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Episodes

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)

maverickEpisode 206 begins our two-week look at the films of entertainer extraordinaire Danny Kaye. First up is the 1947 film which has been remade twice since, most recently in 2013 with Ben Stiller in the lead role, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty!" Written by Ken Englund and Everett Freeman, based on a James Thurber short story, and directed by veteran Norman Z. McLeod, the story follows Water Mitty (Kaye), a mild-mannered, hen-pecked, editor of lurid pulp magazines. Since his real life is so hum-drum, he survives by descending into a fantasy world of daydreams, filled with damsels in distress, and heroism. But when he falls into a situation where real-life becomes too much like his daydreams, will he shrink away or rise to the occasion? Co-starring Virginia Mayo, Boris Karloff, and Reginald Denny, this is a classic film the whole family can enjoy!



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My Cousin Vinny (1992)

maverickEpisode 205 completes our "Fish Out of Water" pairing and, once again, the fishes are from New York. This time, however, they land in a small town in Alabama, in its courthouse, and dealing with one of it's old-school judges in 1992's "My Cousin Vinny!" Directed by Jonathan Lynn and written by Dale Launer, this is the film that won Marisa Tomei an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Bill (Ralph Macchio) and Stan (Mitchell Whitfield) are heading to college. After they stop at a store in a small town in Alabama, they are mistaken for two guys who robbed the store they stopped at and shot the clerk. In desperation, they reach out to "the lawyer in the family," Bill's cousin Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci). Vinny arrives in NY style, complete with New York fiance Mona Lisa Vito (Tomei) in tow. But when he appears before long-time judge Chamberlain Haller (Fred Gwynne), and faces off against the town DA Jim Trotter III (Lane Smith) as well as the town's head of law enforcement, Sheriff Farley (Bruce McGill), Vinny realizes that he's out of his league, but he still has family who are innocent of the charges being levied against them! A wonderful film full of real characters (in more than one sense of the word), masterful dialogue, authentic courtroom procedure, and true genius comedy! Plus, the trio reveal which classic comedy star they're paying tribute to in the next episode!



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My Blue Heaven (1990)

maverickEpisode 204 begins our "Fish Out of Water" comedy pairing, starting with a lesser-known Steve Martin vehicle, 1990's "My Blue Heaven!" Directed by Herbert Ross and penned by acclaimed writer-director Nora Ephron, Martin stars alongside Rick Moranis (in a rare straight-man role), Joan Cusack, Melanie Mayron, Bill Irwin, Carol Kane, William Hickey, Daniel Stern, and a cast of great character actors. Vincent Antonelli (Martin) and his wife are in federal witness protection, awaiting Vinnie's trial appearances. Rangled by FBI agent Barney Coopersmith (Moranis), Antonelli is, to say the least, a handful. He doesn't blend in, he doesn't change, he doesn't want to be there... in short, he's a nightmare assignment for Barney. This film is loosely based on the real-life of Henry Hill, the same man who was the basis for "Goodfellas." This film, however, is a comedy that starts a bit slowly but picks up along the way and comes to a very satisfying conclusion!



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The Movie Hero (2003)

maverickEpisode 203 is the second in our "Movies About Movies" pairing, and the Indie-est of Indie films done on this podcast thus far, yet is also one of the mostly strangely affecting as well. Described by one of the geeks as "A romantic comedy that segues, somewhere along the line, into a romantic fantasy," 2003's "The Movie Hero" was never released theatrically, but it won several awards throughout its two-year film festival exhibition! Written and directed by Brad T. Gottfred, the movie follows Blake Gardner (Jeremy Sisto), self-proclaimed movie nut, as he navigates his daily life, all the while talking to "his audience," invisible to everyone but Blake. In his efforts to be a good movie hero for his audience, he spots a suspicious character (Peter Stormare) who becomes the problem he must solve. He then recruits a sidekick (Brian White) but, before they can head off to defeat the bad guy, Blake is arrested. He then meets his court-assigned therapist, Elizabeth (Dina Meyer), who Blake immediately decides is his love interest, and begins telling her all about his audience and why the suspicious character must be stopped. Although not a unanimously positive review, this film has more production value, and more heart, than many films with larger budgets, and is absolutely beloved of one of the trio! Plus, the geeks and G.I.T. reveal which two "fish out of water" comedies they'll be reviewing for their next pairing!



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The Big Picture (1989)

maverickEpisode 202 begins our pairing of "Movies About Movies," whether that be making them, appreciating them, or loving them the way we do! First up, it's director Christopher Guest's first feature film, 1989's "The Big Picture." Written by Guest, Michael Varhol, and Michael McKean, the story follows award-winning (in school) director Nick Chapman, newly graduated, entering the hard-to-navigate waters of the Hollywood film system. This is made all the more difficult by a couple of sharks in those waters, producer Allen Habel (J.T. Walsh) and selfishly avaricious actress Gretchen (Teri Hatcher in her first big-screen role). Their influence has Nick losing his girlfriend Susan (Emily Longstreth) and his best friend Emmet (Michael McKean), until a chance re-meeting with film school buddy Lydia (Jennifer Jason Leigh) sets him on a path that, strangely enough, guides him back to his roots. A film that roasts Hollywood even as it's saluting it and playing with its traditions and behaviors, plus a plethora of cameos!



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