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July 9, 2021 77 mins

Movie producer Todd Arthur stops by the studio to chat about one of the great all-time comedies, Dudley Moore's Arthur.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to Movie Crush, a production of I Heart Radio.

(00:28):
Hey everybody, and welcome to Movie Crush Friday Interview Edition,
Live in Person Edition. Everybody. This is the first time
I've actually met with a guest face to face since Boy,
I'm trying to remember who the last person even was.
I have to go back in the old calendar, but
it was sometime and probably February or March. But today

(00:49):
I had a great opportunity to sit down and talk
to Todd Garner. Todd is the name you may not know,
but if you start looking at his IMDb pay g
will be a little intimidated because Todd is a movie
producer and he has his fingerprints on a lot of
big movies. He was the i think co president of

(01:10):
production at Disney for ten years, and just a freelance
producer for many many years I think after that, and
before that, he's been doing it for a couple of decades.
Movies like thirteen going on thirty and Triple X and
the The Mall Cop series, which we have a fun
little talk about, and h boy, you know, once we

(01:30):
kind of got into the discussion, I realized just how
many movies Todd has worked on. It's great and we
had never met before, but he was in town working
on a movie. He is the stuff you should know
and movie crush listener, and he reached out just to
say hi, and I said, let's get you in the studio.
Turns out Todd is a great guy and he picked
a great movie, one of my favorite all time comedies,

(01:51):
the movie from One starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli
and Sir John giel Good. Arthur, such a great film
and we really had a great talk about it. So
without any further delay, here we go with the super cool,
super nice my new pal Todd Garner on Arthur. I'm

(02:13):
sitting here in person for the first time in sixteen
months with somebody with a human and this is Todd Garner,
everyone movie producer of Boy, Black Hawk Down, Anger, Management
thirteen going on thirty, one of my all time guilty pleasures. Great.
I love that funny story about that. I can't wait
to hear it. Triple X, the new Mortal Kombat movie,

(02:36):
many many, many more films, all very big studio films,
and you're I think only my second producer. I had
Merril Poster in which is a lot of fun and uh,
I'd love to talk a little bit about producing, because
I think there's such And by the way, you're you're
very sneaky because I didn't know you had a podcast.

(02:57):
You didn't even tell me that until I found it
yesterday called the producer's guy, Todd Garner in Hollywood's Elite,
which is great. I listened to the Cassiean l how
do you say It Always? Episode this morning and the
Walter Hill episode, which is just fantastic. His voice is
just incredible, oh man, And I was glad to hear

(03:18):
you like gushing. And I was like, all right, I
don't feel bad because when I have people on here
I love. I'm very sick of fantic too, and I'm
just like, you're the best, and I love everything you've done.
And it's like breaks all the rules of quote unquote interviewing.
But you were all over Walter Hill. Yeah. I loved it. Yeah,
I gush over. I mean I started it because this

(03:39):
very question, like what does the producer do? Yeah, and
obviously the news is not great for producers really, yeah,
and that was kind of one of the reasons behind it, right, Yeah,
I mean there was there was numerous reasons that was.
One is to clear up misconceptions about what producers do,
the real producers that you know, not the twenty five
year old guys that are at bars passing out you know, cards,
because that's one side of it. And then the Harvey

(04:00):
Wine scenes clearly the other side of it. Yeah, it's
the working producers that make a make a living and
really love what they do in our on set and
do the work. And then and then weirdly, here in Atlanta,
I was shooting a movie and uh, Neil Maritz, who
has done all The Fast and the Furious is and
my other friend Marty Bowen, who has done um a

(04:21):
ton of movies, including the Twilight series. Uh, we were
all sitting around having a beer and and and you know,
I heard complaining like, oh man, the business is over,
like we're screwed, we're dinosaurs. And I realized I had
four movies shooting, Marty had five, and numerits like has
was doing Passengers with Chris Pett and Lawrence as well

(04:43):
as having The Fast. Like, guys, if if we're if
we're putting that rhetoric out there that the business is over,
what chance does any students have because because you know,
most of the entertainment press dines in in and you know,
doom saying because there's so much change right now in
the business, and in terms of the way that the
business is so rapidly changing, in terms of it's it's

(05:05):
all content now in quotes and yeah, and and and
I think that just scares the ship out of people
with people don't understand it. But then you really look
at the pure numbers of it. When you know, when
Netflix is spending a billion dollars in content, and that
was that was, you know, the big shark in the water.
Everybody was terrified that was going to end the movie

(05:26):
business and the theatrical going experiences over and then the
pandemic hits, and and I just really wanted to counteract
that in the way you're saying the sycophanic gushing. I
really am in a positive person about the business. I've
been doing this for thirty years, and I you know,
I don't have a paycheck. I only get paid if
a movie gets made. So I should probably be the
most fearful negative person right out there. And I just

(05:48):
couldn't do it because I remember being a young person
coming up and wanting to be in the business and
reading and studying the business and hearing the same doom
bullshit then and so as a history of the movie
business and really reading a ton and a ton of
history about it, you just realize it's the same stuff.

(06:09):
You know. And when when television started, movie businesses over.
In fact, we even going back sound it's over. Nobody
wants to hear actors talk. And then from color like
color is too it's too real. Nope, that's it. Over
television for sure, it's going to kill them. It's gonna
end it. And not only did it not kill the
movie business, you could actually promote your movies on the
television and sell them to television. And then vhs, Oh boy,

(06:33):
that's it, right, you're just gonna record that's an in DVD.
Oh god, pirating like it looks as good as the
movie Pirating DVD. There, that's it. And it just never happens.
It's just like the little engine that could. And so
I just wanted to say to anybody who was interested
in the movie business, and for sure young people, that
it's not just go do it, follow your dream. I

(06:54):
don't want to talk to anybody out of their dream.
And it's a hard business for sure, but I just
want It's always been hard, yeah, and I want to
encourage people and if I can do it, anybody again.
What was your start Like you talked about reading about
the business and wanting to get into it. What what
were you doing. I started in theater and high school.
Originally I wanted to be an architect, and then I

(07:15):
got into a drafting class and I was like, this
sucks too much. I can't do this. It's just straight
lines and protractors, really nerdy people with me. And then
my buddy said, you gotta come try this improv class
in in in theater and it was just awesome. I
could run around and be funny and stupid, great looking
girls in the theater department. Was so much better than drafting,

(07:36):
and I just fell in love with it. And so
at first kind of thought, well, maybe I'll be a director.
I don't know, maybe a be a stand up comedian.
I don't know, I'll figure this out. What year was this.
I graduated my school and eighty three, Okay. I was
in the San Fernando Valley and none of my entire
families in the business. Nobody knew anything about the In fact,
my father stilt to this day, we'll send me an
article like, great article I'm producing. I'm like, okay, he says,

(08:00):
and you know, just doesn't still waiting for the other,
you know, my finally, my I have a degree in
economics and film from Occidental College and he's still waiting
for that econ degree to kick in. I lived in
the ego rog yeah, yeah, yeah, and so uh then
I then I thought maybe would be a producer, but
I didn't know anything about producing. So you know, you
go and you see movies and you read the books
and about special effects. And I made some student films

(08:22):
in high school and then I went talk to Old College,
which didn't have any film classes at all. But I
got an internship. Back in the day when the industrial
video was huge, they were spending so much money on
because it's like this new thing where you could like
teach people through video, right, So I got a job
at Pacific bell Um as an intern in their in

(08:44):
their in their you know, instructional video department. And then
I learned how to edit, and so I really became
an editor first. So I edited. We're editing out one
inch and it was Ampex and Ampex had a system
that was called the Ampex A system which is just
base sleep meant Ampex Computerized editing, which is really a
precursor to UM all of the new you know, software

(09:06):
based systems and so not that many old timers wanted
to learn. It Back in the day was all CMX.
It had thousands of buttons that said, you know, like
you know, dissolve right cut. This was like you had
you was worked like a computer. And so I I,
you know, I worked for Playboy, I worked for did
cut music videos, I cut it, worked for the Olympics

(09:27):
for so but and then I realized I'm just sort
of getting further away from what I really want to
do was produce, and I quit and went to work
at Wells Fargo Bank, you know, because I thought maybe
I'll go to business school. And then insanely, like the
only person of my father's ever met in the movie
in the movie Business, he was playing golf with this
guy who worked at Paramount Television, and and my background

(09:51):
seemed like I had wanted this job in my whole life,
because I had a degree in economics. I worked in
production and I got a job on their Senior Hall
show as his as his Huntain at Paramount So I
was on the lot and that really showed you, Oh
my god, there's a movie and my deals now at
Paramounts in my office is on the lot. Sounds amazing.

(10:12):
And I was there and you know, played, you know, lunch,
you'd go play basketball and Jason Bateman would be there.
I realized that was it was done. And but I
did also realize I didn't know how to read a script.
So I went do you used to like extension? And
took a class from Bob Greenblad, who was was the
chairman of NBC and then was the chairman of Warner Brothers.
He was us a story editor at Lorimer at the

(10:33):
time and taught me how to read a script. And
then from there I got a job as an assistant
in UH at Columbia Pictures, and then I got my
job at Disney, and I was at Disney for ten years,
and I became co president production after ten years. It's
a long road, man, that's not It's so easy. Yeah,
And and that's the other thing I tell people, you know,

(10:54):
if ever I'm like speaking in classes or whatever, it
doesn't matter. Man. The road is never straight right ever,
you know, and especially now with podcasts like your podcast
and technology and you can get anything on the web
now and you can you can shoot a movie on
your phone. Yeah, I had to use Super eight such

(11:14):
a pain in the app and uh so there's just
the barrier to entry is almost non existent. Now, what
kind of producer are you? Like? What is your what
is your job entail day to day, movie to movie. Yeah,
so working in the studio system for you know, over
ten years, I really got an edge of fast education

(11:37):
and what makes a good producer. Um So I trained
at the feet of Jerry Bruckheimer and Adam Sandler and
guys like that that go to the set every day.
Are there do the work? Um and and are the
captains of the ship? You know? And then and then
I also saw the managers that aren't producers and the

(11:59):
hangers on that aren't pricers, and the people that you know,
gave a little dough, they get a producer credit. I
knew the difference, and I really wanted to be the former, right,
beat on the ground, beat on the ground. Yeah, it's funny.
Rob wriggle Um who who who have done a couple
of things with he he he was in the Marines
and he talks about producing like taking the beach right,

(12:22):
and you take the beach of foot at a time,
you know. And so if you're not there every day
and sitting there physically, then you don't have a voice.
You really don't. I mean, you can get a phone
call from your in your office in Los Angeles, and
you can make your best guests, but unless you're there
to see the intricacies of why this decision happened, you
can't really do it. So that's the kind of producer

(12:42):
I wanted to be. Yeah and um and you know,
and also just the kind of producer that was agnostic
in terms of genre. I've done a ton of comedies
because I love them, yeah, um, and I grew up
with them, which is what we're gonna talk about today,
Like you know, Stripes and Arthur and Raising Arizona and
you know, all these movies that a lot of the
Howard Hawks stuff. These are movies that I grew up

(13:05):
with and completely fell in love with. So I have
an affinity for the genre, and I love the people
that make those movies. But I also wanted you know,
I worked on No Brother, Where Arn't Tho, I worked
on Love, I worked on you know, I worked on
ed Wood and I worked on a lot of all
those movies on the I done no brother yet actually
yeah yeah, and uh and you know I love those movies.

(13:27):
Um not not my my biggest strength. There's that's a
you know, it's a singular voice. And the people that
produce those movies, you know, mostly are writer producers. But
but the people that producers movies are really main working
to give that person their voice work to h I mean,

(13:48):
and and I think I was better suited as an
executive to work in that job, to be able to
just you know, I when when the Coen Brothers, who
I'm madly in love with, came in to pitch me
O brother, they basically just said it's white trash Home
is Odyssey, And I said, right done, I got it.
I'm in like, say no more. I mean, they can
do whatever they want, though, right they Weirdly, what's funny

(14:09):
is at that time because that was a touchdown picture
at the time, you know, because Disney had bought Mirror
Max and uh, Harvey was going through crazy transition. Now
it's all now everybody knows why insane person, But people
like you know, there were there are certain people that
were like, let's try different distributors, and Oh Brother was
a tough one for them because it wasn't cheap. And

(14:32):
my boss Joe Roth at the time, he loves filmmakers
so much that you know, Edward was a huge swing.
I mean, that's black and Wood movie but someone no
one knew about um, oh Brother, um and punch Unk
love those kind of movies. He was just willing to
just just go ahead and give them the resources that
they need to make make them. And and a lot

(14:53):
of those people that work in in in that kind
of independent distribution, as you heard from the Cassium podast,
they're really counting to nickels and dimes. You know when
you used to go into those old offices at Merrimax
in New York, they were just like final cabinets and
you know it was just like the most bare bones. Yeah,
and so they wanted to save every penny um and

(15:14):
and we were, you know, we were really filmmaker friendly
at that time. You know, you said something a second
ago and just then filmmaker friendly and Joe Roth love filmmakers.
You also hear stories about directors who hate actors, producers
who hate writers, or filmmakers like, what is that all about? Well,

(15:35):
have you ever built a house or been in any
sort of construction, Not personally, but we renovated our house
a couple few years. Yeah, I mean generally it's gonna
go wrong. Yeah, I mean, it's always just always happens,
you know, the general rule is going to cost twice
as much, twice as long. And when you're in that pause,
I think so much of it is is subjective in

(15:55):
terms of like, well, I like my house to look
like this, I like my walls to look like I
like this kind of fixtures, And and perhaps the contractor
or the designer is like, do you really want that
concrete floor with the you know, you know Victorian outside. Yeah,
that's why I want you. That's what I wanted, and
so you So that's the kind of way the making

(16:15):
a movie is right, because everybody has the movie in
their head when they come in. Everybody, I don't care
if you're the sound guy. You know, I can't tell
you how many times I've been on a set and
anybody comes in this is not the way I saw
that set, because they're all reading the script, not the
way I saw this at all. And and and I
think that there's a there's a inherent in human beings,

(16:39):
just an inherent insecurity. And so the insecurity is this
is what I thought, And your insecurity lead you to
go this is the way it should be. And um,
I've done it so long. I know that feeling. I
have it every day on the set where you go,
that's not the way I said, Right, you have to

(17:00):
just kind of go, okay, but you know this will
this will be fine, you know, unless it's not. Though,
how do you draw that distinction if your gut? Your
gut is really pretty telling. Jim Brooks um had on
his has on his monitor when he any films. And
I learned this from Nancy Myers. She just has gut

(17:20):
on her monitor and she she says she got that
from Jim Brooks. And it's just this feeling you get
when so I'll give you a perfect example. There's a
scene in this movie and I was watching it and
I had an idea and a lot was going on.
We were late rain, you know, are they shooting in Atlanta?
Really fun with the lightning every every day, So like
a lot going on, Like it doesn't matter, it's gonna

(17:42):
be fine. Is this what you're working on now. Yeah,
moo working on a movie right now called Senior Year
with Rebel Wilson and a wonderful filmmaker by the name
of Alex Hardcastle who's worked in television. This is his
first feature. And so you know, I'm very aware that,
you know, I have a lot of opinions, and I'm
going to try to do my best to help him
make the best movie he can know and and Rebel

(18:03):
to make the best I did isn't romantic with her
as well. And so I had this idea, and I
should probably say this idea, but I already know if
I go say this idea, it's going to require a
prop and everybody's going to be like, really, I mean
and I and I go, I'll be fine. And I
went to sleep, and I woke up next morning. I
don't know, fuck it, I'm I should have said something.
And I went to the director and I go, wouldn't

(18:24):
have been better if the scene would have had this
thing in it? And he goes, oh my god, I
wish you would have said that, because even like thematically
it's it's it would have worked better. And so we're
going to reshoot it, you know, Yeah, and it's not
that it was wrong. It's just that there was a
better idea, and a better idea that's not it's low
impact enough because it's a tiny little moment and it'll
be very easy to read. So you do the math

(18:45):
and see the math, and you go, it's not going
to be He's not going to disrupt the whole world.
But there are times when you know, if something look
hopefully again, boots on the ground right, If you're a
good producer, you've been on the tech scouts, you're not
walking into a building going wait a minute, I didn't
this is This isn't a church. We're supposed to be
in a you know, in a school. What the hell
is happening? You know, like, well, dude, you should have

(19:06):
been on the scout, the four scouts. We did, so
at some point you have to be in on it
early enough. And inevitably is always going to be things.
It's a visual medium, so it's always gonna be things
where a joke or or a scene or or a
character description is very well written, but visually it's impossible
to get what you read right. It's either it's just

(19:28):
too complicated, it's the audience won't it's not clean. So
there's a lot of times where something's written and it's
great and you see it on its feet you're like,
this isn't this isn't working the way we thought, and
then you just have to adjust um. And that's and
and so you know, a good producer will help the
person make their movie and and support them and be

(19:49):
and in a lot give them all the tools to
be the best they can be, to to allow them
to just throw the ball. Now with the first time filmmaker,
is that something you enjoy or is this I've I
gotta say I've never done the math, so this is
I'm just gonna say this, and it's probably total bullshit,
but I feel like I've worked with more first time
directors than anybody really well, because when I was doing

(20:09):
when I was working with Jerry Bruckheimer, when I when
I was at Disney, I worked on pretty much every
movie from with Jerry, from Crimson Tied through Pirates of
the Caribbean, that whole runny he had at Disney. I
was there those little movies. Yeah, and he loves work.
He loved working with quote unquote first time directors because
most of the time they were commercial directors. So he
started with Ridley and Scott and Tony Scott, Michael Bay

(20:32):
and all these guys and really fell in love with
them because you know, those guys have probably shot more
film than anybody, you know, because they're just and they're
trying different lenses and they know how to be economical
was shot. So it really worked really well for the
Bruckheimer Um and uh and so I worked with a
lot of film first time filmmakers there, and comedy generally

(20:54):
inspires a lot of first timers, like even Arthur Steve
Gordon was the first time filmmaker, right, And it generally
you get a lot of guys coming from TV or
writers that break. So my last movie I did was
called Vacation Friends with John Cena and Rayl Howry. Clay
Tarver was the first time filmmaker, but he had run

(21:14):
Silicon Valley. He was a writer that you know went
on to run that show. Oh yeah. So it's like
they're not like first time in the sense that they
just like decided I was a farmer now, right. They
have tons of experience, but not tons of experience, um
for you know, maintaining a storyline for two hours, which
is which is a different skill than even working in television.

(21:34):
What about have you ever had like a literally like
a fresh out of film school experience with someone or um,
not that I can recall off top of my head.
I don't think so, but um Yeah, generally those those
filmmakers generally start in the independent world. You don't really
get a lot of people come around a film school

(21:55):
that go right into a big studio movie. They usually
that is usually reserve for a cast in. And those
guys that will go raise the money a couple million
bucks for somebody to do that. Yeah, And I imagine,
especially with the first time ors, it's it goes both ways.
Like you have to instill confidence in them so that
they believe in themselves. But for someone like you that's

(22:15):
boots on the ground, they probably have a lot of
confidence in you. You're not one of those producers that
sweeps in there firing off notes and ideas, doesn't know
what the fun is going on. Yeah. I feel like
a really good producers like Homeland Security, if no explosions happened,
you've done your job. Unfortunately, you'll never know, right, And
so I always try to stay a mile ahead of

(22:36):
everybody so that there's no it's always a soft place
to land. You're not like going, what the hell is happening?
So you're clearing the path out and the machete and
exactly right. And and especially actors, I just want to
make sure they're comfortable. You know. Look, it's it's it's
a it's a lot. It's a lot to ask somebody

(22:58):
to leave their home for months at a time. It's
a lot to ask somebody to be vulnerable enough to
put themselves on a screen that's a hundred feet wide
and sixty ft tall. Um. It's a lot to get
them to be emotional, and it's it's a lot to
be an actor. And so I really just want to
make sure it's they're gonna have the best experience they've
ever had on a movie. They're gonna be well taken

(23:18):
care of, well fed, well rested. They're gonna be comfortable,
They're not going to be dealing with a bunch of bullshit.
And just then you're just free. It's like being a
pitching coach, right, just free to let the guy throw
the ball as fast as hard as you can. So
interesting to hear you talk about it. I don't I
don't think a lot of people would say that they
would expect a producer like one of the more important

(23:39):
qualities to be compassion and empathy. I know. That's why
I want to do that part of it. If you're good,
that's why I want to do my podcast. I mean
the people that I've got a hundred and eighty hours.
If anybody wants to learn how to be a producer
of just the best in the business, everybody, and I
can recommend it. I listened to those two episodes this morning.
It's great, Yeah, anybody I can think of, and and
people at first making fun of me, It's like, oh, great, Todd,

(24:01):
you just talking to your friends for an hour, and
then as it went along, it's true. They're all my
you know, all associates, if not friends. And it was
deliberate that way because I wanted people to be intimate
and people to not just give me the route. Yeah,
you know, you go to the set that to really
talk about what inspired them and how they got into
the business and how they think about movies and how

(24:24):
they think about the nuts and bolts of the business,
because it is you know, I was in Australia for
five months shooting Mortal Kombat. It was hard. I quite
enjoyed that movie. That's how we met. Well, this is
the greatest thing is I admire you so much and
I and I hear you talk about movies, and I
generally agree with everything you say. And you have a
pretty high browed taste. And so when you as soon

(24:45):
as you guys started talking about video games, and I
was like ship and then it was like you went
Mortal Combat, like, oh god, I know it's coming. I
just you know, because it's just that thing. You go,
oh please please, and you go you've seen the Mortal Kombat,
but we know, like, oh god, no it was and
I'm like, oh, thank god, thank you. I really enjoyed it.
I thought it was a lot of fune. It looked great.

(25:06):
There was enough, I mean they captured the video game stuff.
That was enough there for the video game fans in
the Easter eggs to really get into. And you can
talk about that for hours. It was a tough one.
I mean it's a really tough but yeah, but being
in Australia for five months away from it, you know,
half a world away from your family where it was. Yeah,
it was in Adelaide, Australia, Okay, I have empathy for
everybody because I'm doing it again, you know, and I

(25:29):
have I have a wife and two kids, and I
know what it's like to be away for from your
family and to be lonely and to be sad. And
that's not indicative for good comedy. So unless everybody's feeling
um supported and taking care of it's hard to get
good stuff out of people, right And I you know,
and and I every movie, I go, well, I've seen

(25:52):
it all now, you know. So most of the time,
if something happens to somebody emotionally or they're going through something,
I can say I've seen it before and help them
because you have to be unflappable. Yeah. Yeah, you can't
be the one that's freaking out, or if you do,
you go into a separate room and do it alone.

(26:13):
Yeah yeah, yeah, yeah. A lot of a lot of
just being by myself and my condo silently freaking out.
But yeah, um, you know, for sure, you don't want
to look at the fireman and have him going, I
don't know what is happening, where's the hose? You don't
want it. You want the guy to go like, let's go,
even if he's freaking out and so um again going

(26:36):
back and reading like a lot of Hollywood history and
reading about those old timers and those guys that really
did it, they're just those guys, you know, they're just
they're just the guys that just did nothing bother him. Yeah.
You know the guy who you know, Bob, Bob Greenhead
who produced Arthur. He produced all the Woody Allen movies.
Really he's a New York guy. They had their offices

(26:58):
in New York. You know, they would double bark thing
be shot in New York in the eighties. Many those
guys were just the guys I really admire in terms
of just that sort of um like, yeah, just taking
the beach. Yeah, that military idea, that's cool. Yeah. I

(27:22):
want to hear your thirteen going I'm thirty story. Okay,
so just this there's a couple, there's a bunch of them,
but but not about thirteen thirty. There's always that moment
where again, this is what happened with you and I
Immortal Kombat. There's that moment where you know, you go
your movie movie prod, Yeah, what have you done right?
And you go, oh boy, here we go, because you

(27:42):
know it's gonna be, What do you let when you
do that? What's your go to? What are your first
three movies? Your name of your own? It just depends
in the person. If I would have met you would
have been like, you know, I did Black Down, Punch Glove,
and I did it over there? Arn't that? What else?
Paul Lark? You know? And then but it's not so anyway,
So uh, A couple of times it's happened where you

(28:03):
just like one time I was this is not at
I'll tell the thirteenth story real quick. But once time
I was on a plane and they said, oh, it's
gonna be this movie. I want to say, what the
movie is it? It's gonna be this movie. It's it's
a comedy, And like, oh boy, okay, I've already seen it.
So I put my headphones on and my glasses is
when they used to have a projected the main screen. Yeah,
and this dude, this dude next to me was laughing

(28:23):
so hard, sixt year old man. And I'm like in
my head, going, this movie is not I know that
movie is not that fucking funny. Like, what the hell
is this guy? He's being annoying, He's he mocking the
movie this guy. I want to kill this guy. And
I took my things off and it was maall cop
and I went, I love this guy. I'm gonna enjoy this.
So it's like, it's just this weird, tenuous thing that

(28:45):
my ego was, like so fragile, right, So thirteen and
thirty is this is a it's a little bit of
a personal story. So, um, my daughter, my wife and
I lost a baby at birth, which is why I
love Settle in This Travel so much. We told you,
I told you i'd like that, love that movie because
and um, one of the things was, you know, as

(29:06):
we were going through this, we were in the hospital
for a couple of days, and it happened to be
New Year's Day, and Comedy Central does this thing on
New Years Day where they put these movies up, comedies,
and you know, for briefly, like an hour or so,
my wife would be laughing and we both kind of
forget where we're at. And it's just very much about
like Sullivan's Travels when the guys are in jail watching um,

(29:27):
the Three Stooges. And so I just love to make comedies.
And I don't feel bad about making comedies. I think
I can give people joy it. It's very helpful. So
my daughter Molly, who's thirteen, she was being born and
you know, we had a high risk doctor and it's
very emotional and scared shitless and I'm just you know,
crying and just praying everything's gonna be okay, and this

(29:49):
nurse leans in and goes. I just have to say,
is my favorite movie. Thank you. I was like, this
is happening right now. Okay, it's better than you hating it. Yeah,
that was a really good movie. And it's one of
my favorite music cues of any movie because I'm a

(30:09):
billy Joel fan. Yeah, and that Vienna queue At so yeah,
I mean and identified with that kids, So I think,
you know, the younger version, and sure, I mean that.
You know, I love that. That's why, isn't it. I
have a few I have this woman that I've worked
with a few on a few movies named Gena Matthews.
We did that movie thirteen thirty. We did What Women

(30:30):
Want Together, We did Asn't a Romantic Together. We did
this other movie called All My Life Together. And so
I love making those movies because and it's funny and
I was thinking thinking about this the other day. I
have a son who's twenty, and you know, when I
when he was growing up, I was making Triple X, Black,
Go Down and dude movies and action movies. And and

(30:52):
my daughter now like even this movie in thirteen thirty
and these and isn't a romantic I always try to
like sneak in a little sin in there, um you
know about in the film itself, just the theme of it,
like isn't it romantic? Really is ultimately about loving yourself
and not being caught up in the romantic comedy tropes.
And and in this movie I'm making right now called

(31:13):
Senior Years that way too. It's like, you don't need
anybody to be successful. You just have to kind of
do it yourself and pull yourself up by the bootstraps
and and work, work hard, and and thirteen and thirty
was the same thing. It was like, don't try to
go for popularity, don't try to go for the things
that are vacuous, and ye shallow, be be a real person.

(31:33):
And then I tell my daughter all the time, like,
especially for for for teenage girls, you don't need everybody
to like you, right if you have to one or
two really good friends You're fine because tantas are the
only people that are going to be in your life
later on life. You're not gonna have thirty friends, you know,
pack of people. So that's I always trying to like

(31:54):
sneak a little aspirin in the apple sauce that way
you're a good guy producer. I'm trying. Yeah, I just again,
like I watch It's It's it's an interesting thing. It
must be like that's gonna be awful and you may
want to cut it out, but it must be like
being a good cop, Like if you see like they're
shitty cops out there and you're like a good person

(32:15):
who wants to do right by your community. And just
seeing your whole your whole profession, just being yeah, shipped on.
That's what I feel like about being a movie producer
because like if you google movie producer right now, nothing
good is going to come up first. I'm sure for
a while you have to go through the Google search
ual and I just don't Again, all my friends, these
guys that are that I interviewed, every person and every

(32:36):
man and woman that I interviewed is a good person
and and they're making of the ship that's out there Yeah,
that's good to know. I'm glad you're putting that message
out there too. Um. Very cool. Again the producer's guy
Todd Garner in Hollywood's elite. Uh, if you love movies,
I mean, it's getting a peek behind the curtain is

(32:57):
so fun for me and I know a lot of
fun for our listeners. I appreciate you talking about that stuff. Yeah,
I mean we I talked to Jeff Probes about catering
for about forty five minutes. So if you really want
to get in the weeds deal, well, I think about
does he feed those people for thirty nine days on
that island? So if you want to get into the
weeds about producing. Josh and I were actually on when

(33:21):
he had his TV show, his talk show for a
little while we were on the Jeff Probe Show. It
was one of like two or three talk shows that
we ever did. It also one of two or three
episodes he did. So Yeah, he's great. He's the best.
He's a really good friend of mine. He's probably I
think he's the best host in the last twenty years.

(33:41):
It was good. We used to It's funny. We got
more ops like that earlier in our career. We don't
get any asks anymore for anything. And maybe it's just
because podcasting itself is so huge now. Yeah, we're just
in the mix of yeah, a gazillion other people. But yeah,
we used to do talk shows and all this other stuff.
And it's so funny too. It's like it's something in

(34:01):
the world of podcasting. Podcasting becomes a world where you
kind of kind of stay inside of your world too.
I mean it's so big now you go on and
you go on someone else's podcast. We were talking about
Doak Shepherd earlier, like he's just he's a huge podcast
and so you know, he doesn't need to go on
anything else. He can just go on other people's podcasts. Yeah,
so it's a lot, yeah, more fun to do that.

(34:22):
And because I'm kind of thinking now, it wasn't like
lamenting that I don't want to go on. I never really,
I don't know. It was always very nerve wracking for me. So, yeah,
I worked with Joe Rogan on Here Comes to the
Boom and he was talking about yeah, and I think
about doing this podcast. I'm like, that's adorable. Yeah, And
he's like, I'm going to Denver and we get out
of l A and I get him. Now, it's cute.

(34:43):
What are you doing? You can have a microphone and awesome?
Oh my god. Yeah he's wealthy. Yeah yeah, good for him.
All right, So you wanted to do raising Arizona and
uh in that rat Dak Shepherd took it from you,
and I think you put out a couple of more.
But as soon as you said Arthur, I jumped on

(35:04):
it because and this is no Lie Todd. I think
from the age eleven two, probably eighteen or nineteen, it
was my most scene movie. When I got into college,
I started, you know, like spinal tapping with saddles, all
these movies I watched over and over and over. But um,
I h HBO ran it. It It was one of those

(35:26):
HBO movies for me. Didn't see it in the theater.
And I was an HBO kid who did nothing but
sit around and watch movies or MTV, and Arthur was
one of those movies. I thought it was the funniest
fucking thing I had ever seen in my life. And
by the way, and it holds up, totally holds up.
And what's fascinating is I I didn't even have HBO.

(35:48):
My I lived in San Fernando Valley, and so my
one friend had a VHS machine, so we just went
back and forth between Stripes, which also came out in
the and and Arthur, and just went back and forth
and back and forth and backup. I wasn't allowed to
watch Stripes. Really, that's a fascinating by the way. You
know that Arthur was PG at the time. Then it's
interesting because it was pre PG thirteen, so I guess

(36:09):
it wouldn't have been our really. I guess maybe now
it might have been. But I mean, you can't even
make it now. First of all, within the first minute
of the movie, he's picking up a prostitute and he
drives hammered twice. Well, it's funny as an adult seeing
it last night. I hadn't seen it in a while.
But it is interesting to see a movie, a comedy

(36:31):
about an alcoholic and someone who's got a really, really bad,
bad drinking problem, and it's so funny and he drives drunk,
and like, there's no way you could do that stuff. Now, No,
what's interesting about that movie? Yes, but first all, it
shouldn't work. Should nothing about it. It shouldn't work. You
have the it's the strangest catalysm and early is the

(36:52):
strangest piece of casting, which is beautiful, works great, and
it was every winger for it, which would have been
amazing too. But and and again, playing drunk in a
calm it is hard now if you go back and
look at really just the way they made that movie.
Steve Gordon was the first time he was a writer
director script was around forever. The only other script feature
script he wrote was the one and only With with

(37:14):
Henry Winkler, who played basically gorgeous George. Yeah. So he
had come up through some TV Barney Miller and those
kind of television ships. Made a great TV writer. Yeah,
made this one movie and and died of a heart
attack six months later. Yeah, which I don't I don't
know if a lot of people know that years old. Yeah,
just tragic. Yeah, And everybody that read the script loved it.

(37:36):
But it was again really hard even then, very hard really.
And then what happened is thank god, Dudley did ten right.
So Blake Edwards proved that Dudley could play drunk, which
is still one of the funniest things I've been going
down to Mexico. So Dudley could play drunk and it
didn't feel like a bit. Yeah. And the thing about

(37:57):
Dudley that movie, if you if that, the first five
minutes of that movie should be should be every film
school should be required to watch it because within five
minutes you have everything you need to know. We talk
about efficiency is set up so much on the show.
This is the most efficient, so important. He first of
the song, and the lyrics of the song say that

(38:19):
this guy is stuck between the Moon and New York City,
so he's obviously going through something amazing. Laugh is hilarious.
First three lines of you know are hilarious. Then he
pulls up and the first thing he does, he pulls
up in his car and on the side it says
a B so you obviously go okay, Well that must
be his initials. He's holding a glass of scotch. He's

(38:39):
got a driver who's completely ineffected, so this must happen
all the time. Rolls on the window. There's two prostitutes
and he says the douchy thing at first, which is
he says, with a more attractive of you, please step forward.
Neither of them do right. His face instantly changes, He
gets that vulnerable look and in a very real Way says,
with a person who finds me most attracted, stuff up

(39:01):
and that everything you need to know. He's vulnerable, he's
willing to be real. And then she walks up. He
has a hilarious negotiation where he negotiates against himself. She
then says who is that? He says, that's Arthur Box.
She says, that's Arthur Bok. He won't tell something wrong
with him? And he thinks for about five seconds and
he goes, Yes, everything you need to know right there.

(39:25):
And so you go, Okay, this guy's got a problem.
He's vulnerable, he's not he's a nice guy. And he goes,
we give her a hundred dollars. She got Kevan second right,
So just and if you're in he's not like and again,
not to disparage the sequels Russell, but like you watch
Russell's performance, Russell has I never saw it. I couldn't
bring myself to well, here's the difference between Russell and Dudley. Dudley,

(39:48):
first of all, was he drinking in that movie? Was
he a drunk or not? The whole movie of Arthur
is about father's and it's about not wanting to be
alone and so and they hit those beats a hundred
times in the movie, and Arthur says out loud, gotta
be twenty times. I don't like to be alone. And

(40:10):
one of the most beautiful moments in the movie is
when he's when Sir John Gilgood says, I don't want
you to be alone, and he has that flucked flicker
in his eye where you go, oh, yeah, something's wrong
with him, like ten minutes into the movie The First Night,
the First Morning with the with the Press two and
so the problem I think with Russell is Russell has

(40:32):
this intelligence and his deviousness, and I think that the
movie didn't work because Dudley never plays it that way.
He never plays he's trying to get someone something over
on somebody, never plays that he's smarter than anybody else.
He never plays that he's gonna, you know, cause anybody damage.
And I think that subtly people just looked at Russell
went oh, he's so smart and so cunning that it

(40:56):
felt a little cunning as opposed to you want to
how this guy, you know, because on paper, first of all,
I probably just couldn't have seen any Arthur remake. I
just this movie is so special to me. But on paper.
When I saw it was it was Russell, I was like,
that's kind of perfect, Like, what a great casting choice. Um,
I think interestingly and this this is sort of a

(41:20):
silly thing to say, maybe, but I think part of
what made Dudley Moore works so well was his size.
He was a little guy, he was tinier than everyone.
He wasn't threatening, he was I mean, he was a
kid at heart anyway, and so it just sort of
felt right. Russell is what's brand right, He's tall, He's
gorgeous tall. Yeah, he's good looking, and it was just,

(41:42):
I don't know, something about it just didn't feel like
Arthur to me. Well, that's why he worked so well
as Atticus Finch, you know, right, Atticas Finch is that
his name? And Attics something in in forgetting Sarah Marshall. Yeah,
Attica's Finch was to kill the first anyway. He worked
so well because he has that live kind of smarter
than you. Um. Yeah. And the thing that's so great

(42:04):
about Dudley is he's just so physical comedy. He's nothing
better just even following at at Susan Johnson was very
slowly following him, and just the themes of that movie
if you think about just the just none of us

(42:24):
want to grow up. It's a Peter Pan story. Yeah,
so you don't want to grow up, and you're everybody
fears being alone. And really that's just the subtle, the
subtle nuances of just fathers. You know, he he has
a dad who is American, he's English, So so what happenstance?
This is a total lucky break. Dudley couldn't play it

(42:46):
American because that's what I read. He would have been
in his head the whole time. I've had this so
many times, especially with Australian actors, where you go try
to be funny and do American actors and you know
that's the timing is very hard going in. You're processing,
you know, you're you're not there, so at least hitting away.
So subtly what they got is that John Gielgud raised him.

(43:06):
And that's why as an English accent, I love that
little subtext there, and just the whole thing with you
were a great son at the end and that and
then and then Susan Johnson has a father who's just
a murderer, who just who will kill anybody who gets
in his way. And then Liza has her dad who's
just sweet and well meaning, but it's literally like please

(43:29):
marry the ability. So everybody is dealing with their fathers
and in different ways. It's just really really, really interesting.
And there's no moms around in the movie at all.
There's not one's grandma. Who's who's not? Who's the best? Yeah?
The ballbuster And so when you have those that's why
I got away with it because the vulnerability of him,
the way he played the vulnerability, and those big themes

(43:53):
helped propel all the other kind of more hard to
swallow stuff. Yeah, I mean I have I have a
note in here that, um, he had to have this
sadness in him about his alcoholism. And they don't overwhelm
you with it. But there are just a few beats
in that movie really well placed. In fact, one early on,
when he first goes into the restaurant with the with

(44:14):
the lady you just picked up, uh, the he's at
the table and you know as a kid, they recently
had the whole country carpeted. And those are the jokes
that I was dying at as a kid. You know,
a little more obvious ones can it should have come
in there and scrub your dick for you, Like those
were so funny to me and they're still funny. But um,
he's going on at the table and the old guy says,

(44:36):
you know, we also understand you're very drunk, and you
just it's a face acting thing. You see him realize
I've done it again and I've embarrassed myself again. Uh
And if those yeah, if those yeah, he does, and
if those little beats weren't there, it would not have worked.
Every time he's sitting at the table and he has
a moment where he's holding the scotch and she says something,

(44:58):
and he he goes, do you like me? And she
goes yeah, and he see he stops and he goes, no, no,
do you like me. It's like a little little moment, heartbreaking,
and he has the best line I think of any
movie in the last twenty years, which he says, not
all people that are poets, not people who drank are poets.
Some of us drink because we're not. Oh my god,

(45:21):
it just I just got like, that's the line. There's
so many lines like that. Also, just like Sir John
Gilgad saying again right to theme, she's Liza manarly says
to John. So John, um, you take care of good
care of him, don't you? And he goes, I do
the job. I highly recommend. Right. It's just like those
moments are so real, the aspirins are for you. There's

(45:45):
so many real, amazing performances in that just just when
else when my favorite ones which I didn't get as
a kid and just really made me laugh. A lot
of it went over my head. This is this is
just a rhythm thing. He walks into lies his apartment
and the first thing he tells the dad, if you
could just see you and your under shirt could step back.
But then he walks in and it is probably a

(46:06):
thirty second tracking shot with John as he's taking in
the entire thing, and you think he might go give
him a command. He goes, he's such an asshole in
that scene. It's funny. All he's doing is sort of
disparaging the father. And yes, but she still you know,
has stars in her eyes because she thinks he's a
sweet guy. He can I kiss you on the cheek

(46:27):
something you feel strongly? Yeah, he's yeah, I know this
movie by heart itself. Me too. I I have to
watch it alone because I will start just doing all
the line now, and he you know, and then again
you have those moments where Dudley plays it real where
he says, I'm so unhappy I'm who I wouldn't even

(46:48):
matter if I was here. I've never done anything in
my life. Nobody loves me. And he says, helmet and
your goggles and slaps him and he says, you little ship.
Anybody would love to be you. And by the way,
and he throws away, he goes and by the way,
I love you. Yeah, it's just those moments. It's such
a good movie. He was nominated for four Academy Awards,
which doesn't happen anymore. Yeah, I'm really I mean, someone

(47:09):
should do a documentary about Steve Gordon and then the
making of this film, because you gotta know, you gotta
wonder what else he had up as sleeve. Well, let
me geek you out for a second. So, having done
this for a long time and really now going back
and looking at it, you can see speaking first time filmmaker. So, um,
the producers were really you know, they were really wood

(47:30):
easy guys. They owned New York. There were a bunch
of different there were at that time. There were different camps.
So there was the Woody camp, the Scorsese camp, and
then the was his name, I'll think of it, and
one other camp of a guy who did really kind
of great Dog Day Afternoon, like great drums, and so
the Woody camp, you could see they surrounded Steve Gordon,

(47:52):
so Susan Morris is the editor who edited all of
Woody's and then the the the Fred Schuler who was
the DP. He did King of Comedy like, so you
can see they like surround with him so that he
could just focus on being funny, getting the best out
of out of Dudley. And I found that really interesting.

(48:14):
So in that movie started at Paramount, they couldn't cast it,
and then they went to Orion. So Mike Metavoy also
I've had on my podcast. He was the head of
Orion at the time, and he bought that movie from
Paramount and let him go make it. Did you talk
to him about Arthur? Yeah, and and again because he
had made a lot of movies with Woody and so
those guys brought it to him and he trusted them
and thought, that's funny. You guys know how to make

(48:34):
these movies. It's not gonna cost a luck, go do it. Yeah,
so those are the those are the fun things about
the the total you know, you where you can really
look at the movie and go oh and they just
left him alone. Yeah. The casting of Lives of and
La you mentioned earlier. Um, I remember as a kid thinking, uh,

(48:57):
you know, I was eleven and it it. Now this
sounds terrible, but I just remember as a kid thinking like,
she's not very good looking, Like she's not who is that? Yeah,
Like I didn't know who she was, and I didn't
know any of her background or the Judy Garland stuff,
And I just remember thinking like, why didn't they cast
some bombshell because that's what you're used to seeing, and

(49:18):
as an eleven year old, that's certainly what you want
to see. But from the moment she steps on that screen,
they just their chemistry. They're like, uh, some old, like
married comedy couple that's been doing it for a hundred years.
They're so good together. And it's what's funny about lies
On that first scene in the berg darfs Is you
can tell she's in a totally different movie. Yeah, she

(49:40):
came with her whole wardrobe, hair, wearing that crazy the
whole outfit, and it's like she just sees she steps
on screen like I'm in I give a fuck, I
don't care what everybody else is dressed as I'm in
this movie in this outfit, big yellow coat, yellow coat
and the red hat. But and and she's holding a

(50:01):
Ferrari bag, so it's like she's she's, she's you know.
And that's also what helped, because it wasn't just I.
I think, you know, it's apocryphal because everybody says everybody
was in every movie, you know, but I do. I
did do some research, and they did want Debra Winger,
and she just couldn't get her head around it. She
would have been great, amazing recast in your head. Yeah,

(50:24):
she's really great and they worked so well together. Um
that scene and and it's it's sort of hard when
you do a comedy like this to not just like
say your favorite lines. So I've just cherry picked a few,
but that scene has a couple of my favorites. Was
when he's talking about the perfect crime and you know,
you know, some girls were tied, so it's not a
perfect crime, it's a good crime. And then Gilga goes,

(50:45):
if she moded the tie, it would be the perfect
crime exactly. He you know, I read I did her
research for this a little bit. I did do some
reading about it. He would literally turn the lives and goes,
am I being funny, like what's happening? And everybody was like,
just keep going, don't try. He was so good, so
much one something all of that, he had so many

(51:07):
good ones. And then you get to that crazy third
act turn, just one of my favorite third acts in
the movie ever, and just that moment where he says,
I'm scared and you just everything just and he's not
scared for him, He's scared for Arthur. Yeah, because he's
amazed to being okay with dying. Yes, yeah, it occurred
to me last night. How I've never really noticed that

(51:31):
Arthur has learned so much from him. Arthur deals with
his pain through jokes, because Hobson does, and Hobson he's
He's dealing with his death through making humor out of it.
And then just that turn where though he he everybody
says you look like shit. Yeah, he says, you never
seen me sober. Yeah. It's just so incredible. And there's

(51:52):
two ways to read that scene where he's giving the
toys to Hobson. One is that he's just a kid.
The other doesn't know what to do the others he's
trying to just distract Hobson, and you know with the
train is obviously from his just that's their thing. But
I just love that he gives him the hat and
he goes, if I start to die, take this off me.
It's not the way I want to be remembered. But

(52:14):
you can see him just playing like here, just don't
feel bad, Like he doesn't know how to deal with it,
so he's just trying to distract him from this moment
of dying. Yeah, and I think that stuff really works
because you see the behind the scenes stuff that Hobson
doesn't see, which is him in the hallway ordering these
special meals and he doesn't want his last meal to
be jello, and he stepped up. You know that the

(52:36):
movie really needed that. I mean, it's one of my
favorite third X too. Arthur only uses money to try
to help other people or make people happy. It makes
feel happy. And there's a really critical moment in the
movie where he gives her the hundred thousand dollar check
and she rips it up and the dad cries, which
is one of the best acting moments, you just hear

(52:58):
it for the other room, because that is really that
kind of the crux of the whole thing of like
money doesn't make you happy, right, but also has one
of the greatest endings of all It doesn't suck. I
took the money. I'm not crazy. But it's also about
money can't buy you happiness. You have to find love.
You have to find those people that love and take

(53:20):
care of and it is it is hard to be alone. Yeah,
it's it's it's a it's a really fascinating movie because
I think when most people first think of it, they
do think of like all those great lines, you know,
I was just doing great with you, like you think
of all those, you know, just really hilarious lines. But
the joke count is insane. It's just crazy. I don't

(53:42):
know how you write a movie this densely packed with jokes.
Neither and you'll have so much heart in drama. And
I kept looking at like if there was some improv
stuff too, Like I was like going, Wow, I wonder
how much Dudley improv. I'd like to read the script.
Well you can. The problem is, I mean not the problem.
The amazing thing is you see one you know that

(54:04):
maybe was an improv and then it ties in later,
so it wasn't an improv because well unless they wrote
it down and said, oh, we're gonna pay. Like these
things was so carefully plotted, you know, and there's so
many like little tangents, like just the scene with the
guy who sells some flowers you need five, you know,
and him five friends you feel in love, and then

(54:26):
he says, by flowers for that girl you saw in
the bus, Like he remembers these things and says to people,
do this for your wife because you know, And then
and then later on you know, and then and and
just the fun of by tending green. I don't wear
sweaters and he wear sweaters the whole movie. He's just
saying that just to kind of, you know, appease the

(54:48):
person he's buying it from. Just all these this little
tiny things that are layered in that are pulled through
so elegantly, and I gotta believe it came from sitcom
writing where he just put it all in there and
just insanely because Dudley so talented, they all worked. Yeah,
because nine times out of ten, you know, like you
go back and you look at the Judd movies. You

(55:10):
know he's throwing they're not all working, so you pull
them out and I see Dudley was I just think
Dudley was such a master that they just kept them
all in. Yeah. I mean the joke count is ridiculous.
And you know it has lines that I still say
in my real life. I say, it doesn't suck a lot.
And then whenever anyone says something about the light outside

(55:33):
or look at the light on that thing, I always say,
of course, you can't depend on that light. It's one
of my favorite lines. Also one of the greatest pieces
of editing Susan Morris, because what happens in that scene
is he goes, fine, then I'm not gonna take the money.
She's like, and the father's like, well fine, then you're
cut off, and then you don't know the number, and
he goes, you just lost seven dollars and door shut.

(55:54):
You know when the lights are just right but it's
all off camera. The first two lines does that kid,
it's it's so yeah, and and again just a testament
to Dudley. And I was watching it when I watched
it this time, even like when he puts his drink
on the on the fender there. That is not an

(56:15):
improv because he's such a physical comedian. They must have
put something because he puts it twice, and he does
it and then but he doesn't overdo it like I
could see another actor standing there for ten minutes acting
like it's gonna fall. He just does a quick little
beat each time. Well, that was one tangent was saying

(56:36):
about the floral arrangement. The other tangent is berry Berry's wife.
No need for that to be in the movie whatsoever.
It's amazing. It's one of my favorite scenes. It's got
one of my favorite lines. My husband has a gun. Yeah,
and for all I know he shot at while you
were yelling at But also when I watched it again
as an older person, you could say, is thematically, that
is what you don't want to be, somebody who just

(56:58):
is in a horrible relation ship, being beaten up, not happy,
because he goes get back in there and give her
what for. And then the first thing he says when
he finally gets let into Susan's party, because don't you
hate Perry's why? So again, that's the thing. You realize
how confident he was because he had that in there,

(57:19):
knowing he was going to leave that scene in there.
I think now probably who knows, maybe in a preview
that that scene is amazing, I might have cut that scene. Yeah,
you know, to get to the ninety minutes that you
know you need, because these movies back in the day
weren't previewed like they are now, right, these comedies, you
really relied more on your own gut. Yeah. Interesting, there
was one line that I you know, when you see

(57:40):
a movie that you know by heart, it's always interesting
when you catch a line that you never caught before.
And I was like, there's no way I know every
word of this movie, but there was a line and
I guess it was said and maybe I was a
kid and I didn't understand it. But I actually had
to subtitle it last night because I didn't know what
he said. But after the tie theft scene, when he's
talking about like how amazing she is, Geel could goes,

(58:04):
she does have a sorta in eleanor Roosevelt clause And
never caught that line. Great, and it really doesn't really
even make sense, but coming from him, everything he says
is a perfect put down. Yeah, he really and again
Steve must have rewritten the script once lies it was
cast because a lot of stuff is specific to her
that wouldn't have worked again if you would have cast

(58:25):
like right right, it would have been a little bit
more on the nose. Yeah, casting is great. Oh and
then and then again going to back to his vulnerability
and why you love him. The whole date scene. Yeah,
he takes her to a little carnival. Yeah, and stays
pretty sober. I think he's drinking a little wine at dinner,
but he doesn't get smashed. And they have this amazing

(58:46):
thing where he's a kid and she's like, wow, I
thought dating a millionaire would be different, and he's like
having this joy, which is a total juxtaposition to where
he took the prostitute right to the Plaza, right right
right in the heart of everything and just kind of
you made a big show of it, but with her,
took her away and did something really personal and sweet
with her. Well, it's all I think he was almost

(59:06):
interested in thumbing his nose at the system that he's
a part of by bringing her to the Plaza hotel
at the beginning, But when he has you know, and
the moments that make this movie so you know, it
gives you an emotional tie. Are his sober moments, Like
the drunk stuff is very flesh, but it's all those
sober moments that really that's the heart of the film.
The whole scene with the horse because I wish you

(59:28):
had made love I was seeing in the morning, you know,
and he can I kiss you and he kisses the horse.
I wasn't talking about you, Like those are the ground
and the subtlety of the performances too, and and being
able to track that so like one of the most
fascinating pieces of acting for me is he's in that
bar with that rummy, who's great casting that guy which
one terrible. The guy he says he's getting married, he

(59:51):
doesn't there in the bar the day of the wedding.
He's amazing. I have that sober for a mom He's amazing.
And then he says, goes to your brother, yea, nobody
wants to be alone, and then he tracks it to
going to her still hammered, and then getting to the

(01:00:11):
wedding a little less drunk, but still drunk to be
able to walk down the aisle, and then that whole
performance with you think he wants and then to the
end being kind of sober again being but being in
pain because you've been beat up, right, that's probably a
week of shooting that you had to just know where

(01:00:32):
you were. Well, yeah, and just but also just his
performance of Okay, how where am I in relation to
because because when he was drinking with that, it was
five hours before his wedding, bitterman comes in and goes
to have five hours Yeah, so it's like in the
middle of the day basically morning. Yeah, and then and
then he goes to get her at the dinner and
he says, I'm getting married in twenty minutes. So he's

(01:00:53):
got a track like how sober he is? Yeah, and
he does it perfectly. Yeah. I love that scene in
the bar with that guy. Is he when Dudley Moore
when Arthur starts to get all worked up, he gets
up and tries to leave a couple of times, make
a scene. He's not into that at all. It's real,
He's like. And also when he when when Arthur is

(01:01:15):
going to meet with Susan's dad in the Hampton's it's
my favorite sequence of my favorite comedy. Yeah, well, think
about he's driving drinking again out of the bottle and
then he stops in front of the thing and does
the laugh. Oh, and that's when you know he's there.
He's there, and he can he can, he can face
all the butler stuff. Are you sure you want to

(01:01:37):
be a nightclub comic? It was amazing us. You did
you hate this moose? That the moose stuff. The funniest
line to me is right at the beginning with the moose. Well,
first of all, the way they had that shot framed
down low, with that giant fucking moose nose in between them.
And he makes a joke and looks at the moose

(01:01:57):
and just because this is a tough room, but I
don't have to tell you that, And then it goes
where he says, don't talk about the moose anymore. And
then he says I killed a man. And he just deadly,
just slowly looks at it, doesn't see anything, but it's
one you don't even see the most he just looks
up like God, he's so brilliant. Was he nominated for this? Yes,
he won the Golden Globe to well ordinary people one,

(01:02:20):
so I'm assuming ordinary people want best pictures. I'm assuming
it was somebody from ordinary people. I didn't look it up.
Interesting but in in in eighty one he was nominated.
He won Golden the Golden Globe for Best Comedic Actor
but didn't win. But gil Good one and the song one, uh,
the Arthur theme one, right, and the stream play was
nominated and didn't didn't win either. I'm assuming ordinary people

(01:02:41):
won that as well. Yeah, that song. I mean, there's
a as soon as those opening notes hit with the
Little Ryan, it was Oriyan that Orian logo, It's like,
that does something to my psyche. You're in from my
being eleven years old and seeing this movie a thousand times.
And you know, I don't think my parents they were
pretty guard it about what I watched. But um, I

(01:03:03):
think I just got away with this one. Yeah. Well,
because it was PG. They didn't know bugs Bunny, they
didn't know. They thought, oh it's fine, and some you know,
these subtle jokes were being being fed to you. But
it was a love story, you know, it was a
really sweet movie. It wasn't it wasn't too tawdry. I
mean it was so like alcoholism, wasn't the kind of

(01:03:24):
you didn't think about it in the same way. Then
you can play it for laughs. And even at the
end he says, I'm gonna try to I promise I'll
try to stay sober. He doesn't say I'm not going
to drink anymore. There's no, there's no. And you realize
when the grandmother says no, there's never been a Bach
who has been a working class back she says, your
your your son will be president or at center. You
realize they've all. He's all they've got. Yeah, there's nobody else, right,

(01:03:48):
So the line ends with him, and I was thinking
also speaking of the Arthur remake, I was thinking about
the sequel, Arthur on the Rocks. I did see that,
but I don't remember much of what the problem is.
His arc is so closed. It's over a right. So
he starts off as a child and he ends as
an adult. Even says I've grown up, right, and so
you there's nowhere to go. Yeah, it's not like a

(01:04:08):
superhero where then you just send Arthur on at a venture.
It was a complete so they tried to reset, and
so then you just ended up going through the same
Well was even the plot, I don't know. He was
married and drunk and having to to try. I can't
remember what the actual plot was, but that was the
ark of his character just reset and you're like when
you saw this, like, why am I watching this again?
You know that was the problem and that thing was

(01:04:29):
great in it, but it's just such a perfect character
arc of a guy who's growing up, a kid who's
growing up. That's why we all loved it at our ages. Yeah,
it's interesting. And he also has that moment with Susan
when he gets engaged a couple of I mean, that's
a pretty pivotal scene. Um, he's being forced to do this,

(01:04:49):
he does it anyway. He says this is who I
am and basically like, this is who you're marrying. You
know that. And then the second he pops the question
and he says, yes, he wants to leave, he wants
to go home, he feels sick, he wants to go
pass out. Basically, Yeah, it's amazingly about that scene she
orders food and he's just got a silver tray with

(01:05:09):
a full glass of scotch. And do that move occasionally
in restaurants, Yes, I'll let a drink on an empty plate.
The two lines I sometimes say generally when I'm in Vegas.
One is engine room with the house my child. God,
it's so great. And the second one is I'm gonna
need one. My doctors advised me I need the man.
I've done the engine room thing because you rarely see
an actual telephone in these days. So occasionally, if I'm

(01:05:32):
actually in a place where I have a telephone, I'll
pick it up and I'll go engine room where there's
my drink and no one knows what that No, that's
it's great. Um let me see here, I'm going through
my notes. I think that like, structurally, they could you know,
they could teach this in screen running class. It's and
what I learned as a writer, and I've obviously I

(01:05:55):
am not great at it, or else i'd be making
movies right now. But I did learn a thing or
two about what goes into a good script. And I
think like the advice I would give if I ever
talk about it is there are very few Charlie Kaufman's
out there, like there there's a formula for a reason.
It's because it works and it's what people are conditioned to.

(01:06:16):
And good writing to me is I mean, if you
can be Charlie Cauman, great, but um, don't try to
be because you're gonna fail. Probably, Like stay within the
formula and just do a really good job at it.
Hit those act plot points as as like perfectly as
you can at the thirty minute mark and at the
whatever you know eighty you know, third act plot point,

(01:06:39):
and make it great within those parameters, because people need
to see movies that they understand. Generally, I think a
lot of screenwriters suffer from worrying that there being two
on the nose, which you can be obviously, but that
if you look at Arthur, every scene restates the theme

(01:07:02):
in some way. It's very on the nose yea. And
sometimes he just says it out loud, I don't want
to be alone, and sometimes he says I just want
people like me, and sometimes he says, um, you know
you're my father. It's so all of the themes of
growing up, not being afraid of being an adult, not
wanting to be alone, and our relationships with our fathers

(01:07:24):
is restated in every scene. And so if you're a
screenwriter that's starting out and are writing a screenplay, just
make sure that you are every scene has a reason
for being right. And that's the other thing I find
as a lot of times people just want to be
clever and or they'll say, well, the audience gets it.
They're gonna, you know, and it's not that the audience

(01:07:44):
is just stupid, they're very intelligent. But if you can,
but it's your job to hide the cards. So if
you just have a scene that's like, well this happened
to me, I think it's interesting, and like, what the hell?
This has nothing to do with the movie, every scene
needs to not only move the plot forward, but move
the characters forward and continue to restate the theme in

(01:08:07):
some way, because that's what gets you emotionally invested in
these characters. So that first five minutes of Arthur, you're
just in because he said everything he needs to say.
He's generous, he's a scoundrel, He's but he's vulnerable, he's
lovable and this is clearly something he's struggling with and

(01:08:29):
he wants to do better, but he doesn't know how.
And so every scene kind of does that. And for us,
I think the reason why um, people who saw it
in their teens and as children love it so much
is it really just is about fathers and our relationships
with their dad and the In fact, she says it
in one of the craziest lines of all time when

(01:08:49):
she says, my mom moved out when I was six,
and my dad raped me when I was twelve. He goes, well,
you had six relatively good years, and then he says,
don't worry, my father screwed me too. And it's it's
a easy line that you probably couldn't say and of today,
but it hits everything that he's about. He's trying to
trying to deflect her pain through humor, and he's trying
to relate to her by being vulnerable. Right. Yeah, it's

(01:09:13):
a really good screenwriting exercise. Yeah, and it's like a
tight rope. Like on the surface, it looks like just
this sort of easy movie to make, but it's really not.
It could this movie could have gone so wrong. Um,
if you know, if anyone other than Dudley Moore, maybe
I knew he thought about Jack Nicholson and he was
trying to cast American. Yeah, I think you know, everybody

(01:09:34):
always had Charles Groden in every Yeah, that's what I hear.
It's always these things are apocryphal, That's what I'm saying.
So funny, but he was a little too dry maybe
for this. He also was very close on Pretty Woman, Oh,
got right? Yeah, right, I think he might even screen
tested with Julia. He's not a romantic lead though, or
I think at the time, when you know he was

(01:09:54):
doing so many good movies, you know, and different roles
between Heaving eight and you know all, you know, all
the all the movies that he was doing, I think
people just were like, he's a star, let's give him interesting.
I keep waiting on someone to pick my probably second
favorite comedy of all time, Midnight Run. By the way,

(01:10:14):
let me give you some insight about being a producer,
so me too. I loved Midnight Run, which is why
I made Jeelie. Oh Wow, where you go? Goodness again?
There you go. We're Marty Brass can do no wrong.
Like it's Marty Brest. He did Beverly Hills copy to that.
Everybody has their moments, you know, and and and we

(01:10:36):
had anybuddy, you know, we had done you know, Armageddon
in Pearl Harbor with Ben and so it's just you know,
it's again, it's a fly. It's like everybody says, it
seems super easy to do, but one thing can go wrong.
It's like the Space Shuttle. It just sort of drinks
off into into space and you can't bring it back.
Making a movie a good movie is incredibly difficult, and uh,

(01:10:57):
I don't know if everyone gets know how hard it is,
because it's so easy to be an armchair critic and
to come down on something, but making movies difficult, so hard,
and especially now with you know, everybody has a microphone
that is equal to any other microphone. And like, if
you're on Twitter Entertainment Weekly and Frank from Burbank has

(01:11:18):
the same Twitter feed, the same maybe one has more followers,
but I can still get to you if you're he's
dagging you, Frank ouch uh and but um yeah, And
so it's it's it's nearly impossible to make a good movie,
and so when it happens, it's it's joyous. And that's
why I again being the crazy optimist that I am

(01:11:39):
and being like what you say, a sycophant, um, I
I I celebrate everybody's success. Also, I send emails and
text to all my friends when they hit USA. Have
to That's how it should be. It's so hard, you know. Yeah,
I've had I've had movies that I've done with the
exact crew of a movie that did it huge hit

(01:12:00):
just the movie before, and it just didn't work out.
The same way, you know, And so anytime that alchemy
comes together, you got to celebrate it. I send a
note over and I send emails I do you know,
I just celebrate him and I bring him my podcast
and tell them how great they are, because it's really hard,
and there are certain when you see guys. I just
saw that I'm late to the party. I just saw

(01:12:22):
the HBO documentary on Spielberg, and you look at that
guy and you just realize, Okay, you he's the magician,
and he's just so good at what he does. And
then you watch the documentary and you realize how hard
he works and how much he studies and how much
prep work he does to be able to be the
maestro on the day. Yeah, you know, I did. When

(01:12:44):
I was working TV commercials, I did work with some
of those big directors. I did a couple of Michael
Bayer commercials and I worked with Tony Scott, and it
was interesting to see the difference in those two guys
on a set. And Tony Scott was the leader of
the army. Everyone loved him. Everyone would go to battle
with him, and he was constantly moving and just had

(01:13:05):
so much positive forward momentum as a person, uh you know,
a sense of play. Let's go do this, pick up
a camera, let's go do that. And Michael Bay was
just it was the worst, really god damn experience. Yeah,
I mean a d I think we went through like
three a d s on that job, like throwing their
walk He's into the Grand Canyon because they were so

(01:13:26):
mad and he's intense, uh just berating. He was berating
the stunt drivers and it was tough. And I I've
made a couple of movies with them, so I honestly
believe he wouldn't even understand that that happened. Really, yeah,
because I think he's so he loves it so much

(01:13:47):
and he's such a kid at heart. I think he
just loves doing it. He wants to just go fast
and be right. I think that he wouldn't even I
think he would be like probably saw those pas and
be like, hey, you're gonna have a beer. Like I
don't think he That is true. Actually, he didn't turn
his uh he was he was never turning his eye
on us. In fact, I always tell the story that

(01:14:08):
it's it was kind of great too because PA's were
kind of invisible to him, so he could be having
a meltdown in someone and I could be standing three
ft from him and he's not like, what are you
looking at? Get out of here. He just didn't even
see me. Well, he's you know, he's also doing eighty
five setups a day, you know. So he's on a
ten million dollars Ford commercial or whatever he's and he

(01:14:30):
doesn't need ten million dollars. He did the first Bad
Boys for and he's just a maniac in that way.
He just loves it and he wants to get every squeeze,
every bit of juice out of the orange as he
can as he's making the movie. And I think that
that you're changing my mind on. He brings a lot
of eggs. I've know the guy very well. I've done
I've done, I did UM. I worked on Pearl Harbor

(01:14:52):
with him, and he did Armageddon at the studio when
we were there, and and in the Rock and so
I know him and I've been in the trend just
with him. I've gone head to head with him on
some things. But I but I, but I. What I
love about him is that it's not punitive and it's
not ego. It's all about the work, all right, And
it's just a guy who is just like, let's go

(01:15:14):
pick up and he's excited and and yeah, I'm sure
he can like I'm glad to hear this perspective. And
also he should never judge someone on three or four
days out of their life, you know, but you're not.
I think that's the way it works. And I don't
think he would. I don't I think he'd be like, yeah,
it wasn't it great. I just think that there are
certain I just think there are certain coaches too that

(01:15:35):
are like, do you have you ever watched Last Chance?
To you? Yeah, you know, you just see that coach
And I just don't I don't think he I don't
think he like hates those kids. I just think he
thinks we're gonna win, and then if we win, you're
all ships rise in the tide um. There are you know,
I've worked with other directors that are just complete, you know,

(01:15:56):
sociopathic assholes that just just mean people, right, um, And
he's not that now, And you don't want to work
with those those people, even even if they're great. Life's
too short. Well, Todd, I feel like we could talk
for another feen hours. Uh, this is awesome. I would
love to hang out next time you're in Atlanta, anytime,
go get some dinner or whatever. Anytime. Thank you for
picking Arthur. Thank you. And if you're listening and you

(01:16:17):
have not seen the original Arthur, my god, just watch it.
It holds up. It's still so so funny, has so
much heart, and especially when you know the story behind
with the director making his one film and passing away
so young. It's just kind of one of those legendary comedies. Yeah,
thank all right everyone. I hope you enjoyed that as

(01:16:43):
much as I did. I think you could tell by
listening to this that Todd and I really hit it off.
He was a super cool guy, very nice, nice man,
and it's uh I really think it's awesome what he's doing,
uh a in his career, just by being a good
guy that's a producer, and also his podcast and kind
of spreading the word about what producers do and how

(01:17:03):
you can be a good guy and be a producer
and you don't have to yell and scream and be
a terrible human being. And I think so often, unfairly
that's the the image that a lot of people have
of the Hollywood movie producer. So thanks to Todd for
coming on. Definitely check out his podcast. It's really great.
I would just kind of scroll through and pick someone
that sounds interesting. It's a good way to start. And

(01:17:24):
thanks a lot for listening, and we'll see you next week.
The movie Crash is produced and written by Charles Bryant
and Roel Brown, edited and engineered by Seth Nicholas Johnson,
and scored by Noel Brown here in our home studio
at Pontsty Market, Atlanta, Georgia. For I Heart Radio. For
more podcasts for my Heart Radio, visit the iHeart Radio app,
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