American Bi-cons: The Searchers and The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Rewatching John Ford’s racially problematic masterpiece and the movie that made an art of talking back to movies.

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About the Show

Studio 360 is a smart and surprising guide to what’s happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt introduces the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy—so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life. Produced in association with Slate.

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Episode Notes

Two highlights from our American Icons special series. First, producer Arun Venugopal revisits The Searchers, the John Ford film starring John Wayne that is widely regarded as a masterpiece, but which many see as racially problematic in the way that Wayne’s character pursues revenge against the Comanche who killed his family in a raid. Then, June Thomas on the unlikely history of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the movie that flopped in theaters when it was released in 1975, only to become an interactive movie experience where audiences shouted back at the screen, brandished water pistols, and delighted in the film’s risqué raucousness.