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Maltin on Movies

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Maltin on Movies

Leonard Maltin & Jessie Maltin

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Legendary film critic Leonard Maltin and his daughter Jessie are the ultimate movie fans. They love talking about movies, especially with people who share their enthusiasm—from living legends like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Quincy Jones to such contemporary artists as Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen, Laura Dern, and Bryan Cranston. You’ll meet all kinds of interesting people and hear their recommendations of unsung movies you ought to know.
 
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With the extraordinary success of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever it’s a perfect time to revisit our 2018 conversation with its director, Ryan Coogler. From college grad student to director of Creed and Black Panther in a short span of time, Ryan Coogler has kept his feet on the ground. He relies on his wife Zinzi Evans and former USC classmates who…
 
With Black Panther: Wakanda Forever bringing people back to movie theaters, it’s a perfect time to revisit our conversation with Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige from 2017. Kevin rules the Marvel Cinematic Universe—but wears his crown lightly. A real movie lover and comic fan, he can hold his own with the fanboys while simultaneously juggling multi…
 
The Brit who created Peaky Blinders has a new series beginning this weekend on EPIX called Rogue Heroes. Steven Knight is a talented and prolific writer (and sometime director) whose credits include Eastern Promises, Dirty Pretty Things, and the remarkable Locke (with frequent collaborator Tom Hardy), to cite just a few credits. Oh—and he was also …
 
Women are making waves in the world of comedy, on both sides of the camera. Jillian Bell (Brittany Runs a Marathon) costars with Natalie Morales (Language Lessons) in the new indie release I’m Totally Fine, which debuts today in theaters, on VOD and digital. The costars form a mutual admiration society but also have praise for their collaborators o…
 
How many people can say their childhood dreams came true? Tony Baxter can. He fell in love with Disneyland as a boy (building a perfect replica of Sleeping Beauty’s castle) and wound up as an Imagineer, creating world-famous attractions for “the happiest place on earth.” From Thunder Mountain to Star Tours, he has left his fingerprints in so many p…
 
In the age of zoom, Jessie and I have grudgingly become accustomed to interviewing our guests remotely. Up until the pandemic lockdown we insisted on recording these talks in person. Never were we happier about that decision than when Angela Lansbury welcomed us into her home on the West Side of Los Angeles in November of 2018. She was 93 but quite…
 
Laura Dern grew up in show business, the daughter of Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. She has long since carved a niche all her own, with two Oscar nominations under her belt and a lifetime of colorful experiences. From indie films to Jurassic Park, she has great stories to tell and shares them with Leonard and Jessie. Since we spoke to her in 2017 her c…
 
We’ve all been watching Bruce Davison for years—tending to his pet rats in Willard in the early 70s, earning an Oscar nomination for Longtime Companion in 1989, defying the X-Men as a Senator in 2000, and making his mark in an endless variety of roles on stage, television and movies—most recently as the villainous senator on Ozark. It turns out he …
 
We’re reaching back six years to repeat a great conversation with Ed Begley, Jr., one of the most familiar faces in television and movies. He has great stories to match his incredible career, from Best in Show to Ghostbusters and beyond. He tells Leonard and Jessie how he came to be directed by Jack Nicholson, and reveals how Christopher Guest stee…
 
In celebration of this weekend’s D23 convention in Anaheim, California, we’re happy to revisit this episode from August of 2018: Floyd Norman is an official Disney Legend, and so much more: Walt Disney’s first full-time African-American animator, a contributor to such films as Sleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book, a disciple of Disney’s legendary Ni…
 
Andreas was 10 or 11 when he saw Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book and it changed his life. As a boy in Germany he dreamed of working for the studio that captured his imagination so completely… and he made that dream come true. A master animator, he brought King Triton to life in The Little Mermaid, Scar in The Lion King, and Jafar in Aladdin, to name …
 
Meet four of the creative folks responsible for the animated Netflix hit Love, Death & Robots! In their alternate lives, creator and executive producer Tim Miller directed the big-screen Deadpool and Jennifer Yuh Nelson directed Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3… but this attention-grabbing anthology of animated short subjects has got their juices flowing. The…
 
“Gaslit” is one of the best miniseries of the past year, and it has been rewarded with Emmy nominations for Kazu Hiro, the gifted Japanese-born makeup artist who transformed Sean Penn into former Attorney General John Mitchell… cinematographer Larkin Seiple, whose credits include this year’s indie darling Everything Everywhere All at Once…sound rer…
 
Rick Carter’s credits as production designer are staggering: Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump, A.I., Amistad, Cast Away, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the two that won him Oscars, Avatar and Lincoln, to name just a few. Yet he remains open-minded and recently mentored eight local artists for an amazing installation at the El Segundo Museum of Art, or…
 
Show business was always Martin Short’s destination. When he was a boy he wrote TV Guide listings for the variety show he envisioned for himself. Most of his dreams have come true, from television to Hollywood to Broadway. He’s just completed season 2 of Only Murders in the Building for Hulu, costarring his pal Steve Martin and Selena Gomez. If it …
 
Lots of baby boomers read comic books, but only one pursued his love of comics so far that he wound up buying the screen rights to Batman. It took ten years for Michael Uslan to get that first movie made, with Tim Burton behind the camera and Michael Keaton in front, but it was a game-changer for Hollywood. Michael has told his life story in a book…
 
If you’re casting an unconventional character and you need someone the audience will relate to—no matter how strange his story—you might want to call on Paul Walter Hauser. Clint Eastwood did for the leading role in his movie Richard Jewell, Craig Gillespie did for I, Tonya, and Dennis Lehane did for the current Apple+ series Black Bird. (Spike Lee…
 
Annette O’Toole’s first professional job was dancing with Danny Kaye on his network TV show… and she hasn’t stopped performing since. She’s about to film the fifth season of the Netflix series Virgin River and is brimming with enthusiasm for it. Her credits include six years as Ma Kent on Smallville, an Emmy nomination for playing Rose Fitzgerald K…
 
Dennis Lehane is the best-selling author of Boston-based crime novels that have translated well to film (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone). His first experience with television was on The Wire, a great show that helped inform his new six-part series called Black Birds, which debuts Friday, July 8 on Apple+. It’s an incredibly gripping drama and Lehane …
 
Leonard and Jessie are unapologetic proselytizers for the new theatrical feature Marcel the Shell With Shoes On. This disarming feature is an outgrowth of a short Fleischer-Camp created with his partner, actor/comedian/filmmaker Jenny Slate that went viral back in 2010 when that was uncommon. Dean explains how he and Jenny dealt with that phenomeno…
 
Hi everyone… Jessie and I recently helped our beloved Richard Sherman celebrate his 94th birthday. He is a living legend and a bona fide Disney Legend who with his brother Bob wrote songs we all know and love from Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, and Disneyland, to name just a few of his many credits. We spoke to him in 2016 and thought it would be f…
 
How is it that Kiwi native Rose McIver is so talented, so versatile, and still so nice? Popular most recently for her appearances on IZombie and the current Ghosts on CBS, she has also worked with Peter Jackson on The Lovely Bones and a host of other TV shows (like Masters of Sex) and films—going all the way back to Jane Campion’s The Piano--someti…
 
With a starring role in the current VOD release All My Puny Tomorrows Alison Pill has a showcase worthy of her abundant talent. That’s no secret to fans who have followed her since her days as a child actress… including many of today’s leading filmmakers, who have cast her in such notable films as Milk, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Snowpiercer, and…
 
Our guest grew up as a privileged son of Hollywood royalty. George Stevens Sr. made such classic movies as Gunga Din, Shane, and Giant, and in time invited his son to join his filmmaking team. But George Stevens Jr. went on to forge his own formidable career in Washington D.C. as founder of the American Film Institute and co-creator of the Kennedy …
 
In his earliest screen appearances (remember Quest for Fire?) Ron Perlman was buried under a ton of makeup and prosthetics. That’s also how he became the Emmy-winning star of television’s Beauty and the Beast. Since then he’s shown his versatility, especially in his collaborations with the gifted filmmaker Guillermo del Toro like Hellboy and the fo…
 
Gustav Hoegen is one of those creative artists whose work is seen by millions of people but whose name and face remains little-known. He is a creature designer who specializes in audio-animatronics. You’ve seen his imaginative designs come to life in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Prometheus, Jurassic World…
 
Karen Gillan first came to prominence playing Amy Pond during two seasons on Dr. Who. Then she was cast as Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and her career went into overdrive. She’ll be reprising her signature role in Thor: Love and Thunder and in Volume 3 of Guardians next year. Meanwhile, you can see her play opposite herself in the scien…
 
His performance as the devilish media baron Logan Roy has helped make Succession must-see television. But Brian Cox has been giving inspired performances for decades, on stage, screen and television; he was the first actor to play Hannibal Lecter in 1986’s Manhhunter. Now he’s gathered his best stories in a candid, witty book called Putting the Rab…
 
The success of Ray Donovan has introduced Eddie Marsan to a legion of viewers who may not have seen (or recognized) him from the hundred-or-so feature films he’s been in, from Gangs of New York and War Horse to Mike Leigh’s wonderful Vera Drake and Happy-go-Lucky. He is the very model of a modern working actor, ready to take on a new accent and per…
 
Television viewers may know him best for his seven-year run as the star of Without a Trace (or his Emmy-winning appearances on Frasier) but Anthony LaPaglia has had a long and varied career on stage and film. Early credits include 29th Street, Innocent Blood, Betsy’s Wedding, Jessie’s favorite Empire Records and Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam. Now he’s …
 
Neal McDonough is one of the busiest actors in show business. Now he is adding “writer” and “producer” to his resumé with a feature called Boon that comes to theaters and VOD on April1st. His talent and work ethic have earned him the respect of men like Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood, so he’s got great role models to follow. From Band of Broth…
 
Sue Lloyd was raised by her grandfather, the legendary silent-screen comedian Harold Lloyd—the guy in horned-rim glasses and a straw hat who dangled off a clock on the side of a building in his hit comedy Safety Last. (Her grandmother had been his leading lady on screen.) He introduced her and her friends to his film vault and paved the way for the…
 
Immortalized as Leland Palmer in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (in 1990-91, 2017 and in the 1992 prequel feature), Ray Wise has appeared in hundreds of movies and TV shows...and he still loves what he does. He tells Leonard and Jessie that he set his sights on being a professional actor in the fourth grade. That goal was met years ago, with roles on suc…
 
To untold millions of people she will always be bright-eyed Jane Banks in the original Mary Poppins (1964). The real-life Karen Dotrice is the mother of three who grew up in a show-business family. Her father Roy was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and her godfather was Charles Laughton! Luckily for us, Karen cherishes the memory of makin…
 
On the eve of the hilarious Space Force (starring Steve Carell and John Malkovich) returning to Netflix for Season 2, its director Ken Kwapis joins us to talk about the joy of working with such a talented ensemble, and to review his multifaceted career. He’s just written a smart and useful book called But What I Really Want to Do is Direct (St. Mar…
 
Adrien Brody has written a new role for himself in the indie picture Clean, now in theaters and on VOD. It’s the latest in an ever-growing rogue’s gallery that includes his Oscar-winning role in The Pianist, his recent appearance on Succession, and an appearance as L.A. Lakers coach Pat Riley in an upcoming miniseries. He’s part of Wes Anderson’s e…
 
I have followed Woody Allen since I was a boy, from his heyday as a standup comic to his emergence as one of America’s most original (and prolific) filmmakers, so he is very much a part of my life. At 86 he is as busy as ever. His latest film, Rifkin’s Festival (starring Wallace Shawn and Gina Gershon) opens today in theaters and on VOD. He has ano…
 
Ernest Dickerson studied cinematography at NYU where, on his first day, he met and bonded with fellow student Spike Lee. They made six memorable films together (including Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X) before Ernest made his directing debut with Juice, which has just been released in a special Blu-ray edition marking its 30th anniversary. He has…
 
Guillermo del Toro is a sorcerer who places no limits on his imagination. His new film, Nightmare Alley, now playing in theaters, is an exquisitely rendered film noir that stands alongside his earlier work (The Devil’s Backbone, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water) with the promise of more to come—like his “take” on Pinocchio. Leonard and …
 
Lily Rabe is a talented actress with superior bloodlines: her mother was the gifted Jill Clayburgh, and her father is playwright David Rabe. But she has carved her own path and proves it yet again as the loving mother in George Clooney’s new film The Tender Bar, now in theaters and soon on Amazon Prime. One of her biggest fans is producer-director …
 
Corbin Bernsen achieved stardom over eight seasons on the TV series L.A. Lawand hasn’t stopped working since—on both sides of the camera. His latest film as an actor is The Hating Game, now available on VOD. He grew up in a show-business household; his father was producer-director Harry Bernsen and his mother was Jeanne Cooper, a busy actress and o…
 
As the mother of the “farm to table“ movement, Alice Waters has changed the way food is prepared and served in countless restaurants around the world. She opened Chez Panisse 50 years ago in Berkeley, California and is still going strong. She is also a diehard film buff who named her establishment after a character in the timeless Marcel Pagnol mov…
 
Robert B. Weide, Bob to his friends, is a rare bird who has studied comedy and also created it, on a very high level. His documentary W.C. Fields Straight Up won an Emmy and Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth was nominated for an Oscar. His latest documentary, Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time, is now playing in theaters and on VOD, and it was forty…
 
Joe Pantoliano is one of those actors who serves as a secret weapon in scores of TV shows and movies. His latest, Hide and Seek, opens today in theaters and on VOD. His credits include memorable roles in Memento, The Matrix, The Sopranos (which earned him an Emmy) and Midnight Run. He has also written two books about his life and philosophy—not bad…
 
Ask Jessie or Leonard who their favorite guests have been and they will invariably name the late Richard Donner, who came to our studio in 2018. The man who directed Superman (with Christopher Reeve), The Omen, Lethal Weapon, and The Goonies should need no introduction…but his career began in theater and television and he had many great memories he…
 
When Leonard feels like discussing vintage animation he calls on old friends like Jerry Beck (www.cartoonresearch.com) and Mark Evanier (newsfromme.com) who never run out of things to say. Mark actually worked for Hanna-Barbera and even shared an office with Tex Avery. Jerry is involved in restorations of other classic cartoon shorts. These three p…
 
John Ross Bowie is a comedic actor you know from such TV shows as The Big Bang Theory and Speechless (not to mention the newly-hatched Feel Good and Generations). His pet project is a new podcast dedicated to character actors called Household Faces. Leonard and Jessie share his interest in these unsung heroes of films and television… and apparently…
 
Ann Dowd is one of today’s foremost character actresses, and finally has an Emmy award to prove it, in recognition of her chilling performance in A Handmaid’s Tale. She fell in love with acting as a girl and set her sights on a stage career; television and movies have helped her reach an even wider audience. Her new movie Mass opens in theaters tod…
 
Having organized a series of film festivals, rescued little known movies from oblivion, and written eloquent odes to many a forgotten picture, Eddie Muller has earned the soubriquet “the czar of noir.” He now reaches a wider audience than ever on Turner Classic Movies’ Noir Alley and has recently published an expanded edition of his milestone book …
 
The world-class filmmaker with the distinctive voice is our esteemed guest today. He’s not intimidating—quite the opposite—as he describes his early life, what drew him to filmmaking, and how he teaches students by throwing them in the deep end of the pool, so to speak. His passion is undiminished after more than fifty years of memorable, provocati…
 
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