Vol. 2, Episode 2: Painted Women Who Will Do Anything for Silver

THE PRODIGAL (1955) with Lyz Lenz

  
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Details, credits, errata: Our guest this week is the delightful Lyz Lenz, returning to watch another awkwardly erotic 1950’s Biblical epic with us. It’s a goofy one. Our film is The Prodigal, a notorious turkey that lost the studio a ton of money despite having the beautiful Lana Turner as a fertility priestess. It is, as you might imagine, “based on” the parable from the Gospels in only the loosest possible sense of that phrase. Please buy Lyz’s books! They’re good.

Our image is a gorgeous Wally Wood illustration from his lengthy parody of this film, “The Prodigious,” from MAD Magazine #26, published 1955, with text by Harvey Kurtzman. There aren’t any print reproductions of the issue but DC Comics put out a big Complete MAD on CD that has nice hi-res images of the early issues of the magazine. I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing it large enough here that the text can be read if you’d care to click on the image. It’s pretty funny

Our theme song is Louis Armstrong and His Hot 5’s Muskrat Ramble, made freely available by the Boston Public Library and audio engineering shop George Blood, LP through the Internet ArchiveThe Prodigal is copyright 1955 MGM. Brief audio excerpts are used herein for purposes of review. All other material is copyright 2021 Sam Thielman and Alissa Wilkinson.

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