TFH Presents

The Movies That Made Me

with your hosts Josh Olson & Joe Dante

Lee Daniels

Season 04 | Episode 06

Lee Daniels

Writer / Producer / Director

Oscar-nominated writer, producer, director Lee Daniels (The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Empire, The Butler) discusses some of his favorite films with Josh & Joe.

Show Notes:

Movies Referenced In This Episode

Infested (2002)
Shadowboxer (2005)
The United States Vs. Billie Holiday (2021)
A Star Is Born (1937)
Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
Lady Sings The Blues (1972)
Island In The Sun (1957)
Carmen Jones (1954)
Claudine (1974)
Mandingo (1975)
Drum (1976)
Caligula (1979)
Gloria (1980)
The Exorcist (1973)
Abby (1974)
Blacula (1972)
Scream Blacula Scream (1973)
Cabaret (1972)
Lenny (1974)
Sounder (1972)
All That Jazz (1979)
I Am A Camera (1955)
Travels With My Aunt (1972)
The Emigrants (1971)
Star 80 (1983)
Harold And Maude (1971)
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather Part II (1974)
Pickup On South Street (1953)
In The Mood For Love (2000)
Leave Her To Heaven (1945)
Laura (1944)
Dragonwyck (1946)
The Baron of Arizona (1950)
His Kind of Woman (1951)
Explorers (1985)
Innerspace (1987)
Jack Reacher (2012)
Them (1954)
Revenge of the Creature (1955)
Tarantula! (1955)
Coogan’s Bluff (1968)
Going In Style (1979)
Going In Style (2017)
Judas And The Black Messiah (2021)
Stroszek (1977)
Fitzcarraldo (1982)
Land of Silence and Darkness (1971)
Cave Of Forgotten Dreams (2010)
Grizzly Man (2005)
Aguirre, The Wrath Of God (1972)
My Best Fiend (1999)
Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans (2009)
Mandy (2018)
Dreams With Sharp Teeth (2008)
A Gray State (2017)
Citizen Kane (1941)

Other Notable Items

M. David Mullen
Garrett Hedlund 
Andra Day 
Billie Holiday’s famous “Strange Fruit” performance
Joe Roth 
Jeff Kirschenbaum
Susan-Lori Parks
Mark Bomback
The Locust Street Theater in Philadelphia
Trevante Rhodes
Muhammad Ali
Frank Rizzo
Harry Belafonte
Dorothy Dandridge
Bob Mackie
Diana Ross
Billy Dee Williams
Richard Pryor
Berry Gordy
Motown Records
Lady Sings the Blues (1972)
Diahann Carroll
James Earl Jones 
Curtis Mayfield
Claudine soundtrack (1974) by Gladys Knight & the Pips 
The Criterion Collection
John Berry
Julia TV series (1968-1971)
Ken Norton
Perry King
James Mason
The Milgram Theatre in Philadelphia
Peter O’Toole
Helen Mirren
Bob Guccione 
Gore Vidal
John Cassavetes
Gena Rowlands
John Gielgud
William Marshall
Bob Fosse
Cicely Tyson
Liza Minneli
The 45th Academy Awards
Julie Harris
Christopher Isherwood
Maggie Smith
Liv Ullman
Eric Roberts
Phil Spector
Ruth Gordon
Samuel Fuller
Richard Widmark
Wong Kar-wai
The Cannes Film Festival
Vincent Price
Joseph L. Mankiewicz 
Robert Mitchum
Howard Hughes
The upcoming Shout Select Blu-ray of Explorers
The Travis McGee series
The Jack Reacher series
Tom Cruise
Christopher McQuarrie
John Sayles
Clint Eastwood
Strawberry Alarm Clock
Fred Hampton
“The Greatest Love Of All” by Whitney Houston (1985), memorably covered by Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate
Werner Herzog, a pop culture icon
The Bill Hader podcast episodes
The Sandi Tan podcast episode
Erik Nelson
Harlan Ellison
Fred Astaire

This list is also available on Letterboxd.

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About the Podcast

Filmmakers and entertainers discuss the movies that inspired them. Hosted by Oscar nominated screenwriter and TFH Guru Josh Olson and TFH Fearless Leader Joe Dante.

The Movies That Made Me is recorded live in Hollywood and engineered by film composer Don Barrett.

About The Hosts

Josh Olson was the only student in his second grade class to see The House That Dripped Blood. Many years later, he wrote and directed the no-budget horror film, INFESTED, a brutal assault on The Big Chill, with zombies. He went on to write the screenplay for A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE and was nominated for the WGA, BAFTA and Academy Awards for Best Screenplay. He kept losing to Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, but that’s okay.

He has written features and TV shows with Harlan Ellison, Walter Hill, Slash, Willie Nelson, and Mick Jagger. His Village Voice essay “I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script” became an internet phenomenon, getting upwards of five million hits.

The ten-part audio drama BRONZEVILLE which he wrote, starring Laurence Fishburne, Larenz Tate, Tracee Ellis Ross, Omari Harwicke and Tika Sumpter was a popular and critical hit, and is currently being developed for TV. He and John Brancato (THE GAME) recently wrote and sold the feature spec TRIGGER WARNING, which is being produced by Thunder Road.

Joe Dante is a director known for his satirical blend of horror and comedy viewed through the lens of grounded, relatable American life. his career in film began as a movie critic at age 12. A few years later, he conspired with Jon Davison to produce The Movie Orgy, an experimental exploration of ‘50s pop culture that metamorphosed into a hit phenomenon bringing Dante to college campus showings nationwide.

Soon after, he followed Jon to Hollywood where he edited trailers for producer Roger Corman before co-directing his first feature, Hollywood Boulevard. His first solo film, Piranha, successfully kickstarted his legendary career with titles like The Howling, Gremlins, The ‘Burbs, Innerspace, and more.

Joe’s dedication to preserving the history of cinema and his near encyclopedic knowledge of movies led to the creation of Trailers From Hell, a web series offering viewers a brief history lesson of movies discussed through their respective trailers.