Podcasts for Classic Film Fans: May Roundup


The more time I spend at home, the more meaningful podcasts have been for me as a way to connect to the outside world. This is the first time in a while that every podcast in my roundup has been new to me. I'm expecting to find many more in the months to come. The episode titles link to the shows:


BBC Radio 3: Arts & Ideas
April 29, 2020
Host Matthew Sweet speaks with guests Pamela Hutchinson, Charlotte Croft, and Mark Glancy about Cary Grant, with a focus on how he crafted his image and the way his pre-Hollywood life affected that process. The episode also delves into interesting aspects of his career, such as how he was rare among male stars in that he was often pursued by women in his films, rather than filling the typical role of seducer.



You Can’t Eat the Sunshine
May 8, 2020
Rare book dealer Howard Prouty, Vintage Los Angeles curator Alison Martino and Jeff Mantor of the Larry Edmunds Bookshop talk about the history and decline of film bookshops in Hollywood in this illuminating episode that is also a call to action: Mantor has started a GoFundMe in order to keep his historic bookstore afloat at a time when he has lost all foot traffic and must rely solely on mail order. As a loyal customer of the store, at first on my yearly visits during the TCM Classic Film Festival, and now via mail, it was interesting to learn more about the history of the store, in addition to how it was included in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019).


Here Lies Amicus
May 5, 2020
 The best part of this podcast dedicated to the productions of UK-based Amicus Studios is its charming hosts Gabriela Masson and Cev Moore. Here they discuss the horrors of the witchcraft flick City of the Dead (aka Horror Hotel) and yet the episode leaves you feeling cheerful because they so frequently get the giggles as they discuss the depravity of Christopher Lee and company. I look forward to hearing more from this well-informed and high-spirited duo.


Ask Jillian
Debra Tate is a Warrior Woman!
February 18, 2020

This was an unusual find: it turns out Jillian Barberie has been a friend of Debra Tate, sister of Sharon, for over 20 years. More a chat between friends than an interview, the two discuss many aspects of the life of Sharon Tate, the Tate family’s long fight to keep her murderers in prison, and how Quentin Tarantino and Margot Robbie worked with Debra to bring her sister back to life in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019). It was a fascinating conversation: Tate is smart, tough, and compassionate and as sad as it could be, it was good to hear her side of the story.



This is Not a Story About…
May 7, 2020
Filmmaker Ted Geoghegan’s new podcast explores classic Hollywood stories that take an unusual turn. This episode about Jackie, the MGM lion is as nail-biting and emotionally stirring as an old-time serial. I was riveted. Geoghegan’s friendly, well-informed storytelling reminds me a bit of Phoebe Judge from the Criminal podcast, with the difference that this is a one-man show and thus more intimate. A beautifully-produced show.




Calling Old Hollywood
May 1, 2020
Host Kat Lively has a delightfully dishy conversation with Laurie Jacobson, writer, wife of a former child star, and a long-time Hollywood resident who shares her insights on James Dean, Natalie Wood, and other actors from the classic age of movies. Jacobson is one of those Tinseltown regulars who has been there and seen it all. She’s also the first podcast guest I’ve encountered who has contracted and recovered from the Coronavirus.


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