We watch Billy Wilder’s story of a silent film queen’s life in middle age and the screenwriter who stumbles into her world. Noir, melodrama, dark humor, horror. It’s all here in this classic, staring Gloria Swanson. She’s all of 46 when she made this movie, but a has-been like her character. This episode is full of excellent trivia and unexpected connections made by our super-smart panel.
August 24, 2023 The Palm Beach Story
Probably the best of the Sturges comedies, The Palm Beach Story is part romance, part screwball comedy, part drawing room comedy. The performances sparkle, the movie looks great, and the plot is inventive. Joel McCrea and Claudette Colbert are our delightful stars. And I get to talk about Mary Astor some more. Don’t miss this one, kids.
August 17, 2023 Easy Living
Fair warning: this recap of a Preston Sturges film from 1937 also features Barbie content.
August 10, 2023 An Interview with Eddie Muller
Shelly talks with the “czar of noir” about his new book, his favorite films noir and what’s happening at Turner Classic Movies.
August 3, 2023 Hail the Conquoring Hero
Who would dare comment on the inherently propagandistic aspects of the war effort, right in the middle of World War II? That would be Preston Sturges. A soldier is discharged from the Army because he has hay fever, but is declared a war hero when he returns to his hometown. Eddie Bracken and Ella Raines (last seen on LTS in Phantom Lady) are your stars.
July 27, 2023 Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
The Summer of Sturges continues with a movie that’s not in a class with The Lady Eve. But we still need to talk about it. World-renown conductor Rex Harrison suspects his much younger wife (Linda Darnell) of cheating on him, and he dreams up three different ways to punish her for it.
July 20, 2023 The Lady Eve
We begin the summer of (Preston) Sturgess celebration with a true classic. Director and stars were at their best here, and it’s a treat to watch LTS’ favorite dame work her magic on Henry Fonda. I have four more Sturgess offerings coming up, but this one is hard to beat.
July 13, 2023 Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Audrey Hepburn is iconic as Holly Gollighty. Is there more to say? Of course. That’s why we have a podcast.
April 13, 2023 To Be Or Not To Be
The Lubitsch Touch applied to Nazi occupation? You bet. Carole Lombard and Jack Benny star as members of an acting troupe in Poland, scrambling after the Nazis arrive. It’s funny and serious all at once, with great performances. The film was released two months after Lombard died in a plane crash, and would have earned good will, had the subject matter not been a rough go for Americans of the time.
April 8, 2023 Key Largo
We return to Huston (John) and Bogart, but there’s also Lauren Bacall, Claire Trevor (Oscar winner for this), Edward G. Robinson and more. The cast is trapped together in a Florida hotel, awaiting a hurricane. It’s a film noir, so there are secrets and gun play, plus the eventual storm to contend with. And a boat.
March 30, 2023 All That Heaven Allows
Here’s a movie from Douglas Sirk’s high period. We’ve only talked about Sirk in the context of “Lured,” a movie I think is underrated, but one that looks nothing like this splashy 50s melodrama. This one stars Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson. And I get to talk about Agnes Moorehead. So, bonus! Can a lonely widow find love with a tree farmer? Stay tuned. We also mention Todd Haynes’ excellent 2002 remake (you read that right!), “Far from Heaven” with Julianne Moore.