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History Podcasts

Join a Marine Veteran, a film critic, and a theater director as they laugh, argue, and explore the history of humanity's triumphs and tragedies through war films old and new. War is Hell. People make films about it. And we love to talk about them.


United States


Join a Marine Veteran, a film critic, and a theater director as they laugh, argue, and explore the history of humanity's triumphs and tragedies through war films old and new. War is Hell. People make films about it. And we love to talk about them.




Iron Eagle (1986)

1986 was a landmark year for military aviation in cinema. Top Gun came out in May, the very start of the Summer blockbuster season, and immediately boosted Navy recruitment by 10 bajillion percent. That’s not an approximation, those are the official figures from the Navy. 10 bajillion percent. People flocked to this movie, and who could blame them? It was the perfect synthesis of Cool, Sex, Militarism, and Cinema. In Reagan Era America, it was a guaranteed recipe for success. Or was it?...


Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

One of the most famous and most successful retellings of one of the most infamous and highly mythologized incidents in the history of the British Navy, this 1935 adaptation of the novel by Charles Nordhoff and James Newton Hall might be a little old-fashioned for most modern audiences, both in its acting styles and in its special effects. But it was a force to be reckoned with at the 9th annual Academy Awards, winning Best Picture and scoring 3 nominations for its three lead actors in a...


The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

One of Michael Mann’s most beloved films, this is the most recent and most enduring of ELEVEN screen adaptations of the historical fiction novel by James Fenimore Cooper, and it takes us to a war we seldom see depicted elsewhere in cinema: The French and Indian War in North America. It follows the journey of the last members of the vanishing Mohican people as they venture through the breathtaking forests and mountains of Northeastern North America in 1757, while Britain and France fight for...


Das Boot (1981)

For our first Wolfgang Peterson film, we decided to cover what is often touted as the best submarine film ever, and one that is on most people’s Top Ten War Film lists. Starring a young Jürgen Prochnow as the Captain of U-96 and a cast of mostly unknown actors as his crew, this is the thrilling story of one German submarine crew in the Battle of the Atlantic, stalking Allied cargo and military ships in an effort to reduce their enemies’ combat effectiveness and disrupt their supply chains....


All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

With a screenplay based on Erich Maria Remarque’s immensely popular book, first published in 1929, director Edward Berger has taken on the daunting task of leading the first German team to take this story to the big screen. It is written, directed, and portrayed by Germans, and offers a unique perspective to the war film genre: that of a country who started, and lost, two world wars, at a great cost to their own people. World War I had a devastating effect on “the lost generation” all around...


BONUS EPISODE: Fright Pub: Last Night in Soho (2021)

To give our fans some additional content while we are operating on a reduced release schedule - and in honor of Halloween - we are dropping an episode of our sister Horror Movie podcast, Fright Pub, into the main feed. Listen as Liam, Shaggy, and Lauren drink adult beverages and discuss a different horror movie each week. In this episode, recorded this past April, they discuss Edgar Wright's 2021 slick retro horror. You can find all the other fun episodes of Fright Pub at:...


The Hunt for Red October (1990)

The year is 1990. The Cold War is in full swing, and the threat of thermonuclear world war is ever present. The Soviet Union is…wait…what? Oh the Berlin Wall came down last year? And the Soviet Union is rapidly dissolving? The Iron Curtain is being lifted? Ok then… Checks production notes… The year is 1984. The Cold war is in full swing, and the threat of thermonuclear world war is ever present. The Soviet Union is eagerly deploying a new submarine technology that could tip the delicate...


Mister Roberts (1955)

A classic example of the once popular "Service Comedy" genre, this hit film was adapted from a hit stage play, in turn adapted from a hit novel. Henry Fonda reprises his role from the stage play as the titular Lieutenant (j.g.) Roberts, alongside a young and hilarious Jack Lemmon playing Ensign Pulver, and our first time with James Cagney as the insufferable Captain guarding his beloved palm tree. Almost none of the actors are age appropriate for their roles, and some of the humor lands...


Apocalypse Now (1979)

One of the first big-budget Vietnam War films from the US, the production of Francis Ford Coppola’s epic was quite a war in its own right. The shooting was fraught with issues, including filming in the Philippines where rebels interrupted the work regularly, Coppola putting $7 million of his own funds on the line, and the usual complications that come with the jungle territory, like typhoons. Add to that a main actor who almost died during filming (Martin Sheen) and a bigger than life star...


The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Finishing in second place for our third poll in a row earned this film its rightful spot in the Danger Close catalogue. Set in a Japanese prison camp in Thailand in 1943, it pits the principled Lt Col Nicholson (Alec Guinness) against the ruthless camp commandant Col Saito (Sessue Hayakawa) in a battle of character and wit. This fictional story, loosely based on real events, won seven Academy Awards, including David Lean’s first Oscar for Best Director. So whistle while you march to join us...


Beau Geste (1939)

Even in a year like 1939 - which gave us the likes of Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, and Gone with the Wind - it’s hard to believe that an Oscar-nominated action adventure from a legendary, Oscar winning director, featuring an all-star cast of future Oscar winners, would somehow get lost in the shuffle, but here we are. It’s a film most of you have probably never heard of, but it’s a rollicking yarn that disproves the theory that the remake is never better than the original. When three...


Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan (2019)

This film has been requested many times; usually by our Aussie and Kiwi listeners, and occasionally by people who think our podcast is entirely dedicated to this one film from 2019. Well-known down under, but not as much in the rest of the world, this is the story of one of the most famous battles Anzac troops fought in the Vietnam War. They were outnumbered between 10 and 20-to-1, and had it not been for their tactical decision-making, the fight could have had a very different outcome....


BONUS EPISODE: Independence Day (1996)

Get ready for an alien-invader stompin' good time! In the rare case where Liam loves a film just because it is so fun, we go back to our childhoods and reminisce over the roll-out and execution of this Roland Emerich gem. From a time when a relatively sane Randy Quaid played insane characters (as opposed to just playing himself), comes this surprisingly well-aged "War of the Worlds" style adventure. Buckle up! We are armed and ready, and we're packin! If you enjoy this episode and want to...


The Northman (2022)

Robert Egger’s third film, following The VVitch (2015) and The Lighthouse (2019), The Northman has the largest budget and the biggest scope by far. Set in the late 9th/early 10th centuries in central Europe and Iceland, this epic revenge story is undoubtedly the most thoroughly researched and most accurate Viking film to date. With a phenomenal cast that includes Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Ethan Hawke, the story goes all the way back to the Norse myths that...


A Bridge Too Far (1977)

Well, here we are again. It’s World War II. Another three-hour war film, another big ensemble cast! In some ways a follow-up to The Longest Day (also written by Cornelius Ryan), this time in color, this film depicts Operation Market Garden, which followed the Normandy Landings in September 1944. The Allies dropped forces from the First Allied Airborne Army into the Netherlands, where they would assault and hold several bridges and wait for XXX Corps of the British Second Army to bring in...


Outlaw King (2018)

From director David Mackenzie, who brought us the excellent modern western Hell or High Water in 2016, comes a retelling of the First War of Scottish Independence in the early 14th century. Taking place during and after the capture and execution of William Wallace, this film focuses on Robert the Bruce and his allies in their fight for freedom from Edward I Longshanks and from the English invasion and occupation of their homeland. Filmed entirely on location in Scotland and England, it is...


The Longest Day (1962)

Hot on the heels of our Saving Private Ryan episode, we return to the beaches of Normandy (this time filmed in Corsica) with the WWII two-time Oscar winning classic, The Longest Day. Clocking in at three hours, this is the longest film we have covered so far, and our first John Wayne flick! It has a star-studded cast that includes Richard Burton, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, and a few of our old favorites like Edmund O’Brien and Rod Steiger. They portray everyone from General Eisenhower to...


Tumbledown (1988)

Starring a young Colin Firth and probably no one else you would recognize, this film released on television in the UK six years after the conflict it depicted. We can’t blame you if you haven’t heard about the 1982 war between Argentina and the United Kingdom; after all it only lasted ten weeks. It’s known as the Falklands War to most of the world, and Guerra de las Malvinas to the Argentinians. More about trauma, recovery, and PTSD than it is about the war, Tumbledown tells the story of...


Charlotte Gray (2001)

Directed by Gillian Armstrong and starring Cate Blanchett in the titular role, this is the fictionalized story of a British SOE (Special Operations Executive) operating in Nazi-occupied France in 1942. The character is a composite of several real women who worked as spies for the Allies during this time period. She is sent on missions to deliver packages to the resistance and help blow up a train, all the while searching for her lover who was shot down behind enemy lines. A mix of spy film,...


1917 (2019)

Easily the biggest WWI film of recent memory, 1917 conjured a variety of opinions from critics and viewers alike. Its 3 Oscar wins (Cinematography, Visual Effects, and Sound Editing) and over 200 total award nominations speak for themselves. Director Sam Mendes, with Roger Deakins as Director of Photography, boldly chose to shoot and edit the film as a “simulated one-shot”, à la“Rope” or “Birdman”. Aside from the usual rivet-counting that always accompanies high-profile war films, the...