20 episodes

Welcome to The Plot Thickens, a documentary podcast from Turner Classic Movies. Each season we'll bring you a story about the movies and the people who make them.

The Plot Thickens TCM

    • TV & Film
    • 4.6 • 2.8K Ratings

Welcome to The Plot Thickens, a documentary podcast from Turner Classic Movies. Each season we'll bring you a story about the movies and the people who make them.

    Hollywood Heat

    Hollywood Heat

    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.

    • 34 min
    Wire Without a Net

    Wire Without a Net

    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.

    • 42 min
    The War Zone

    The War Zone

    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.

    • 40 min
    Reaching for the Stars – and Paying the Price

    Reaching for the Stars – and Paying the Price

    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.

    • 40 min
    Lighting the Fire

    Lighting the Fire

    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.

    • 46 min
    Introducing The Devil's Candy

    Introducing The Devil's Candy

    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.

    • 4 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
2.8K Ratings

2.8K Ratings

Rebaldo1 ,

Bonfire Should Have Been A Mini Series

I worked on Bonfire and it was completely miscast and an exercise of blindly throwing money against the wall for the most part. Everyone knew it wasn’t working, except one WB executive.

The novel was 700 pages of rock solid material with scores of great characters. It simply could not be reduced to two hours. A ten hour miniseries could have been brilliant. Twenty hours even better.

The podcast is an excellent cautionary tale of corporate filmmaking where quantitative concerns skew the qualitative.

It does play well as a spoof of a spoof though.

Nagymomma ,

Bonfire of the Vanities

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I guess it was all the behind-the-scenes crap that made it a flop. This podcast was very enlightening.

bridgetbibi ,

Great film insight!

Really love this podcast! The first season was a great deep dive on a great director and his unique story. Loving the second season too! Didn’t know what to expect with the format change but still enjoying it!

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