Band of Brothers – History by Hollywood (2022)

Episode 83. Thoughts & Themes 3: The Things We Think We Know

In this, the final episode of 2020, Martin flies solo as he embarks on T&T 3, looking at common misconceptions through the medium of lemmings and trying to approach some complex societal issues from a fresh perspective. With a review and listener feedback at the end of the show along with festive greetings from the HbH crew, it’s a short farewell to an interesting year.

Episode 82: Gorillas in the Mist. 6th December 2020. This week sees Martin joined by Sean Munger and Cody Climer from the Green Screen podcast as they join forces to examine this 1988 movie about primatologist Dian Fossey and her efforts to study and protect mountain gorillas in Rwanda. It’s a wide-ranging show and with due apologies for the length of time you’ve all had to wait for this episode, we do hope it’s worth it.

Episode 81 Battle of the Sexes. 11th October 2020. In 1973, former men’s tennis No1 Bobby Riggs challenged women’s champion Billy Jean King to a $100k exhibition match. Riggs, an unapologetic chauvinist, gambler and hustler was 55 years old but still confident he could beat the best of the current female players. This week’s movie looks at the depiction of the lead-up and the match itself in this 2017 movie, starring Emily Stone as Billy Jean King and Steve Carrel as Bobby Riggs. Join us as we examine how accurate this portrayal proves to be.

Note: There are no clips this week due to the lack of available material which works in an audio format. Except right at the very end, featuring a comment by the real Billy Jean King

Episode 80 Midway.

Sunday 20th September 2020. This week sees the welcome return of Ray Harris Jr from the long-running History of WWII Podcast as he joins Martin to examine 2019’s Midway, derided by critics yet loved by audiences. Not for the first time, we side very much with the audience and find ourselves surprised by director Roland Emmerich and writer Wes Tooke’s efforts to be as accurate as possible. Naturally, for an HbH featured movie, it stars Woody Harrelson too. It’s a long episode but we hope it’s worthy of your time.

Episode 79 Thoughts & Themes 2: Race Through Time

This week sees the second outing of the T&T supplementary. Join Martin as he examines the multiple issues involving the African American community in the US and how this has been depicted in a number of movies already covered by HbH including Glory, Selma and Hidden Figures, attempting to interpret the meanings, both obvious and subtle that these movies have brought to light.

Episode 78 Sully: Miracle on the Hudson. Sunday 9th August 2020.

This week we are joined by Des Latham, regular guest host, this time in his capacity as the host of Plane Crash Diaries, Des being a keen aviator and student of aviation safety.

We look at 2016’s Sully, detailing the incredible landing on the Hudson River in mid-New York by Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger in January 2009 after his Airbus A320 airliner suffered a double engine failure after hitting a flock of geese.
We hope you join us for this episode as two pilots, one fixed-wing (Des) and one helicopter (Martin) pick apart the fabric of this movie to see if director Clint Eastwood has been true to the real events of that remarkable day.

Episode 77 Thoughts & Themes 1: Hidden Meanings. Sunday 26th July 2020.

Welcome to the first episode of Thoughts & Themes in which Martin will look for the themes and deeper meanings within Braveheart and Gladiator plus references to Kingdom of Heaven and 300. We look beyond the factual errors which all of the featured movies contain and ask whether there is a deeper truth concealed beneath the surface. The result may be…. unexpected….. or it would have been until I said that. Do join us and let us know your thoughts.

Episode 76 The Highwaymen. Sunday 19th July 2020.

We dive into the 2019 Netflix movie starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as the two ex-Texas Rangers who led the pursuit of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, seeking to bring to an end their murderous crime spree. The movie takes a very different perspective to the 1967 Bonnie & Clyde film and we will attempt to both fact-check this recent release and also highlight the differences in focus, after we covered the original movie in Episode 51.

We like the movie a lot and strongly urge anyone who hasn’t seen it to track it down (it’s available on Netflix but not Amazon at the time of writing) before we splatter you in spoilers.

Episode 75 Young Guns. Sunday 21st June 2020.

This week sees Martin joined by Chris Wimmer, host of both Infamous America and Legends of the Old West podcast series’ who brings an expert eye to the examination of 1988’s Young Guns, the story of Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War, starring many of the so-called Brat Pack in the forms of Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen, Lou Diamond Phillips and Kiefer Sutherland.

Episode 74 The Coal Miner’s Daughter. Sunday 7th June 2020.

This episode examines the 1980 movie The Coal Miner’s Daughter, telling the story of the early life and subsequent early career of Loretta Lynn, one of the matriarchs of Country music, from her tough Kentucky childhood to becoming a Country legend, singing about the real life ups and downs of being a working-class, rural American woman. Sissy Spacek won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Loretta but how close to the truth does the movie stay? We hope you’ll join us to find out.

Episode 73 Zulu Dawn. Sunday 17th May 2020.

This week we focus on 1979’s Zulu Dawn, a much-underrated and little-known prequel to 1964’s Zulu, concentrating on Lord Chelmsford’s advance into Zulu territory and the disastrous battle of Isandhlwana which took place the day before the action at Rorke’s Drift.

For this episode we are delighted to welcome back Des Latham, the South African host of the Anglo-Boer War Podcast series who brings some wonderful local perspective to the story which is told in a refreshingly balanced and neutral style. Some big names appear, amongst them Peter O’Toole, Burt Lancaster and Bob Hoskins with a stirring score composed by Elmer Bernstein.

Episode 72 The People vs Larry Flynt. Sunday 19th April 2020.

Whatever people think about Hustler magazine founder Larry Flynt, he fought a number of legal battles for the right to publish, battles which effectively became a universal fight for the right to free speech. This 1996 movie resonates today as we will look at the historical accuracy of the movie and some of the points for debate that it generates. Free speech vs polite speech; are they really mutually exclusive? We will endeavour to untangle this Gordian knot.

Episode 71 Denial, 22nd March 2020. In our latest outing we examine 2016’s movie telling the story of Professor Deborah Lipstadt, an American historian and author who wrote a book about Holocaust deniers in which she named David Irving, a British amateur historian as a case in point. He sued her in 2000 in the UK’s civil courts and this movie tells the story of that court case. Rachel Weisz stars as Prof Deborah, Timothy Spall as Irving and Tom Wilkinson as Deborah’s veteran barrister, Richard Rampton. The story the movie tells is as important today as when the trial occurred and it resonates in many areas of modern society.

Episode 70.4 The Social Network Part 4. Martin and Jules arrive at the conclusion of the movie, examine both its accuracy and entertainment but stress that despite the very high entertainment value, as far as provoking thought and discussion about wider topics, this movie is far greater than the sum of its parts. It’s been a lengthy journey, the total coverage actually exceeding the length of the movie but we believe that it’s a movie that warrants such detailed examination. We hope that you agree.

Episode 70.3 The Social Network Part 3. 1st March 2020. Join Martin and guest-host Jules with the continuing story as the Winklevoss brothers turn up the heat on their efforts to stop Mark Zuckerberg developing his Facebook concept, still complaining that he had stolen their idea and we meet Sean Parker, portrayed by the annoyingly talented Justin Timberlake who leaps aboard the Facebook bandwagon, much to the irritation of Eduardo Saverin. As the poster says, you don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.

Episode 70.2. The Social Network Part 2. This week sees us dive into the main body of the show for which we are joined by software engineer and HbH’s theme music composer Jules Cisek who has some fascinating insights into the world of IT and Silicone Valley, primed to hit us all with large dollops of factainment. Fabulously watchable though The Social Network is, we will keep our eye on any divergence from the known facts.

Episode 70.1 The Social Network Part 1. This week’s episode is 2010’s portrayal of the genesis of Facebook with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg played by Jesse Eisenberg. Directed by Fight Club’s David Fincher and written by the West Wing screen writer Aaron Sorkin the movie has been praised for bravely stark portrayals of such recent events and active protagonists and equally criticized by some of those very same protagonists but everyone agrees that it’s a very watchable movie. Sorkin has admitted that his main focus is a loyalty to storytelling rather than the dry facts but how far do they stray from what is known? We hope you join us to find out.

Episode 69.2 Frost/Nixon Part 2. We rejoin the action as the interviews begin, the wily veteran politician determined to retain control of the narrative and to try and rehabilitate himself in the eyes of the American people. Frost’s research team, serious journalists, are desperate for their man to pin the ex-President down, ask some tough questions and elicit some form of admission of guilt but Frost himself seems more concerned about viewer numbers and attending celebrity parties.

Episode 69.1 Frost/Nixon Part 1. Adapted from the play of the same name and starring the same two actors in the title roles, Michael Sheen and Frank Langella, this movie attempts to tell the story of a series of interviews between disgraced former US President Richard Nixon and a most unlikely interrogator in the form of British variety show host David Frost. With facts so well known, it should prove quite possible to establish how accurately the movie portrays the events. We hope you will join us on our path to discovery.

Episode 68 Shakespeare at the Cinema Part 2: Richard III (1955). Laurence Olivier’s Richard III is renowned for portraying King Richard as a Machiavellian conspirator, reveling in his villainy and driven by personal ambition. To take as objective a view as possible, HbH is joined by a proper expert; author of historical fiction and host of The Wars of the Roses Podcasts, Derek Birks. Derek will lead us through the complex series of conflicts and alliances that saw the climax of the Wars of the Roses.

Episode 68 Shakespeare at the Cinema Part 1: Henry V (1989). In this week’s part of the Shakespearean episode we examine Kenneth Branagh’s 1989 adaption of Henry V. Martin flies solo though his monologue is supplemented by multiple clips from the movie, featuring a decent who’s-who of British stage and cinema. Culminating in the battle of Agincourt, we look at the accuracy or lack thereof of Shakespeare’s account of this period.

Episode 67: The Insider Part 3 of 3. As we hurtle toward the end of another year and HbH’s third birthday, we conclude our look at The Insider, wrap up the reality and let you know what became of the various protagonists.

Episode 67: The Insider Part 2 of 3. We continue our focus on this powerful movie about Jeffrey Wigand, tobacco industry whistleblower and, aware of the time of year, take the opportunity to wish all of you a happy HbH holiday season.

Episode 67: The Insider Part 1 of 3. We embark on an examination of this 1999 film about a tobacco industry whistle-blower trying to get his story out on national television. Starring Russell Crowe, Al Pacino and Christopher Plummer, the protagonists face legal challenges by the huge tobacco corporations and for the journalists, resistance from their own corporate management. It has just as much resonance and relevance today as it did in the late 90s but how closely is its message based on true events and how much has been fictionalized?

Episode 66 The Untouchables Part 3 of 3. This week we conclude our examination of The Untouchables, wrapping up the movie but also looking at how the legends of Eliot Ness and Al Capone have grown in popular culture. Much of what is said about these two towering figures of early twentieth century crime-fighting is drawn from artistic sources such as books, movies and TV shows. Has the truth been lost amongst the legends? And is the truth any less dramatic? We hope to reveal the answers to these questions in this last episode

Episode 66 The Untouchables Part 2 of 3. We continue our examination of The Untouchables. With the team complete, Eliot Ness and his Untouchables can get to work taking apart Al Capone’s illicit booze trade. But at what cost? Join us to find out and how much of the movie’s drama is borne out by the real events of the period.

Episode 66 The Untouchables Part 1 of 3. Welcome to our first three-part episode under our new format. This week we start our examination of The Untouchables, the 1987 star-studded story of Eliot Ness and his Untouchables, taking on Al Capone and the Mob in Prohibition-era Chicago. Starring Kevin Costner and Robert de Niro as the two antagonists, ably supported by Sean Connery winning his only-ever Oscar, Andy Garcia and Charles Martin Smith making up the team of good guys. We hope you enjoy the journey and, not for the first time, finding out that the truth is just as dramatic as the silver-screen version.

Episode 65: Monster Part 2. The concluding episode covering 2003’s Monster, about Florida serial killer Aileen Wuornos. We wrap up the movie synopsis, the final reality checks and draw our conclusions. We hope you join us.

Episode 65 Monster Part 1. 2003 saw the release of Monster, a ‘based-on-a-true-story’ account of female serial killer Aileen Wuornos in late 80s Florida. The portrayal of Aileen by Charlize Theron won her a Best Actress Oscar and the movie rates highly with both film critics and audiences. However, with news journalists the movie has been criticized for its underlying themes and version of events. We will attempt to unravel the movie’s spin from the real events of the times whilst also holding a light up to its value as a piece of entertainment.

Episode 64 First Man Part 2. We conclude our examination of 2018’s movie starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong and the first Moon landing. It’s a difficult film to summarise but as you’ll hear, we do our best to separate its accuracy from its level of entertainment.

Episode 64 First Man Part 1. Our episode this week focuses on 2018’s portrayal of Neil Armstrong’s journey to be the first human to set foot on the moon, both literal and figurative. Applauded by critics, less so by audiences, it’s nevertheless a fascinating subject. Our task will be to assess the accuracy of the movie and, just as importantly, its ability to entertain.

Episode 63 Norma Rae Part 2. This week we conclude our examination of this movie, following the battles of Norma Rae, a Southern States textile worker for union recognition in her mill.

Episode 63 Norma Rae Part 1. This week sees us examining this 1979 movie about a Southern States textile worker, Norma Rae of the title fighting to gain Union representation at her mill. For playing the title role, Sally Field won the Best Actress Oscar and it has been widely praised for its depiction of the long and often bitter fight of the working people against the moneyed bosses in American industry. We will assess its entertainment level but mainly just how true to the real story the movie manages to stay. Part 2 will be along next week.

Episode 62: Reversal of Fortune. This week sees us joined again by guest co-host Sean Munger of the wonderful Second Decade Podcast. This is one of Sean’s favourite movies and he has a lawyer’s insight into the legal battle described as New York socialite Claus von Bulow (Jeremy Irons) tries to have his conviction reversed for attempted murder of his wife Sunny (Glenn Close). Claus is represented by Alan Dershowitz (Ron Silvers), now a well-known celebrity lawyer and also the author of the book on which the movie is based. So is it a true depiction of these mid-1980s events? We will try and find out.

Episode 61: Thirteen Days. Released in 2000, this movie stars Kevin Costner as special advisor to President Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis and shows the tension, the sense of impending doom and the real risk of imminent nuclear war that occurred over this brief period in 1962. The movie takes a White House perspective on the crisis and has been very well received by critics and audiences although it struggled at the box office. We look at how well it entertains as well as its level of accuracy.

Episode 60: Breaker Morant. We are delighted to be joined by Des Latham, host of The Anglo-Boer War Podcast as we examine this 1980 depiction of a British war crimes trial held in South Africa, little known outside Australia and South Africa but within those countries, a case that still resonates loudly today. Rated 100% by critics on Rotten Tomatoes, superb performances by Edward Woodward, Bryan Brown and Jack Thompson make it an incredibly watchable movie. Our task, expertly assisted by Des, will be to judge its accuracy.

Episode 59: Supplementary 4 The Ones That Got Away Part Two. This week sees Martin flying solo as we bring you our second batch of movies that didn’t quite make the cut for a full episode. We are covering the following movies, each with their start time in case you want to skip ahead:

The Bridge on the River Kwai 13.45 The epic David Lean war movie about a group of Allied POWs in Japanese occupied Thailand building a bridge.

Mississippi Burning 35.00 Based on the 1960s FBI investigation into the murder of three civil rights volunteers, this powerful movie stars Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe as the lead investigators.

The Greatest Showman 50.05 The musical biopic of PT Barnum and how his circus show was started. Beloved by audiences, less so by critics (or Martin!) we look at how much glitter has been spread over the real story.

The Lost City of Z 1hr 11.52 Colonel Percy Fawcett was a British explorer in the early 1900s, seeking evidence of a lost Amazonian civilization.

BAT-21 1hr 29.44 Gene Hackman makes his second appearance in today’s episode playing the role of Colonel Iceal Hambelton, shot down over Vietnam and trying to evade capture.

Gangs of New York 1hr 45.39 The first collaboration between Martin Scorcese and Leonardo di Caprio, this sprawling movie shows the lawless side of New York during the US Civil War. Daniel Day Lewis stands out as the movie’s villain with a typically brilliant performance.

Episode 58: Kingdom of Heaven. Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Orlando Bloom, this story of a young Crusader trying to come to terms with religion, guilt and knightly aspirations promises much with some great cinematography, detailed battle scenes, a love interest plus court intrigue as our hero discovers that supposed friends can be a lot more scheming and devious than your supposed enemies. Our interest is in both the entertainment value of the movie and its historical accuracy as we attempt to sort myth from truth, Hollywood hype from gritty reality. More popular with audiences than critics, the version we are examining is the theatrical release one; there is a director’s cut which is said to be more coherent so if that’s the one you’ve seen, good choice and sorry if we don’t mention the extra bits. We hope you enjoy.

Episode 57: The Great Escape. 1963’s epic war movie has become a classic, loved by many viewers and remembered for some iconic moments, most of them involving Steve McQueen who is arguably one of the coolest actors ever to grace a screen. Based on a book by Paul Brickhill who was a POW in Stalag Luft III when the break-out occurred, we aim to find out how accurately the movie follows the reality of the breakout, the men involved and the details of their various experiences. It’s a big movie so this is a big episode with ups and downs and, no doubt, a few daredevil leaps across the fences of accepted reality (that one was inserted with help from the HbH literary crowbar).

Episode 56: The Favourite. 2018’s period piece about Queen Anne and two of her female courtiers vying for preference in her favours was beloved by critics more than it was by audiences. Some very accomplished performances by the leading role actors led to an Oscar for Olivia Coleman and multiple other awards. Director Yorgos Lanthimos said all along that he was not making an historical documentary so our quest is to establish just how much he played with the known facts in his quest to make an entertaining story about friendship and the corrupting effects of power.

Episode 55: Bohemian Rhapsody. This episode takes a nostalgia trip for both hosts as we examine 2018’s musical biopic about Queen and Freddie Mercury. Critics didn’t much like it but audiences love it, as did the Academy Award committee as the movie won four Oscars including Best Actor for Rami Malek. We very much side with the audiences as we both thoroughly enjoyed what is a very entertaining and moving film. What we’ll try to do here is establish how close to the truth the movie managed to keep as it charts the rise of one of the world’s most successful rock bands.

Episode 54: I, Tonya This 2017 movie details the rise and fall of Tonya Harding, an American figure skater who rose to prominence and then notoriety in the early 1990s. A gritty, darkly humorous movie with some superb performances, notably Margot Robbie in the title role and Alison Janney, who was to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Tonya’s mother. The movie manages to balance gripping entertainment and humour yet never loses sight of the underlying pathos of the real story. Our task is to determine how close to that real-life story the movie manages to remain. We hope you’ll join us.

Episode 53: Gallipoli. This episode sees the regular team reunited to examine 1981’s powerful WW1 drama, following the fortunes of two young Australian soldiers as they are pitched into the disastrous Dardanelles campaign on 1915. Starring Mark Lee and Mel Gibson in the lead roles, the movie has become something of a cult classic. Despite the main characters being fictional, we examine how close to the truth of the events and the experience of thousands of similar young men the movie manages to stay.

Episode 52: The Right Stuff. This week we are delighted to be joined by Sean Munger, host of The Second Decade Podcast (link in the show notes on the website historybyhollywood dot com) who grew up on or near USAF bases and brings both historical expertise and a personal aspect to the show. The movie is big, bold and magnificent covering the American efforts to break the sound barrier then launch men into space. The episode is big and we’ll leave you, our dear listeners to choose any other appropriate adjectives. Over two hours but if you enjoy listening half as much as we enjoyed recording…. you know the rest.

Episode 51: Bonnie & Clyde. This week sees Andrew fly solo for an examination of 1967’s Bonnie & Clyde, starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in the title roles as Bonnie Parker and Clyde Champion Barrow, almost mythical Depression-era criminals in the US. We will try to separate the legend from the facts and the Hollywood interpretation of both. We hope you’ll join us on the journey.

Episode 50: A Beautiful Mind. In this episode we examine the 2001 biopic of mathematics genius John Nash, following both his academic achievements and his struggle with schizophrenia. A multiple Oscar winner, hugely popular with audiences, we will look at how accurate the movie manages to stay to the real twists and turns of Nash’s professional and personal life.

Episode 49: The Big Short. A very entertaining movie, described in one review as an ‘angry, fiery movie disguised as a comedy’ it has a superb cast including Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrel and Brad Pitt. The period portrayed leads up to the 2008 financial crash and the movie does a great job of explaining how this was allowed to happen along with a warning that it could happen again. One of the most relevant and topical movies we have covered thus far, we hope you join us on our journey of discovery along the road to the facts. The audio is much improved from last time but still not perfect (some slight background noise) which we are working hard to eliminate from all future episodes. Please bear with us and we promise to be back to 20/20 clarity next time out.

Episode 48: Trumbo. Andrew is joined by Dr Fiona Radford of the Partial Historians Podcast and an expert on Dalton Trumbo, Spartacus and the Hollywood Ten (blacklisted screen writers suspected of having communist sympathies of which Dalton Trumbo was a prominent member). We have to apologise for the poor audio quality on Andrew’s side but we still hope that you enjoy the depth of knowledge that Dr Fiona displays, delivered in her customary light-hearted style. Brian Cranston plays the title role wonderfully as Andrew and Fiona examine whether the movie got things right.

Episode 47: The King’s Speech. Join us as we examine 2015’s Oscar-winning movie The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth as the reluctant King George VI and Geoffrey Rush as his unconventional speech therapist Lionel Logue, an Australian with no formal qualifications but with a history of great success in the field of speech therapy. Ably supported by Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth, Derek Jacobi, Timothy Spall and Michael Gambon, the movie was a great cinematic and financial success beloved by critics and audiences alike but did they get the facts right? Or is this a heartwarming tale sculpted into a plausible piece of history?

Episode 46: Goodfellas. Martin Scorsese directed this 1990 movie, starring Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, an Irish/Italian American gangster working in a New York mafia gang through the 1960s and 70s. With superb supporting roles featuring Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci amongst others, this movie has proved a hit for nearly thirty years despite its main character being an unrepentant criminal. Popularity though is no measure of accuracy so we will attempt to discover whether this is an accurate portrayal of events or if, in creating this masterpiece of cinema, Martin Scorsese has ladled on the dramatic license.

Episode 45: Braveheart. Directed by and starring Mel Gibson as William Wallace, a fiercely patriotic Scottish warrior in the late 13th and early 14th Centuries, Braveheart is the movie that inspired the whole HbH idea and, eventually, this podcast. It’s taken us 45 episodes to get to this much-loved but also often-derided movie so we hope you tune in to hear our take on its entertainment and historical accuracy. We think our conclusions may verge on the unexpected. Join us to find out.

Episode 44: Elizabeth. 1998 saw the release of this lavish movie, detailing the early years of the reign of Elizabeth First of England. With a strong cast, the movie launched Cate Blanchett into stardom with her portrayal of the young Queen Bess as she has to deal with court conspiracies, foreign interference and a host of suitors for the hand in marriage of the Queen of England. Elizabeth receives conflicting advice from powerful men, used to operating in an exclusively male world. We will examine how Elizabeth coped, both in the movie and in reality and how divergent those two accounts become. We hope you join us for the journey.

Episode 43: Spotlight. This 2015 movie is named for the team of journalists working for the Boston Globe who carry out in-depth investigations for the paper under the ‘Spotlight’ name. In 2001-2002 they revealed the widespread abuse of children by Catholic priests in the Boston diocese and the systematic cover-up that the Catholic church had undergone for decades to keep this disease hidden. Their article led to a global examination of similar abuses, something that carries on to this day. Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdam, Mark Ruffalo and Liev Schreiber lead a wonderful cast as this dark topic is brought to us in a gripping yet sensitive movie. Our investigation has been on how well the movie managed to portray these events accurately. We urge you to watch this powerful, relevant and moving film and we hope you take something from our conclusions of its message.

Episode 42: Catch Me If You Can. Our movie for this episode is 2002’s Catch Me If You Can. Steven Spielberg directs a great cast including Leonardo di Caprio as legendary con-artist Frank Abignale Jr who is pursued by dogged FBI Special Agent Carl Hanratty played by Tom Hanks. Christopher Walken and Josh Brolin add their considerable talents to the cast as we follow young Frank’s exploits as he impersonates an airline pilot, a doctor and lawyer all whilst in his teens. Is this a case of fact being stranger than fiction or has Frank’s story been Hollywoodised? We hope you join us to find out.

Episode 41: Erin Brockovich. This week’s movie is 2000’s Erin Brockovich. A powerful performance by Julia Roberts in the eponymous role is ably supported by Hollywood veteran Albert Finney as lawyer Ed Masry. Directed by Steven Sodeburgh, the movie tells the story of the unqualified legal assistant Erin digging up evidence against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a multi-billion energy company accused of poisoning water supplies in California then covering up the consequences. A classic tale of David vs Goliath, how much did the movie get right? Join us to find out.

Episode 40: Argo. A long, long time ago, HbH managed to put out an episode that ran under an hour. This week, we achieve this landmark of conciseness again as we examine 2012’s Argo, starring and directed by Ben Affleck the movie tells the incredible story of how the CIA along with Canadian Foreign Office staff spirited six American Embassy staffers out of Tehran in the aftermath of 1979’s Islamic Revolution. A real movie about a fake movie, how real or fake is the version of the story they tell? Join us to find out.

Episode 39: Darkest Hour. This week we are delighted to welcome back Ray Harris from the History of World War 2 podcast (amongst many others) and a bit of an expert on Churchill. The portrayal by Gary Oldman has received universal and well-deserved plaudits but how close does the movie come to the actual truth of Churchill’s early days in power during some of the darkest days in recent British history? We will try to find out.

Episode 38: The Post. This week we examine the 2017 movie covering the events surrounding the publication of a secret US report on the Vietnam War, first by the New York Times and then, the focus of this movie, the Washington Post. Directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham, owner and publisher of The Post ably supported by Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee, the Post’s Executive Editor. With the current political climate in the US with a belligerent President attacking many of the established news media outlets, it is a timely reminder of the last time a President tried to muzzle the newshounds.

Episode 37: Schindler’s List. Directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Liam Neeson in the title role supported by Ben Kingsley as Itzak Stern and Ralph Fiennes as SS Officer Amon Goeth, this film redefined the arch-entertainer Spielberg as a director capable of great power, depth and sincerity. Hard hitting performances drive a story of salvation amongst unimaginable tragedy, cruelty and genocide. Considering the impact that this movie had on nearly everyone who has seen it, we were uneasy about examining its historical accuracy but as that is the whole basis of this podcast we do the best that we can. We hope that you listen and get something positive from the episode. Thank you.

Episode 36: What’s Love Got To Do With It:This week’s episode is 1993’s biopic of Tina Turner, through her early days singing with Ike Turner, their marriage, his abuse and her eventual redemption and emergence as the Tina Turner we know today. Both lead actors are superb; Angela Bassett as Tina and Laurence Fishburne as Ike. However, the movie is based on Tina’s own autobiography so our task is to determine whether the portrayal is biased or balanced.

Episode 35: Victoria and Abdul. This week we look at 2017’s movie about Queen Victoria and her Indian servant then teacher Abdul Karim and their deep friendship that lasted until her death. We found the movie charming and enjoyable though critics have given mixed reviews. Whether this is due to a lack of entertainment or a lack of historical accuracy is our task to discover. It’s a long show but we hope you enjoy it.

Episode 34: The Battle of Britain.Released in 1969, directed by Guy Hamilton and starring nearly everyone who’s anyone in 1960’s British cinema, this epic war movie used mainly real aircraft and some of the most complex and intense aerial sequences seen on screen. Our task is to examine how accurately the battle and its legacy are portrayed; historical record or pro-British propaganda? Martin will also highlight the almost total eradication from the accepted narrative of WW2 of the contribution made by Poland and, hopefully, fill in some gaps whilst dispelling some myths. We hope you enjoy the show

Episode 33: Her Majesty Mrs Brown. This week we examine 1997’sHer Majesty Mrs Brown, depicting the close friendship between Queen Victoria and her Highland servant, John Brown played respectively by Judy Dench and Billy Connolly. The true nature of their relationship is unlikely to ever be known but how close did director John Madden’s movie come to the established facts? We’re here to find out.

Episode 32: Saving Mr Banks. We pick apart the charming drama of 2013’s movie, starring Emma Thompson as PL Travers, the author of Mary Poppins and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, enthusiastically pursuing the movie rights to the book and the conflicts that this deal brought. Juxtaposed with some pathos provided by scenes of PL Travers’ childhood, this humorous movie was made by the Disney Corporation so was it a PR exercise or did they get gritty with the truth?

Episode 31: Supplementary 3: TV Special. This week we examine five TV series, all of which are based on or around factual events and people. Band of Brothers; Rome; Black Sails; Peaky Blinders; Turn are our subjects and we give an overview of the subject matter whilst trying to avoid spoilers and then assess the historical accuracy of each series.

Episode 30: In the Heart of the Sea. This week we set sail with Ron Howard’s 2015 whaling epic, following the fortunes of the whaling ship Essex as she sails from Nantucket to the Pacific in the early 1800’s, a voyage that inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Brendan Gleason, Tom Holland, Benjamin Walker and Cillian Murphy, the movie throws up some fascinating insights into a whaler or sailor’s life two hundred years ago but how much did they get right? Have a listen to find out and if you do, we hope you enjoy the ride.

Episode 29: Lincoln. This week we take on the Steven Spielberg 2012 movie about the final four months of Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency. Starring the always-impressive Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role, wonderfully supported by Sally Field and Tommy Lee-Jones, how close did the movie come to the real events surrounding the passing of the 13th Amendment enshrining the abolition of slavery into the American Constitution? Tune in to find out…

Episode 28: Evita. This week we look at the 1996 movie of the Lloyd-Webber/Rice musical following the short, dramatic life of Eva Peron, aka Evita starring Madonna in the title role ably supported by Antonio Banderas who, it transpires, can really sing. Turbulent times in Argentina are depicted to song but did the writers get anywhere near the truth of this enigmatic woman? Martin has another rant but as ever, Andrew proves to be the calming influence of the team. We hope you enjoy the show.

Episode 27 Zodiac: this week we look at the 2007 true crime drama directed by David Fincher and starring Jake Gylenhaal and Robert Downey Jr examining the still-unsolved series of murders in California in the late 60s and early 70s. It’s a long film so this is a long show and we hope you enjoy our examination of how close to the known facts the movie managed to arrive.

Episode 26 Tombstone: This week we examine 1993’s Tombstone, starring Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp and Val Kylmer as Doc Holliday and including the gunfight at the OK Corral. It’s very watchable but does the movie follow facts or myth? Tune in to find out

Episode 25: The Founder.This week we look at the 2016 biopic of Ray Kroc, the man credited with the meteoric expansion of the McDonald’s fast food chain. Starring Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc, Nick Offermand and John Carrol Lynch as Dick and Mack McDonald it is a wonderfully entertaining movie but is it accurate? Tune in to find out.
(The time in brackets is the podcast episode’s duration, not the movie’s. We’ve just noticed that episode duration doesn’t always appear in listings. We will try to resolve this)

Episode 24: Dunkirk. This week we look at Christopher Nolan’s epic Dunkirk, released in 2017 and starring Kenneth Brannagh, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy. Nolan, famously against the use of CGI put a lot of effort and budget into using real vessels, aircraft and actors but did he manage to convey the scale and chaos of the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation? It’s fair to say that our conclusions are a mixed bag and we hope that you find them entertaining, possibly informative and thought-provoking.

Notice: Unfortunately we have to postpone Episode 24: Dunkirk until Sunday 4th Feb due to Martin remaining in the UK due to a family emergency and an unknown resolution date. We do apologise but know that you will all understand that when beloved family members are in need, podcasts have to come second. Thank you

Episode 23: The World’s Fastest Indian. This week we examine 2005’s movie starring Anthony Hopkins in the lead role and covering eccentric Kiwi Burt Munro’s speed record attempts at Bonneville Salt Flats on a 1920s Indian Scout motorcycle. Set in the 1960s with Burt in his 60s, join us to discover the truth about this pretty remarkable character. We also apologise for the poor sound quality; as you will discover in the introduction it was due to pressing reasons that we had to improvise this week’s episode and we will return to the usual standard for the next show. We hope you bear with us and find this show as rewarding as the movie.

Episode 22b: Spartacus Part Two. We cover the remainder of the 1960 epic movie but most of this episode is spent examining the incredible achievements of Spartacus and his slave rebellion, plus his legacy in the modern world, from Marxist heroes to Life of Brian to famous football teams

Episode 22a: Spartacus (Part One). An epic film starring Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier, covering only a part of the full dramatic history of Spartacus’ slave rebellion in ancient Rome. We examine the movie and fill in the gaps. Part Two coming next week

Episode 21:Supplementary 2 The Ones That Got Away. This week Martin flies solo as we examine 11 (12 really!) movies that whilst inspired by true events, didn’t stick close enough to historical facts and characters to meet our criteria for a dedicated episode. Ranging from Gone with the Wind to Apocalypse Now to Cool Runnings via Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Mission, we blast through them fairly quickly before suggesting historical movies that should be made.

Episode 20: Seabiscuit. This week we look at 2003’s movie telling the 1930s Great Depression story of a horse too small, a jockey too big, a trainer too old and an owner too dumb to know. It’s a classic Hollywood underdog tale but how much did the movie get right? You may be surprised….

Episode 19: Glory
This week’s movie is 1989’s Glory, telling the story of the military achievements of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, one of the first black units to fight in the US Civil War. Starring Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and Mathew Broderick, it tells a story worth knowing.

Episode 18: Apollo 13. In this week’s episode, we are amazed that Ron Howard’s movie of the dramatic Apollo 13 mission is 22 years old until we realise how young Tom Hanks looks in the film where he plays Jim Lovell, mission commander. Also starring Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton and Ed Harris, we have a close look at just how accurate the movie is to the real life events.

Episode 17: Selma. This week we take a detailed look at the 2014 movie covering the events surrounding the Civil Rights and Voting Rights marches in and around Selma, Alabama in the Spring of 1965 led by, amongst many others, Martin Luther King Jr. The movie reflects and portrays the struggle for equality that was endured by the black communities of the Southern states, 100 years afterthose stateslost the US Civil War, fought largely over a disagreement about the abolishment of slavery.

Episode 16: Deepwater Horizon. This week’s show sees us in the Gulf of Mexico, examining the 2015 movie covering the explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon exploration platform, the loss of 11 lives aboard and the subsequent oil spill. Starring Mark Wahlberg and Kurt Russell, it’s a gripping tale of corporate myopia and individual heroism.

Episode 15: Good Morning Vietnam. We turn the microscope on the 1987 movie starring Robin Williams as Adrian Cronauer, a USAF DJ in Vietnam in 1965. As well as our historical perspective we have a number of clips featuring the real Adrian Cronauer. We hope you enjoy it

Episode 14: Cleopatra looks at the 1963 epic, starring Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra who caused a stir at its release due to her affair with co-star Richard Burton (Mark Anthony) but how does it do in historical accuracy? It’s a long show but then it’s a long film. We hope you enjoy it….

Episode 13: Amadeus. This week we examine the 1984 film based on Peter Shaffer’s play of the same title, focusing on the fractious relationship between the Austrian composer Mozart and his senior colleague and rival, the Italian composer Antonio Salieri. How much of this great movie is true? Have a listen and find out…

Notice: We are sorry to announce that due to vacations, inadequate internet access and unfortunate timing there will be no episode this Sunday 16th July.

We will return with renewed exuberance on Sunday 30th July with Episode 13: Amadeus

Very best regards to you all, Martin and Andrew

Episode 12 (Supplementary 1):This week, in our first supplementary episode, Martin examines the role of music in movies; how it informs, guides and manipulates our sympathies and emotions

Episode 11 Pocahontas: This week we examine Disney’s 1995 animated musical Pocahontas. We are joined by Vincent Schilling, native American journalist, historical researcher and arts & entertainment editor of the Indian Country Today Media Network for a fascinating perspective on the little-known truth behind the story of Pocahontas and the early English settlement in Virginia

Episode 10: Hidden Figures. This week’s subject is the 2016 movie depicting the work of three African-American women working at NASA during the 1960s and intimately involved with the launch of John Glenn in Friendship 7 in an attempt to be the first human to orbit the earth. It’s a wonderful film but how close did director Theodore Melfi manage to keep to the actual facts? That’s our mission in this hour-long episode; we hope you enjoy the journey

Episode 9: Waterloo. In this week’s show Martin is joined by the Podfather, Cameron Reilly as they examine the 1970 epic Waterloo and argue about who actually won. It’s long but we hope it’s fun

Episode 8: Zulu. This week we are concentrating on 1964’s epic movie Zulu, portraying the siege of Rorke’s Drift mission station during the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879. Starring Stanley Baker and Michael Caine

Episode 7: Bridge of Spies. In this episode we examine 2015’s Cold War drama Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance and directed by Steven Spielberg. It’s another episode stretching over an hour but we hope you’ll enjoy it.

Episode 6: Mutiny on the Bounty. This week we look at all three major movies that portray the events aboard HMS Bounty in 1789 and the conflict between Capt William Bligh and Fletcher Christian. It’s a loooong episode but we hope you’ll enjoy it

Episode 5: The Dambusters. This week’s show looks at the 1955 movie covering the attack on Germany’s great dams by 617 Squadron RAF. Starring Richard Todd and Michael Redgrave with guest host, History of WW2 Podcast host Ray Harris

Episode 4: 300. This week we examine Zack Snyder’s movie 300, starring Gerard Butler as King Leonidas defying the Persian Empire at the head of a small Spartan and Greek force at Thermopylae

Episode 3: The Sound of Music.
In our third full episode (this time hitting our target of 30-40 minutes) we examine the much-loved, much-watched 1965 Musical starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer and featuring the music of Rogers and Hammerstein

Episode 2: Rush This week we examine Ron Howard’s movie Rush, dramatising the Formula One 1976 season and the rivalry between Austria’s Niki Lauda and Britain’s James Hunt

Episode 1: Gladiator
This week, in our first full episode we examine Ridley Scott’s 2000 epic Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix

Episode 0: Introduction and information about the planned series with a word about your hosts

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Terrell Hackett

Last Updated: 06/08/2022

Views: 6409

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Terrell Hackett

Birthday: 1992-03-17

Address: Suite 453 459 Gibson Squares, East Adriane, AK 71925-5692

Phone: +21811810803470

Job: Chief Representative

Hobby: Board games, Rock climbing, Ghost hunting, Origami, Kabaddi, Mushroom hunting, Gaming

Introduction: My name is Terrell Hackett, I am a gleaming, brainy, courageous, helpful, healthy, cooperative, graceful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.