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The Patrick Coffin Show | Interviews with influencers | Commentary about culture | Tools for transformation

The Patrick Coffin Show podcast features weekly interviews with A-list influencers and outliers in the effort to recover the Judeo-Christian roots of the culture. Patrick is the Canadian-born former host of Catholic Answers Live, and he has raving fans around the world. He injects these fascinating interviews with his own distinctive blend of depth and levity. If you’re tired of politically correct mediaspeak, you want to see God back in the public square, and you’re not allergic to having a laugh, this is the place to be.
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The Patrick Coffin Show | Interviews with influencers | Commentary about culture | Tools for transformation
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Now displaying: December, 2018
Dec 25, 2018

This episode debuted exactly a year ago, and I could think of no better show this year to honor my all-time favorite movie, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life (1947)  through the eyes of two women with close ties to its creation.

 
If Mr. Capra didn't write it, why do I call it “Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life? It's because that’s how the movie was marketed, which helps explain why the film got only a so-so reception when it was first released. Most of Mr. Capra’s pre-World War II movies were so sweet-hearted that they later earned the moniker “Capracorn,” not meant as a compliment.
 
It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most critically acclaimed films ever made. Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made, and placed number 11 on its initial 1998 greatest movie list, it also ranked number one on its list of the most inspirational American films of all time.
 
Think about that. In light of the fact that hundreds of thousands of movies have been made, this is a jaw-dropping achievement.
 
By the end of the Second World War, though, the mood of the movie-going public had shifted, as I wrote about the making of the movie in National Review a few years ago HERE.
 
The next day after it was published, an appreciative email from a woman named Mary Owen arrived in my inbox. Turns out, Mary is the daughter of actress Donna Reed, who played Mary Bailey, the wife of James Stewart’s George Bailey.
 
I thanked her for the lovely email and we had a few back-and-forths. After my podcast was up on two feet and spreading around the world (110 countries and counting), I thought it would be fun to have her on the show to talk about her mother’s role in this now-international favorite Christmas movie and to learn some back story to her mother’s career and her commitment to writing back to the G.I’s who wrote to her from the trenches and the gun turrets of World War II.
 
The interview segues nicely into the next one, a rich conversation with actress Karolyn Grimes who played Zuzu, one of the four Bailey kids. Remember Zuzu’s petals? This was a real treat for me who loves the movie so well, and I know it will be for you as well.
 
I learned, among other things, how much Mrs. Grimes suffered as a teen when her mother died and then the next year her father was killed and she became a ward of the state—then “rescued” by an aunt and uncle in Missouri, which was an unhappy home situation. Karolyn also played Debbie, the daughter of David Niven and Loretta Young in another Christmas favorite, The Bishop’s Wife.
 
For those of us who can’t gobble up enough trivia and true stories about It’s a Wonderful Life, Mrs. Grimes is a treasure trove of first hand memories and insights! Yes, I was star-struck, okay? Is that so wrong? 

 

 

In this episode you will learn

  • How Donna Reed’s work represents the best of the Golden Age of television and movies
  • Why she made sure she was “just a regular mom” with Mary and her other real-life children
  • The story of how Reed’s children found a shoebox full of correspondence with American soldiers from the War in her Bel Air home 65 years later
  • Why Owens thinks the movie that made her mother a household name has such enduring appeal
  • Who is the oldest living cast member (hint: it’s not one of the child actors)
  • What it was like to be on set with Frank Capra and to appear with Jimmy Stewart
  • The ways in which It’s a Wonderful Life touched the lives of the cast and crew forever.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode

Blu-Ray of It’s a Wonderful Life 

Blu-Ray of The Bishop’s Wife

It’s a Wonderful Life Book  edited by Jeanine Basinger

 

Additional resources

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Memory Book by Stephen Cox.

The Essential It’s a Wonderful Life: A Scene-by-Scene Guide to the Classic Film by Michael Willian

The Name Above the Title: An Autobiography by Frank Capra

 

Join the Conversation

Question of the week: Which scene grabs you the most emotionally and why?

 

 

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Dec 23, 2018

Like Santa himself, Tim Gordon and I have made a list, checked it twice, and have found out which Christmas movies are naughty or nice. Tim, as you will remember from Episode 80, is the author of Catholic Republic: How America Will Perish Without Rome and the co-host with Dr. Taylor Marshall on their popular podcast/YouTube channel.

This is a free-wheeling dueling rants about Christmas classics and clunkers from the point of view of cinephilic Catholic dads. Say what you like, but our opinions are correct, I tell you. Well, mine are...

 

Movies mentioned in this episode:

Here are the movies we discuss with brio, while openly ribbing each other because, well, Advent is penitential:

 

It’s a Wonderful Life

Elf

Meet John Doe

A Christmas Story

The Bishop’s Wife

Miracle of 34th Street

Die Hard

Love, Actually (pornish as is-- use VidAngel!)

A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott)

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (Jim Carrey)

Joyeux Noel

Departures

Special mention of the remake of 3:10 To Yuma, no extra charge.

 

And don’t worry, no Christmas movies involving Tim Allen were mentioned. Shudder. You’re welcome.

 

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Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the full length podcast available in iTunes and other podcast directories, while you are there, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Dec 18, 2018

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In this episode you will learn:

  • How reliable Matthew is as an historian
  • Why describing the Magi a function of myth doesn’t not take away from their historicity
  • How the colorful additions (Caspar? Melchior? Balthasar? Camels?) to the biblical story arose
  • The multiple meanings of “the East” for the Jewish people
  • How the arrival and worship of the Magi set the Incarnation onto an international setting
  • How to see the accretions of the Magi part of the story with Santa Claus and the original story of St. Nicholas

 

Resources recommended in this episode:

 

Question of the week

In what way am I a lost foreigner trying to find the Lord Jesus in my life?

 

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Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the full length podcast available in iTunes and other podcast directories, while you are there, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Dec 11, 2018

If you enjoy this show please consider supporting us here: www.patrickcoffin.media/donate. Thank you!

 

Before we get too rah-rah about the “springtime for Christianity” and “the new evangelization,” we need to pay attention to the truth of things. On the ground. Right now. It’s grim. Each year, six times as many Catholics leave the Church as enter it.” By the age of 24, those that leave are already gone and invariably don’t come back. The reasons vary.

Dr. Taylor Marshall, founder of the New Saint Thomas Institute, has not only crunched the numbers but devised a practical solution to this ecclesial bleed out. It’s called Catholic Life Prep. Parents and their teen-aged kids now have a one-stop-shop resource that hits the problem of CFL (collegiate faith loss) head on and provides a massive counter-response of faith, reason, and evangelical passion. Do NOT miss this one.

 

In this episode you will learn:

  • The leading cause of young people losing the Faith
  • The historical context for the bleed-out
  • Why parents should not blame themselves (unless they shirked their duty to hand on the Faith)
  • The role of both natural law and Scripture to answer objections to the Catholic worldview
  • Why fathers are indispensable to the process of passing on the truths and the example of the Faith
  • What kinds of intellectual tools professors use to destroy students’ Christian faith and how to counter them

 

Resources recommended in this episode:

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Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the full length podcast available in iTunes and other podcast directories, while you are there, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Dec 4, 2018

Mike Sweeney played major league baseball for 16 seasons at the top level of performance, with a career batting average of .297,with 215 homeruns, and 909 RBIs. He’s a five-time All-Star; he was inducted into the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame; he has won the Hutch Award for being a total gentleman and persevering fighter in the game. In 2002, he hit .340 for the second-highest batting average in the American League and the second-highest in club history only to George Brett's .390 in 1980.

By any standards, a phenomenal ball player.

But Mike is also a fervent Catholic who, as this interview shows well, is not afraid to be vulnerable and to tell the truth about his own weaknesses. His father Mike, Sr. (whom he calls “my hero”) is a huge ongoing influence. It shows.

In this interview, we talk about the brutal statistics of retired professional athletes: the rates of bankruptcy, suicide, divorce, PTSD, along with higher rates of drug and alcohol use. Men who “have it all” often discover the hard way how life is once the big checks, the wild stadium applause, the constant ego stroking are all over after you retire.

It makes the athlete ask, “who am I, really?” To often, the answer is either “I have no idea,” or “without my uniform, my fans, and my riches, I am nothing.” This is where Mike’s shining example comes in.

 

In this episode you will learn:

  • The indispensable role of the father—for good or for ill—in a boy’s life and formation
  • How an episode of violence (in this case, a bench-clearing brawl instigated by Sweeney!) led to a dramatic leap forward in his spiritual life
  • Why being manly is not the opposite of being childlike
  • How a major league professional can and did navigate the temptations and vicissitudes of life on the road
  • How fame can be an addiction that can destroy someone, or make someone else truly humble
  • Why everyday affirmation has an almost mystical power to inspire heroic courage

 

Resources recommended in this episode:

  • Catholic Baseball Camp founded by Mike Sweeney with the support of the priests of Miles Christi
  • Catholic Athletes For Christ
  • Mike and Shara Sweeney Family Foundation

 

"Like" us on Facebook HERE

Tweet to Patrick HERE

 

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the full length podcast available in iTunes and other podcast directories, while you are there, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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