuart, with Dahl writing the screenplay himself, and co-starring Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Julie Dawn Cole, Denise Nickerson, Paris Themmen, and Michael Bollner, this is what people mean when they say a film is a "classic!" From beginning to end, this is, as the song in the film suggests, pure imagination on-screen. Plus, the background information and inside stories make the viewing even that much more interesting! Plus, the trio explain what "Halloween in May" films they'll be viewing for the next pairing!



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Episode 148: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

chittychittybangbangTake the spy-story genius of Ian Fleming, father of James Bond, and combine it with the dark children's fantasy of Roald Dahl, and what do you get? 1968's classic "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," directed by Ken Hughes and starring Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howe, Lionel Jeffries, Gert Frobe, Anna Quayle, Benny Hill, Robert Helpmann, Heather Ripley, and Adrian Hall! This beloved, yet uneven, children's classic has entertained young people for several decades. Seen as an adult, however, there are layers to it that children would never pick up on. It does, however, have songs and dance numbers to rival, perhaps even surpass, Mary Poppins! If you have children, or know children, or have even just heard of children, find some and show them this movie! You'll become their new favorite person!



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