3x3: commentary tracks we'd like to hear

So many commentary tracks are people talking about how cold it was when they shot that day. Or the director basically narrating what we’re already seeing onscreen. Who needs it? Some of my favorite commentary tracks are from people who weren’t even involved in the movie. Roger Ebert for Dark City. Or Japanese film scholar Michael Jeck for Seven Samurai.

So if you could get anyone to do a commentary track for a movie, what would you pick? We discuss our choices at the 58-minute mark of the Adjustment Bureau podcast.

3. George Lucas for Howard the Duck
2. Sarah Palin for 2001

  1. Shemp and Moe Howard for Platoon

3. Kellywand and Peter Berg for Zapped
2. Gary Kurtz, George Lucas, and Kevin Smith for Return of the Jedi

  1. Roger Ebert for Jaws IV: The Revenge

Tom Chick
3. Clint Mansell for The Fountain
2. Tony Blair and Colin Powell for In the Loop

  1. Spike Jonez for Rubber

Okay, your turn. Who would you press into service for commentary tracks you’d like to hear?


Going with Kellywand on the Palin hotness thing. The glimmer of attractive-for-Washington-DC wore off within weeks of her VP announcement. By the time the parody porn had been released it was already well passed ick.

alexlitel for The Dark Knight. The sputtering rage would be totally worth it.

Star Wars Episodes I through VI featuring Leland Chee, Mike Stoklasa, Tom Chick and Kevin Smith.

  1. Chris Elliot for Cabin Boy.

  2. Charles Grodin, Martin Short, Paul Flaherty for Clifford.

  3. Louis CK and Chris Rock for Pootie Tang.

John Milius for pretty much any movie ever made.

Necro-Butcher and Jake the Snake Roberts for The Wrestler

Tom Chick and Lizard King for The Hurt Locker

The Zodiac Killer for Zodiac*

*BTW Zodiac has a great commentary track that includes the always entertaining James Ellroy

I could listen to Werner Herzog talk about anything.

Party Down’s Ryan Hansen and Martin Starr, in-character as Roman and Kyle, for the JJ Abrams Star Trek movie.

  1. Orson Welles for Citizen Kane
    Not one of my favourite films, but I think one of the most important. I think this would be fascinating. Plus, he had that Carlsberg voice which would be awesome to listen to for two hours.
  2. Michael Cimino for Heavens Gate
    I succumb to schadenfreude. It did kill a studio.
  3. Terence Malick for Badlands
    I just want to know if the remarkable prescience of that film was intentional.

Ooh, only ten posts in and this thread already rocks. I love the idea of alexlitel on Dark Knight. And the Party Down characters on Star Trek is an inspired choice.

The commentary track on Incident at Loch Ness is arguably as good as the movie itself.

And I would love to discuss Hurt Locker with Lizard King. I love talking to people who disagree with me about a movie. Forum pissing matches, however, are a whole other ball of wax. :)


My most wanted commentary would be Steven Spielberg on the Indy Trilogy. I will never understand that guy’s refusal to do commentaries.

#2 would be The Lord of the Rings Extended Trilogy with commentary entirely by Christopher Lee.

Why are you trying to kill Christopher Lee? That’s like a zillion hours of talking!

I agree with the Spielberg comment. I know that guy would have some really interesting things to say about his craft, but he absolutely refuses to do commentaries.

Tarantino in a commentary for Legend of Boggy Creek.
Rodney Dangerfield, as King Kong, giving King Kong’s commentary on King Kong(the original).
Bruce Dern in a commentary for The Cowboys.

This is tangential to the commentary conversation, but you know what I would love? Some Johnathan Ross styled series about the great lost films. I’d like to see an hour with Jodorowsky and Moebius talking about Dune, or a doc on David Lean’s Nostromo, or Kubrick’s Napolean.

You know what would be fun, and would make for an infinitely better movie? Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis in character as Bob and Doug McKenzie, offering a contrapuntal commentary on Michael Moore’s Canadian Bacon.

I just want a copy of The Wizard of Oz on DVD with a commentary track that plays Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

Christopher Walken on pretty much any movie he had a starring role in.

But he’d be up to it. He loves the trilogy (and knows it very well).
… did I ever mention I met him?!

I’m with Matt and would love a Spielberg commentary on one of his good movies. But I’d also love to hear him - possibly with John Belushi - talking about 1941.

I’d also take Bill Dungsroman on Patch Adams.

True, but I bet he’d do it. He’s a true Tolkien expert and the only member of the film’s cast to have ever met the man himself. His snippets in the commentaries were always fascinating, and I often wished they’d just let him talk more rather than cutting back to the three hobbits goofing off while Sean Astin desperately tried to inject actual information into their recording session.

I agree with the Spielberg comment. I know that guy would have some really interesting things to say about his craft, but he absolutely refuses to do commentaries.

In an interview on the Lawrence of Arabia DVD, Spielberg talks about how when he sat down with David Lean to watch the restored version of the film, Lean ended up just talking through the whole thing about different shots, behind the scenes stories, alternate versions, and basically did an in-person commentary. Spielberg says it was fascinating and one of the most valuable experiences he had in his career. Why he refuses to do his own commentaries given his experience with Lean is beyond me.

  1. The Dude, Walter, and Donny on any modern day western.

  2. Michale Caine on any of his poorer movies (e.g. Holcroft Covenant or The Swarm. Especially Jaws IV).

  3. Peter O’Toole and Richard Harris commenting on any work they were involved in. Especially anything from when they were younger, and especially from anything from when they weren’t sober.