Thursday, December 11, 2014

War film 3: Paths of Glory (1957)

Stanley Kubrick's third full-length film saw him team up with Kirk Douglas in a stark but stylish screen adaptation of Humphrey Cobb's 1935 WWI novel, Paths of Glory. The film also starred Adolphe Menjou, George Macready, Richard Anderson and Ralph Meeker, and included a memorable and moving cameo by Kubrick's soon-to-be wife, Christiane Harlan. Click the image below to listen to the podcast (25.4MB, 1 hour 24 mins).

Recorded Monday 1 Dec 2014, edited by Garen Ewing.

Purchase the DVD from Amazon UK: Paths of Glory (1957)

Monday, October 27, 2014

War film 2: Platoon (1986)

In 1986 Oliver Stone was at last able to turn his Vietnam experiences into a film - Platoon. The first in what would become his 'Vietnam trilogy', it starred Charlie Sheen, Willem Defoe and Tom Berenger, and went on to be nominated for eight Oscars, winning four. Click the image below to listen to the podcast (21.1MB, 1 hour 10 mins).

Recorded Sunday 19 Oct 2014, edited by Garen Ewing. Warning: mild language in one of the clip extracts.

Purchase the DVD from Amazon UK: Platoon (1986).

Saturday, September 20, 2014

War film 1: The Guns of Navarone (1961)

After an introduction to the War Films Podcast idea, we discuss Carl Foreman's WWII adventure tour-de-force, The Guns of Navarone, based on the Alistair MacLean novel and starring Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn and Anthony Quayle. Click the image below to listen to the podcast (32.6MB, 1 hour 30 mins).

Recorded Friday 19 September 2014, edited by Garen Ewing.

Notes and Errata: Kurosawa's Seven Samurai was indeed 1954. Where Eagles Dare has a body count of 100 according to, which places it at no. 62 in the Top 100, though well in the top 20 for its war film category. The ruins at the start of Navarone are indeed the Parthenon, while those used later in the film seem to be the temple ruins at Lindos on Rhodes.

Purchase the DVD from Amazon UK: The Guns of Navarone (1961)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The War Films Podcast

Back in 2011 my brother Murray and I spent several months discussing ten favourite adventure films (you can still listen to them from this blog). Recently we decided to tackle another category, considering several and eventually settling on war films.

Here are the ten we'll be discussing ...

The Guns of Navarone (1961) : Platoon (1986)
Paths of Glory (1957) : A Bridge Too Far (1977)
It Happened Here (1964) : Zulu (1964)
The Eagle Has Landed (1976) : Downfall (2004)
Kagemusha (1980) : The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)

Because I (Garen) chose the ten adventure films, I gave Murray preference over the category this time. I really thought he'd go for horror, SF or fantasy; I also suggested martial arts and war, and he surprised me by opting for war, partially because it's not something either of us have looked into that much - which is sort of why we're doing it.

Most of the films have come from my collection as I am something of war film fan. It was difficult to choose ten and leave out some other favourites (The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Ill Met By Moonlight, Saving Private Ryan, The Four Feathers, The Great Escape, Tora Tora Tora!, Where Eagles Dare ...). We were quite strict with our definition of the genre, initially also considering films such as Casablanca and Starship Troopers but deciding a narrower definition would limit our already-numerous options.

As before there'll be no regular schedule for these - watch me on Twitter for announcements - but the first one should appear within two or three weeks, and then whenever we're able from then on. I hope you'll tune in!