Pod City: 19 Five-Star Movie Podcasts (Part 1)
Many of you have asked for a roundup of cool movie podcasts, and with good reason: There are so many, it’s hard to know where to start.
That’s why I’m taking two weeks to share my favorites, from retro shows to review-heavy ones to the ones that just make us laugh. Did I overlook something that I should include next week? Holler in the comments or via Twitter.
REVISITING THE CLASSICS
As I’ve written before, Karina Longworth’s podcast about old Hollywood is a must-listen for any cinephile. Episodes have explored the lives and work of Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Bette Davis, Orson Welles, Judy Garland, and just about any other star that will be appreciated and idolized for decades to come.
Greg Proops Film Club
If you dig comedian Greg Proops's pop culture musings on The Smartest Man in the World, check out his other podcast, on which he discusses his favorite movies (Dog Day Afternoon, The Big Sleep, and Coffy, to name a few) in front of a live audience.
Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast!
Gottfried spotlights classic entertainment, from cult movies like Freaks and The Boys from Brazil to performers we may not have heard from in a while. His fandom shines through in chats with Roger Corman, Butch Patrick, Larry Storch, Adam West, Julie Newmar, and others.
One of my personal goals is to watch at least one film from the Criterion Collection each week, so I’m particularly fond of this podcast, in which host Ryan Gallagher and guests tackle Criterion films and news.
In each episode of Matt Gourley’s engaging show, guests discuss what it was like to be a minor player in a major movie, like having two lines in A Few Good Men (Josh Malina), having a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it role in Michael Jackson’s Captain EO (Doug Benson) or having your small part in Groundhog Day grow to cult status (Stephen Tobolowsky).
Presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, this show includes chats with innovators and influencers like Albert Maysles, Tim Burton, David Cronenberg, and Agnès Varda. (Personally, I think the John Waters interview is worth a download.)
The Empire Film Podcast
I’m filing this one under “Interviews,” but it does so much more. This podcast from the British film magazine goes beyond what it has to, blending fun chats with huge stars (like Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore) with recent scoops.
The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith
Wanna hear about a movie from the screenwriter’s perspective? Goldsmith’s long-running show is your best bet. Recent eps have featured writer-director George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road) and writer-director Alex Garland (Ex Machina).
NEWS AND REVIEWS
I’m a longtime listener of this show, in which David Chen, Devindra Hardawar, and Jeff Cannata debate new releases that I’m often on the fence about seeing. They throw in a chunk of movie news, too, so I usually come away feeling much more in the know.
Many of us consult RottenTomatoes.com to find out if a movie is worth seeing. In the podcast, we hear critics’ takes, discussions, and news, but hosts Matt Atchity and Grae Drake build upon the idea by incorporating interviews and feedback from listeners.
Indiewire: Screen Talk
I like this podcast for the same reason I like Indiewire.com: These guys know their stuff, and their passion for independent cinema shines through. Hosted by Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson, eps cover indie news and releases, as well as the festival circuit.
Filmspotting: Streaming Video Unit
If you prefer streaming over going to the theater, check out this biweekly podcast that focuses on digital releases. Hosts Alison Willmore and Matt Singer are skilled at enhancing our Netflix queues and highlighting new on-demand flicks.
Box Office Breakdown
True to its name, this show breaks down the week’s biggest financial triumphs and failures. Even if you’re not a numbers person, the hosts offer helpful explanations and insight into how the Hollywood money machine works.
MORE MALTIN, PLEASE
This long-running podcast from comedian Doug Benson features all-star guests and a round of movie-themed games. (As many of you know, his most popular one, The Leonard Maltin Game, is inspired by Maltin’s film reviews.) Guests have included Sarah Silverman, Jon Hamm, T.J. Miller, Edgar Wright, Tig Notaro, and “Mark Wahlberg” (aka comedian Daniel Van Kirk).
Maltin on Movies
Does Leonard Maltin host his own podcast? Of course he does. In each episode, Maltin and co-host Baron Vaughn discuss films organized by a theme. Past eps have addressed favorite remakes, adaptations, musicals, robot movies, and more.
BY FANS, FOR FANS
I really enjoy this live show, in which hosts Alicia Malone and Scott Mantz celebrate one talent per episode. What’s great about their profiles of Cameron Crowe, David Lynch, and others is they welcome surprise celebrity guests who share stories about actually working with them.
Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period
Everybody likes Denzel, but W. Kamau Bell and Kevin Avery really adore the actor. Episodes have been devoted to Glory, Crimson Tide, Inside Man, and other films, as well as feedback from fans (aka “Denzealots”).
Here’s another winning idea: Sync this podcast with your TV, and you’ll hear a running movie commentary from a funny, film-loving married couple. They’ve tackled all kinds of films we love to watch repeatedly: The Big Lebowski, Clerks, The Wizard of Oz, Super Mario Bros. (though I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never seen the last one!).
How Did This Get Made?
Hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas prove it can be just as fun—sometimes more so—to discuss horrible movies as it can be to celebrate the classics. In each ep, they share hilarious thoughts on one of Hollywood’s biggest movie disasters, like Hudson Hawk, Junior, Glitter, or Howard the Duck.