And The Academy Award Goes To

Paul Gambaccini traces the history of the Oscars and tells the story behind award-winning films.

Episodes

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0101Lawrence Of Arabia2008020220080907
20170307 (BBC7)
20170308 (BBC7)

Gambaccini discovers how David Lean's epic won the Best Picture Award in 1963.

In his history of the Oscars, Paul Gambaccini discovers how David Lean's epic won the Best Picture Award in 1963. From February 2008.

Lawrence of Arabia

1/4. Paul Gambaccini traces the history of the Oscars and tells the story behind award-winning films.

0102One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest2008020920080914
20170314 (BBC7)
20170315 (BBC7)

Paul Gambaccini examines the first post-war winner to sweep five major Academy awards.

Paul Gambaccini traces the history of the Oscars and tells the story behind award-winning films.

Director Milos Foreman recalls how the film reflected his views on the Iron Curtain and how the script came to influence mental healthcare in America. Louise Fletcher recalls the experience of acting alongside the mixed cast of amateurs and professionals including Jack Nicholson.

Director Milos Foreman recalls how the film reflected his views on the Iron Curtain and how the script came to influence mental healthcare in America.

Louise Fletcher recalls the experience of acting alongside the mixed cast of amateurs and professionals including Jack Nicholson

2/4. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

0103The Silence Of The Lambs2008021620080921
20170321 (BBC7)
20170322 (BBC7)

Paul Gambaccini talks about the winner of 1992's Best Picture Award. With Jodie Foster.

Paul Gambaccini traces the history of the Oscars and tells the stories behind award-winning films.

Jodie Foster recalls the experience of working with Anthony Hopkins and director Jonathan Demme. Screenwriter Ted Tally considers the extent to which The Silence of the Lambs reveals more about celebrity culture than serial killers.

Jodie Foster recalls the experience of working with Anthony Hopkins and director Jonathan Demme.

Screenwriter Ted Tally considers the extent to which The Silence of the Lambs reveals more about celebrity culture than serial killers.

3/4. The Silence of the Lambs

0104 LASTThe English Patient2008022320080928
20170328 (BBC7)
20170329 (BBC7)

Paul talks to author Michael Ondaatje about the adaptation of his novel.

Publicist Tony Angelloti recalls how he ran the campaign to persuade the Academy that this film was a winner.

Paul Gambaccini examines why the book considered unfilmable, won Best Picture of 1996.

Paul Gambaccini traces the history of the Oscars and tells the stories behind award-winning films.

4/4. The English Patient

Paul talks to author Michael Ondaatje about the adaptation of his novel. Publicist Tony Angelloti recalls how he ran the campaign to persuade the Academy that this film was a winner.

0201The Godfather And The Godfather Part Ii2009013120100412
20180221 (BBC7)
20180220 (BBC7)

And the Academy Award Goes To... The Godfather and Godfather II. Another chance to catch Paul Gambaccini's series on Oscar-winning films and what they can tell us of the culture and times that gave birth to them.

To kick off the series he explores the potboiler novel that spawned not only one of the most violent 'family' movies ever, but also led to an even more successful sequel. An offer that can't be refused..

And the Academy Award Goes To... The Godfather and Godfather II. Another chance to catch Paul Gambaccini's series on Oscar-winning films and what they can tell us of the culture and times that gave birth to them.

To kick off the series he explores the potboiler novel that spawned not only one of the most violent 'family' movies ever, but also led to an even more successful sequel. An offer that can't be refused..

And the Academy Award Goes To...

The Godfather and Godfather II.

Another chance to catch Paul Gambaccini's series on Oscar-winning films and what they can tell us of the culture and times that gave birth to them.

To kick off the series he explores the potboiler novel that spawned not only one of the most violent 'family' movies ever, but also led to an even more successful sequel.

An offer that can't be refused..

The potboiler novel that spawned one of the most violent 'family' movies ever.

Series in which Paul Gambaccini explores what Oscar-winning films can tell us about the American society of the time.

Paul explores the potboiler novel that spawned not only one of the most violent 'family' movies ever, but also led to an even more successful sequel.

Paul Gambaccini explores how The Godfather and its sequel won Best Picture Oscars.

And the Academy Award Goes To... The Godfather and Godfather II. Another chance to catch Paul Gambaccini's series on Oscar-winning films and what they can tell us of the culture and times that gave birth to them.

To kick off the series he explores the potboiler novel that spawned not only one of the most violent 'family' movies ever, but also led to an even more successful sequel. An offer that can't be refused..

0202Shakespeare In Love2009020720100413
20180228 (BBC7)
20180227 (BBC7)

Continuing with his look at Oscar-winning films and what they tell us about the society that gave birth to them, Paul Gambaccini turns to Shakespeare in Love which won the Oscar for Best Picture, despite being a comedy, and for Best Supporting Actress, despite its recipient Judi Dench's appearance in the film being one of the shortest to win an award.

Continuing with his look at Oscar-winning films and what they tell us about the society that gave birth to them, Paul Gambaccini turns to Shakespeare in Love which won the Oscar for Best Picture, despite being a comedy, and for Best Supporting Actress, despite its recipient Judi Dench's appearance in the film being one of the shortest to win an award.

How the comedy won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress.

Paul examines the last comedy to win the Best Picture Oscar and Dame Judi Dench's performance, which was one of the shortest appearances to win the Best Supporting Actress award.

Continuing with his look at Oscar-winning films and what they tell us about the society that gave birth to them, Paul Gambaccini turns to the last comedy to win the Best Picture Oscar and one of the shortest appearances to win the Best Supporting Actress Award: Dame Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love.

Paul examines the last comedy to win the Best Picture Oscar.

Series in which Paul Gambaccini explores what Oscar-winning films can tell us about the American society of the time.

0203Crash2009021420100414
20180307 (BBC7)
20180306 (BBC7)

And the Academy Award Goes to... Crash. For the third programme in the current series of Oscar-winning films and what they tell us of the time that gave rise to them, Paul Gambaccini tackles the film that was loved and reviled in equal measure by the very same LA society whose darker side the film set out to explore.

And the Academy Award Goes to... Crash. For the third programme in the current series of Oscar-winning films and what they tell us of the time that gave rise to them, Paul Gambaccini tackles the film that was loved and reviled in equal measure by the very same LA society whose darker side the film set out to explore.

And the Academy Award Goes to... Crash. For the third programme in the current series of Oscar-winning films and what they tell us of the time that gave rise to them, Paul Gambaccini tackles the film that was loved and reviled in equal measure by the very same LA society whose darker side the film set out to explore.

Paul examines the film that was loved and reviled in equal measure by the very same LA society whose darker side it set out to explore.

And the Academy Award Goes to...

Crash.

For the third programme in the current series of Oscar-winning films and what they tell us of the time that gave rise to them, Paul Gambaccini tackles the film that was loved and reviled in equal measure by the very same LA society whose darker side the film set out to explore.

The film that was both loved and reviled by the LA society whose darker side it explored.

0204 LASTWest Side Story2009022120180313 (BBC7)
20180314 (BBC7)

Series in which Paul Gambaccini explores what Oscar-winning films can tell us about the American society of the time.

Paul tells the story of how West Side Story won 10 Oscars in 1961 and hears from producers, stars and musicians involved in the film.

It tackles tough issues through the medium of the musical.

With a fresh young cast that included Natalie Wood in her first adult role, the movie sizzles with colour, drama, the outstanding choreography of Jerome Robbins, the music of Leonard Bernstein and the lyrics of a young Stephen Sondheim.

Behind the scenes, however, there were arguments, dubbings and overuns, plus issues over racial casting and 'blacking up'.

Yet what emerged from a tumultuous production was a trumph.

Paul tells the story of how West Side Story won 10 Oscars in 1961.

Another chance to hear "And The Academy Awards Goes to.... West Side Story". Continuing his series on Oscar-winning films, Paul Gambaccini turns his attention to one that tackled tough issues through the medium of the musical. With a young fresh cast - Natalie Wood in her first adult role, Rita Moreno sweeping everyone else off the dancefloor, and a relatively inexperienced but dazzling array of support actors - the movie sizzles with colour, drama, the outstanding choreography of Jerome Robbins, the music of Leonard Bernstein and the lyrics of a young Stephen Sondheim. Who could tell that behind the scenes there were arguments, voice dubbings and overruns, plus issues over racial casting and 'blacking up'? What emerged from a tumultuous production was a triumph.

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.

0301The Deer Hunter2010022020100419

Away from the red carpet, bright lights and tearful speeches, what do the decisions made by the Academy each year tell us about the state of America at the time?

Vietnam War film The Deer Hunter, starring Robert DeNiro, Meryl Streep and Christopher Walken, won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1978, at the 51st Academy Awards ceremony.

When it emerged as a potential Oscar winner, it was only three years since the end of the Vietnam War.

The film became the subject of huge controversy, not least for its portrayal of the Vietnamese as sadistic torturers, and for the unforgettable scenes featuring a game of Russian roulette.

Paul Gambaccini explores how the original shocking screenplay came about, the battles between the producers, and director Michael Cimino's approach to acting that almost brought the cast to the edge of a nervous breakdown.

He also ponders whether The Deer Hunter was actually even a war film at all.

How The Deer Hunter came to win the Oscar for Best Picture in 1978.

0302Gigi2010022720100420

Paul Gambaccini discovers how Gallic charm won Gigi the Best Picture Oscar in 1959.

In April 1959 the musical Gigi, starring Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier and Louis Jourdan, won nine Oscars including the Best Picture Award, breaking the previous record of eight awards which went to Gone With The Wind in 1940.

Paul Gambaccini discovers how the combination of Gallic charm and memorable songs, including The Night They Invented Champagne, Gigi and I Remember It Well, sanitised Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette's risque novella for the big screen.

Considered to be the last of MGM's great musicals, Gigi tells the story of a young girl being groomed as a courtesan, and the movie's producers battled with the censors to get it made.

Director Vincente Minnelli's lavish film, which was shot mostly in Paris, sugar-coated the subject matter, and Caron's gamine performance melted Hollywood cinemagoers.

The programme also explores how Gigi represented the passionate early days of the on-off American love affair with France - a relationship that has come under strain in recent years following the war in Iraq.

0303 LASTUnforgiven2010030620100421

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Paul Gambaccini tells the story behind Clint Eastwood's 1992 film Unforgiven.

Starring Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman and Eastwood himself as both actor and director, Gambaccini reflects on Eastwood's extraordinary Hollywood career, from the epitome of the lonesome cowboy to respected Hollywood director.

When the screenplay of Unforgiven landed on his desk, Clint Eastwood optioned it, then sat on it for two decades, developing his directoral skills, gathering a team of experts around him at Malpaso Productions, and waiting until he himself was the right age to take the leading role.

Film editor Joel Cox, cinematographer Jack N Green, actor Jaimz Woolvett and screenwriter David Webb Peoples tell of the experience of working with a legend as director and star, and biographer Richard Schickle and critics David Thomson and Kenneth Turan ruminate on how Clint Eastwood, the eternal cowboy, became a Best Picture director.

Paul Gambaccini tells the story behind the production of Clint Eastwood's 1992 Western.

0401On The Waterfront20130202

Paul Gambaccini returns with the series about how some of the greatest Best Picture Oscar winning films were made, and what they tell us about the history of the time.

The 27th Academy Awards, for the films released in 1954, were dominated by ON THE WATERFRONT, a gritty, black and white masterpiece, which takes us down to the highly unionised New Jersey docks, then controlled by the mob.

A real tale of corruption and murder on the waterfront is transformed into a fiction - as a simple minded ex-boxer, played by Marlon Brando, wrestles with his conscience as he turns informer to win the girl he loves.

ON THE WATERFRONT not only gives us the most famous scene ever to take place in the back of a taxi, ("I coulda been a contender!"), it also showcases the talents of director Elia Kazan, and an astonishingly strong support cast - Rod Steiger, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb and newcomer Eva Marie Saint- Method Acting at its height.

It also marks the end of the powerful team of director Elia Kazan and Method actor Marlon Brando - blown apart by Brando's horror at Kazan's decision to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee, HUAC - then investigating the red-scare in Hollywood.

Is it a coincidence that ON THE WATERFRONT tells the story of a man who informs - snitches on his friends - but holds the moral high ground?

With a rich mix of archive and original interviews with actors, screen writers and film critics, and a revelatory interview with Thomas Hanley, a real life longshoreman who played Brando's young friend Tommy back in 1954, Paul Gambaccini presents "And The Academy Award Goes to... On The Waterfront."

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.

0402In The Heat Of The Night20130209

It makes for uncomfortable viewing. A Southern policeman insolently challenges Sidney Poitier, a detective from 'up North'.

"So, boy, what do they call you in Philadelphia?"

"They call me Mister Tibbs!"

It's one of the great movie lines in history, from Sidney Poitier's favourite of all his films. But was "In The Heat of the Night" a worthy winner of the Best Picture?

Up against tough competition, including "The Graduate" and "Bonnie and Clyde", it has been suggested that this might have been an Oscar vote carried on a tidal wave of outrage during the peak years of the Civil Rights movement.

In 1967, "In The Heat of the Night" seemed to speak out against an America riven with racial tensions. The Watts Riots had just devastated Los Angeles, close to Hollywood. The film was set in Mississippi, but the crew were forced to choose Illinois in the North as a safer location. The murder of Martin Luther King, and his subsequent funeral, delayed the Oscar ceremony in 1968 by several days - enabling the cast and crew of "In The Heat of the Night" to attend his funeral.

All these stories and more are told to Paul Gambaccini, in the second in the Oscar series "And The Academy Award Goes To.", by veteran director - Norman Jewison, and he also hears from his legendary producer - Walter Mirisch - a man who at the age of 91, still makes his way to his film studios in Hollywood, and takes lunch as Spagos. He also hears from one of the world's great cinematographer's Haskell Wexler - who was the first to devise lighting especially for darker skin tones - and sets the scene for Norman Jewison's dramatic reconstruction of a country divided along racial lines that has echoes today.

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.

0403Amadeus2013021620130218

In the third episode of "And The Academy Award Goes To." Paul Gambaccini talks to the team behind the rich, musical extravaganza "Amadeus" - which you may remember for its brilliant interpretation of the life and genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, or for the shrill giggle of Tom Hulce and the cleavage of his wife.

Director Milos Forman, who had left Czechoslovakia as a political refugee, chose Prague as the best 'double' for Vienna - only to find himself followed by spies for his former homeland as a suspected anti-communist.

Forman recalls how he first met Sir Peter Shaffer backstage at the National Theatre in London where, Sir Peter confirms, Forman promised there and then, to make a film out of Shaffer's masterpiece of the stage.

Simon Callow who played Mozart in the original London stage production was the only actor to appear in the Hollywood version - but probably enjoyed himself more because of it. Gambaccini also talks to Sir Neville Mariner, choreographer Twyla Tharp, producer Ken Tuohy and the actor Elizabeth Berridge, who was told she'd got the part as Mozart's wife as she most resembled an 'landlady's daughter'.

Cold War mystery and the greatest composer on earth - how they brought to screen a musical and cinematic masterpiece.

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.

0404 LASTAmerican Beauty2013021820130223

On the eve of this year's Academy Awards, Paul Gambaccini explores a Best Picture Oscar film to find out how and why it won and see what it tells us about society at the time - this week American Beauty.

The black comedy American Beauty swept the board at the 2000 Oscars ceremony, pushing aside The Sixth Sense and The Green Mile. It was an unexpected hit for the studio - Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks - and went on to become a popular, critical and commercial success around the world.

Telling a story of dysfunction in suburbia it tackled many taboo themes head on: homophobia, drugs, blackmail, infidelity and domestic abuse. Kevin Spacey won an Oscar for Best Actor after giving a landmark performance as suburban everyman who's had enough and embraces his midlife crisis. Annette Benning, who memorably plays his wife, holds onto the facades that make up her world whilst inside she's falling apart.

For the director, Sam Mendes, it was his first movie and he picked up an Oscar. He's come a long way in Hollywood since then, having just finished the new James Bond blockbuster Skyfall. Paul talks to Mendes about his vision and the evolution of American Beauty on and off set and reflects on cultural event it soon became. He recalls his Oscar night and the tribute to his hero Billy Wilder. He talks to the producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, who went on to produce Milk, about casting the movie and getting it made. Thomas Newman, of the Hollywood composing dynasty wrote the score and tells him how close to the wire the iconic opening music sequence was. And the young actors in the film Thora Birch and Wes Bentley discuss how, at the start of their careers, they immersed themselves in roles which resonated with their lives at the time.

American Beauty still stands out as a bold, classic movie but Paul hears how its legacy is felt more in the cable tv series of the past decade rather than in Hollywood, where it was created.

Producer Neil McCarthy.

The black comedy American Beauty swept the 2000 Oscars, pushing aside The Sixth Sense and The Green Mile, and was an unexpected hit for Spielberg's Dreamworks studio.

0501Mrs Miniver2015020720150831 (R4)

Paul Gambaccini returns with the series that takes a long hard look behind the scenes of three classic films which have scooped the Best Picture Award. He reports on the artistic, political and personal decisions that lie behind the winners, laced with some pretty good gossip too.

First up, Mrs Miniver, from 1942, a war time classic.

During the filming, star Greer Garson insisted on tea every afternoon at four o'clock, whilst director William Wyler hated the chocolate box set of rose-strewn villages he was forced to work with. Despite these restrictions Mrs Miniver turned out to be a film that helped change history - credited by many, including Churchill, with helping to turn popular opinion in America away from isolationism and towards whole hearted support for the Allied Forces in Europe.

It portrays a family living a safe life in the Garden of England, Kent - a world where Mrs Miniver worries more about a hat than the approaching conflict. But as her world falls apart, she changes and becomes more resilient, as the people of Britain bravely face up to the task of defending this island, whatever the cost.

So did Mrs Miniver deserve Best Picture for 1942?

Veteran film critic Philip French believes that it hasn't lasted, though he recalls from his own childhood in Liverpool how it touched the hearts of British cinema goers.

And behind this patriotic movie lies a darker story - did Hollywood studios protect their sales in Germany by going softly, softly on the Nazi regime, until the tide of public opinion finally turned against the Germans?

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.

Nazis and Hollywood combine for the first in the new series of And The Academy Award Goes To...

As the city of celluloid gears up for Oscar time, Paul Gambaccini returns with the series that takes a long hard look behind the scenes of three classic films which have scooped the Best Picture Award. He reports on the artistic, political and personal decisions that lie behind the winners, laced with some pretty good gossip too.

0502Midnight Cowboy2015021420150907 (R4)

An X-rated picture winning the Oscar for Best Picture?

It was a shock, but not a surprise when 'Midnight Cowboy' won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1969 - not to mention gongs for the director, John Schlesinger, and screen writer, Waldo Salt.

But take a fresh look at this film, 45 years later, and it's obvious why it blasted its way passed the opposition at the Academy Awards. The film was rife with acting talent; a young Dustin Hoffman, messing up his clean cut reputation by taking on the role of a down at heel New York bum; Jon Voight as a naïve but optimistic hustler; Brenda Vaccaro as a lush, fur-coated party girl and Sylvia Miles hilarious in a short but lauded sex scene..

It also brought one of the most extraordinary scriptwriters, Waldo Salt, and one of the first 'out' directors, John Schlesinger, together with one of the least experienced, but adventurous cinematographers, Adam Holender - a moment of production chemistry.

With fresh interviews with Adam Holender, Sylvia Miles, producer Jerome Hellman, Brenda Vacaro, Waldo Salt's daughter Jennifer, and Schlesinger's long-term partner Michael Childers, Paul Gambaccini presents "And The Academy Award Goes To... Midnight Cowboy."

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.

0503 LASTChariots Of Fire2015022120150914 (R4)

Paul Gambaccini explores Oscar-winning films.

0601The Last Emperor20160213

Paul Gambaccini returns with the series that takes a long hard look behind the scenes of three classic films which have scooped the Best Picture Award. He reports on the artistic, political and personal decisions that lie behind the winners, laced with some pretty good gossip too.

In Episode 1 Paul hears from the director, producer, cinematographer and composer of the epic which opened up the recent history of China to the West and swept the Oscars in 1988.

Producer: Marya Burgess

0602The French Connection20160220

Continuing with his look at Oscar-winning films and what they tell us about the society that gave birth to them, Paul Gambaccini turns to the first R-rated movie to win the Best Picture Oscar and one of the earliest to show the newly complete World trade towers. An early example of the new wave in American Films, The French Connection went on to win 5 Oscars and set both its leading man (Gene Hackman) and its young director (William Friedkin) on what were to become glittering careers.

Producer: Paul Kobrak.

0603 LASTSlumdog Millionaire20160227

Somewhere between Bollywood and Hollywood, 'Slumdog Millionaire', the low budget independent production captured the heart of the world, and 8 Oscars in 2009.

Paul Gambaccini tells the gripping story of the little film that got lucky, talking to some of those central to its creation, from Vikas Swarup, the Indian Diplomat who wrote the original novel, co-director Loveleen Tandem, who helped persuade the studios to let the child actors speak Hindi, and Resul Pookerty, whose magical soundscape of India won him an Oscar and changed his life for ever.

It was a film which took a city, a child of the slums, and a game show - and turned it into a star-crossed romance; a film which snuck past the infamous Foreign Language category and into the mainstream Best Picture category at the 81st Academy Awards - despite at least 20% Hindi.

Winning 8 Oscars, the film had no star actors, but a cast of millions - the city of Mumbai. The real star name was Danny Boyle, a director who, according to screen writer Simon Beaufoy, discovered in Mumbai a city 'like the inside of his head' - vibrant, frenetic, dazzling, and full of extremes.

This was also an independent film which nearly went straight to DVD, but rose again to take Oscar after Oscar, from under the noses of studio films.

Paul Smith of Celador Productions, describes how his company, who invented the game show, "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire", got lucky a second time - winning a Best Picture Oscar.

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.

0701All About Eve20170218

Fasten your seat belts folks!

With 90 years of the Academy Awards to choose from, Paul Gambaccini is back with a swashbuckling, all singing, all dancing, behind the scenes new series of AND THE ACADEMY AWARD GOES TO... digging up the stories behind the greatest Best Picture Oscar winners - reflecting the world in which they were made.

With "La La Land" a hot favourite at this year's awards, with 14 nominations, Gambaccini takes as his first subject a similarly feted film from 1950.

"All About Eve" was Bette Davis's come back picture, as she took on the role of Margo Channing, a Broadway star on the wrong side of 40. Davis had been Hollywood divinity, but the previous year she had won Worst Actress of the Year from the San Francisco Critics Circle.

Even back then navel gazing was a favourite Hollywood obsession, and the Academy had to weigh up the merits of two films about show business - "All About Eve" and "Sunset Boulevard".

With 14 nominations and 6 wins, "All About Eve" carried the day - but the night was a keen disappointment for Davis, who was hoping for a third Oscar, as her co-star, Anne Baxter, would cancel out her chances of winning Best Actress.

Michael Merrill, Davis's son, recalls her bitter disappointment, but it's still his favourite film - "Because it was how my mother and father met each other".

Gary Merrill, Davis's on screen love interest, would become her 3rd husband.

The following week, Gambaccini investigates the success story behind the 2013 winner, "12 years A Slave" - a film made by Steve McQueen, the first ever black director to win a Best Picture Oscar. An unflinchingly brutal film which takes us to the heart of American slavery, hailed as "brilliant-and quite possibly essential-cinema."

"Schindler's List" completes the trio of programmes to celebrate the Oscars, with a look back, 25 years later, to one of the most complex productions, created by a crew and cast committed to retelling one of the most astonishing and horrifying stories of the Holocaust. Gambaccini talks to one of the survivors saved by Schindler, Rena Finder, who recalls the evils of concentration camp sadist Amon Goeth first hand, and remarks that Ralph Fiennes's portrayal, although good, could never truly encompass a man who was so wholly evil.

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.

070212 Years A Slave20170225

Why does it take an Englishman to tackle one of the most horrific chapters in the history of the United States? Described as stark, visceral and unrelenting, "12 Years A Slave" has been hailed as "brilliant - and quite possibly essential - cinema". and it became the first film with a black director (and producer) to win the Best Picture Oscar

Paul Gambaccini talks to key personnel behind the flim and hears from its stars (both behind and in front of the camera) to find out how the film was made, including editor Joe Walker, production designers Adam Stockhausen, stars Kelsey Scott and Chiwetel Ejiofor and director Steve McQueen. And with the help of critics David Thompson, Toby Miller and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh explores what it's success at the 2014 Oscars tells us about the concerns of society an d of the Academy which in the two years that followed failed to nominate a black person for its top awards.

Producer: Paul Kobrak.

0703 LASTSchindler's List20170304

Rena Finder was just 10 years old when she first came into contact with Oskar Schindler. "He would put his hand on my head and ask me, how are you little one?"

Finder is one of a handful of those who were on Schindler's List, still alive to share her story - which she does with Paul Gambaccini, as he tells the story behind the film "Schindler's List".

In 1982 Steven Spielberg was best known for directing films about sharks and aliens, in "Jaws" and "E.T.". When he read Thomas Keneally's Booker Prize winning novel about the life of the 'good Nazi', who saved 1,300 Jews from the gas chambers in Auschwitz, he was determined to see the film made. But he wasn't even sure if he was the director to do it.

It would be ten years until he found himself filming in Poland, outside the death camp gates, with extras dressed in striped prisoner uniforms, acting alongside the almost unknown British actors Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson and Caroline Goodall.

With 12 nominations in 1993, the film won 7 Oscars, including cinematography for Janusz Kaminski, and art direction for Allan Starski - two of the Polish Crew - who recall their confrontations with the evils that happened in their homeland, whilst shooting the movie.

For Spielberg, it won him Best Director and Best Picture for the first time.

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.

0801Casablanca20180217

75 years since murder, refugees, music and love reached peak perfection in Hollywood.

"Casablanca is a perfect story about American mistrust of the rest of the world, about American isolation, so it was a wonderful fantasy for Americans as they got deeper into the war. "
Film critic - David Thomson.

Oscar night approaches; what will Paul Gambaccini be wearing as he sits back on the sofa to predict the winners and losers?

In the new series of "And The Academy Award Goes To..." he takes time to look back at three of the best - "Casablanca", "Titanic ", and "Argo" - Ben Affleck's drama about the US Embassy Siege.

Would he have predicted "Casablanca" as Best Picture back in 1944? Probably, because even now, 75 years later, this classic film-noir retains every inch of its power, and even seems to reflect on todays' world.

Packaged as a love story, underneath the Bogart and Bergman romance lies a hard hitting political thriller, a war story, a story of sacrifice. Gambaccini takes us deep into the heart of 'Rick's Café Americain' - a meeting place for refugees and exiles, vultures preying on those desperate to escape, and those damaged by war.
"I still my neck out for no-one", claims Rick - Humphrey Bogart - who presides over his bar, immaculate and cynical in white jacket and black bow tie, feigning indifference to the war tearing Europe apart, reflecting the "America First" attitude of non-intervention which dominated popular thinking in the USA, right up until the attack on Pearl Harbour. It was a remarkable piece of good timing that the original play, "Everyone Comes to Ricks", landed in the post room at Warner Brothers, just days after.

From that day on, Hollywood saw its role as helping to turn the tide of opinion, and "Casablanca" was immediately recognised as the perfect vehicle to influence public opinion to move towards supporting the war effort.

Paul talks to film-noir expert Alan K Rode, author of the very first biography about Casablanca's under recognised director, "Michael Curtiz - A Life in Pictures". Like many of the cast members he too was a refugee, going on to direct many great studio movies, including "Angels With Dirty Faces", "Robin Hood" and "White Christmas".

Noah Isenberg discusses his book "We'll Always Have Casablanca", re-examining the original drama on which the film was based, and the team of seven writers who helped create one of the finest scripts in Hollywood history. While Historian Nick Rankin notes the perfect timing of the films inception and release as the war progressed.

Paul is also joined by regular contributors Larushka Ivan Zadeh and David Thomson.

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.

0802Titanic20180224

Paul Gambaccini nears some of the tears and triumphs that surrounded the production of what was the most expensive film ever made.

Diving to the wreck of Titanic, 12,000 feet under the North Atlantic, became an obsession for director James Cameron.
Over many dives Cameron came to know every detail of the celebrated catastrophe. He visited the wreck more times than any other human being, and the moviemaker felt a compulsion to tell the tale of those on board the first and final voyage in 1912.

But to make a new film about a familiar tragedy on the scale he wanted required a very big budget.
When the production hit the $200 million mark, the studios that back it feared ruin - but ended up with the biggest grossing film of all time.
Titanic, in every sense. was a work of extraordinary scale and wonder.
The passion of director James Cameron for the real ship wreck drove the production, but how was it for cast and crew?
We hear of arguments and walk outs, but also the work of consummate professionals working together.

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.

How Titanic, the disaster movie to end all disaster movies, nearly ended up a disaster.

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From real-life events that had been classified for 17 years to Oscar success in 2013 - Paul Gambaccini tells the story of 'Argo'

Actually based on an article in 'Wired' magazine,'Argo' tells the fantastical story of how a CIA agent used Hollywood to rescue six U.S. diplomats from Tehran, during the 1979-1981 Iran hostage crisis - under the guise of filming a science fiction film. Acclaimed by the critics as both "tense, exciting and often darkly comic" and "a movie from an earlier era - less frenetic, less showy, more focused on narrative than sensation". Nominated for seven Oscars, though controversially no nomination for director Ben Affleck, the film walked away with three statuettes, including the coveted Best Picture Award.

With the help of writer Chris Terrio and editor Billy Goldenberg (winners of the two other Oscars for the film), as well as director (and star) Ben Affleck, cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, actor Clea DuVall and the real-life diplomat she portrayed, Paul Gambaccini hears how the facts behind a fantastical story were turned into a tense but believable plot.

Producer: Paul Kobrak.