About this podcast
A podcast tracing the evolution of action cinema through history.
About this podcast
A podcast tracing the evolution of action cinema through history.
Pod Hard bon bons of 2020
Well, first things first: we're sorry to have left all of you hanging. But as you all know, it aint over until the fat lady sings and we've been dealing out dieting recipes. This is our bon bons of the past year: that is, the best stuff from the movies we watched for Pod Hard in 2020. We list, among many things, best geezer alert, best taken aback-moments, best doll-action, best chase scenes, best camera techniques, best all around stunts and best douchebag behaviour from the hero. Thanks for listening!
Action Movie History 1939 (Stagecoach)
Yeehaw! Pod Hard is finally trampling all over the western genre and starts off in the best possible way - by watching one of the all-time greats, John Ford's Stagecoach. Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist are instantly smitten with the iconic stock characters that share a ride through Apache territory in 1880 and applaud Ford for his flawless tension building. Orson Welles saw Stagecoach 40 times before directing Citizen Kane. This film was his film school! John Wayne is the original Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Meek plays his own name, Monumental Valley is all that and legendary stunt man and stunt coordinator Yakima Canutt is showing off. Stagecoach is Michael Curtiz-approved, geezer-approved and Pod Hard-approved. "Well, I guess you can't break out of prison and into society in the same week."
Action Movie History 1937 (The Prisoner of Zenda)
Pod Hard is back... with another swashbuckler? Well, yes. But don't worry - The Prisoner of Zenda absolutely nails a key aspect of action films: the banter. The swordplay is okay at best, but the relentless and poisonous banter between Ronald Colman and Douglas Fairbanks Jr is simply tops. Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist discuss slippery handshakes, the opposite of baby skinned David Niven, how to hold a cigarette like a nazi officer, elevator gazes, the framing of castles and a geezer going down on his own mustache. Kick yourself in the garden and get back in. "Touché, Rassendyll! I cannot get used to fighting furniture - where did you learn it?"
Action Movie History Michael Curtiz+Errol Flynn Special (GUEST: Alex Rallo)
Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist celebrate the twentieth episode of English speaking Pod Hard with a swashbuckler-special! Three adventure movies directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn are on the menu today. To help seal the deal the Pod Hard-duo is accompanied by their first guest: Alex Rallo, better known as the enigmatic and all-knowing action connoisseur @HeadExposure on Twitter. Alex is a die hard fan of swashbucklers and brings class, wit and analytical prowess to the proceedings. Needless to say, Jonas and Anders are relieved to finally be joined by a smart person. The tantalizing threesome discuss mighty naval battles, the sounds of arrows, fencing shadows, people falling like fruit from trees, how to capture several levels of action in one shot and the tumultuous relationship between Curtiz and Flynn. And of course, a big shout out to Olivia de Havilland, now 104 years young! "We'll board a ship that's not sinking!" The movies: Captain Blood (1935) The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) The Sea Hawk (1940)
Action Movie History 1935 (Top Hat)
Another musical? Has Pod Hard lost track of it's purpose, to investigate the evolution of the action genre and... oh wait, Fred Astaire is machine gunning down his entire entourage of background dancers while tap dancing the sound of the bullets? Carry on. Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist watch Top Hat, the perhaps best of the Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers-pairing, and are once again energized by a zany musical with great character actors, funny dialogue and amazing dance numbers. The dynamic pod-duo discuss the dynamic dance-duo, compare Astaire to Jackie Chan, salut Rogers finishing touches, hails the bug eyed butler, are skeptical to the mansplaining of nature phenomenons, enjoy the small klink of two glasses and give praise to where it's at - to Edward Everett Horton, the Fred Astaire of taken aback-reactions. "Oh, some more of these plural personalities."
Action Movie History 1934 (The Man Who Knew Too Much)
Some say he's the best director of all time - but can he handle oneliners, epic brawls and gun ballets like a McTiernan or a Woo? Yes and no. Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist face off with their first Alfred Hitchcock-film in their ongoing quest through action movie history: The Man Who Knew Too Much. And while it certainly isn't one of the best flicks signed by the Master of Suspense it does have an absolutely fabulous scene where Leslie Banks is throwing chairs at villains while an old lady with a gun is playing the organ. Hitchcock is bebopping and scatting all over the place with his ideas. A knitting is wrapped around a pletora of foxtrot dancers, Leslie Banks & Hugh Wakefield psalm-sings their suspicions of certain characters during a sermon, taken aback-reactions are complemented by toy trains, Peter Lorre upstages all the British actors despite not knowing English and Edna Best saves the day with her sharpshooting skills! "This is a scrap, not a smoking concert."
Action Movie History 1933 (Keisatsukan)
Film noir was "invented" in America in the 40s right? Well, it all depends on how you wanna define it. Some say the German Expressionism of the 20s was film noir in a sense, but one thing is for sure: Tomu Uchida's Keisatsukan (Police Man) is film noir. Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist watch a movie of two halves: the first a pedestrian insight into life as a police man in Japan during the 30s, the second a descent into sleuth territory. Isamu Kosugi's cop turns into Humphrey Bogart stalking his prey in alleyway after alleyway, conning his suspect to unknowingly hand over evidence and donning a trenchcoat and Stetson hat for style. But the real star of the show is the camera man. Soîchi Aisaka pulls out every trick from the tool box: whip pans, focus pulls, trolley rides. And when the climactic ending arrives we are treated to some amazing searchlight action! "Do you ever recall von Hardenberg?"
Action Movie History 1933 (Footlight Parade)
Time to unleash the legs of Jimmy Cagney! Pod Hard-cicerons Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist watch their first musical in their ongoing quest through action film history and are utterly mesmerized by the insanity that is Footlight Parade. Cagney plays a theater director who start making prologues, small live musical numbers set before movies in cinemas. Everybody involved in the productions are fast-talking on a Groucho Marx- or Katharine Hepburn-level and zingers, comebacks and sexual innuendos flood the screen in a matter of seconds! The musical numbers, directed by theatre legend Busby Berkeley, is the epitome of old Hollywood with beautiful women swimming in elaborate patterns (like the mobile game Snake), suave guys and gals tap-dancing on bardisks and cute cats inspiring crazy ass ideas. One thing's for sure: this is one pervy movie! "Outside, countess. As long as they've got sidewalks YOU'VE got a job."
Action Movie History 1933 (King Kong)
It's time to pull out the big guns - in the form of one big-ass ape hell-bound for destruction! This week Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist watch one of the all-time classics: King Kong. The special effects may be a bit dated in some regards, but for the most part they hold up surprisingly well - as does the ingenius sound design. The main monkey is showing off a lot of emotions and nuanced character traits. Kong is idly checking out dead bodies, wrestles a T-Rex with the pizzazz of a showman, pulls out his Peeping Tom when window shopping in New York and goes full drama queen at the very end. "It was beauty killed the beast."
Action Movie History 1932 (Scarface)
Once upon a time, in the early 30s, gangster movies were all the rage. Tommy guns, the Chicago skyline and prohibition speakeasies filled the big screen as hardboiled men treated the world as their own personal oyster. In much the same vein Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist share their opinions on Scarface, the perhaps most "dangerous" of the early gangster movies. Paul Muni excels as the titular hoodlum in a performance that combines the mannerisms of Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld and the Italian American-schtick of Chico Marx. Director Howard Hawks shows his dick, people are ducking bullets for real, a secretary pulls a gun on a telephone, The Penguin plays a police chief, cigars the size of logs are being chewed and people say things like "Say, what's the big idea". Oh, and there's no music. No music! At all! Jonas & Anders are enthralled. "I'm all hollow inside."
Action Movie History 1930 (Hell's Angels)
Pod Hard bid The Roaring Twenties a fond farvel as we move into the 1930s. Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist see their first sound film, the Howard Hughes-directed air battle-extravaganza that is Hell's Angels. Sure, the story is a drag and the two male actors playing the leads give the adjective "wooden" a bad name but Jean Harlow virtually explodes on screen in her first starring role and the action, the action is flabbergastingly good! We are treated to not only one, but TWO greatest-explosions-of-all-time, a zeppelin is shrouded in a ghostly vibe, the spectacular air battles are interlaced with funny reaction shots, a waiter does an excellent pratfall and faceplant some soup and the explosions explode. Ladies and gentlemen - we have arrived at action cinema! "I'm a shotgun you son of a bitch!"
Action Movie History 1929 (Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü)
Bring out your lederhosen and your trusty pick axe - it's time to go mountain climbing with Pod Hard! Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist watch The White Hell of Pitz Palu (Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü), a bergfilme nowadays perhaps most known as a reference - and part of a cover story - in Inglorious Basterds. And it's a very odd movie, to be sure. Action fans might be disappointed as the movie in total only delivers around 10-15 seconds of undeniably great doll action in the Swiss mountains. But there is a lot to talk about! Anders details a sexual suggestion theme and trace the many faces of the brooding hero Gustav Diessl, Jonas have only contempt for the clean shaven German actors and discuss headpieces. And where does Spongebob Short Pants fit into all of this? "The ice seems foreboding."
Action Movie History 1928 (Steamboat Bill Jr)
Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich sure know how to destroy large populated areas with computers, but when you need to wreck a town for real there's only one lunatic for the job: Buster Keaton. Steamboat Bill Jr is a powerhouse of a movie and utterly, utterly bonkers. Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist loose themselves in a discussion about stop and continue-pans, compare hands to toilet lids and reads way too much into facial hair. Meanwhile Buster pulls out all the stops as he glides through the streets on his ear, flies on a tree, takes a quick peak inside a loaf of bread, crosses his legs while unconscious, wears Gary Daniel-sized jackets and face a falling wall with balls the size of cocoanuts. Also featuring in this larger than life episode of Pod Hard: Bebe Daniels Feel my Pulse, Harold Lloyd's Speedy, Vsevolod Pudovkin's Storm over Asia, Shôzô Makino's Chushingura: The Truth, Kanjûrô Arashi's Kurama Tengu and... Buster Keaton's The Cameraman. "He'll ruin 21 years of antiseptic supervision!"
Action Movie History 1927 (Wings)
Up, up and away! Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist reach for the sky in this episode of Pod Hard. The first ever Oscar-winner for best picture, Wings, soars high above the rest of the action films of 1927 with spectacular dog fights, ingenious camera movements and daredevil movie making at the forefront. The film also include a (serial) killer impression of Crispin Glover, a bromance turning gaymance, an American flag on a trembling biceps, Clara Bow playing hide and seek with German bombers, Hayao Miyazaki-clouds shouldering set pieces, two swanky butts moving away from camera and bubbles. Lots and lots and lots of bubbles. "H'ray for bubbles!"
Action Movie History 1926 (The General)
Silent movies sure love their trains. So when Pod Hard reach the year 1926 Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist come face to cowcatcher with the train movie to rule all train movies - Buster Keaton's The General. The podcasting duo battle each other for the fanciest superlatives when describing this masterpiece, talk about how the curves of the railroad tracks sets up for one of the most impressive shots within a shot in movie history, discuss the gliding capacity of Buster Keaton and desperately tries to keep up as the money shots are ramping up in quick succession. Also featuring in this jam packed episode: Harold Lloyd's For Heavens Sake, Douglas Fairbanks The Black Pirate, Tom Mix's The Great K & A Train Robbery, Larry Semon's Stop, Look and Listen and Daisuke Ito's Chokon. "When I get through with that uptown dude, they can put a lily in his hand and close the lid!"
Action Movie History 1925 (Orochi)
What do you get if you add some under-cranked action footage of samurai warriors moving in unison, staccato-like editing of emotional turmoil, a camera moving away from the fight with everybody chasing after and the presence of fear and respect amongst the participants to one and the same movie reel? Well, first and foremost you'll get some good stuff in your hands - and you're most likely watching Japanese samurai flick Orochi (The Serpent). Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist discuss this delightful little nugget when manhandling the year 1925 in their ongoing quest to trace the history of action cinema. Also appearing in this episode: Harold Lloyd's The Freshman, Buster Keaton's Seven Chances, Douglas Fairbanks Don Q, Son of Zorro. "The Dean of the College - he was so dignified he never married for fear his wife would call him by his first name."
Action Movie History 1924 (Sherlock Jr & Girl Shy)
Silent movies - a bore? Prepared to get schooled! Jonas Högberg and Anders Hultqvist are flabbergasted. Never would the podcasting duo have imagined such heights for action cinema as they are confronted with when watching Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr and Harold Lloyd's Girl Shy in this episode of Pod Hard. One thing's for sure: all the people making lists about the best chase scenes in movie history have apparently not watched any 1924-flicks! Buster is riding a motorcycle sitting on the steering wheel, breaks up a strong man competition, escapes a collapsing bridge and enter a disguise through a window. Harold does a daring transition from car to horse by way of tree branch, highjacks a tram, goes bonkers with a fire hose on a rampaging fire truck and goes looking for a postman's whistle. 1924 rocks! "I'd like you to meet my city cousin from Grand City - she was the first person there who could pronounce Mah Jong."
Action Movie History 1923 (Safety Last & Our Hospitality)
Move aside! The comedy giants of the 20s are back with a vengeance when Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist turn the clock forward to 1923. Harold Lloyd is climbing buildings, Buster Keaton is leaping off of them. In this episode of Pod Hard Lloyd's Safety Last and Keaton's Our Hospitality form a highly enjoyable double feature filled with real perils high above street level in skyscraper town and in the wild rapids of the West. Buster Keaton's father show off his kung fu-skills, an old geezer attacks a toy train, people shoot out of their chairs, Lloyd has a tug-o-war with a pack of rabid house wives and the font size of intertitles gets the last laugh. "The idea of working in your shirt sleeves! Think of the shock to your customers: women of culture and refinement."
Action Movie History 1922 (The Three Must-Get-Theres)
Disappointment cradles Jonas Högberg & Anders Hultqvist in this week's episode of Pod Hard. 1922 isn't a great year for action. Not even the loopy mad-man Douglas Fairbanks is able to save the day with his adaptation of Robin Hood. Some fancy fencing and drawbridge-climbing aside, it's a spectacularly boring movie. Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd isn't up to par either. Apart from the beautiful finishing brawl in Lloyd's Grandma's Boy there's simply too much plodding plotting going on. But wait! There is hope! And that hope is signed Max Linder, the French comedy superstar and his parody of Douglas Fairbanks The Three Musketeers - called The Three Must-Get-Theres! Which essentially is a madcap merry-go-round, Mel Brooks-style, only way better. Linder's hero Dart In Again fights a horses hooves, catches a sword in his hands, dances up stairs, professes his love for a woman mid-fight, loses his breath almost a century before Old Boy made it cool, catches bad guys by the dozen with a lasso and rides in slow motion. This is what it's all about, folks! "Exempt me sire. I am afeared of women!"
Action Movie History 1921 (The Three Musketeers)
Take note, action movie-buffs, in the year 1921 a movie called Action was made! Unfortunately it appears to be lost, which means Jonas Högberg and Anders Hultqvist turn their scrutinizing gaze to Douglas Fairbanks and his swashbuckling ways yet again. The Three Musketeers is the feature of the week as Pod Hard keep steaming on through cinema history, chasing pratfalls and fisticuffs. Harold Lloyd's Never Weaken, Buster Keaton's The Goat and Shōzō Makino's Gōketsu Jiraiya provide some silly extra content. Some lessons learned: suicide comedy was all the rage in 1921, you don't need a puff of smoke to transform into a toad, you charge a bully like a bull, hats before horses, no tailor can ever take Douglas Fairbanks measurements and if you need a servant chose one who reflects before he acts. "Pardon me madame, I must kill your friend."