The podcast where we watch every Academy Award Best Picture winner in no particular order
All our past episodes are here. And here’s a summary of how our opinions compare to the Academy’s.
BP061 The Deer Hunter (1978)
Released 20 May 2020
For this episode, we watched The Deer Hunter, written Deric Washburn, Michael Cimino, Louis Garfinkle, Quinn K. Redeker and directed by Cimino. It stars Robert De Niro, John Cazale, John Savage, Meryl Streep and Christopher Walken. The Academy rained Oscars upon it, awarding Cimino Best Director, Walken Best Supporting Actor, and giving it Best Sound and Best Editing as well as Best Picture. There were also nominations for de Niro and Streep as well as for the cinematography and screenplay.
BP060.5 Citizen Kane (1941) with special guest Tish Potter
Released 13 May 2020
For this episode, we watched Citizen Kane, written by Herman J Mankiewicz and Orson Welles, directed by Welles and starring Welles, Joseph Cotton, Dorothy Comingore, Everett Sloane, Ray Collins, George Coulouris, Agnes Moorehead. It did not win Best Picture (the only Academy Award it won was for its screenplay) but how could we overlook it? We’re joined by friend of the pod Tish Potter who hasn’t seen it before.
BP060 How Green Was My Valley (1941)
Released 6 May 2020
For this episode, we watched How Green Was My Valley, written by Philip Dunne, from the novel by Richard Llewellyn and directed by John Ford who won his third Best Director Oscar for it. It starred Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O’Hara, Donald Crisp (won Best Supporting Actor), Roddy McDowall and Sara Allgood (nominated). It also won Best Black-and-White Cinematography and Best Black-and-White Art Direction and it was nominated for its screenplay, its editing, its score and its sound.
BP059 Oliver! (1968)
Released 22 April 2020
For this episode, we watched Oliver! the movie version of the Lionel Bart stage musical directed by Carol Reed, based on Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. The screenplay was by Vernon Harris and it won five Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Musical Adaptation Score, Best Art Direction and Best Sound. Ron Moody (Fagin) and Jack Wild (Dodger) were both nominated but neither of them won.
BP058 Green Book (2018) with special guest Kobi Omenaka
Released 8 April 2020
For this episode, we watched Green Book, written by Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly and directed by Farrelly. It stars Vigo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali who won Best Supporting Actor. Apart from Best Picture, its only other Academy Award was for the screenplay, but it was also nominated for its editing and Mortensen for Best Actor.
BP057 The Apartment (1960)
Released 25 March 2020
For this episode, we watched The Apartment, written by Billy Wilder and IAL Diamond (won), directed by Wilder (won) and starring Jack Lemmon (nominated), Shirley MacLaine (nominated), Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen (nominated) and David Lewis. It also won for its editing and art decoration and was nominated for its cinematography and its sound.
BP056 Cavalcade (1933)
Released 11 March 2020
For this episode, we watched Cavalcade, adapted from the Noel Coward play by Reginald Berkeley and directed by Frank Lloyd (won). It starred Diana Wynyard (nominated), Clive Brook, Una O'Connor, Herbert Mundin and it was also nominated for its Art Direction.
BP055 Argo (2012)
Released 26 February 2020
For this episode, we watched Argo, written by Chris Terrio, directed by Ben Affleck and starring Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Tate Donovan. As well as Best Picture, it won Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing. It was nominated in four other categories including Best Supporting Actor for Arkin.
BP054 All the King's Men (1949)
Released 12 February 2020
For this episode, we watched All the King’s Men, written, produced and directed by Robert Rossen, based on the novel by Robert Penn Warren. Rossen was nominated in all three capacities. Star Broderick Crawford won Best Actor, Mercedes McCambridge won Best Supporting Actress and John Ireland was nominated as Best Supporting Actor. The film was also nominated for its editing.
BP053 The Shape of Water (2017) with special guest Sarah Bennetto
Released 29 January 2020
For this episode, we watched The Shape of Water, written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor (nominated) and directed by Del Toro (won). It starred Sally Hawkins (nominated), Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins (nominated), Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, Octavia Spencer (nominated) with music by Alexandre Desplat (won) and cinematography by Dan Lausten (nominated). It also won for its production design (Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau, Jeff Melvin). In total it was nominated for thirteen Academy Awards, one less than the all-time record.
BP052 Hamlet (1948)
Released 15 January 2020
For this episode, we watched Hamlet, based on the play by William Shakespeare, directed by Lawrence Olivier (nominated), and starring Olivier (won), Basil Sydney, Eileen Herlie, Norman Wooland, Felix Aylmer, Terence Morgan and Jean Simmons (nominated). It also won for its art direction and costume design and it was nominated for its score and Olivier was nominated as director.
BP051 The Last Emperor (1987)
Released 1 January 2020
For this episode, we watched The Last Emperor, written by Mark Peploe and Bernardo Bertolucci from the book by Puyi and directed by Bertolucci. The stars were John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole, Ying Ruocheng, Victor Wong, Dennis Dun. It won all nine Oscars for which it was nominated, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Score and Best Adapted Screenplay – but none of its cast received nominations.
BP050.5 Christmas Quiz of the Year 2019
Released 25 December 2019
For this episode, writer, actor and comedian Thom Tuck joins us with a quiz he has set, testing us on what we have said over the last twelve months’ worth of episodes. Feel free to play along at home but be warned – it’s not easy.
BP050 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Released 18 December 2019
For this episode, we watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, written by Bo Goldman and Lawrence Hauben, from the play by Ken Kesey and Dale Wasserman. It was directed by Milos Forman and starred Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Brad Dourif, William Redfield. It is one of three films to win the “big five” – Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor and Actress – and like the other two it won only those five. However, it was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Dourif), Best Cinematography (Haskell Wexler, Bill Butler), Best Film Editing (Richard Chew, Lynzee Klingman, Sheldon Kahn) and Best Original Score (Jack Nitzsche).
BP049 Braveheart (1995)
Released 4 December 2019
For this episode, we watched Braveheart, written by Randall Wallace (nominated) and directed by Mel Gibson (won) with music by James Horner (nominated) and cinematography by John Toll (won). It stars Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan and Catherine McCormack. It also won Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Makeup.
BP048 The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
Released 20 November 2019
For this episode, we watched The Greatest Show on Earth, written by Fredric M. Frank, Theodore St. John, Frank Cavett, Barré Lyndon and directed and produced by Cecil B DeMille. The stars were Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Charlton Heston, James Stewart and Dorothy Lamour and it won only Best Picture and Best Story.
BP047 Gigi (1958) - with special guest Kiri Pritchard-McLean
Released 6 November 2019
For this episode, we watched Gigi, written by Alan Jay Lerner (won) with music by Frederick Loewe and Andre Previn (won) from the book by Colette. It was directed by Vincente Minelli (won) and produced by Arthur Freed. The stars were Leslie Caron, Louis Jourdan, Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold. It also won for its Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing and Best Original Song.
BP046 Ordinary People (1980)
Released 23 October 2019
For this episode, we watched Ordinary People, written by Alvin Sargent, from the book by Judith Guest. It was directed by Robert Redford and produced by Ronald L Schwary and the stars were Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch and Timothy Hutton. It was nominated for six Academy Awards and won four – Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Timothy Hutton as well as Best Picture. We also explore the story of Michael Cimino’s epic failure Heaven's Gate.
BP045 Rebecca (1940)
Released 9 October 2019
For this episode, we watched Rebecca, written by Robert E. Sherwood, Joan Harrison, Philip MacDonald and Michael Hogan, based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier. It was directed by Alfred Hitchcock (nominated) with music from Franz Waxman (nominated) and cinematography by George Barnes (won). The stars were Joan Fontaine (nominated), Laurence Olivier (nominated), Judith Anderson (nominated) and George Sanders. It was nominated for a further four awards.
BP044 Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Released 25 September 2019
For this episode, we watched Midnight Cowboy, written by Waldo Salt (won) from the novel by James Leo Herlihy and directed by John Schlesinger (won), with music by John Barry and cinematography by Adam Holender. It starred Jon Voight (nominated), Dustin Hoffman (nominated) and Sylvia Miles (nominated). It was also nominated for its editing.
BP043 The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Released 11 September 2019
For this episode, we watched The Best Years of Our Lives, written by Robert E Sherwood (won) based on the novella Glory for Me by MacKinlay Kantor. It was directed by William Wyler (won) and starred Myrna Loy, Frederic March (won), Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright and Harold Russell (won). It also won for its Editing, Music and was nominated for its Sound Recording.
BP042 Shakespeare in Love (1998) - with special guest Tish Potter
Released 28 August 2019
For this episode, we watched Shakespeare in Love, written by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard (won) and directed by John Madden (nominated) and starring Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow (won), Geoffrey Rush (nominated) and Judi Dench (won).
BP041 Rain Man (1988)
Released 14 August 2019
For this episode, we watched Rain Man, written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass (won) and directed by Barry Levinson (won). It starred Dustin Hoffman (won), Tom Cruise and Valeria Golino. It also received nominations for its art direction, cinematography, editing and score.
BP040 The Artist (2011)
Released 31 July 2019
For this episode, we watched The Artist, written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius with music by Ludovic Bource and starring Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo. From ten nominations, it managed five awards, for Hazanavicius as director, for Dujardin, for its costumes and its score as well as Best Picture.
BP039 The French Connection (1971)
Released 17 July 2019
For this episode, we watched The French Connection, written by Ernest Tidyman (won) from the novel by Robin Moore and directed by William Friedkin (won). It starred Gene Hackman (won Best Actor), Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider (nominated Best Supporting Actor), Tony Lo Bianco and Marcel Bozzuffi with music by Don Ellis, cinematography by Owen Rolzman (nominated) and editing by Gerald B Greenberg (won). It was also nominated for its Sound.
BP038 Chicago (2002)
Released 3 July 2019
For this episode, we watched Chicago, written by Bill Condon, from the musical play by Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb, and the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins. It was directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall and starred Renée Zellweger (nominated), Catherine Zeta-Jones (won), Richard Gere, John C Reilly (nominated) and Queen Latifah (nominated). It also won for its Art Direction, Costume Design, Editing and Sound. Kander and Ebb’s new song “I Move On” was nominated but lost to "Lose Yourself" from 8 Mile.
BP037 The Lost Weekend (1945)
Released 19 June 2019
For this episode, we watched The Lost Weekend, written by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, directed by Wilder and starring Ray Milland and Jane Wyman. The film won Oscars for its screenplay (adapted from the novel by Charles Jackson), Best Director for Wilder and Best Actor for Milland. It also won the Grand Prix at Cannes.
BP036 Chariots of Fire (1981) - with special guest Deborah Frances-White
Released 5 June 2019
For this episode, we watched Chariots of Fire, written by Colin Welland (won), directed by Hugh Hudson (nominated) and produced by David Puttnam. It starred Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nigel Havers, Cheryl Campbell, Alice Krige and Ian Holm (nominated), with music by Vangelis (won) and cinematography by David Watkin. It also won for its costume design.
BP035 Platoon (1986)
Released 22 May 2019
For this episode, we watched Platoon, written and directed by Oliver Stone (who was nominated in both capacities and won for his direction), starring Tom Berenger (nominated), Willem Dafoe (nominated) and Charlie Sheen. It also won for its sound and its editing.
BP034 Forrest Gump (1994) with special guest Joy Wilkinson
Released 8 May 2019
For this episode, we watched Forrest Gump, written by Eric Roth, from the novel by Winston Groom. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis, and both won Oscars for their work. The film also picked up awards for Tom Hanks in the leading role, its Editing and its Visual Effects. The cast includes Gary Sinise (nominated), Robin Wright, Mykelti Williamson and Sally Field.
BP033 Dances with Wolves (1990)
Released 24 April 2019
For this episode, we watched Dances with Wolves, written by Michael Blake (won), from his novel. Kevin Costner starred and won for his directing as well as for Best Picture with Jim Wilson. The film also won for its Score (John Barry), Sound, Editing and Cinematography.
BP032 A Man for All Seasons (1966) with special guest Garrett Millerick
Released 10 April 2019
For this episode, we watched A Man for All Seasons, written by Robert Bolt (won), from his stage play. It was directed by Fred Zinnemann (won) and starred Paul Scofield (won), Wendy Hiller (nominated), Leo McKern, Orson Welles, Robert Shaw (nominated) and Susannah York. It also won for its cinematography and costume design.
BP030 The English Patient (1996)
Released 20 March 2019
For this episode, we watched The English Patient, written and directed by Anthony Minghella and based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje. It won a staggering nine Academy Awards, including for Minghella as director, and for Juliet Binoche as Best Actress. The film also stars Ralph Fiennes (nominated), Kristin Scott Thomas (nominated), William Dafoe, Naveen Andrews, Colin Firth and Julian Wadham.
BP029 Gone with the Wind (1939)
Released 6 March 2019
For this episode, we watched Gone with the Wind, written by Sidney Howard (won), from the novel by Margaret Mitchell and directed by Victor Fleming (won). It starred Clark Gable (nominated), Vivien Leigh (won), Leslie Howard, Olivia de Haviland (nominated) and Hattie McDaniel (won). It also collected Oscars for its cinematography, editing and art direction.
BP028 Casablanca (1943) with special guest Deborah Frances-White
Released 13 February 2019
For this episode, we watched Casablanca, live at the Cinema Museum in London. The screenplay was credited to Julius and Philip Epstein and Howard Koch, and it was directed by Michael Curtiz, based on the unproduced play Everybody Comes to Rick’s by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison. It starred Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre and Madeleine Lebeau. As well as Best Picture, it won for its screenplay and direction.
BP027 The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
Released 30 January 2019
For this episode, we watched The Great Ziegfeld, written by William Anthony Maguire, directed by Robert Z Leonard and starring William Powell, Luise Rainer, Frank Morgan and – eventually – Myrna Loy. As well as Best Picture, it was one of only three films to win Best Dance Direction (Seymour Felix), and Luise Rainer won the first of her two consecutive Best Actress awards.
BP026 All About Eve (1950) with special guest Yasmine Akram
Released 16 January 2019
For this episode, we watched All About Eve, written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, with cinematography by Milton R Krasner, music by Alfred Newman and starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill, Hugh Marlowe and Thelma Ritter.
BP025 The Broadway Melody (1929)
Released 2 January 2019
For this episode, we watched The Broadway Melody, written by Edmund Goulding, Sarah Y. Mason, Norman Houston and James Gleason with songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed, and Willard Robison. The director was Harry Beaumont (nominated) and the film stars Charles King, Anita Page, Bessie Love (nominated) and Jed Prouty.
BP024 Cimarron (1931)
Released 19 December 2018
For this episode, we watched Cimmaron, written by Howard Estabrook and Louis Sarecky based on the novel by Edna Ferber. It was directed by Wesley Ruggles with music by Max Steiner. The stars were Richard Dix, Irene Dunne and Estelle Taylor.
BP023 On the Waterfront (1954)
Released 5 December 2018
For this episode, we watched On the Waterfront, written by Budd Schulberg (from the series of articles “Crime on the Waterfront” by Malcolm Johnson) and directed by Elia Kazan. The stars were Marlon Brando (Best Actor), Eva Marie Saint (Best Supporting Actress), Lee J Cobb, Rod Steiger, Karl Malden with music by Leonard Bernstein and cinematography by Boris Kaufman.
BP022 The Godfather (1972)
Released 22 November 2018
For this episode, we watched The Godfather, written by Francis Ford Coppola and Maria Puzo, from the novel by Puzo; directed by Coppola; music by Nino Rota; cinematography by Gordon Willis. It stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duval, John Cazale and Diane Keaton.
BP020 It Happened One Night (1934) - with special guest Nat Luurtsema
Released 24 October 2018
For this episode, we watched It Happened One Night, written by Robert Riskin and Samuel Hopkins Adams and directed by Frank Capra. The stars were Clark Cable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns and Jameson Thomas.
BP019 The Sound of Music (1965)
Released 10 October 2018
For this episode, we watched The Sound of Music, written by Ernest Lehmann from the stage play by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse based on The Story of the Trapp Family by Maria von Trapp. Songs by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Directed by Robert Wise. The film stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer and it won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Music.
BP017 Around the World in Eighty Days (1956) - with special guest David K Barnes
Released 12 September 2018
For this episode, we watched Around the World in Eighty Days, written by James Poe, John Farrow and S J Perelman, based on the novel by Jules Verne. It was directed by Michael Anderson and produced by Mike Todd. Stars were David Niven, Cantinflas, Robert Newton and Shirley MacLaine with countless cameos besides.
BP016 In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Released 29 August 2018
For this episode, we watched In the Heat of the Night, written by Stirling Silliphant, based on the the novel by John Ball. It was directed by Norman Jewison, produced by Walter Mirisch and edited by Hal Ashby, with music by Quincy Jones and cinematography by Haskell Wexler. It starred Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant and Larry Gates.
BP015 Patton (1970)
Released 15 August 2018
For this episode, we watched Patton, written by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North, based on the 1954 novel Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Ladislas Farago and the 1961 novel A Soldier's Story by Omar N. Bradley. The director was Franklin J. Schaffner, the producer was Frank McCarthy and the film starred George C Scott with Karl Malden, Michael Bates and Edward Binns.
BP014 Grand Hotel (1932)
Released 1 August 2018
For this episode, we watched Grand Hotel, written by William A. Drake from his play, adapted from the German production Menschen im Hotel, written by Vicki Baum. The director was Edmund Goulding, the producer was Irving Thalberg and the all-star cast included Greta Garbo (who wants to be alone), John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore, Lewis Stone and Jean Hersholt.
BP013 Schindler's List (1993) - with special guest Julian Simpson
Released 18 July 2018
For this episode, we watched Schindler’s List, written by Steven Zaillian based on the novel by Thomas Keneally, and directed by Steven Spielberg. It stars Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall and Embeth Davidtz.
BP012 Crash (2005)
Released 4 July 2018
For this episode, we watched Crash, written by Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco and directed by Haggis. It starred Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Brendan Fraser, Terrance Howard, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillipe and Larenz Tate.
BP010 West Side Story (1961)
Released 6 June 2018
For this episode, we watched West Side Story, directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, with a screenplay by Ernest Lehmann from the stage musical produced by Hal Prince, directed by Robbins, book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The cast includes Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn.
BP009 Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Released 23 May 2018
For this episode, we watched Lawrence of Arabia, directed by David Lean and written by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson, with cinematography by Freddie Young and music by Maurice Jarre. It stars Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, José Ferrer and Omar Shariff.
BP007 The Departed (2006)
Released 25 April 2018
For this episode, we watched The Departed, directed by Martin Scorsese and written by William Monahan, based on Infernal Affairs, written by Alan Mak and Felix Chong, directed by Mak and Andrew Lau. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone and Vera Farmiga.
BP006 Ben Hur (1959)
Released 11 April 2018
For this episode, we watched Ben-Hur, written by Karl Tunberg (and uncredited others including Gore Vidal and Christopher Fry), from the novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by General Lew Wallace. It was directed by William Wyler and starred Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd and Hugh Griffith.
BP005 American Beauty (1999) - with special guest Deborah Frances-White
Released 28 March 2018
For this episode, we watched American Beauty, written by Alan Ball and directed by Sam Mendes, both making their feature film debuts and both winning Academy Awards. Music was by Thomas Newman (nominated) and cinematography was by Conrad Hall (won). The cast includes Kevin Spacey (winning Best Actor), Annette Bening (nominated), Thora Birch, Alison Janney, Peter Gallagher, Mena Suvari, Wes Bentley, Chris Cooper.
BP004 From Here to Eternity (1953)
Released 14 March 2018
For this episode, we watched From Here to Eternity, written by Daniel Taradash from the novel by James Jones, directed by Fred Zinnemann, starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra, Ernest Borgnine.
BP002 All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
Released 7 February 2018
For our second episode, we watched All Quiet on the Western Front, based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque, directed by Lewis Milestone and produced by Carl Laemmle, Jr. ("Uncle Carl Laemmle has a very large faemmle.")
BP001.5 Oscar Nominations 2018
Released 26 January 2018
Although the podcast is only on its first movie, we couldn’t wait to get back in front of the mics and talk to you about the Oscar nominations for this year. We don’t have a movie to watch but we have all sorts of confident predictions to make.