Episode 59: Supplementary 4 The Ones That Got Away Part 2

Episode 59: Supplementary 4 The Ones That Got Away Part Two. This week sees Martin flying solo as we bring you our second batch of movies that didn’t quite make the cut for a full episode. We are covering the following movies, each with their start time in case you want to skip ahead:
The Bridge on the River Kwai 13.45 The epic David Lean war movie about a group of Allied POWs in Japanese occupied Thailand building a bridge.

Mississippi Burning 35.00 Based on the 1960s FBI investigation into the murder of three civil rights volunteers, this powerful movie stars Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe as the lead investigators.

The Greatest Showman 50.05 The musical biopic of PT Barnum and how his circus show was started. Beloved by audiences, less so by critics (or Martin!) we look at how much glitter has been spread over the real story.

The Lost City of Z 1hr 11.52 Colonel Percy Fawcett was a British explorer in the early 1900s, seeking evidence of a lost Amazonian civilization.

BAT-21 1hr 29.44 Gene Hackman makes his second appearance in today’s episode playing the role of Colonel Iceal Hambelton, shot down over Vietnam and trying to evade capture.

Gangs of New York 1hr 45.39 The first collaboration between Martin Scorcese and Leonardo di Caprio, this sprawling movie shows the lawless side of New York during the US Civil War. Daniel Day Lewis stands out as the movie’s villain with a typically brilliant performance.

Some real POWs who survived Japanese work camps. As can clearly be seen, the depiction in the movie shows rather too healthy-looking POWs.






We Are Not Afraid, Seth Cagin and Philip Dray, the book detailing the events depicted in Mississippi Burning

Episode 58: Kingdom of Heaven

Episode 58: Kingdom of Heaven. Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Orlando Bloom, this story of a young Crusader trying to come to terms with religion, guilt and knightly aspirations promises much with some great cinematography, detailed battle scenes, a love interest plus court intrigue as our hero discovers that supposed friends can be a lot more scheming and devious than your supposed enemies. Our interest is in both the entertainment value of the movie and its historical accuracy as we attempt to sort myth from truth, Hollywood hype from gritty reality. More popular with audiences than critics, the version we are examining is the theatrical release one; there is a director’s cut which is said to be more coherent so if that’s the one you’ve seen, good choice and sorry if we don’t mention the extra bits. We hope you enjoy.

Ibelin, Balian’s castle and farm
The crusader army’s route of advance towards Hattin
The view from the slopes of Hattin towards Tiberias (which lies just beyond the labelled town of Kfar Hitim) and the Sea of Galilee. The red marker is on the summit of the hill at Hattin where the last Crusaders surrendered.
Krak des Chevaliers (not to be confused with Kerak, the fortress held by Reynald de Chattilon) was a powerful castle and the main base of the Knights Hospitaller. It is incredibly well preserved and was never taken by force. Although not mentioned in the movie, it’s well worth a look.

Anuj Agarwal’s blog Hollywood Podcasts link:

https://blog.feedspot.com/hollywood_podcasts/

Book Castle of Eagles

Podcast episode Castle of Eagles

49 Castle of Eagles: Escape from Mussolini’s Colditz

Episode 57: The Great Escape

Episode 57: The Great Escape. 1963’s epic war movie has become a classic, loved by many viewers and remembered for some iconic moments, most of them involving Steve McQueen who is arguably one of the coolest actors ever to grace a screen. Based on a book by Paul Brickhill who was a POW in Stalag Luft III when the break-out occurred, we aim to find out how accurately the movie follows the reality of the breakout, the men involved and the details of their various experiences. It’s a big movie so this is a big episode with ups and downs and, no doubt, a few daredevil leaps across the fences of accepted reality (that one was inserted with help from the HbH literary crowbar).

Guy Walter’s book: The Real Great Escape which was our primary source for our research.

Sean Munger’s YouTube episode about Stalag Luft III:

Jens Muller’s account of the escape from one of the three men who made a ‘home run’:

Book about Squadron Leader Frank McKenna, Special Investigation Branch RAF and his hunt for the Great Escape Murderers. (This link is to the UK branch of Amazon but the title and ISBN number can be searched in any country)

Washington Post article about Bob Hoover, the only POW we could find who escaped by stealing an aircraft:

List of the escaping POWs:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Allied_airmen_from_the_Great_Escape

Episode 56: The Favourite

Episode 56: The Favourite. 2018’s period piece about Queen Anne and two of her female courtiers vying for preference in her favours was beloved by critics more than it was by audiences. Some very accomplished performances by the leading role actors led to an Oscar for Olivia Coleman and multiple other awards. Director Yorgos Lanthimos said all along that he was not making an historical documentary so our quest is to establish just how much he played with the known facts in his quest to make an entertaining story about friendship and the corrupting effects of power.

Episode 55: Bohemian Rhapsody

Episode 55 Bohemian Rhapsody. This episode takes a nostalgia trip for both hosts as we examine 2018’s musical biopic about Queen and Freddie Mercury. Critics didn’t much like it but audiences love it, as did the Academy Award committee as the movie won four Oscars including Best Actor for Rami Malek. We very much side with the audiences as we both thoroughly enjoyed what is a very entertaining and moving film. What we’ll try to do here is establish how close to the truth the movie managed to keep as it charts the rise of one of the world’s most successful rock bands.

The Show Must Go On: Queen and Adam Lambert documentary was shown on ABC on 29th April 2019. The usual streaming services haven’t yet picked it up but here are links to YouTube with the show split into two parts. It is highly recommended.

Episode 54: I, Tonya

Episode 54: I, Tonya This 2017 movie details the rise and fall of Tonya Harding, an American figure skater who rose to prominence and then notoriety in the early 1990s. A gritty, darkly humorous movie with some superb performances, notably Margot Robbie in the title role and Alison Janney, who was to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Tonya’s mother. The movie manages to balance gripping entertainment and humour yet never loses sight of the underlying pathos of the real story. Our task is to determine how close to that real-life story the movie manages to remain. We hope you’ll join us.

Episode 54: I, Tonya This 2017 movie details the rise and fall of Tonya Harding, an American figure skater who rose to prominence and then notoriety in the early 1990s. A gritty, darkly humorous movie with some superb performances, notably Margot Robbie in the title role and Alison Janney, who was to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Tonya’s mother. The movie manages to balance gripping entertainment and humour yet never loses sight of the underlying pathos of the real story. Our task is to determine how close to that real-life story the movie manages to remain. We hope you’ll join us.

Episode 52: The Right Stuff

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/