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Unspooled

Author: Earwolf, Paul Scheer & Amy Nicholson

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Paul Scheer is a lifelong movie buff, but he's never seen many of the all time greats. On Unspooled, his team-up with film critic Amy Nicholson, he's remedying that by watching the AFI's top 100 movies of all time, to find out what makes classics like Citizen Kane and Taxi Driver so special. Paul & Amy will dissect iconic scenes, talk to artists and industry experts, and discover just how these films got made.
112 Episodes
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The Bridge On The River Kwai

The Bridge On The River Kwai

2020-05-2101:34:411

Amy and Paul cross 1957's David Lean WWII epic The Bridge On The River Kwai! They explore the career of star Sessue Hayakawa, ask why Lean's tyrannical methods pop up so often in the AFI 100, and compare the film to author Pierre Boulle's other famous work "Planet Of The Apes." Plus: responding to your comments on Goodfellas, and the passing of Fred Willard and Lynn Shelton.   For Streetcar Named Desire week, scream your post-quarantine desires a la "Stella!" Call it in to the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824. Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Spool Party: House Party

Spool Party: House Party

2020-05-1401:29:05

Amy & Paul raise the roof for 1990's Kid N' Play comedy smash House Party! They, listen to the film's all-timer rap battle, look at how the Simpsons was influenced by hip-hop culture, and talk to the film's writer and director Reginald Hudlin, and star Christopher "Kid" Reid. (This episode originally aired live on YouTube as part of Unspooled's "Spool Party" series.)   Next week get ready for the 1957 war epic "The Bridge On The River Kwai"! Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Check out the rest of our Spool Parties live on youtube.com/earwolf. Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Goodfellas

Goodfellas

2020-05-0702:19:073

Amy & Paul jump into 1990's kinetic Scorcese mob epic Goodfellas! They learn some of the wild details about Henry Hill that didn't make it into the film, discover the origins of the Morrie's Wigs commercial, and ask if there are too many gangster films on the AFI list. Plus: Chef Evan Funke (The Shape Of Pasta) shares a tomato sauce recipe you can make even in quarantine.   Next week tune in for our Spool Party episode about Kid N Play's House Party! Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. And check out our Spool Parties live on youtube.com/earwolf- this Monday we're talking about Clue! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Intolerance

Intolerance

2020-04-3001:31:452

Paul & Amy gawk at 1916's D.W. Griffith silent spectacle Intolerance! They praise the eternally cool Mountain Girl, ask if Griffith was the original 'troll' director, and marvel at the ambition on display in the oldest film on the AFI list. Plus: Unpacking your thoughts on Yankee Doodle Dandy.   If you could kick just one film off the AFI list, which would it be? Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer! Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.comand don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Yankee Doodle Dandy

Yankee Doodle Dandy

2020-04-2301:39:49

Paul & Amy salute to 1942's Jimmy Cagney musical extravaganza Yankee Doodle Dandy! They analyze the film as a template for modern musical biopics like Bohemian Rhapsody, break down a bizarre proposal scene, and learn how the real life political views of Jimmy Cagney clashed with his subject George M. Cohan. Plus: listeners offer their thoughts on Cabaret!   For Intolerance week, what movie set do you think could inspire a great mall! Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer! Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Cabaret

Cabaret

2020-04-1601:45:221

Amy & Paul strut through 1972's Weimar Berlin-set musical Cabaret! They learn about the many forms this story took before becoming a film, discuss a scene that foreshadows today's "fake news" era, and ask if Liza Minnelli is too good of a singer to play Sally Bowles. Plus: Adam Pascal, who played the Emcee in the revival of Cabaret, talks about why he finds the character so unnerving.   Who's a tough guy actor you suspect is actually a great dancer? Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer! Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf, and hear Paul & Amy talk about Yankee Doodle Dandy next week on afi.com/movieclub! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Easy Rider

Easy Rider

2020-04-0901:42:18

Amy & Paul hit the road for 1969's counter-cultural tone piece Easy Rider! They learn what Spiro Agnew thought of this film, compare its drug trip moments to the films it inspired, and ask what the controversial ending is really trying to say. Plus: listeners dig deeper into Sullivan's Travels' take on poverty.   For Cabaret week, sing us a bit of "Wilkommen"! Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your contribution. Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Sullivan's Travels

Sullivan's Travels

2020-04-0201:43:201

Paul & Amy travel to 1941's Preston Sturges Hollywood farce Sullivan's Travels! They learn why the US government made Veronica Lake's hairstyle illegal, praise the screenplay's rapid-fire dialogue, and ask if this is actually Sturges' best film or just his best known. Plus: More thoughts on the amazing career of Sidney Lumet.   For Easy Rider week, who would you want to go on a motorcycle road trip with? Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer! Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall
12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men

2020-03-2601:48:084

Amy & Paul deliberate over 1957's Sidney Lumet jury-room drama 12 Angry Men! They ask if all-male juries were ever common, compare Lumet's version to William Friedkin's remake, and praise the powerful performances in this ever-relevant film, Plus: Jury consultant Marissa Beyers talk about how jury selection has evolved since the 50s.   For Sullivan's Travels week, who's a movie director you think could learn something on the road? Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer! Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Rear Window

Rear Window

2020-03-1901:41:005

Paul & Amy peer into 1957's voyeuristic Hitchcock thriller Rear Window! They learn how the magnificent set was constructed, marvel at Jimmy Stewart's portrayal of a man on the moral edge, and discuss why Grace Kelly is not a "Lisa." Plus: Lane Moore, author of How To Be Alone, talks about how she deals with loneliness and isolation.   Next week we are (actually) talking about 12 Angry Men - help defend a criminal character you think deserved a fairer trial! Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer. Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts.   Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Sunrise

Sunrise

2020-03-1201:46:101

Amy & Paul rise up for 1927's expressionist F.W. Murnau masterwork Sunrise! They learn how Janet Gaynor won the Best Actress Oscar for three films at once, praise the film's groundbreaking soundtrack, and ask how such a simple story can resonate so strongly. Plus: Animal trainer Laura Bourhenne talks about the challenges of training pigs.   For 12 Angry Men week, help defend a criminal character you think deserved a fairer trial! Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer. Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall
M*A*S*H

M*A*S*H

2020-03-0501:50:001

Paul & Amy enlist for 1970's groundbreaking Robert Altman war comedy M*A*S*H! They work to separate the film from the iconic TV show, dissect a controversial scene with Sally Kellerman, and explore how this film was a precursor for 70s comedy to come. Plus: Tom Skerritt (Duke Forrest) explains how Altman made his career.   What do you think Sunrise is about? (Hint: there's a pig in it!) If you haven't seen it, call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer. Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Join Paul, Amy and special guest Hayes Davenport (Hollywood Handbook, Flagrant Ones) for this discussion about LA and apocalyptic films, with a special focus on the 1984 cult classic Repo Man! Learn about the strange history of LA urban planning initiatives, the inspiration for Repo Man's generic products, and a great party fact about "Ralphs." This episode was recorded live from Alamo Drafthouse in Los Angeles.
Parasite

Parasite

2020-02-2001:42:464

Paul & Amy latch on to 2019's Best Picture winning Korean class parable Parasite! They talk about overcoming the "one inch barrier of subtitles," praise director Bong Joon Ho's use of lines and vertical camera movement, and learn about Bong's political awakening and how it inspired the film. Plus: Justin Chang (LA Times, NPR) tells us what the reaction to Parasite was like at Cannes.   For M*A*S*H week, give Paul a M*A*S*H worthy nickname! Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer. Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall
The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music

2020-02-1301:57:362

Amy & Paul yodel through 1965's blockbuster musical The Sound Of Music! They learn the history of the real Trapp family singers, contemplate Julie Andrews' post-Sound Of Music career, and ask if the story of the film holds up as well as the songs. Plus: Composer and lyricist Adam Guettel (The Light In The Piazza) talks about his relationship with his grandfather, Richard Rodgers.   Next week Unspooled takes a break from the AFI list to discuss Best Picture winner Parasite! What foreign film do you think should have won Best Picture? Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer. Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall
2020 Oscars Preview

2020 Oscars Preview

2020-02-0601:31:003

Paul & Amy get ready for the Academy Awards by sharing their thoughts on this year's nominees, and some of their other favorite films from 2019 that didn't get nominated. They ask if this was a good year for movies overall, wonder if Joaquin Phoenix will get a chance to reprise his BAFTAs speech, and praise the careful balancing act of Marriage Story. Plus: The winners of The 2019 Spoolies, as voted on by the Unspooled listeners!   For The Sound Of Music week, call in and sing us a bit of "Do-Re-Mi"! Use the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824. Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall
The Apartment

The Apartment

2020-01-3001:26:133

Amy & Paul check in to 1960's Billy Wilder-helmed romantic comedy The Apartment! They learn about the real life murder that inspired this story, ask if there's an actor like Jack Lemmon working today, and discover what Nikita Khruschev thought of the film. Plus: Revisiting your thoughts on The Wild Bunch!   Next week we're talking about The Oscars; nominate a 2019 film for a made-up category of your choice! Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer. Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall
The Wild Bunch

The Wild Bunch

2020-01-2301:49:05

Paul & Amy light up 1969's rebellious Sam Peckinpah Western The Wild Bunch! They marvel at the stunts the volatile Peckinpah pulled, praise his inventive flashbacks, and debate the film's use of laughter. Plus: Director S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk) talks about why The Wild Bunch is one of his favorite films.   For The Apartment week, what was a time you helped someone in order to get ahead in life/at your job? Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer! Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall
The Gold Rush

The Gold Rush

2020-01-1601:45:482

Amy & Paul dig into 1925's chilly Charlie Chaplin comedy The Gold Rush! They wonder whether the Tramp smells bad, learn about the tradition of Christmas crackers, and ask if this is the best Chaplin film on the AFI list. Plus: Composer Cliff Retallick talk about what it's like to compose for silent film screenings. How would you cast a modern version of The Wild Bunch? Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer! Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Paul & Amy sap your bodily fluids with 1964's Cold War satire Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb! They unpack how director Stanley Kubrick manipulated his cast to get the best performances, learn the origin of Strangelove's voice, and play a Strangelove-inspired song by a classic SoCal punk band. Plus: recapping the Golden Globes! What other satires would you add to the AFI list? Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer! Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall This episode is brought to you by Sonos (www.sonos.com).
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Comments (47)

Jess Hart

Good content but tough to binge

May 14th
Reply

Kim

Amy you are entitled to your opinion about any given movie but the way you say you don't like a movie drives me kind of nuts. I find myself saying, nobody cares, just tell me about how and why the movies are groundbreaking and deserving of recognition.

May 10th
Reply

David Losee

Wow, I am impressed. Great show about a great film. I've watched Citizen Kane many, many times and always enjoy it as it is fantastic on so many levels. And you guys brought still some more ideas and thoughts that I haven't. Very enjoyable!

Mar 31st
Reply

Lloyd Higley

Boy you two never got close to understanding this movie.

Mar 7th
Reply

‍남준희[ 학부휴학 / 영어교육과 ]

all of your podcasts are highly researched! love it! i listened to this to teach my students about discussion in an esl class

Dec 22nd
Reply

Pete Cuellar

I still love you Paul, or should I say Tall

Oct 22nd
Reply (2)

Pete Cuellar

I feel like you put the joker under microscope and zoomed in too much

Oct 22nd
Reply (1)

JC LI

where is jaws on this list?

Oct 8th
Reply

Lloyd Higley

Quit making excuses for Marilyn, she was a dim wit. 59, 83 takes anyone could turn in a " performance

Oct 7th
Reply

Charmain Barksdale

I'm glad they this one! I encourage EVERYONE to watch!

Jun 30th
Reply

Angela Tsames

Add Caberat or All that Jazz

Jun 21st
Reply (1)

Terra Mork

htda

Jun 17th
Reply

Ron Mahre

Please consider Moonstruck and Crossing Delancey.

Jun 5th
Reply (1)

Ron Mahre

how did Jimmy get saved from the roof top hang?

Jun 5th
Reply

Mike Whiskey

Also how are you going to call the "Ark of the Covenant" in Raiders of the Lost Ark "Evil" again so out of context and it makes me sad since you make an interesting podcast but when you touch on anything that is common knowledge or basic context for the film... it's like you didn't watch the movie?? I mean were talking about the Ark of the Covenant the object the Nazis (In the Film: Raiders of the Lost Ark) were trying to weaponize and take control of, but Indy was like "That belongs in a museum" and basically fights against them getting it not just because he's an archeologist, but to also keep the power of the relic from falling into the Nazis hands. It's literally the premise of every... single... movie. Except "Temple of Doom" which is still impressive in many other ways not to mention the heart gripping tension (Yes I said it) that you feel watching the movie.

Mar 27th
Reply (2)

Mike Whiskey

how do you get "eye of the tiger" the song originally created for Rocky 3 confused with Rocky 4... They are completely two different sides of the spectrum for Rocky! Did you even watch the movies or did you just google them?? I mean a song that was literally created to show the complacency Rocky was developing and how he needed to get back the "eye of the tiger" by the end of the movie training with Apollo, and it also showed the "hunger/eye of the tiger" of his new and upcoming rival Clubber Lang (Mr. T) and you dont even cover the fact that it's Mr. Ts first ever role in Film??? AND the origin of "I pity the fool'??? when did you actually watch the film?

Mar 27th
Reply

Heidi Hocking

the instrument in the intro is actually someone playing a saw with a bow, not a theremin : )

Mar 26th
Reply

Heidi Hocking

the graduate is definitely in my personal top 5

Mar 26th
Reply

Cheng Zhang-Stoddard

I'd be very grateful if the show didn't have to start with 2 entire minutes of sheer advertisements.

Feb 28th
Reply

Jill Lloyd Flanagan

Amy is great! followed her here from The Canon. I think her and Paul play off each other well. I'm excited about them covering newer films bc sometimes I'm not as interested in a lot of the classics they cover

Jan 31st
Reply
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