TCM Presents: The Plot Thickens

June 6, 2024
 Tcm Presents: The Plot Thickens

For our fifth season, we bring you Decoding John Ford, a seven-part series that dives deep into the tough personality and complex legacy of cinema’s angriest auteur. John Ford was a bully and a drunk who ruled Hollywood for five decades, making dozens of seminal movies – though he was incredibly hard to pin down. His behavior swung wildly from loyalty to cruelty, without notice. He won more Oscars than any director in history, but never showed up to accept an award. And he rewrote American history, painting the country with images so beautiful that people wished they were real. From his clashes with Hollywood to the front lines of World War II, Ford's story is brought to life through a treasure trove of newly-discovered interviews with film legends including John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, and Ford himself. Join host Ben Mankiewicz as we strip back the mythology to reveal Ford's brilliance – alongside the often ugly, uncomfortable truths about his life and movies, asking whether we can ever truly separate art from the artist.





Get caught up on previous seasons:


For our fourth season, we’re bringing you the story of Pam Grier as only she can tell it. How did a country girl from Colorado become a movie icon – and the face of the genre known as Blaxploitation? It’s a story of bravery, both onscreen and off. It’s a story about race in Hollywood and race in America. And it’s a story about how real life is a lot messier than the movies. Join host Ben Mankiewicz as he speaks with Pam Grier as well as her colleagues, family and friends to discover what it took to survive one of Hollywood’s greatest decades.

Season 3 - LUCY

For our third season, we offer fresh insight into the life and times of the iconic Lucille Ball. How did a small-town girl who was told she had no talent become the funniest, most recognizable woman in America? In some ways, Lucille Ball was like the character she made famous. Lucy Ricardo never stopped wanting to be in showbiz and her scheming adventures delighted television audiences every Monday night during the 1950s. In real life, Lucille Ball was even more hungry for fame, driven by a turbulent mix of raw ambi- tion and fear of loss. But she never stopped laughing and ultimately her dream came true: she remains the most celebrated female comedian of the 20th century.


The Bonfire of the Vanities was one of the best-selling novels of the 1980s and had all the makings for a hit motion picture: a dark comedy with heart and bite, an A-list director and a star-studded cast. So what went wrong? Come with us onto the closed set and hear actual recordings of Brian De Palma, Tom Hanks, Melanie Griffith and others, as they chased the ultimate reward, the fabled Hollywood blockbuster. This was The Devil's Candy, the promise of riches and fame, accolades and Oscars – a prize so irresistible that they ignored the mounting troubles.


For our first season, we’re telling a true tale about loss, perseverance and the solace of cinema. Peter Bogdanovich was the toast of Hollywood at a very young age, but soon found himself a failure with a string of flops, ruined relationships, and the tragic murder of the love of his life. Now, alongside host Ben Mankiewicz, Peter looks back on his life, trying to make sense of the good and the bad, and reckon with his legacy in an unforgiv- ing industry. Featuring new and archival interviews with many of the greatest directors of all time, this is a story about the elusiveness of dreams, fame and power. It’s about what happens when luck disappears and misfortune moves in. From Turner Classic Movies, this is The Plot Thickens: I’m Still Peter Bogdanovich.