8 Podcasts About Film History

6:15 AM 9/1/2018

by Omar Sanchez

Podcasts like 'The Rewatchables' and 'Unspooled' offer audiences a chance to take a look back at some of the great movies of the past.

'The Rewatchables,' 'Unspooled'
'The Rewatchables,' 'Unspooled'

As streaming services continue to expand, there are more ways to watch, or rewatch, a favorite movie. And film podcasts are a thriving way to find and plug into a conversation with other cinema lovers. 

The Hollywood Reporter has compiled a list of eight podcasts centered around film history. Some touch on the life of classics, like The Wizard of Oz and Citizen Kane. Others focus on analyzing some of the best in the industry, asking: Why was this movie important and why will it still be important in the future?

  • 'Blank Check With Griffin & David'

    Sometimes a film’s importance doesn’t need to be taken so seriously. At least according to Blank Check hosts Griffin Newman and David Sims, who take a comedic take on films that moviegoers look back on fondly (or not). Blank Check invites guests weekly to chat about films like Basic Instinct and even an Aloha or two every once in a while. If you’re looking for a healthy pinch of wisecracks mixed into your regular dose of film history, Blank Check is the podcast.

    Approximate time of episodes: 120 minutes

    Number of episodes: 100+

  • 'Filmspotting'

    Filmspotting is a veteran of the podcasting world, with an episode number reaching 1,000. Now also a part of a WBEZ radio station show in Chicago, Filmspotting hosts Adam Kempenaar and Josh Larsen not only talk about current films in theaters but also take a look back at older films with a critical eye. Filmspotting hasn't shied away from tackling beloved films like 1984’s The Terminator or 1997’s Titanic. Using the context of other films at the time as a magnifying glass, the pair clarify in vivid detail what the film meant then to what it means now.

    Approximate time of episodes: 120 minutes

    Number of episodes: 800+

  • Wondery's 'Inside' Series

    All of Inside The Exorcist, Inside Psycho and Inside Jaws (so far) chronicle a classic film’s life from the first pitch made to the studio to the impact its made on the word at large since its release. On the most recent Inside series, the eight-episode installment traced Steven Spielberg’s connection to the blockbuster Jaws, delved into the infamous shark that didn’t work on set and ended with a conversation with the film's co-writer Carl Gottlieb. Film history buffs will appreciate the podcast’s attention to detail as well as the storytelling techniques to bring out the most of a film’s legacy.

    Approximate time of episodes: 30 minutes

    Number of episodes: 20+

  • 'The Next Picture Show'

    From the team at Filmspotting, this roundtable podcast folds together the past and present in moviemaking to shine a light on the similarities and differences in today’s films with those entrenched in nostalgia. Former episodes include a two-parter delving into the recently released The Meg and its allusions to the 1975 summer blockbuster Jaws, as well as a conversation on Incredibles 2 and its spy-like attributes that echoes 1964’s Goldfinger.

    Approximate time of episodes: 120 minutes, split into two 60-minute parts

    Number of episodes: 100+

  • 'The No Film School Podcast'

    For aspiring filmmakers, The No Film School Podcast is a one-stop shop for insider knowledge of how some of their favorite films were actually made, from pre-production to post. The podcasts holds conversations with creatives like Winter’s Bone director Debra Granik on the rigors of a shooting schedule, or actors likes Nick Offerman on the symbiotic relationship with directors.

    Approximate time of episodes: 45 minutes

    Number of episodes: 50+

  • 'The Rewatchables'

    The Ringer podcast network’s The Rewatchables uses a blend of lively banter and thoughtful criticism to put movies that may or may not be in the social consciousness to the test. Weekly, with an array of Ringer staffers, movies like Jurassic Park and Get Out are given a series of categories like "best scene" and "would the movie be better with Danny Trejo?" to playfully and yet insightfully place a project in the hierarchy of American cinema. There will be tangents. There will be callbacks. And the one thing you can always count on are personal anecdotes, like a childhood connection to the movie that puts the film into context about why or why not it should matter to you.

    Approximate time of episodes: 90 minutes

    Number of episodes: 35+

  • 'Unspooled'

    In 1998, to commemorate 100 years of filmmaking, the American Film Institute released its list of 100 of the greatest American movies of all time. In 2018, actor-comedian Paul Scheer and film critic Amy Nicholson have taken it upon themselves to watch every single one of them. The goal: get to the core of why they are on the list in the first place. Episodes so far have focused on movies like The Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane and Singin' in the Rain.

    Approximate time of episodes: 60 minutes

    Number of episodes: 15+

  • 'I Was There Too'

    Only a very select few can say they’ve been on the set of Saving Private Ryan or Space Jam, so when someone spills the secrets of what it was like working with the likes of Tom Hanks and Michael Jordan, it’s a chance for listeners to feel like they were there too. This Earwolf podcast transports a listener to famed film sets without the hassle of leaving their home.

    Approximate time of episodes: 60 minutes

    Number of episodes: 10, with past episodes archived with Stitcher Premium.