Episodes
For her first movie role, Lucy wears a flesh-toned bodysuit and waist-length blonde wig while chained to a rock. But her clowning on set gets her noticed, and she begins to land larger and larger parts. Soon she signs with RKO Pictures where she's mentored by Ginger Rogers’ demanding and powerful mother, Lela. She also meets a young Cuban musician, the man who would become her closest partner both on and off the screen.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 10/26/21
Lucy heads back to Broadway where she meets her first girlboss: fashion baroness Hattie Carnegie, who hires Lucy to model coats and dresses for New York high society. But a mysterious ailment sends Lucy home to Jamestown, followed by a bizarre medical treatment. Still determined to make it in the big city, Lucy returns to Manhattan one more and is discovered on the streets, landing the role that would kickstart her career. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 10/19/21
In a small town in New York, young Lucille Ball becomes enamored with showbiz after watching vaudeville acts and silent movies at the amusement park near her home. As a teenager, she falls for a handsome 21-year-old bootlegger, and is promptly shipped off to drama school in New York City. But Lucy soon returns home as a life-altering tragedy threatens to tear apart her family.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 10/12/21
From her early years as a model to her triumphant takeover of television, this is the story of Lucille Ball, as never heard before. Join host Ben Mankiewicz as he delves into the private world of America’s funniest redhead and hear for yourself the many triumphs and tragedies, with surprising revelations at every turn. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 09/07/21
Author Julie Salamon joins TCM Host Alicia Malone for a revealing interview about what you didn’t hear during our second season of The Plot Thickens. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 08/24/21
The Bonfire of the Vanities tanks with both critics and the moviegoing public.  Brian De Palma leads the autopsy, trying to understand how all these smart people made all the wrong decisions.  The only upside is for Julie Salamon, whose book on the production is instantly hailed as a modern classic.  But even that success comes at a price, as not everyone is thrilled to be immortalized by the book. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 08/10/21
With production now in Los Angeles, Brian De Palma feels the pressure from prying studio executives – and from Bruce Willis, who starts directing other actors on how to be funnier.  De Palma gets some much-needed encouragement from his friend Steven Spielberg, who is an old pro at playing the Hollywood game.  Then, as post-production ramps up, studio heads see a first cut and love the film, though they have no idea how to market it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 08/03/21
As production moves to Los Angeles, the specter of sexism clouds the movie. Rumors swirl among the crew about Melanie Griffith’s plastic surgery, Kim Cattrall's weight loss, and an affair between actress Beth Broderick and director Brian De Palma. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 07/27/21
The cast shows its true colors: some are easygoing and relatable, but not Bruce Willis.  The New York shoot spirals over budget as the courtroom scene can only be shot at night, and the film’s entire opening is scrapped in favor of the most expensive Steadicam shot ever devised.  Meanwhile, Bronx residents show up to throw garbage at the filmmakers, and one irate New Yorker confronts Brian De Palma directly. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 07/20/21
Shooting hasn't even started and the movie is already under attack.  Detailed leaks and star outbursts are reported daily by a hungry press.  Bit parts, courtroom locations, snippets of dialogue, even a single shot of a plane landing at JFK – every little decision becomes a battle as the crew preps for filming. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 07/13/21
As Tom Hanks researches his role, nobody recognizes how wrong he is for the part. There's more immediate pushback against the casting of Bruce Willis, since his part was written as British.  But the hardest decision comes when the director insists that a Jewish judge be played by a Black actor, to soften the film’s racial tensions. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 07/06/21
One decision could make or break The Bonfire of the Vanities: who will play the female lead?  It comes down to two actresses – established, expensive Melanie Griffith or an unknown, alluring 19 year-old named Uma Thurman. Suddenly the producer, Peter Guber, vanishes from the scene, departing both the movie and the studio in a whirl of bad publicity. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 06/29/21
A blockbuster book, an all-star cast... what could possibly go wrong?  For our second season, we're telling the inside story of The Bonfire of the Vanities, a movie that was supposed to be a hit – but wasn't.  Come with us onto the closed set and hear actual recordings of Brian De Palma, Tom Hanks, Melanie Griffith and others, to find out how a highly-anticipated film became a cautionary tale for the ages. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 06/09/21
We've got two new seasons coming your way in 2021, and the first is dropping soon.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 05/05/21
TCM host Alicia Malone hosts a conversation with Peter Bogdanovich and Ben Mankiewicz, who share memorable stories and answer questions from listeners about Season 1 of The Plot Thickens. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 11/02/20
Join us on Thursday, August 27 for a free virtual event as Peter Bogdanovich, Ben Mankiewicz and Alicia Malone share memorable stories, great conversation and answer your questions about Season 1 of The Plot Thickens. Visit tcm.com/event to learn more.
Published 08/14/20
Highlights from Peter Bogdanovich’s interviews with three of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars, who talk about the unique challenges of working with director and legendary curmudgeon John Ford.
Published 07/14/20
Peter Bogdanovich sits down with one of his filmmaking heroes, Alfred Hitchcock, for a wide-ranging conversation about Psycho, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Rear Window and more.  Plus, Hitchcock shares stories about being arrested as a child, appearing in his own movies, and why he doesn’t like eggs.
Published 06/30/20
For our first bonus episode, Peter Bogdanovich interviews director Howard Hawks in the Palm Springs desert in April 1972.  Hawks tells Peter how he got started in showbiz and provides insight into many of his best movies, including Rio Bravo, The Dawn Patrol, His Girl Friday, Hatari! and Scarface.
Published 06/16/20
Grief-stricken for years, Peter finally goes back behind the camera and ends up shooting one of his most popular films.  But he sues the studio before the movie is released, further endangering his career.  While trying to recover, Peter once again becomes a target of the press after he marries Dorothy’s sister.
Published 06/02/20
Alone for the first time, Peter finds love in an unexpected place: the Playboy Mansion.  His passionate romance with Playmate Dorothy Stratten ignites his creativity, culminating in his best movie in years.  But Peter’s life is forever changed by a devastating murder and a series of disastrous financial decisions.
Published 05/26/20
Feeling betrayed, Orson Welles humiliates Peter on national television.  So Peter heads overseas to shoot a daring new movie, filming in secret to evade government censors.  While his career starts to recover, he embarks on an affair with his new leading lady – causing his relationship with Cybill to crumble.
Published 05/19/20
Following The Last Picture Show, Peter directs two more major hits, What’s Up, Doc? and Paper Moon.  But then his wife leaves him, and his next three movies are high-profile flops.  As his relationship with Cybill is splashed across the tabloids, Peter finds himself despised by the public and ostracized in Hollywood.
Published 05/12/20
Peter challenges himself to film an “unfilmmable” book and creates one of the seminal movies of the 1970s: The Last Picture Show.  His actors win Academy Awards and the accolades pour in, including comparisons to Orson Welles himself.  But Peter risks losing his family after an affair with his leading lady, Cybill Shepherd.
Published 05/05/20
Peter meets Polly Platt, his closest creative collaborator – and soon, his young wife.  The newlyweds drive across the country to break into the movie business, starting with a low-budget directing gig for Roger Corman.  And Peter finally encounters Orson Welles, who becomes an important mentor to the eager young filmmaker.
Published 04/28/20