Aug 8, 2018

Classic Film on Podcasts: 6 More Great Episodes

Since I last wrote about some of my favorite podcast episodes, I’ve found many more fascinating shows to follow. Here’s what’s been grabbing my attention lately. All podcast titles link to the episode discussed:

Maltin on Movies
Patricia Ward Kelly

September 8, 2018

Over the past few months, I’ve become a big fan of this podcast hosted by Leonard Maltin and his daughter Jessie Maltin. These two have a lovely, warm rapport, which brings out the best in their guests. While they tend to focus on long-format interviews with current filmmakers and performers, there’s a lot in their back catalog to please classic film fans. I was especially charmed by this episode featuring Gene Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward Kelly. As many classic film fans know, Ms. Kelly has made it her life’s work to keep her husband’s legacy alive. Here she talks about her history with the legendary dancer and the one-woman show about her experiences with him that she has been performing in various venues. Kelly has a keen eye for detail, which gives her a knack for digging up revealing anecdotes. There’s lots of gems about his life shared here.

Eva Marie Saint

May 9, 2018

You can never hear too much from actress Eva Marie Saint. Well into her nineties she remains sharp, amusing, and despite experiencing great loss, full of zest for life. On this episode she discusses some of the highlights of her career with host Alicia Malone. She shares several stories about working with Marlon Brando and Elia Kazan in On The Waterfront (1954) and reminisces about her first meeting with Alfred Hitchcock. Though Saint doesn’t delve too much into her personal life, there is a poignant moment when she discusses how she has been dealing with her grief over the death of long-time husband Jeffrey, to whom she had been married for 65 years.

Warner Archive
Only One Ruta Lee
July 6, 2018

To promote the Blu-ray release of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), Ruta Lee, who played one of the titular brides, discussed life on the set of the production. She is charming, clever, and an engaging storyteller with many vivid memories of working on the film. I love the way she describes her Bride partner Matt Mattox’s “beautiful, tight buns.” Such a saucy lady!

The “It” Girl/Dementia Americana
May 18 & June 1, 2018

This is one of my favorite podcasts. I love it so much it’s the only one I’ve seen live, but it rarely touches on my interest in classic film. Here, in a two-parter, host Phoebe Judge tells the story of Evelyn Nesbit, a Gilded Age celebrity who found success in front of the still camera and no end of drama with the men in her life. This episode only briefly discusses the few movies this pioneering supermodel made, Nesbit is more famous for her connection to a notorious sex and murder scandal than her film career, but it is interesting the way it draws in the world of cinema and its relation to fame.

American Masters
Lena Horne
July 5, 2017

In an interview from 1996, originally recorded for American Masters: Lena Horne, in Her Own Voice, the singer and actress discusses her early years in Hollywood, dealing with racism in the industry, her marriage to Lennie Hayton, and people who felt her civil rights work was counterproductive to the cause. Much of the pleasure of this episode is getting to hear Horne speak in that warm drawl for a half hour.

NPR: Fresh Air
Remembering Actor Tab Hunter
July 13, 2018

When Tab Hunter died in July, NPR’s Fresh Air paid tribute by re-airing a 2005 interview the actor recorded with Terry Gross. He talks about his memoir, being in the closet in the 1950s, his feelings about stardom, and the relationship he had with actor Anthony Perkins. As with Horne, it’s such a pleasure just to hear Hunter’s gently gravelly voice as he reflects on the past.

Do you have a favorite podcast that would be of interest to classic film fans? Do you host a movie-themed podcast? Please share in the comments!

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