Episodes
Published 02/09/24
Film scholars Racquel Gates and Donald Bogle detail the rise and fall of Blaxploitation, and how Pam Grier transcended the genre and stayed iconic for decades afterwards. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/07/23
Legendary stunt performers Jadie David and Bob Minor go in-depth about their most dangerous stunts, working with Pam Grier, and breaking through as Black stuntpeople in the early 70s. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/24/23
Ben Mankiewicz speaks to TCM host and Director and President of The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Jacqueline Stewart about Pam Grier's star image, the legacy of Blaxploitation, and meeting Pam at the TCM Classic Film Festival. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/10/23
More from Ben Mankiewicz’s interview with Quentin Tarantino, who speaks about making Jackie Brown, enjoying Blaxploitation, and first seeing Pam when he was an impressionable 10 year-old boy. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 12/13/22
After receiving a devastating diagnosis, Pam leaves Hollywood and heads home to Colorado. But she’s lured back into the spotlight when the hottest director in Hollywood gives her the role of a lifetime. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 12/06/22
Pam finds love on a movie set when she’s cast opposite superstar comedian Richard Pryor. She sets out to change Richard’s self-destructive ways, and succeeds – for a little while. She then immerses herself in a difficult new role, a role that gives her nightmares but could spark a comeback. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 11/29/22
As the Blaxploitation craze comes to an end, Pam fights for better roles and hobnobs with the biggest names in showbiz. She meets the love of her life, a hot young comedian named Freddie Prinze -- whose personal demons lead to heartbreak and tragedy. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 11/22/22
Pam is almost killed when a horse goes wild on the set of a gladiator movie. But instead of losing her life, she meets a new friend, who just happens to be one of the most famous filmmakers in the world. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 11/18/22
Pam’s career hits new heights as Black-themed movies take the country by storm.  She stars in four low-budget films in the span of one year, including two bonafide hits: Coffy and Foxy Brown.  Yet her celebrity is tied to controversy, as Blaxploitation gets criticized by the Black community and snubbed by the Hollywood establishment. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 11/15/22
Pam heads to the Philippines to star in a pair of “women in prison” movies, where she endures volatile weather, skimpy costumes, and cobra encounters. She studies acting and learns everything she can about filmmaking, and her raw talent is soon recognized on the set. But Pam’s relationship with Kareem is tested when his religious convictions clash with her feminist ideals. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 11/08/22
Newly arrived in Los Angeles, Pam learns underground filmmaking at UCLA and sings backup for some of the biggest musical acts of the 60s. She also has her first serious romance, with a towering basketball phenom named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Then, a chance audition for a low-budget movie leads to Pam’s first opportunity in front of the camera, as an actor. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 11/01/22
Growing up in Colorado, young Pam Grier endures racism and trauma, but finds solace in horses and the beautiful countryside.  As a teen, she visits Los Angeles for the first time, and gets caught in the middle of the historic Watts Rebellion.  But after winning a beauty pageant, she meets a Hollywood agent who encourages her to give L.A. a second chance. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 10/25/22
This is the story of Pam Grier as only she can tell it. Her sudden stardom, her iconic roles, her fights against the system. It’s a story of bravery, both onscreen and off. It’s a story about race in Hollywood and race in America. And it’s a story about how real life is a lot messier than the movies. Pam Grier joins host Ben Mankiewicz for a new season of The Plot Thickens, starting October 25. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 10/04/22
Ben Mankiewicz speaks with the Oscar-winning actor about playing William Frawley in Being the Ricardos, and how Frawley's tumultuous relationship with Vivian Vance informed the characters of Fred and Ethel Mertz. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/01/22
Ben Mankiewicz speaks to three celebrity fans about how they were influenced by Lucille Ball, Lucy’s incredible talent for physical comedy, and why I Love Lucy is still beloved today. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/25/22
Ben Mankiewicz speaks to Aaron Sorkin, the writer-director of Being the Ricardos, about what drew him to Lucy’s story, Lucy and Desi’s intense relationship, and the danger they faced when HUAC thought Lucy was a communist.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/11/22
More from Ben Mankiewicz's fascinating interview with Lucie Arnaz, who speaks about working with her mom, growing up on the RKO studio lot, and what made I Love Lucy special. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 12/21/21
Lucy sinks into a depression after the failure of her newest show and becomes a reclusive, fiercely competitive backgammon player. Yet she's still revered, and following a memorable final appearance at the Academy Awards, her heart gives out. As the memorials pour in, the public clamors to learn everything about her life, while those closest to her wonder if they ever really knew her at all. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 12/14/21
Escaping Hollywood after her split, Lucy heads east for a chance to star on Broadway. There she meets a new man, a Borscht Belt comedian with a bad toupee and even worse business sense. The new couple returns to Hollywood when Lucy takes on a surprising new role: as the first female head of a major studio. But she still prefers acting, and makes plans to return to the big screen – with disastrous results. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 12/07/21
Lucy and Desi's studio expands as they buy the RKO lot and produce new shows under the Desilu banner. The strain of running an empire takes its toll, and Desi falls further into gambling, drinking and philandering as a refuge from work. Lucy doubles down on her career, but after shooting a tearful final episode of her signature TV show, her marriage reaches its breaking point. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 11/30/21
At the height of Lucy’s popularity, the government kicks off a political investigation that threatens to ruin her career. Why had Lucy registered as a communist 20 years earlier? On the verge of her being blacklisted, Desi goes on the offensive to save his wife and their livelihood.  But his infidelities soon become tabloid fodder, and their love affair begins to crumble in full view of the public.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 11/23/21