Episode 52: The Right Stuff. This week we are delighted to be joined by Sean Munger, host of The Second Decade Podcast (link in the show notes on the website historybyhollywood dot com) who grew up on or near USAF bases and brings both historical expertise and a personal aspect to the show. The movie is big, bold and magnificent covering the American efforts to break the sound barrier then launch men into space. The episode is big and we’ll leave you, our dear listeners to choose any other appropriate adjectives. Over two hours but if you enjoy listening half as much as we enjoyed recording…. you know the rest.
Link to Sean Munger’s The Second Decade podcast website. This is as recommended as anything we’ve ever recommended…. so to speak. https://seconddecade.net/
Antoher link, this time to Des Latham’s excellent Anglo-Boer War podcast which is as hard hitting as it is entertaining. A playful delivery doesn’t detract from the drama of the conflict. We rather like this! https://www.abwarpodcast.com/
A very entertaining movie, described in one review as an ‘angry, fiery movie disguised as a comedy’ it has a superb cast including Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrel and Brad Pitt. The period portrayed leads up to the 2008 financial crash and the movie does a great job of explaining how this was allowed to happen along with a warning that it could happen again. One of the most relevant and topical movies we have covered thus far, we hope you join us on our journey of discovery along the road to the facts. The audio is much improved from last time but still not perfect (some slight background noise) which we are working hard to eliminate from all future episodes. Please bear with us and we promise to be back to 20/20 clarity next time out.
Episode 47: The King’s Speech. Join us as we examine 2015’s Oscar-winning movie The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth as the reluctant King George VI and Geoffrey Rush as his unconventional speech therapist Lionel Logue, an Australian with no formal qualifications but with a history of great success in the field of speech therapy. Ably supported by Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth, Derek Jacobi, Timothy Spall and Michael Gambon, the movie was a great cinematic and financial success beloved by critics and audiences alike but did they get the facts right? Or is this a heartwarming tale sculpted into a plausible piece of history?
Episode 46: Goodfellas. Martin Scorsese directed this 1990 masterpiece, starring Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, an Irish/Italian American gangster working in a New York mafia gang through the 1960s and 70s. With superb supporting roles featuring Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci amongst others, this movie has proved a hit for nearly thirty years despite its main character being an unrepentant criminal. Popularity though is no measure of accuracy so we will attempt to discover whether this is an accurate portrayal of events or if, in creating this masterpiece of cinema, Martin Scorsese has ladled on the dramatic license.
Episode 45: Braveheart. Directed by and starring Mel Gibson as William Wallace, a fiercely patriotic Scottish warrior in the late 13th and early 14th Centuries, Braveheart is the movie that inspired the whole HbH idea and, eventually, this podcast. It’s taken us 45 episodes to get to this much-loved but also often-derided movie so we hope you tune in to hear our take on its entertainment and historical accuracy. We think our conclusions may verge on the unexpected. Join us to find out.
Episode 44: Elizabeth. 1998 saw the release of this lavish movie, detailing the early years of the reign of Elizabeth First of England. With a strong cast, the movie launched Cate Blanchett into stardom with her portrayal of the young Queen Bess as she has to deal with court conspiracies, foreign interference and a host of suitors for the hand in marriage of the Queen of England. Elizabeth receives conflicting advice from powerful men, used to operating in an exclusively male world. We will examine how Elizabeth coped, both in the movie and in reality and how divergent those two accounts become. We hope you join us for the journey.
Episode 43: Spotlight. This 2015 movie is named for the team of journalists working for the Boston Globe who carry out in-depth investigations for the paper under the ‘Spotlight’ name. In 2001-2002 they revealed the widespread abuse of children by Catholic priests in the Boston diocese and the systematic cover-up that the Catholic church had undergone for decades to keep this disease hidden. Their article led to a global examination of similar abuses, something that carries on to this day. Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdam, Mark Ruffalo and Liev Schreiber lead a wonderful cast as this dark topic is brought to us in a gripping yet sensitive movie. Our investigation has been on how well the movie managed to portray these events accurately. We urge you to watch this powerful, relevant and moving film and we hope you take something from our conclusions of its message.