Oscar History

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« Pt 2 Smackdown Xtra: On the Waterfront with a Broken Lance | Main | What Is It With Ruth Madoff and Actresses? »

Pt 1 Smackdown Xtra: High & Mighty Executive Suite

Nathaniel (your host) welcomes Brian Herrera (aka Stinky Lulu), Mark Harris (Grantland and EW) Anne Marie Kelly (The Film Experience), Manuel Muñoz (award winning writer) and Todd VanDerWerff (Vox) to the podcast for a Smackdown conversation. To flesh out our thoughts on the 1954 Oscar Battle (we trust you've read it now?) and expand the topic to include the four films themselves, and where Hollywood's head was, here is our 80 minute conversation in two parts.

Pt 1 (40 minutes)
00:01 The High and the Mighty and the birth of both DeGlam and the Disaster Epics. With shout outs to The Love Boat (?), Airplane, and Grand Hotel
21:45 Executive Suite, experimental filmmaking, and trusting the patriarchy.
36:40 Marlon Brando and New Acting Styles. Post World War II / Pre Something Else.


You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes Continue the conversation in the comments. For fun I thought I'd include this video of Nina Foch (An American in Paris), our Smackdown runner up, discussing her Oscar nominated role in Executive Suite. The pencil necklace was her idea! Thank you to reader David Q. for pointing it out to Nick who sent it along to me.


Pt 1 Smackdown: The High and The Mighty

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Reader Comments (7)

Great Discussion you guys

P.S. Nathaniel apologizing to this month's panellists with one great film will look great in comparison to next month where the three films featuring the five performance range from two average films to one good film but not life changing.

September 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEoin Daly

"The High and the Mighty" was a lot of things but boring wasn't one of them. Of the 4 films this time around, I think I'd rank it 2nd in rewatchability.

I already have doubts about my ability to watch "Tom Jones", and not just because of availability issues - I think I've tried and abandoned it twice before.

September 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave S.

Eoin -- hmmm. i remember Lilies & Tom Jones as being quite enjoyable ( I havent' seen VIP yet)

September 1, 2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathaniel, I understand. As you know, it's not that bad on this side of the hill. :)
Still, even people in my own age category, late 50's, often don't watch the movies from 1915 through the early 60's.
So I have become used to people younger than me not even knowing the names of the movies or the stars, and you can completely forget about them knowing the supporting actors.
Sadly, that is their loss. IMHO

I found it very interesting when one of the panel made the comment that now they understand the jokes in Airplane better.
It's like when I had the wife's son and his wife (in their late 20's) watch Blazing Saddles.
They didn't get the "Laurel and Hardy handshake" joke or the "I've killed more men than Cecil B. DeMille." joke, or for that matter, a lot of jokes.

Anyway,glad I found you and thanks to Anne Marie for leading me to this site.

September 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLes

That was fascinating. I love the thoughts on Executive Suite, post-post-WWII and the "benevolent patriarch." And The High and The Mighty discussion was hilarious. I have to insist that you bring Brian back more regularly.

September 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBD

I had a great time listening to this, though I've only seen "Waterfront." No matter how bad the movies sound, smart conversation always makes them seem worth watching.

No one seemed to have much to say about Eva Marie Saint -- I was curious why that was. Too much agreement? Not enough to add after the online comments?

September 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

Great first part. How the hell did I miss The High and the Mighty?

September 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

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