Sometime last year Chris asked me to program a month of shows for February 2022 over at The Kulturecast and I was both honored and excited to take a crack at it. I pondered a number of different themes: favorite director, favorite actor, only movies I've never seen, movies with people who share my birthday, etc. etc. etc. But then an obvious theme presented itself, which would also cover some of the other ideas I'd run through my head. Chris asked me early on, as many people do, if my name was pronounced the same as Ed Begley, Jr.'s, which I affirmed. This prompted him to mention his disdain for the film Transylvania 6-5000, which I had to admit I've never seen. This has since become a running gag between us, and so I thought, "Well, Ed's been in some great movies so I'll make Chris watch four of those." I then set about to pick four from the vast and varied Ed Begley, Jr. filmography (330 acting credits!).
I didn't necessarily pick films with big Begley roles (these are mostly bit parts) but they do represent films that hit childhood nostalgia, feature a favorite actor or director, and one that I'd never seen.
First up is Now You See Him, Now You Don't (1971), one of Disney's Dexter Riley (Kurt Russell) films, which I absolutely loved as a kid. Mike White from The Projection Booth Podcast joined us for this episode. Enjoy!
Next up is Cockfighter (1974), directed by Monte Hellman. If you listen to my show you've heard me talk about this one. A bunch. Ed Begley, Jr. plays Tom Peeples, a shiftless hillbilly who gets his comeuppance and then some! This time Chris and I are joined by Cullen Gallagher for a rollicking good time.
Citizens Band (1977) was the "new-to-me" selection for Begley on Begley Action Month. Directed by Jonathan Demme with a stacked cast of Demme regulars and 1970s character actors (including WUH favorite Roberts Blossom) CB is a charming slice-of-life look at a small Nebraska town obsessed with CB radios. Ed Begley, Jr. plays The Priest, who believes in G-O-D and not in F-C-C.
Hardcore (1979) our last entry for Begley on Begley Action Month is now here! Ed Begley, Jr. has a glorified cameo, but still manages to be memorable as "Soldier" in a "porno" within the film. Schrader's essay on Calvinism vs. pornography was one of of my favorite new-to-me watches of 2020 and have wanted to chat about it ever since.
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