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Red Time For Bonzo: A Marxist-Reaganist Film Podcast (Ronald Reagan Filmography)

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Red Time For Bonzo: A Marxist-Reaganist Film Podcast (Ronald Reagan Filmography)
Red Time For Bonzo: A Marxist-Reaganist Film Podcast (Ronald Reagan Filmography)

Red Time For Bonzo: A Marxist-Reaganist Film Podcast (Ronald Reagan Filmography)

Romy-Gareth-David

1
Followers
0
Plays
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About Us

At last, it's the Revanchist Left American Studies project you've been pining for since November 4, 1980! Join Romy, Gareth and David on a vitriolic voyage through Ronald Reagan's filmic oeuvre.Consider this an audio cease-and-desist missive to the hordes of "#Resistance" tweeters who've seen fit to critique the Trump regime with soothing prune-faced Gipper memes. Ronald Reagan was not a "moderate", and the fact that anyone in our cohort thinks he was only goes to demonstrate the magnitude of his grim hegemonic coup. The time has come to reclaim the discourse from the criminals who plopped The Great Communicator atop the electoral Christmas Tree in the Fall of 1980, and have been hogging 99% of the gifts ever since. Our humble thesis? Want to deploy Reagan against Trump and late capitalism? Go to it! Just use his filmography instead. Or, better yet, let us do it for you.

Latest Episodes

Episode 16A: Hell’s Kitchen (1939)

After a long winter’s recording layoff, the Red Time For Bonzo crew reassembles to discuss Hell’s Kitchen, a Warner Dead End Kids programmer powered by the studio’s characteristic Late New Deal fervor. The Gipper doesn’t have a whole lot to do in this remake of 1933’s The Mayor of Hell, but he once again finds himself playing a mediating role as the collegiate consiglieri to gangster-cum-reformer Stanley Fields. Scripted by correctional connoisseur Crane Wilbur, the film traces folk hero gangster throwback Buck Caesar’s efforts to bring the light of democracy and economic justice to the benighted boy-residents of a fascistic Father Flanagan-style charity workhouse. Along the way, we get some bravura mugging from daemonic delinquents Leo Gorcey, Billy Halop, Bobby Jordan (et al); a little perfunctory romance between Reagan and Margaret Lindsay; some stirring speeches about the country’s destiny now that Republican nihilism has been thoroughly overcome; and some Simon Legree level villainy from stuffed shirted white collar criminal Grant Mitchell (whose agonizing pup poaching scene will leave lesions on your heart). Novel suggestion: Peter Delacorte'sTime on My Hands Follow us at: Follow Romy on Twitter at@rahrahtempleton Follow Gareth on Twitter at@helenreddymades Follow David on Twitter at@milescoverdale

109 MINMAR 5
Comments
Episode 16A: Hell’s Kitchen (1939)

Episode 15B: The Hasty Heart (1949)

Based on John Patrick’s popular 1945 play, The Hasty Heart became a smash screen hit four years later – taking an already-Cold-War-weary public back to the waning days of a marginally less cynical conflict. Our characters are convalescing British Empire conscripts at a MASH unit in Burma – along with one gruff, pragmatic “Yank” (Reagan, dusting off his Brother Rat roommate persona). All of the acting accolades went to Richard Todd, as a singularly standoffish Scot, who refuses to reveal what’s under his kilt, but shows his ass anytime anyone tries to speak to him. Only one member of our panel found the film (which takes a pretty unique approach to the “days are numbered” drama) particularly affecting, but everyone had something to say about it. The Gipper once again offers top-notch support to a star who is doing more of the obvious heavy lifting, effortlessly embodying the audience’s changing perspective on the damaged young man at the heart of the tale. The film displays ...

69 MINFEB 10
Comments
Episode 15B: The Hasty Heart (1949)

Episode 15A: Naughty But Nice (1939)

The Gipper’s fourth and final supporting appearance in a Dick Powell buffoon-and-crooner finds Reagan headed in the wrong direction down the cast list. To be fair, it’s quite an assemblage, with Ann Sheridan, Helen Broderick, Allen Jenkins, ZaSu Pitts, Gale Page, Granville Bates, William B. Davidson, “Slapsie Maxie” Rosenbloom, and Quarter-Million-Dollar-Moustache-Man Jerry Colonna hoovering up most of the comedic oxygen. The film also benefits from a set of mildly diverting novelty tunes by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer (including the immortal “Hooray For Spinach”). Less of an asset is a Wald and Macaulay script afflicted by an excess of insistent tics. Every single character – with the possible exception of Reagan’s small-time music publisher – has some dementedly distinctive hitch in their palaver. Fans of Gareth’s theory of Reagan-as-mediating figure will find a great deal of support for the contention in this one, wherein the actor practically evaporates into the eth...

82 MINFEB 5
Comments
Episode 15A: Naughty But Nice (1939)

Episode 14B: Louisa (1950)

The Gipper’s slow segue out of the Warner fold began with this tone-setting suburban sitcom for Universal-International. Part of his new sometime-studio’s “Big Push” at the dawn of the television decade, Louisa shows how easily Reagan might have stepped into a Father Knows Best/My Three Sons-style second career. If only he had done so, American (and Canadian) marginal tax rates might still be at 70%. As usual (and as per Gareth’s thesis), Reagan mainly holds down the stage for the benefit of his co-stars, occupying a crucially colorless space between the coming and the going generations. The latter group includes Spring Byington (in the title role), Edmund Gwenn and Charles Coburn - reworking their love-triangle dynamics from the immortal Devil and Miss Jones. At the other end of the scale, we find debuting Piper Laurie, tragic Scotty Beckett, and little Jimmy Hunt with his big radio. The film runs a brilliant reverse-play on the viewer, feinting toward some kind of a send-up o...

95 MINJAN 26
Comments
Episode 14B: Louisa (1950)

Episode 14A: Code of the Secret Service (1939)

It’s the return of Brass Bancroft! (In Reagan’s own least favorite of his films.) This episode was recorded on August 27th, 2018, with your humble panel suffering through the embarrassing Ballet McCainique that had a stranglehold on the American media that week. After venting our collective spleens on that particular topic, we turn our attention to the film at hand – also kind of an embarrassment to Warner’s vaunted Foy unit. They fell down on the job here. In The Films of Ronald Reagan, Tony Thomas contends that both Foy and his star asked the studio not to release it. They compromised by releasing it everywhere except in Los Angeles. A better compromise might’ve been to rework it a little – but, hey, whaddya want? They made these movies in 7 days! We nevertheless found much to discuss. Lacking anything like a compelling story to distract us, we zero in on the Reagan persona – a unique synthesis of sharpie and naïf. This American character type goes back to Mark Twain (at l...

92 MINJAN 20
Comments
Episode 14A: Code of the Secret Service (1939)

Episode 13B: Storm Warning (1951)

It's Ginger Rogers, Doris Day, and the Gipper himself against the all-corrupting power of the Klan! If you listen to one episode of Red Time For Bonzo in 2019, this is the one! Also discussed: the then-impending death of John McCain (we recorded this in August 2018), the miserable life of actor Steve Cochran, the coal-fired crocodile tears of Michael Barbaro, and the ideological barrenness of anti-corruption politics. Novel suggestion: Peter Delacorte'sTime on My Hands Follow us at: Facebook Follow Romy on Twitter at@rahrahtempleton Follow Gareth on Twitter at@helenreddymades Follow David on Twitter at@milescoverdale

105 MINJAN 11
Comments
Episode 13B: Storm Warning (1951)

Episode 13A: Dark Victory (1939)

Join a radically divided panel as they discuss and dissect the biggest film Ronald Reagan made during "Hollywood's Golden Year" of 1939 -Dark Victory. Is this a prime example of "Prestige""/"Too-Extra-By-Half""/"Middlebrow"/"White Elephant" filmmaking? Or is it a gossamer haymaker born of the nearly miraculous fusion of Edmund Goulding's auteurist preoccupations and Bette Davis' acteurist ambitions? Are we to interpret Judith Traherne's autumnal days in "that pinched up little state on the wrong side of Boston" as evidence of a sad capitulation to heteronormativity? Or as an Emersonian triumph of open-air gladness to the brink of fear? One thing we did agree on is the Gipper's "epicene" effectiveness in the role of "funny old Alec", despite the moral majority darling's latter-day disdain for his own performance. What's your prognosis? Novel suggestion: Peter Delacorte'sTime on My Hands Follow us at: Facebook Follow Romy on Twitter at@rahrahtempleton Follow Gareth on Twitter at@helen...

118 MIN2018 DEC 21
Comments
Episode 13A: Dark Victory (1939)

Episode 12B: Bedtime For Bonzo (1951)

Received as an innocuous time-waster on first release,Bedtime For Bonzolater blossomed into the go-to "President Cheeto"-style resistance pseudo-witticism of the '80s. However, from your panel's point of view, this film furnishes nigh-inexhaustible avenues of inquiry into mid-20th Century American modalities and myths. Join us as we delve into/debate the semantic availability of proto-animal rights discourse in 1950 (alongside the monstrous treatment of animal actors themselves), the reconstitution/invention of the nuclear family in post-World War II suburbia, the amorphous language of populist protest, the figure of the “Egghead”, the ever-present threat of eugenicide, the New Model Moguldom of MCA/Universal maestro Lew Wasserman, and the defensibility of human species exceptionalism itself. Also: Romy urges the team to pin down the Gipper’s sexual persona; Gareth finds ample support for his Reagan-as-mediating-figure thesis; and Dave celebrates the career of Walter Slezak. Ever...

83 MIN2018 DEC 13
Comments
Episode 12B: Bedtime For Bonzo (1951)

Episode 12A: Secret Service of the Air (1939)

This week, we find the Gipper embarking upon his self-described "Errol Flynn of the Bs" period with the first of 4 "Brass Bancroft" not-so-extra-vaganzas. Loosely based on "material compiled" from the memoranda of ex-Secret Service honcho W.H. Moran (a close second in sexiness to Admiral Chester Nimitz), the films deliver a nice little wallop on behalf of the New Deal Deep State. This unassuming programmer comes out swinging with a scene of callous criminality that's sure to shock even the most jaded connoisseur of contemporary borderland psychosis. The rest of the film doesn't quite live up to its demented overture, but it zips along at a nice clip (at least when Little Foy Lost Eddie Jr.'s limp clowning isn't center stage) and it certainly marked a step up in the studio standings for its aspiring star. The film also features the brilliant James Stephenson in a sinister supporting role,Ila Rhodes as the fungible fiancee, Rosella Towne as a rather more interesting trysting partner, ...

127 MIN2018 DEC 5
Comments
Episode 12A: Secret Service of the Air (1939)

Episode 11B: The Last Outpost (1951)

The Last OutpostakaCavalry Chargeis the quintessential (although certainly not the best) "Civil War Western", a staple mid-century genre which performed yeoman ideological work on a pair of dubious fronts: 1. Doubling down (often literally, by offering up equally likable brothers on either side of the conflict) on the "revisionist" take on the "War Between The States" that dominated the historiography from the 1920s into the early 1960s; and 2. painting the "unsettled" western frontier as the staging ground for a post-bellum American "reunification" through genocidal race war against the region's rightful inhabitants. The Gipper delivers a terrific performance as Capt. Vance Britten, a character whose psychological underpinnings are so vile that they cannot even be acknowledged by the film. He's a dashing Baltimorean who has crossed over to the Rebels as "a matter of principle". What principle? Well, it's not defending his state, obviously, since Maryland remained within the Union. ...

101 MIN2018 NOV 28
Comments
Episode 11B: The Last Outpost (1951)

Latest Episodes

Episode 16A: Hell’s Kitchen (1939)

After a long winter’s recording layoff, the Red Time For Bonzo crew reassembles to discuss Hell’s Kitchen, a Warner Dead End Kids programmer powered by the studio’s characteristic Late New Deal fervor. The Gipper doesn’t have a whole lot to do in this remake of 1933’s The Mayor of Hell, but he once again finds himself playing a mediating role as the collegiate consiglieri to gangster-cum-reformer Stanley Fields. Scripted by correctional connoisseur Crane Wilbur, the film traces folk hero gangster throwback Buck Caesar’s efforts to bring the light of democracy and economic justice to the benighted boy-residents of a fascistic Father Flanagan-style charity workhouse. Along the way, we get some bravura mugging from daemonic delinquents Leo Gorcey, Billy Halop, Bobby Jordan (et al); a little perfunctory romance between Reagan and Margaret Lindsay; some stirring speeches about the country’s destiny now that Republican nihilism has been thoroughly overcome; and some Simon Legree level villainy from stuffed shirted white collar criminal Grant Mitchell (whose agonizing pup poaching scene will leave lesions on your heart). Novel suggestion: Peter Delacorte'sTime on My Hands Follow us at: Follow Romy on Twitter at@rahrahtempleton Follow Gareth on Twitter at@helenreddymades Follow David on Twitter at@milescoverdale

109 MINMAR 5
Comments
Episode 16A: Hell’s Kitchen (1939)

Episode 15B: The Hasty Heart (1949)

Based on John Patrick’s popular 1945 play, The Hasty Heart became a smash screen hit four years later – taking an already-Cold-War-weary public back to the waning days of a marginally less cynical conflict. Our characters are convalescing British Empire conscripts at a MASH unit in Burma – along with one gruff, pragmatic “Yank” (Reagan, dusting off his Brother Rat roommate persona). All of the acting accolades went to Richard Todd, as a singularly standoffish Scot, who refuses to reveal what’s under his kilt, but shows his ass anytime anyone tries to speak to him. Only one member of our panel found the film (which takes a pretty unique approach to the “days are numbered” drama) particularly affecting, but everyone had something to say about it. The Gipper once again offers top-notch support to a star who is doing more of the obvious heavy lifting, effortlessly embodying the audience’s changing perspective on the damaged young man at the heart of the tale. The film displays ...

69 MINFEB 10
Comments
Episode 15B: The Hasty Heart (1949)

Episode 15A: Naughty But Nice (1939)

The Gipper’s fourth and final supporting appearance in a Dick Powell buffoon-and-crooner finds Reagan headed in the wrong direction down the cast list. To be fair, it’s quite an assemblage, with Ann Sheridan, Helen Broderick, Allen Jenkins, ZaSu Pitts, Gale Page, Granville Bates, William B. Davidson, “Slapsie Maxie” Rosenbloom, and Quarter-Million-Dollar-Moustache-Man Jerry Colonna hoovering up most of the comedic oxygen. The film also benefits from a set of mildly diverting novelty tunes by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer (including the immortal “Hooray For Spinach”). Less of an asset is a Wald and Macaulay script afflicted by an excess of insistent tics. Every single character – with the possible exception of Reagan’s small-time music publisher – has some dementedly distinctive hitch in their palaver. Fans of Gareth’s theory of Reagan-as-mediating figure will find a great deal of support for the contention in this one, wherein the actor practically evaporates into the eth...

82 MINFEB 5
Comments
Episode 15A: Naughty But Nice (1939)

Episode 14B: Louisa (1950)

The Gipper’s slow segue out of the Warner fold began with this tone-setting suburban sitcom for Universal-International. Part of his new sometime-studio’s “Big Push” at the dawn of the television decade, Louisa shows how easily Reagan might have stepped into a Father Knows Best/My Three Sons-style second career. If only he had done so, American (and Canadian) marginal tax rates might still be at 70%. As usual (and as per Gareth’s thesis), Reagan mainly holds down the stage for the benefit of his co-stars, occupying a crucially colorless space between the coming and the going generations. The latter group includes Spring Byington (in the title role), Edmund Gwenn and Charles Coburn - reworking their love-triangle dynamics from the immortal Devil and Miss Jones. At the other end of the scale, we find debuting Piper Laurie, tragic Scotty Beckett, and little Jimmy Hunt with his big radio. The film runs a brilliant reverse-play on the viewer, feinting toward some kind of a send-up o...

95 MINJAN 26
Comments
Episode 14B: Louisa (1950)

Episode 14A: Code of the Secret Service (1939)

It’s the return of Brass Bancroft! (In Reagan’s own least favorite of his films.) This episode was recorded on August 27th, 2018, with your humble panel suffering through the embarrassing Ballet McCainique that had a stranglehold on the American media that week. After venting our collective spleens on that particular topic, we turn our attention to the film at hand – also kind of an embarrassment to Warner’s vaunted Foy unit. They fell down on the job here. In The Films of Ronald Reagan, Tony Thomas contends that both Foy and his star asked the studio not to release it. They compromised by releasing it everywhere except in Los Angeles. A better compromise might’ve been to rework it a little – but, hey, whaddya want? They made these movies in 7 days! We nevertheless found much to discuss. Lacking anything like a compelling story to distract us, we zero in on the Reagan persona – a unique synthesis of sharpie and naïf. This American character type goes back to Mark Twain (at l...

92 MINJAN 20
Comments
Episode 14A: Code of the Secret Service (1939)

Episode 13B: Storm Warning (1951)

It's Ginger Rogers, Doris Day, and the Gipper himself against the all-corrupting power of the Klan! If you listen to one episode of Red Time For Bonzo in 2019, this is the one! Also discussed: the then-impending death of John McCain (we recorded this in August 2018), the miserable life of actor Steve Cochran, the coal-fired crocodile tears of Michael Barbaro, and the ideological barrenness of anti-corruption politics. Novel suggestion: Peter Delacorte'sTime on My Hands Follow us at: Facebook Follow Romy on Twitter at@rahrahtempleton Follow Gareth on Twitter at@helenreddymades Follow David on Twitter at@milescoverdale

105 MINJAN 11
Comments
Episode 13B: Storm Warning (1951)

Episode 13A: Dark Victory (1939)

Join a radically divided panel as they discuss and dissect the biggest film Ronald Reagan made during "Hollywood's Golden Year" of 1939 -Dark Victory. Is this a prime example of "Prestige""/"Too-Extra-By-Half""/"Middlebrow"/"White Elephant" filmmaking? Or is it a gossamer haymaker born of the nearly miraculous fusion of Edmund Goulding's auteurist preoccupations and Bette Davis' acteurist ambitions? Are we to interpret Judith Traherne's autumnal days in "that pinched up little state on the wrong side of Boston" as evidence of a sad capitulation to heteronormativity? Or as an Emersonian triumph of open-air gladness to the brink of fear? One thing we did agree on is the Gipper's "epicene" effectiveness in the role of "funny old Alec", despite the moral majority darling's latter-day disdain for his own performance. What's your prognosis? Novel suggestion: Peter Delacorte'sTime on My Hands Follow us at: Facebook Follow Romy on Twitter at@rahrahtempleton Follow Gareth on Twitter at@helen...

118 MIN2018 DEC 21
Comments
Episode 13A: Dark Victory (1939)

Episode 12B: Bedtime For Bonzo (1951)

Received as an innocuous time-waster on first release,Bedtime For Bonzolater blossomed into the go-to "President Cheeto"-style resistance pseudo-witticism of the '80s. However, from your panel's point of view, this film furnishes nigh-inexhaustible avenues of inquiry into mid-20th Century American modalities and myths. Join us as we delve into/debate the semantic availability of proto-animal rights discourse in 1950 (alongside the monstrous treatment of animal actors themselves), the reconstitution/invention of the nuclear family in post-World War II suburbia, the amorphous language of populist protest, the figure of the “Egghead”, the ever-present threat of eugenicide, the New Model Moguldom of MCA/Universal maestro Lew Wasserman, and the defensibility of human species exceptionalism itself. Also: Romy urges the team to pin down the Gipper’s sexual persona; Gareth finds ample support for his Reagan-as-mediating-figure thesis; and Dave celebrates the career of Walter Slezak. Ever...

83 MIN2018 DEC 13
Comments
Episode 12B: Bedtime For Bonzo (1951)

Episode 12A: Secret Service of the Air (1939)

This week, we find the Gipper embarking upon his self-described "Errol Flynn of the Bs" period with the first of 4 "Brass Bancroft" not-so-extra-vaganzas. Loosely based on "material compiled" from the memoranda of ex-Secret Service honcho W.H. Moran (a close second in sexiness to Admiral Chester Nimitz), the films deliver a nice little wallop on behalf of the New Deal Deep State. This unassuming programmer comes out swinging with a scene of callous criminality that's sure to shock even the most jaded connoisseur of contemporary borderland psychosis. The rest of the film doesn't quite live up to its demented overture, but it zips along at a nice clip (at least when Little Foy Lost Eddie Jr.'s limp clowning isn't center stage) and it certainly marked a step up in the studio standings for its aspiring star. The film also features the brilliant James Stephenson in a sinister supporting role,Ila Rhodes as the fungible fiancee, Rosella Towne as a rather more interesting trysting partner, ...

127 MIN2018 DEC 5
Comments
Episode 12A: Secret Service of the Air (1939)

Episode 11B: The Last Outpost (1951)

The Last OutpostakaCavalry Chargeis the quintessential (although certainly not the best) "Civil War Western", a staple mid-century genre which performed yeoman ideological work on a pair of dubious fronts: 1. Doubling down (often literally, by offering up equally likable brothers on either side of the conflict) on the "revisionist" take on the "War Between The States" that dominated the historiography from the 1920s into the early 1960s; and 2. painting the "unsettled" western frontier as the staging ground for a post-bellum American "reunification" through genocidal race war against the region's rightful inhabitants. The Gipper delivers a terrific performance as Capt. Vance Britten, a character whose psychological underpinnings are so vile that they cannot even be acknowledged by the film. He's a dashing Baltimorean who has crossed over to the Rebels as "a matter of principle". What principle? Well, it's not defending his state, obviously, since Maryland remained within the Union. ...

101 MIN2018 NOV 28
Comments
Episode 11B: The Last Outpost (1951)