20th Jan2020

‘The Movies That Made Us’ Season 1 Review (Netflix)

by Rhys Payne

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I am always skeptical of shows that are about other shows as it can often seem like the new shows are just cashing in on the success of an older film but the creative team behind the Netflix original show The Movies That Made Us made sure that this was not the case while always giving the viewers a fresh perspective on iconic films that’s they know and love.

The Movies That Made Us looks at some really iconic and well-known films such as Dirty Dancing, Ghostbusters and Die Hard (to name a few) and allows the audience to learn how the movie was made. They start each episode with a quick and vague recap of what happens in the original movie before meeting with and chatting to people who worked in the movies when they were made. The original recap and narration throughout are done by Donald Ian Black who provided an upbeat and jovial voice over for the show which fitted the concept of the show while keeping the audience entertaining through the entire episode. But on top of discussing how the actual filming works The Movies That Made Us tells the audience all about the relationship between cast and crew, the business side to making a film (including pitching to networks, funding etc) and the struggles film making encounter. I have never watched a show that goes so in-depth about not just the pretty side of movies but also the grittier and intense parts too. It was also nice to see the perspective of the creative teams about their own films as this often gets ignored and all leading actors have this opportunity. This helps make the show unique and fresh by granting its audience an alternative perspective on memorable films.

Although each episode follows a similar pattern, the show is tailored to each film. For example, the episode which discusses ghostbusters opens in a very dark and mysterious manner to reflect the nature of the film. This means each episode is slightly different from each other so the audience doesn’t become bored with the format. With this in mind, if you wanted to you could only watch the episodes of the films you enjoy the most. I personally don’t enjoy the film Die Hard, so for me that episode dragged but really I could have skipped it and just watched a different episode altogether.

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Obviously as The Movies That Made Us is about iconic films that were made years and years ago there are a lot of memorial scenes that occur which can be very moving for viewers. This is most prominent in the episode about Dirty Dancing where the team discusses cast and crew that they have lost and it becomes very emotional. To end each episode some of the team behind this famous film go back to the special locations where their respective films were recorded and see how different the locations are now. This is was great to watch as it clearly demonstrated how times have changed but these films remain very important even today.

My only issue with The Movies That Made Us is that there are only four episodes and so it’s very hard to get truly wrapped up in it. They have developed this structure of the show which could easily be applied to many films so I look forward to more episodes being released. However, the team behind The Movies That Made Us are the same people who created the The Toys That Made Us so if you are interested in this unique style of television then I would also recommend this show. Overall this is easy to watch a television show that gives a unique look at many iconic films.

***½  3.5/5

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