All in Historical Period Drama

Episode 139 - Casino

This week, we watch the spiritual sequel to Goodfellas, when De Niro and Pesci move from New York to Vegas. Based on the true life story of Frank Rosenthal (who still claims no knowledge of the events depicted in this film), this movie is probably the most historically accurate film we have watched so far. Casino (1995), directed by Martin Scorsese.

Episode 177 - Hotel Rwanda

This week, we watch the film that portrays the historical events of the Rwandan Genocide through the story of a hotel manager who protected over 1,000 refugees in the midst of the massacre.  Don Cheadle portrays Paul Rusesabagina, a man who risked his family members lives, as well as his own, to save innocent lives in a performance that will most likely continue to define his career.  Hotel Rwanda (2004), directed by Terry George.

Episode 181 - Spotlight

This week, we watch the best picture winning film that aims and succeeds to tell the true story of the hard working Boston Globe reporter/editor/writer team that broke the story on pedophile priests in Boston, and the systematic coverup that the Catholic Church provides for those who get caught.  A very special guest co-hosts this episode - Kevin Slane, who is an entertainment writer (among other things) at the Boston Globe. Spotlight, directed by Tom McCarthy.

Episode 187 - The 400 Blows

This week, we watch the wonderful story of a young French boy and his downward spiral.  This timeless and magical film was one of the first of the French New Wave, and the one that brought international attention to the movement.  This film hasn't aged a day.  The relatable story is as relevant as ever, the acting from a cast of mostly children is incredible, and it looks and sounds amazing. The historical importance of this film can not be overstated.  The 400 Blows (1959), directed by Francois Truffaut.

Episode 189 - In the Name of the Father

This week, we watch the story of the Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven, a group of young men and woman who were wrongly accused and imprisoned for the terrorist bombing of a pub.  The true story turns into a backdrop for the relationship between one of the four (Daniel Day Lewis) and his father (Pete Postlethwaite), and their time spent together in prison.  In the Name of the Father, directed by Jim Sheridan.

Episode 191 - 12 Years a Slave

This week, we watch the best picture winner about the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York who gets abducted and sold into slavery. This movie is brutal and important, and should be on the short list of films that everyone from this country must see.  Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'O, and Michael Fassbender all put in career best performances.  12 Years a Slave (2013), directed by Steve McQueen.

Episode 197A - Ben-Hur Part 1

This week, we watch the epic tale of Judah Ben-Hur, a man who lived at the time of Jesus.  Based on the outstandingly popular novel from 1880, and a remake of the 1925 film, this iteration of the tale is distinguished by winning the most Academy Awards in history, and has a number of other records held as well (largest set ever built, etc).  Come for the chariot race, and stay for the mind blowing scale. Ben-Hur (1959), directed by William Wyler.

Episode 207 - Memories of Murder

This week, we watch the the movie that captured a slot in Quentin Tarantino's list of the 20 best films since 1992 - a murder mystery that combines horror and comedy in a way that that leaves you not only guessing at who the killer is, but what tone the movie will take with the next scene.  Also, the best jump-kicks in movie history. Memories of Murder (2003), directed by Bong Joon Ho.