Attaboy Clarence 96.5

Well hello to you, all the way from Prague!

Yes, as the world buzzes around outside my window, I thought the most sensible thing to do this week would be not join the hubbub of tourists and Instagrammers currently flowing like water across the famous Charles Bridge (mere yards from my door!), nor go off in search of the famous Czech Pork Knuckle (seriously) or the ubiquitous Chimney Cake (even more seriously), and tell you guys instead about two movies I watched. 

Because I miss you. 

The first one is called The Lady Has Plans from 1942, and it’s quite the car-wreck, but I do feel like I need to tell you all about it because it may save one of you fine people from watching it. And it pains me to be so negative up front, because on the surface this film has a lot to offer.

It has Paulette Goddard to offer, which is obviously a great offer.


It also has Roland Young to offer, and that’s an offer I would normally never hesitate to take advantage of.


That’s a solid offer. I love Roland Young, but by heavens he has dented his appeal by being in this Pork Knuckle of a movie!

So the plot is this. A gang of criminals steal the plans for a new type of torpedo and tattoo the plans onto the back of a female spy using invisible ink. Yes, I actually did just say that sentence out loud.

So this female spy, whose name is Rita, then plans to swap places with a journalist named Sidney Royce (Paulette Goddard), who’s due to be the Morning Herald’s newest Lisbon correspondent. BUT, the switch doesn’t happen and the real Sidney Royce jets off to Lisbon to take up her new position under cranky boss, Kenneth Harper, played by Ray Milland.

All of a sudden, Sidney finds herself besieged and pestered by Allied and Nazi forces, who all want to see if the torpedo plans are tattooed on her back! That is the actual plot of this film that someone made.

Okay, so maybe in more whimsical hands, this may have been far less creepy, but as it is, this film really gave me the skeevies. You have a Nazi demanding that the heroine takes her clothes off.

You have a British agent demanding that the heroine takes off her clothes

I mean, the first two thirds of this film consists of creepy old sweaty geezers trying to break into Paulette Goddard’s bathroom while she’s getting changed, or creeping into her room while she’s sleeping so they can take off her clothes, or trying to manipulate her into losing her shirt so they can look at her. I mean, you can say that they’re just doing their job, right? They’re just trying to see her naked flesh so that they can determine if she’s a female spy carrying a secret message, right? It’s all in the line of duty, right?

Which is when a really skeezy, creepy little subplot begins...

Yes, in order to see if she might be the girl who has secret plans tattooed on her back, Roland Young and Ray Milland come up with a plan to drug Paulette Goddard and strip her naked while she’s passed out, so that they can examine her body.

Now, I know the times we live in are very different to the days of yore, and I know that sometimes when you’re watching a movie from this period, you have to kinda wince and take one on the chin, because people back then were different.

The world was different.

It was, perhaps, less enlightened when it comes to all sorts of social issues.

But even with that attitude, I can’t really see how you can excuse a Hollywood plot that seems to endorse drugging an innocent woman so that she can be stripped naked by Roland Young and Ray Milland with the aim of peering at her naked, lifeless body. I mean, you get to points like this in films, and usually, the hero will say something along the lines of “I can’t possibly go through with this”, and you think, good on you. Don’t be a date-rapist! Don’t be a sexual predator! You’re the hero, and I’m fully behind your non-sexual assault solutions to this espionage conundrum.

Not so, here, I’m sorry to say.

Ray and Roland go through with their plan. Drugs are slipped into drinks, and drinks are put into hands in the hopes of drugging taking place.

Now I hasten to add that their terrifying scheme does not actually succeed, but the fact that their characters tried, and that they are sorry that it doesn’t work out, doesn’t exactly make you feel sympathy for these two people.

I mean this horrifying little subplot isn’t exactly helped by some rather sordid details. For instance the scene where Roland approaches the bartender to ask him to help with DRUGGING HER DRINK!

The bartender is at first reluctant to help drug someone until Roland explains WITH A WINK, that it’s a “lady friend” that he wants to drug!

At THIS news, the bartender winks back and says “Ohhhhh, okay no problem then”

I mean it’s enough to make you fearful forever more, knowing that bartenders can be coerced so easily, so long as it’s a lady that’s being drugged into unconsciousness...

Now, you may ask, what is the rest of the film like? Surely it must redeem itself after this date-rapey subplot?

Well, it doesn’t really elevate itself much from this cesspool of a central thesis, I have to say. The drugging plot doesn’t work so what will they try next? Well seeing as how she’s “just a woman”, they could resort to lying to her in the hopes that she’ll fall in love with Ray Milland and take her clothes off voluntarily,

I mean what could be simpler? After all, in this world, women are basically trained hamsters, right?

So aside from all the distasteful, out-of-date attitudes here, in the grand scheme of things, The Lady Has Plans isn’t exactly pushing the boundaries of movie greatness.

And that’s okay, by the way. I truly believe that we get way too hung up on subtext and interpretation and needlessly searching for deeper truths in cinematic stories. Sometimes you want to put on a movie called The Lady Has Plans and be whisked away on a stupid adventure for 77 minutes.

But when that stupid adventure features a pair of slimy, middle-aged spies trying to drug a woman so that they can strip her naked, or make her believe that she’s loved when she isn’t so they can cop a look at her naked body, it turns from a dumb movie into a downright offensive one. Avoid!


So for heaven’s sake let’s talk about something that’s not only fun, but also very good fun! 1947’s Fun On A Weekend for example!


Now full disclosure, I knew zero about this going in, and I think that’s actually beneficial, so I’ll keep plot details slight. The fun here is seeing what happens next. And by the way, I know the irony of the poster there, with Priscilla Lane in a bikini, after the skeezy The Lady Has Plans, but I assure you that swimwear, in this case, is not only important to the plot, but it’s also something that Eddie Bracken finds himself in for lots of the movie.

It opens on a beach in the morning, where two penniless strangers, Nancy and Pete, played by Priscilla Lane and Eddie Bracken, wake up next to each other. They’re so poor, they’ve taken to sleeping next to the waves. Between them they have a few coins, so they decide to pool their resources and buy a meagre breakfast at a coffee bar run by Allen Jenkins.

As you do. 

While they’re there, they come up with the marvellous plan of pretending to be rich, to see that if by doing so, they can turn themselves from penniless to prosperous before the day is out.

And that’s your setup.

On a whim, these two penniless chancers decide to team up and see if they can break into high society using just their wits, and so begins a breathless series of schemes designed to turn them both from paupers to royalty in just one day.

Okay, so first thing to note is how much I was not expecting to like this. I mean the opening scene is Eddie Bracken and Priscilla Lane just happening to wake up next to each other on a beach and just happening to both be poor etc. And I thought, oh my goodness, not sure if I’ll be able to swallow this for long.

But I’m so glad I gave it a chance, because not only is it really, really funny, but sweet, disarming and endlessly intriguing.


I mean they literally start with just the clothes on their back, and scene by scene manage to con their way into the hearts and pockets of everyone they meet. It is an absolute delight to watch. For instance, they need clothes. How will they get them? They need a car. Where will they get one? The hotel manager is demanding a huge cheque. Where will they get one?

And each time you think “We’ll that’s it. Curtains!” And then you watch in joy as they somehow win against the odds.

It’s actually quite an indictment about how shallow some people can be about some things, too. I mean these two are perfect strangers, and are treated like dirt, until word goes around that they may be sitting on a fortune, and then all of a sudden they’re being fawned over. Poor folks are being fired over it, doors are being thrown wide open.

And my God, look at that cast. Priscilla Lane. Eddie Bracken. Allen Jenkins. Tom Conway. Arthur Treacher, Alma Kruger. Dozens more familiar faces.

It’s a really good natured, funny, witty film that took me totally by surprise. And do yourselves a favour if you’re going to watch it. Don’t spoil it for yourselves. It makes the unfolding plot a whole lot more thrilling. I highly, HIGHLY recommend 1947’s Fun On A Weekend!

And BECAUSE this (kind of) show is very different from the others, in that you’re reading it, and not listening to it, how about I buck the trend of supplying you with a radio play of one of the films I talk about, and instead, provide you with THE ACTUAL FILM!

Yes, if you’re in need of a little pick-me-up, then why not revel in the delight that is 1947’s Fun On A Weekend for yourself!

All you have to do is click on the link below and watch! 

I’ll be back next week with the regular show, but until then it’s goodbye from me in the sunny Czech Republic. Thanks for reading, and until we speak again take awfully good care of yourselves...

...and bye for now! X


London Meet Up!

On March 5th, myself and Dominic, the marvellously talented producer who created the BBC Radio 4 Extra show, ‘The Lives Of HarryTowers’, will be attending a screening of ‘Oceans 11’ at The Barbican, London.

As we’re congregating in the capital for the evening, we thought it might be a marvellous opportunity to spend a few hours in your company! If you can make it, I’d absolutely adore the opportunity to shake your hand, buy you that ice-cream I’ve been promising you, and talk all things classic movies.  

If you have the evening to spare, we’ll be at Finch’s Pub in Finsbury Square, from 5pm - 8pm, and we’d love to see you all. 

For more details on the venue click here: 

AND if you’d like to come along with us to The Barbican and watch Ocean’s 11, the details are here: 

Dearly hope you can make it! 


The Official Talking Pictures TV Podcast Announcement!


It gives me great pleasure to announce that from January, I will be writing, producing and hosting The Official Talking Pictures TV Podcast!

For several years now, Talking Pictures TV has been showering British television with some honest-to-goodness treasures from the past. The United States has TCM. We here in the UK have Talking Pictures TV, which has fast become a national treasure and in my opinion, a public service!

Throughout the day and night Talking Pictures TV presents the cream of the cinema of yesteryear, alongside television and entertainment shows, and has, since 2015, become essential viewing.

This will be Talking Pictures first foray into the podcast world, so I’m hugely honoured to have been given the opportunity to host and produce the official podcast for their incredible channel, which will be bringing you reviews, news, spotlights, competitions, insights, interviews, everything!

I’m very excited. I’m very nervous. And I can’t wait to get started!

For now, follow the brand new (minutes old!) Twitter account for the new podcast at @tptvpodcast and stay tuned for more news on the brand new, official Talking Pictures TV Podcast Show coming very soon! And tell everyone you can.

And of course, tune in to Talking Pictures TV on Virgin 445, Freesat 306, Freeview or Youview 81, or Sky 328.



It occurred to me the other day, while I was looking at the upcoming expenses for the podcasts, just how different they would be if I didn’t have the resources to invest in them the way that I have.

Music licensing is probably the biggest expense. Music for podcasting costs a LOT of money. To put it in perspective, when you buy a song from iTunes, it costs around 99p. When you buy a song to use in a podcast, it usually costs around £20. In the Bullets & Blood series alone I used over 200 pieces of music!

I’m just about to sign a new licensing deal that will allow me to create the two series’ I’m working on for 2017, but without the financial support of my backers, I would be doing no such thing!

Hosting and storage has begun to cost even more lately, too. The combines services I use to create Attaboy Clarence and The Secret History Of Hollywood are now well into three figures per month, which, again, I wouldn’t be able to manage alone.

Research materials for my chosen subject are desperately expensive. When I first started making these things, I relied very much on internet research, but as the subjects grew larger, I had to cast my net out further for more detailed resources. These are very costly. Most of the books I require regularly are out-of-print, which pushes the price up to ridiculous proportions. Supply and demand, as they say…

I’ve invested hugely in hardware and software over the past year. Before I had patrons, I used to record while standing in a crouched position in an under-stairs cupboard, trying to make the best use of a rather cheap microphone. Because of the sound quality, I would then have to spend hundreds of hours in editing for each SHoH episode. I am now much more comfortable when I record (which takes a week or two) and my editing time has been slashed in half. 

So while I was thinking about all this the other day, it occurred to me that I am so very lucky to be able to invest in these podcasts the way I do, and it is all down to the fact that many of you have become patrons of the show. I cannot impress upon you all enough how much of a difference it has made to my work, and to me personally.

But is “patron” an accurate description for what you’ve done/are doing by supporting the shows financially?

You see, I don’t think that it is…

In actual fact, I prefer to think of you investors as co-producers? Literally, I could not produce these shows in this way without you.

And so I would very much like to officially credit you all individually as such, if that’s okay?

I am in the middle of creating a credits page, to be hosted on the website, and which will be reachable through any podcatcher displaying episodes of either The Secret History Of Hollywood or Attaboy Clarence, meaning that if people want to know who is responsible for the production of either show, they can now find out.

In gratitude for your kindness and support, I would like to list you all as co-producers of the shows on this page. This will apply to all shows currently available on The Secret History Of Hollywood and Attaboy Clarence podcast feeds. I will keep this list up to date, so if you sign up to invest, you will be added as a co-producer within 24 hours of doing so.

Obviously, if you would rather not be included on this credits page, I will be more than happy to remove your name. Just let me know by mailing me at

Once again, may I just thank you if you’ve signed up to be a patron/co-producer, or are thinking of signing up and joining. You’ve made so many improvements, and are making so many amazing things possible.

My very best



It gives me all kinds of pleasure to announce a new patron reward tier on the old Patreon page!

If you scroll all the way down, you'll find a new $15 tier that gives the benefactor a whole new service - movie commentaries!

Anyone signing up to this tier will get all the benefits of previous tiers, plus at least twice a year they'll receive exclusively recorded movie commentaries to go alongside some classics of Golden Age cinema. 

And yes, I will be polling the $15 tier patrons to see which movies they want commentaries for.

Basically, they'll be Secret History Of Hollywood audio documentaries to run alongside specific films instead of genres or wider subjects, which should allow for some deeper insight into specific titles.

These commentaries will only be available through this channel, and if I choose a movie you've suggested, then you'll receive a credit. Patrons of this tier will automatically receive access to the entire back catalogue of these commentaries as and when they appear.

If you've already signed up to any tier at all, then I must thank you most sincerely for your support. The costs of running these shows are growing all the time, and your donations make them so much better. Music licensing, for instance, is a huge cost but made affordable by you listeners, so thank you.

Anyway, as to which commentary to do first. I was thinking maybe 'The Brighton Strangler'...


To become a patron click here



Blog Post

A Big Change... Back...


After many technical woes over the past few months, I've decided to bite the bullet and move my shows away from my network, putting them back here on the site, where they began in the first place.

Anyone who's tried to download 'The Final Adventures Of Alfred Hitchcock' and only gotten 4hrs of it instead of 9hrs, will know what I'm talking about. At one point, six of the eight Secret History shows had mysteriously vanished, along with twenty of the Attaboys.

I'm not going to talk badly of my network, they were very nice people who did their best to always fix the problems promptly, but unfortunately for them, I am a little bit obsessive over my output, and simply could not relax knowing that half of them had vanished.

Therefore, the shows are once again being hosted here on the site in co-operation with the marvellous Libsyn, who have welcomed me back with open arms, even archiving my back episodes for free, god bless 'em.

So the reason I'm making a big fuss about it, and making sure that you know, is that over the next day or so, you may see weird activity on my RSS Feed, which translates to "If you're subscribed, then the latest episodes may suddenly download again". If this happens, simply stop the download, and delete the episode. Or listen to it again, whatever.

Thank you for reading, and if you wouldn't mind retweeting the tweet I put out, pointing people to this blog post, I'd be very grateful.


Sex In Monochrome: The Films

Hi, I was recently asked for a list of the films mentioned in 'Sex In Monochrome', so here you are!

'Workers Leaving The Lumiere Factory in Lyon' (1895)
'Le Coucher De La Mariee' (1896)
'Bain de la Parisienne' (1897)
'La Puce' (1897)
'Apres la Bal' (1897)
'The Story of the Kelly Gang' (1906)
'A L'Ecu d'Or ou La Bonne Auberge' (1908)
'The Downward Path' (1900)
'The White Slave Traffic' (1910)
'The Last Victim of the White Slave Traffic' (1911)
'Dealer In Girls' (1912)
'Traffic in Souls' (1913)
'Damaged Goods' (1914)
'Child Bride' (1938)
'The Birth of a Nation' (1914)
'Inspiration' (1916)
'Purity' (1917)
'Hypocrites' (1915)
'A Free Ride' (1915)
'A Daughter of the Gods' (1916)
'Cleopatra' (1917)
'Anders Als Die Andern' (1919)
'Male and Female' (1919)
'Way Down East' (1920)
'The Queen Of Sheba' (1921)
'The Sheik' (1921)
'Manslaughter' (1922)
'The Ten Commandments' (1923)
'Ben-Hur' (1925)
'Flesh and the Devil' (1926)
'It' (1927)
'Wings' (1927)
'Hula' (1927)
'Our Dancing Daughters' (1928)
'A Girl In Every Port' (1928)
'Beggars Of Life' (1928)
'The Canary Murder Case' (1929)
'Pandora's Box' (1929)
'Diary of a Lost Girl' (1929)
'Overland Stage Raiders' (1938)
'The Jazz Singer' (1927)
'Hell's Angels' (1930)
'The Blue Angel' (1930)
'Morocco' (1930)
'Ingagi' (1930)
'The Divorcee' (1930)
'The Common Law' (1931)
'Dracula' (1931)
'A Free Soul' (1931)
'Illicit' (1931)
'Night Nurse' (1931)
'Madchen In Uniform' (1931)
'Mata Hari' (1931)
'The Public Enemy' (1931)
'Safe In Hell' (1931)
'Balinese Love' (1931)
'Tabu: A Story Of The South Seas' (1931)
'Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde' (1931)
'The Smiling Lieutenant' (1931)
'Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle' (1932)
'Polly Tix In Washington' (1932)
'Bird Of Paradise' (1932)
'Tarzan The Ape Man' (1932)
'The Sign Of The Cross' (1932)
'Call Her Savage' (1932)
'Red-Headed Woman' (1932)
'Trouble In Paradise' (1932)
'The Barbarian' (1933)
'Convention City' (1933)
'Gold Diggers of 1933' (1933)
'The Sin of Nora Moran' (1933)
'Queen Christina' (1933)
'Design For Living' (1933)
'The Story of Temple Drake' (1933)
'Ecstasy/Extase' (1933)
'Ladies They Talk About' (1933)
'Baby Face' (1933)
'Tarzan And His Mate' (1934)


Blog Post

Christmas Greetings?

Howdy to you all,

No, don't worry, I haven't become a supermarket and started my Christmas celebrations in July or something, but I AM in the midst of preparing for the 2015 Christmas Special episode, and once again would love for you all to appear!

All I need from you is a short recorded Christmas message, something along the lines of "Merry Christmas to everyone from <insert name here>". If you'd like to hear an example, then do go and listen to last year's Christmas Special which you can find by clicking here

Don't worry about sound quality, I can sort that out at my end, just record your greeting on your phones, or computers, or if you're a fellow podcaster, on your recording equipment, and send them to me at and you'll be co-starring alongside your favourite Golden Age stars this Christmas on The Attaboy Clarence 2015 Christmas Special.

I need your greeting as soon as possible, as I'm already assembling the show, but no later than the 13th of December.

Thank you all in advance for participating!

Blog Post

That Old Devil Called Ads...

Well, hello again. I come to you this time bearing news. Despite stating quite clearly in a recent interview I did for Mr Stuart Waterman over at his excellent site that I didn't know what the answer was when it came to monetising my shows, it seems that the answer has somehow found me...

I would like to make you all aware that I have now signed an agreement with Acast, who will be assuming control of the advertising aspect for both 'Attaboy Clarence' and 'The Secret History Of Hollywood'. As you may have read in the interview, I have been approached before, but it has never seemed a fit. The user experiences have always been a little bit too clunky, or the content they wished to use in advertising was, in my mind, a little too quickly out of date.

Having looked into Acast as a platform, I seem genuinely satisfied that the control still lies with me. I am allowed to choose how many ads per show I would like, as well as where in the show they will fit. The ads are never overlong, and they seem to be from reputable companies, such as IKEA, Universal, Sony and Spotify.

Also, Acast's ambition is to use technology to improve the art of audio podcasting itself. Using their platform, I find that I am able to enrich my shows, add artwork or galleries to specific points in each show, as well as dynamic links, interactive show notes and videos. It will take me a little while to learn how to best use these tools, so don't expect dazzling multimedia experiences right off the bat, but they will come.

I am also in the process of creating a range of ebooks based on my Secret History shows.

I want to tell you now that I am completely against ads in the middle of any show, and have stipulated that I do not want this to happen, therefore, any ads will only appear at the very beginning and very end of any show. They will be no more than 30 seconds long. If you feel the need to skip them, please do so. The actual shows will never break away during "the action" for another ad. If they do, please tell me immediately, and I will raise merry hell.

The reason that I have accepted this offer, along with other forms of monetisation, is that while this began as a hobby, it has grown into something far more involving. It is no exaggeration to say that I spend more time in a week working on these shows than I do at my full-time job, and anyone who knows how many hours a Sous Chef has to work, will tell you that that adds up to quite a few hours per day.

The fact is that I have to make this second full-time job pay, and this seems, at least for now, to be the most inoffensive way. 

Of primary importance to me is your experience as a listener. I do not want your listening experience to be ruined by this development, which is why I will not be allowing anyone to break in during the show to advertise Spotify etc. The shows will simply be bookended by easily skippable ads. There may be teething problems to begin with. I am still finding my feet with all this, so if any problems do arise, please stick with it, and they will all be ironed out eventually.

Thank you for your continued support, and I do hope this new development will not harm our relationship.

My best as always


Blog Post

A Universe Of Horrors - The List

As requested, here is the complete list of all the films mentioned in 'A Universe Of Horrors'. Hope you find it useful:

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1923)

The Phantom Of The Opera (1925)

The Miracle Man (1919)

The Penalty (1920)

The Man Who Laughs (1928)

All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)

The Cat Creeps (1930)

Dracula (1931)

Frankenstein (1931)

Journey’s End (1930)

Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde (1931)

Doctor X (1932)

Freaks (1932)

Island Of Lost Souls (1932)

Murders In The Rue Morgue (1932)

The Old Dark House (1932)

The Mummy (1932)

The Whispering Shadow (1932)

The Ghoul (1932)

Secret Of The Blue Room (1933)

The Invisible Man (1933)

The Secret Of The Chateau (1934)

The Man Who Reclaimed His Head (1934)

Life Returns (1934)

The Black Cat (1934)

The Mystery Of Edwin Drood (1935)

The Raven (1935)

Werewolf Of London (1935)

The Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)

The Invisible Ray (1936)

Dracula’s Daughter (1936)

Son Of Frankenstein (1939)

The Cat And The Canary (1939)

The Gorilla (1939)

The Man They Could Not Hang (1939)

The Return Of Dr X (1939)

Tower Of London (1939)

The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

Black Friday (1940)

The Mummy’s Hand (1940)

The Invisible Woman (1940)

Man Made Monster (1941)

Horror Island (1941)

The Wolf Man (1942)

The Ghost Of Frankenstein (1942)

Invisible Agent (1942)

The Mummy’s Tomb (1942)

Night Monster (1942)

Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man (1943)

Captive Wild Woman (1943)

Jungle Woman (1944)

The Jungle Captive (1945)

The Phantom Of The Opera (1943)

The Climax (1943)

Son Of Dracula (1943)

Calling Dr Death (1943)

Weird Woman (1943)

Dead Man’s Eyes (1944)

Strange Confession (1945)

Pillow Of Death (1945)

The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944)

The Mummy’s Ghost (1944)

The Mummy’s Curse (1944)

House Of Frankenstein (1944)

House Of Dracula (1945)

Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Blog Post

Where did Spring go?


It's been a while, so I thought I'd just write a quick update. Hitchcock 2 begins recording on Monday the 15th. It was a big job, because so many things happened to him over the next little period in his life. The research took a lot longer than usual, and came from many sources.

It will be shorter than Part 1 (by a little margin), so for fans of the shorter specials, well... it should be about half an hour shorter than Part 1. Maybe twenty minutes... Shorter anyway. It also may be one of the most eventful specials I've produced so far. Seriously, the mind boggles at some of the stories that it contains. I read through it yesterday, and was surprised at just how much it contains. I'm rather proud of this one, and can't wait for you all to hear it.

Many undertakings are... undertakening regarding the podcasts themselves. I was recently contacted by some very exciting people who will be taking The Secret History of Hollywood to a wider audience (along with its little brother), so fingers crossed there. A few little technical issues to iron out due to the massive file sizes involved, but I'm assured it's all in hand.

I've been getting many messages from new folks on social media who've just discovered the shows. Thank you all for taking the time to drop me a line, you're very kind to do so, and it always lifts the old spirits!

If you've just subscribed, and wonder if another show is coming, yes it is. They are always in the works, they just take a long time to produce. I do work on the shows every day in some form or another, but as you can imagine, they take a little time. Please stay subscribed, and they will appear as soon as I can get them to you.

I do know that The Adventures Of Alfred Hitchcock Part 2 will definitely be out in July, most likely the first week, but follow me on @attaboyc or @moviehistories and I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again for everything, especially the iTunes reviews. As soon as I'm through with Part 2, I'll buy you all an ice-cream.


The Secret History Of Hollywood

I'll do my best to explain my reasoning on the next Attaboy Clarence, but in case you're wondering what all the new clutter on the website is at the moment, you're witnessing the birth of a new podcast! Or rather, a slightly reworked one at any rate...

For a long time, I've had people telling me that while they enjoy the regular episodes, they REALLY like the specials. Sometimes it's vice-versa.

To be honest when I set out to produce this podcast, I had no idea that it would turn into something like this. It has definitely evolved. It's been a year now and I find that my goals for the future of this show are very different to the ones I had at the beginning. 

When I started, I just wanted to talk about the old movies I liked. The ones that no-one else seemed to be talking about.

The Brighton Strangler, for instance. Night Has A Thousand Eyes. The Leopard Man. The Rathbone Holmes films. Trouble In Paradise. The list goes on. I had no idea how to make a podcast, and no idea how to make a podcast sound good. Listen to my first episode if you don't believe me.

All I knew was that the more I did it, the more I wanted to get better at it, so I tried to imagine the way I wanted it to sound, and taught myself to make it sound that way. Some have been kind enough to say that I have "high production values". They are being very generous. I do not use a professional studio or a professional mic.

I use a Blue Yeti, readily available at Amazon.

I learned that in order to reduce the echo effect, I had to record in a small space with dampening materials on the walls, so I padded out my under-stairs cupboard. 

And then, in a moment of madness, I decided to do a show on the Basil Rathbone Holmes movies, and what started as a little retrospective with some clips, turned into a full-fledged documentary. I had fun writing it and even more fun putting it together, so I followed it with a look at sex in cinema, entitled Sex In Monochrome.

The success of these two episodes spurred me on to look for different subjects to analyse in greater detail. If you want to know why Hollywood communism came before Universal Horror, then blame my friend Nigel. I gave him the choice, and he chose communism.

Anyway, over the past year, it's become clearer and clearer that while I still enjoy producing the regular shows, the specials are growing into something very different. They require a completely different work ethic. I have to sit and think about them for long periods of time. They require long periods of research. Sometime I will spend eight hours trying to find the answer to a yes or no question. For example, it took me three hours yesterday to find the name of the first restaurant that Alfred Hitchcock visited when he arrived in America.

As time passes, I've realised that the specials do not sit easily alongside the regular shows. People that have found the podcast because of the specials are often surprised that the regular show doesn't fit the same format, and vice-versa, and as such, they often unsubscribe, or send me messages to say that the show isn't what they were expecting.

The thing is, I agree with them. It's a little too uneven.

And this brings me on to my next reason.

I have a staggering case of OCD.

A little while ago, it became clear that my next special, 'The Adventures Of Alfred Hitchcock' would have to be a multipart special. It's going to be at least three times longer than 'A Universe Of Horrors', which means that as a podcast, it's going to be hard to manage.

I don't want to stop doing the regular shows, so that would mean that Part 1 would have to be followed by a few regular shows, then Part 2, and so on.

I'm sorry, but my sense of symmetry and order will simply not allow this to happen. Wouldn't it be better to have a place where the specials can be released in uninterrupted order?

I think so.

Nothing is going to change regarding Attaboy Clarence. The regular show will continue on its regular basis and will continue to include the specials and the normal shows in all their jarring zaniness.

However, for those that demand a little more order and who prefer only the specials, I offer you this. A new show, containing all the specials only, and its name is 'The Secret History Of Hollywood'

I'm hoping that as time goes by, this podcast will represent a rather valuable document, It already contains a history of sex in Pre-Code cinema, the facts regarding Basil Rathbones tenure as Sherlock Holmes, the account of when Communism came to Hollywood, and the story of Universal Horror films. It will soon be joined by the life and misadventures of Alfred Hitchcock, and shortly afterwards... well, you'll see...

I'd sincerely love for you to follow my new Twitter account on @moviehistories (can you believe that was available!), and if you feel the urge to re-review the specials in iTunes, the new show could do with some love. It should show up in the next week or so when you search iTunes.

Many thanks for your continued support



One becomes two...

Hi there,

Just a quick post to clear up any confusion. A Universe Of Horrors was being hosted at Dropbox, because it exceeded the maximum file size limit for my normal cloud host. This was fine until it started getting a lot of downloads.

Dropbox banned me! They shut down my account due to "excessive bandwidth usage", which is all very flattering, but doesn't really help when you, you know, WANT there to be lots of downloads. So anyway, I upgraded my Dropbox account to a Pro, which theoretically should have been fine.

However, they have banned me again, due again to "excessive download activity". Seeing as the download limit for Pro users is 200gb a day, I can only surmise that A Universe Of Horrors is quite a hit. However, they have also given me no option but to withdraw the show from Dropbox, and split it into two parts, so that I can use my regular hosting service.

This will have the effect of causing a new show to appear in your podcatchers, entitled 'A Universe Of Horrors - Part 2'. This isn't a new show to go with the old one. It's the second half of the old one. A quick scan down past shows will show you that there is now a Part 1 and a Part 2.

Sorry if this turn of events takes you by surprise, but it is unavoidable.

Anyhow, I shall be back with the regular show on Tuesday 18th November, but until then, look out for some appearances I'll be making on The Q Filmcast, The Stinking Pause, and Good Podcasts.

See you all very soon


A Universe Of Horrors is almost upon you...

After three long months, I'm delighted to finally be able to tell you that 'Episode 21: A Universe Of Horrors' will be with you on Monday, November 3rd.

I did try my hardest to get it out for Halloween (it would have been so fitting), but circumstances are such that I'm going to miss that deadline. Ah well, I'm just a few days late...

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it, and many many thanks for your patience, and for your constant kind words.

See you Monday


Blog Post

A Small Update...

Hey everyone,

I know, I know! I said "a couple of weeks", and it's now been a couple of months! Shocking behaviour on my part. Disgraceful of me.

As it turns out though, researching and writing a history of 14 Sherlock Holmes movies, and the story of Communism in Hollywood, are NOTHING compared to the epic saga that is the story of Universal Horror movies, which has proved to be a sprawling, endlessly researchable topic that has blessed me with many, many late nights and lost weekends since I started on it.

Originally, I was going to split the episode into two or more parts, which would have meant that I could have released at least the first part by now, but as I went along on my merry way, I realised that it was a tale that had to be told all at once.

It's a big one. I mean, a VERY big one. It's at least as twice as long as 'Sex In Monochrome', so it's actually going to be less of a podcast, and more like an audiobook with special effects. 

Anyway, I'm pleased to say that not only has the research and the writing now been completed, but the recording is in the can. The raw file, with just my voice on it, stands at almost seven hours. Obviously, it's going to be trimmed down quite substantially, to get rid of all those coughs and swear words, and all those times that Yodel arrived with a package, and those moments where the dog next door decided to sing.

Now comes the hard part though, the sifting, the refining, the studying of waveforms to look for clicks in my throat, second by agonising second! Once that's done, I'll have a very large, very intricate line drawing. The last step is to add the colour, which in this case is music, and hundreds of clips.

I was hoping to have all of this done by now, and would've if it hadn't been for a rather large something.

For the last eleven years, I have worked at my job, the hours of which were rather kind to my social life. I started very early in the morning, and finished by midday, which meant I had all afternoon to myself, plus weekends.

Just after I released Episode 20, I had a job offer.

It's basically my dream job. Sous Chef at my favourite restaurant, working under a Head Chef that I consider to be an absolute genius. Completely self-taught, and a prodigiously talented designer of food. I couldn't say no, so for the past four weeks I have been learning the ropes there, and it's going great.

This does have the unfortunate side effect, though, of robbing me of most of my free time. Time that I ordinarily would have used to produce my podcast.

So in a nutshell, that's the main reason why Episode 21 isn't available just yet.

Going forward, I am going to have to make a few changes. Up until now, I have been producing four normal shows and then disappearing to produce a special for a while. Now, I am going to start producing a regular weekly show instead, and work on the specials in the background. When they're ready, I'll release them.

It's silly not to have been producing weekly shows while I was working on this special. They take absolutely no time to make, and I have so many things to show you and tell you about, I could've made a show a week. The reason that I didn't was because 'A Universe Of Horrors' is EPISODE 21! I even had promo pictures made stating that fact, so Episode 21 now has to be 'A Universe Of Horrors'. It can't suddenly be Episode 35.

Bad planning on my part.

And I've missed making the shows so much! I have watched so many movies that I can't wait to tell you all about. I've unearthed some hideous radio adverts that I can't wait to share with you all. I'm practically foaming with ideas, and the radio plays that are coming up are so weird and wonderful. I know you're going to love them.

Anyway, I just wanted you all to know that I haven't died. I haven't quit the podcast. I haven't grown bored. I haven't lost my voice. I haven't been abducted by seagulls. 

I'm working on it. I'm looking forward to being back in your ears. I want you all to hear this special. I can't wait to get back into the groove.

So to sum up, Episode 21 is still coming. Attaboy Clarence will be a regular weekly podcast beginning with Episode 22. Specials will still be made, but less frequently. I haven't died.

Thank you for all the emails, the tweets, the messages, and the reviews. They have perked me up at exactly the right moments.

Speak very soon