TFH Presents

The Movies That Made Me

with your hosts Josh Olson & Joe Dante

William Friedkin

Season 02 | Episode 01

William Friedkin


Living legend William Friedkin (director of The Exorcist and The French Connection) joins Josh and Joe to discuss the movies that made him.

Show Notes:

Movies Referenced In This Episode

The Exorcist (1973)
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
The Exorcist III (1990)
Casablanca (1942)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Lust For Life (1956)
Lost Horizon (1937)
Citizen Kane (1941)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Drive (2011)
The Shining (1980) 
Room 237 (2012)
Diabolique (1955)
Rosemary’s Baby (1968) 
Vertigo (1958)
North by Northwest (1959) 
Psycho (1960)
The Trial (1962) 
Mr. Arkadin (1955)
The Stranger (1946)
Touch of Evil (1958)
The Other Side of the Wind (2018)
Zabriskie Point (1970)
The Outside Man (1972)
L’Avventura (1960) 
Blow-up (1966)
La Notte (1961)
L’Eclisse (1962) 
The Guilty (2018)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Brief Encounter (1945)
The Bridge Over The River Kwai (1957) 
Fail Safe (1964) 
12 Angry Men (1957)
12 Angry Men (1997)
Ronin (1998)   
The French Connection (1971) 
French Connection II (1975) 
To Live And Die In LA (1985)
The General (1926)
Bullitt (1968)
Bad Day At Black Rock (1955)
The Bourne Identity (2002)
Jason Bourne (2016)
First Man (2018) 
The Ninth Configuration (1980)
The Verdict (1982) 
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  (1948) 
Paths of Glory (1957) 
The Parallax View (1974) 
All The President’s Men (1976) 
The Front Runner (2018)

Other Notable Items

Friedkin’s Twilight Zone revival episode, “Nightcrawlers”.
The 217 film directing credits of Michael Curtiz, and his epic biography, which comes highly recommended from Joe. 
William Friedkin tells students when he speaks at film schools: “Leave school immediately, and go watch Hitchcock. You’ll learn everything you need to know from Hitchcock.”
The Exorcist compelled James Cagney’s beloved longtime barber to join the priesthood!
The Play That Goes Wrong on Broadway. 
Making Movies memoir by Sidney Lumet.
Playhouse 90 live television broadcast shows directed by John Frankenheimer (Friedkin’s idol) and Sidney Lumet.
Friedkin’s favorite painters include Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer and Vincent Van Gogh
The performative physicality employed by Steve McQueen and Spencer Tracy.
Prior podcast guest Caleb Deschanel’s fascinating cinematography work — without a camera! — on Disney’s upcoming remake of The Lion King (2019). 
Buzz Aldrin and moon conspiracy theorists.
Friedkin re-reads The Great Gatsby every six months.
The Strange Death of Vincent Foster
Bob Woodward‘s book on John Belushi, Wired.

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.