Episode 41 – Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Bill and Ted discuss Frank Capra’s 1944 film “Arsenic and Old Lace” featuring Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster, a theatre critic who finds unexpected drama of his own tucked away in his aunts’ window seat on Oct 31st in Brooklyn New York when he and his bride come to tell the family the good news of their sudden nuptials. Hoping to quickly skip town for a honeymoon in Niagra Falls, Mortimer and his new wife Elaine (Priscilla Lane) become embroiled in a macabre comedy of errors as Mortimer struggles to contain the situation. This is broad, physical, and at times gallows humour filled with some great performances, even if Grant was unhappy with his own. If you find Capra to be sentimental and overly serious, have no fear; this film is far less sappy and much more on the silly side.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: The Ladykillers (1955) Young Frankenstein (1974) The ‘Burbs (1989)

Episode 36 – Rear Window (1954)

Bill and Ted discuss Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film “Rear Window,” featuring Jimmy Stewart as LB Jefferies a convalescing photo-journalist who can’t recuperate without spying on his neighbours with Grace Kelly as his socialite girlfriend Lisa who gets drawn into a world of intrigue. An intricately crafted claustrophobic mystery thriller about the ethics of surveillance and voyeurism with a plot that hinges on Jefferies’ suspicion that one of neighbours has committed murder. Hitchcock deftly provides tension coming from both inside and outside of Jefferies NYC Greenwich village apartment with the contrasting themes of romance and murder.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Dial M for Murder (1954), Blue Velvet (1986), The ‘Burbs (1989) [Music credit: Vienna Teng, The Hymn to Acxiom]

Episode 28 – El Cid (1961)

Bill and Ted discuss Anthony Mann’s 1961 epic “El Cid,” featuring Charlton Heston as the 11th Century Christian Spanish nobleman Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar. Branded a traitor for releasing captured Muslim Emirs after a clash between Muslims and Christians, Rodrigo fights to clear his name and becomes one of Spain’s enduring heroes – the legendary El Cid. Equally important to the film is the troubled rollercoaster romance between El Cid and Jimena (Sophia Loren). If you enjoyed this film you may also like these; Here are Ted’s Picks: Ben-Hur (1959), Spartacus (1960), Braveheart (1995)

Episode 27 – Witness (1985)

Bill and Ted discuss Peter Weir’s “Witness,” a thoroughly satisfying 80’s classic. Harrison Ford as police detective John Book protects an Amish boy (Lucas Haas) and his mother (Kelly McGillis) after the child witnesses a murder in the big city. It’s a crime thriller, romances, and a compelling fish out of water story set in Philadelphia and the quiet Amish country of Lancaster County Pennsylvania. If you enjoyed this film you may also like these; Here are Ted’s Picks: North by Northwest (1959), The Mosquito Coast (1986), Cop Land (1997)

Episode 13 – Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Bill and Ted discuss Ang Lee’s “Sense and Sensibility,” the 1995 adaption of Jane Austen’s 1811 commentary on the social mores of late 18th century England and the place of love, honour and romance alongside practicality concerns revolving around property, patronage and inheritance. The plot follows the widow Dashwood and her three daughters as the older two, Elinor and Marianne, struggle through the challenges of finding marriage proposals without a dower. If you enjoyed this film you may also like these: Clueless (1995), Mansfield Park (1999), Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

 

 

1990's, Drama, Romance

Episode 5 – Casablanca (1942)

Bill and Ted discuss the Michael Curtiz classic WWII film “Casablanca,” known for its film noir cinematic style, iconic romantic performances by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and the classic song, “As Time Goes By.” If you enjoyed this film you may also like these; here are Ted’s Picks: The Maltese Falcon (1941), Notorious (1946), Citizen Kane (1941)