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Episodes

Episode 154: Matinee (1993)

matineeThis pairing we're calling "Films About Movie Theatres," and we're starting with a semi-autobiographical look at the "Gimmick King" of the 1950s and 60s, William Castle, in 1993's "Matinee!" Directed by Joe Dante, and starring John Goodman as Lawrence Woolsey, the film takes place during the Cuban Missle Crisis, and juxtaposes that against the efforts of a schlock B-movie filmmaker to bring something new to the movie-watching experience, to bring a little showmanship back to the theatre, as it were. Co-starring Cathy Moriarty as Woolsey's long-suffering girlfriend Ruth Corday, the film also features Simon Fentin, Lisa Jakub, Omri Katz, Kelly Martin, Robert Picardo, and the final performance ever from the incredible Jesse White, not to mention smaller roles featuring some original B-Movie actors like Dick Miller and William Schallert! Plus, if you look quickly, you can catch the very first film appearance of Naomi Watts! A fun, gorgeous film about loss of innocence combined with the best in-theatre movie gimmicks of all time!



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Episode 153: See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)

seenoevilhearnoevilOur second film featuring the comedy duo of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor moves us to the other end of the 1980s for 1989's Arthur Hiller-directed "See No Evil, Hear No Evil!" Co-starring Joan Severance, Kevin Spacey (in one of his earlist film appearances), and Kirsten Childs, this film follows the lives of Wally (Pryor), who is blind, and Dave (Wilder) who is deaf. They cross paths at just the wrong (or right?) time and get embroiled in a an ongoing industrial espionage event which seems them pursued by both the police and the criminals involved! Plus, find out what films about theatres the trio are turning to fore their next pairing!



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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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