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  • Carrie Specht

TCM Launches Podcast 'The Plot Thickens' in April

Famed director, Peter Bogdanovich is known for his encyclopedic knowledge of the history of Hollywood and its' inhabitants. From Orson Welles to Hitchcock, from Cary Grant to Bette Davis, and beyond, Bogdonavich is the man with all the stories. And he tells them in a way like no one else. That's probably because he hasn't just heard the remarkable tales, he's lived them. He's worked with the famous and the infamous. He's befriended giants and stayed by their side at their deepest lows. He's even lived his own Hollywood story with all the plot twists befitting a living legend. So, who better to have as the first guest on a TCM podcast? No one I can think of.


Bogdonavich shares with Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz a lifetime of filmmaking, celebrity encounters, and behind the scene stories in "The Plot Thickens", a new documentary podcast about the movies and the people who make them. The first season is called, I’m Still Peter Bogdanovich. The four episode story is the tale of a young cinephile who became one of Hollywood’s top directors, but soon found himself a victim of jealousy, public scorn, and a devastating crime.


The first season is a seven-episode documentary about the life and work of the Oscar-nominated director, writer, and actor Peter Bogdanovich titled “I’m Still Peter Bogdanovich.” TCM Primetime Host Ben Mankiewicz will guide listeners through the remarkable story of the ultimate cinephile, who at 32, became Hollywood’s hottest director. But Bogdanovich soon discovered the fragility of such success after three box-office flops and a horrible tragedy that plunged him into grief and financial struggles. Through it all, Bogdanovich’s love of movies sustained him.


The Plot Thickens, produced in partnership with WarnerMedia Podcast Network, includes archival interviews Bogdanovich did with Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, and Orson Welles while he was learning his craft, as well as rare archival audio from the TCM vault. It also features exclusive interviews with producer Frank Marshall, actor Cybill Shepherd, and director Roger Corman about how Bogdanovich made his films and survived life’s ups and downs. “Peter Bogdanovich is a living link to Hollywood’s golden age, the perfect conduit from the past to this modern era of movies,” said Ben Mankiewicz. “Season one tells the entirety of Peter’s story. And it is a gripping story told mostly by Peter himself, drawn from 15 hours of interviews together. It combines the best elements from one of the greatest eras of American movies, Peter’s era, 1967-1976. It is an intense drama replete with passion, art, love, lust, success, heartbreak, betrayal, raucous comedy, painful tragedy, and ultimately, a version of redemption, all of it set against the backdrop of the magic of making movies.”

In honor of the podcast’s release, Peter Bogdanovich will join Ben Mankiewicz on TCM throughout April to introduce a handful of his films. On Saturday, April 4th he discusses two of his earliest films, Targets (1968) and The Last Picture Show (1971), which earned him his two Oscar nominations for best director and best adapted screenplay. On Saturday, April 11 Bogdonavich recounts his follow up hits, What’s Up, Doc? (1972) andPaper Moon(1973).

Then on Saturday, April 25 shares the difficult history of a string of flops that tarnished his reputation, even as his skills as a writer and director grew sharper. One of those films was Nickelodeon (1976), followed by his comeback film Saint Jack (1979), a TCM premiere.

The first trailer for The Plot Thickens can be downloaded on Apple Podcasts and The Plot Thickens’ website.