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Unspooled

Author: Earwolf, Paul Scheer & Amy Nicholson

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In Season 1 of Unspooled, actor & comedian Paul Scheer and film critic Amy Nicholson watched every film on the AFI's Top 100 films list. Now, they are building their own list of movies worthy of being immortalized and blasted into space, investigating wildly diverse areas of film through miniseries on topics like horror movies, documentaries and romantic comedies. Along the way, they'll dissect iconic scenes, spotlight their favorite characters, and talk to some of the actors and directors who worked on these classics.
132 Episodes
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Night Of The Living Dead

Night Of The Living Dead

2020-10-2201:43:20

Amy & Paul tear into 1968's seminal zombie horror Night Of The Living Dead! They learn about director George Romero's history making political advertisements, praise the way Romero makes you care about the characters he's killing off, and analyze how casting a black lead actor in Duane Jones changed the tenor and meaning of the film. Plus: Weighing in on the eternal question, can zombies run?   This is the third episode of our “Unghouled” horror miniseries; next week’s film is Night Of The Living Dead! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. You can also apply to be a guest on our upcoming game show Screen Test at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
The Babadook

The Babadook

2020-10-1501:15:502

Paul & Amy knock three times on 2014's Australian psychological horror film The Babadook! They learn how director Jennifer Kent was influenced by classic creature features, spotlight a trope most horror films use that this one avoids, and explore why the film is such a relatable depiction of parenting. Plus: A look at the Babadook's second life as an LGBT icon.   This is the second episode of our “Unghouled” horror miniseries; next week’s film is Night Of The Living Dead! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf, and apply to be a guest on Screen Test at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Frankenstein

Frankenstein

2020-10-0801:28:411

Amy & Paul reanimate 1931's literary creature feature Frankenstein! They learn Boris Karloff's real name, discuss what the film has to say about the human act of creation, and ask why "burgermaster" is no longer a public title. Plus: A quick look at the follow-up "Bride Of Frankenstein."   This is the first episode of our "Unghouled" horror miniseries; next week's film is The Babadook! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf, and apply to be a guest on Screen Test at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Dazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused

2020-10-0101:50:082

Paul & Amy party with 1993's throwback high school ensemble comedy Dazed And Confused! They watch Matthew McConaughey's dazzling audition tape, learn the studio's original plan for the soundtrack, and ask if director Richard Linklater prioritizes the male POV in his films. Plus: We try to determine which high school film we've covered is most spaceship-worthy.   This is the final episode of our “Back To School” miniseries; next week we kick off a new series about horror films with 1931's Frankenstein! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf, and apply to be a guest on Screen Test at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Fast Times At Ridgemont High

2020-09-2401:53:333

Amy & Paul say aloha to 1982's high school romp Fast Times At Ridgemont High! They learn about the real life inspiration for Spicoli from Sean Penn, take a close look at the film's unique treatment of teen sex, and wonder just what a trout dog is. Plus: director Amy Heckerling explains how she worked around the studio system to bring her vision to the film.   This is the sixth episode of our “Back To School” miniseries; next week’s film is the winner of the fan vote for this series, Dazed And Confused! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf, and apply to be a guest on Screen Test at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Cooley High

Cooley High

2020-09-1701:47:591

Paul & Amy pour one out for 1975's comic high school drama Cooley High! They learn how the film scored a soundtrack of wall-to-wall Motown hits, analyze the film's take on teenage hijinks, and praise Michael Schultz as one of the great underrated directors. Plus: Glynn Turman ("Preach") talks about the impact Cooley High had on his career.   This is the fifth episode of our "Back To School" miniseries; next week’s film is Fast Times At Ridgemont High! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf, and apply to be a guest on Screen Test at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Rebel Without A Cause

Rebel Without A Cause

2020-09-1001:45:181

Amy & Paul are torn apart by 1955's landmark teen drama Rebel Without A Cause! They celebrate the instantly iconic performance of James Dean, learn about the wild backstory of director Nicholas Ray, and take a close look at the seismic generational shifts of the era. Plus: reflections on the recent passing of Chadwick Boseman.   This is the fourth episode of our "Back To School" miniseries; next week’s film is Cooley High! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf, and apply to be a guest on Screen Test at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
The 400 Blows

The 400 Blows

2020-09-0301:19:01

Paul & Amy raise hell for 1959's French New Wave adolescent drama The 400 Blows! They learn how François Truffaut went from a Hitchcock-worshipping critic to a director himself, discuss how he then became a major influence on directors like Steven Spielberg, and praise the value of creative limitations in creating truly fresh works of art. Plus: a scene from the unforgettable Sesame Street adaptation.   This is the third episode of our "Back To School" miniseries; next week’s film is Rebel Without A Cause! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Stand and Deliver

Stand and Deliver

2020-08-2701:40:441

Amy & Paul stand for 1988's rousing math class drama Stand And Deliver! They ask if this is the first major 'indie' film, learn how Edward James Olmos crafted his commanding performance as Jaime Escalante, and investigate whether the real students depicted cheated on their exam. Plus: Lou Diamond Phillips explains how he got cast as Angel, and why poker requires top-notch math skills.   This is the second episode of our "Back To School" miniseries; next week’s film is The 400 Blows! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Mean Girls

Mean Girls

2020-08-2001:48:361

Paul & Amy are obsessed with 2004's teenage clique comedy Mean Girls! They approach the film as a work of anthropology, praise Amanda Seyfried's perfectly dumb performance, and ask how this pre-social media movie became so heavily GIF'd. Plus: Mark Waters talks about how it feels to have directed a modern sleepover classic.   This is the first episode of our first miniseries of Season 2, Back To School; next week’s film is Stand And Deliver! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Get ready for Unspooled: The New 100, beginning August 20th!
Wrapping Up the AFI 100

Wrapping Up the AFI 100

2020-07-2301:31:52

It's the end of Season 1...welcome to the AFI Thunderdome! Amy and Paul discover which movies from the AFI 100 surprised and stuck with Unspooled listeners the most, reveal their top 10 and bottom 10 films from the list (along with Producer Josh and Engineer Devon) and make some hard decisions regarding which films deserve to stay in the 100, and which should get cut. Stick around until the end for a big announcement about Season 2, which begins August 20th.   Go to unspooledpod.com to see Paul & Amy's ranked list of their top 40 films from the AFI 100! Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, 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
Casablanca

Casablanca

2020-07-1501:54:131

Paul & Amy will always have 1942's Humphrey Bogart WWII romance Casablanca! They learn the trick Bogart used to make himself a magnetic romantic lead, ask each other what their most used Casablanca quote is, and watch an alternate ending as imagined by The Simpsons. Plus: Ben Mankiewicz (TCM, The Plot Thickens) shares why he thinks Casablanca is a greatest-film-of-all-time contender.   Join us next week as we say goodbye to the AFI list and tell you what we have in store for Season 2. In the meantime, see if you can cut the list down to 50 must-keep films! 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
Paul & Amy make a last stand for 1969's mythic Western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid! They praise the film's use of montage, discuss how the unusually light tone sets it apart from other Westerns, and contemplate whether Steve McQueen could have played Sundance as well as Robert Redford. Plus: Author Thom Hatch (The Last Outlaws) tells us the stories of the real life Butch and Sundance he wishes made it into the film.   For Casablanca week, send us a quote from the movie in another famous character's voice! 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
Jaws

Jaws

2020-07-0201:55:212

Amy & Paul take a bite out of 1975's blockbuster Spielberg creature feature Jaws! They take a close listen to John Williams' iconic score, praise the way Spielberg adds emotional stakes to the story, and ask whether Jurassic Park does much of what Jaws does, but better. Plus: Hannah Medd, founder of the American Shark Conservancy, weighs in on whether dolphins are bigger jerks than sharks.   Which AFI character do you think deserves their own thematic film festival, along the lines of Sundance? 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
It Happened One Night

It Happened One Night

2020-06-2501:37:41

Paul & Amy piggyback onto 1934's Frank Capra romantic comedy It Happened One Night! They ask if this script fits the "screwball" mold, praise Claudette Colbert for subverting the cliches of the genre, and learn how Clark Gable inspired Bugs Bunny. Plus: which romantic comedies would Unspooled listeners add to the AFI list?   Help make a campaign ad for (or against) the mayor in Jaws! 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
Modern Times

Modern Times

2020-06-1801:23:381

Paul & Amy crank through 1936's mechanical Charlie Chaplin comedy Modern Times! They praise the film's ever-escalating setpieces, learn why Joseph Goebbels banned it in Germany, and ponder how much the working world has really changed since the 30s. Plus: We hear your recommendations for other silent films to add to the list.   For It Happened One Night week, what other romantic comedies do you want to see on 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. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Shane

Shane

2020-06-1101:29:102

Paul & Amy mosey into 1953's archetypal western Shane! They learn about star Alan Ladd's often tragic life, examine how director George Stevens made gun violence feel heightened, and play a referential clip from the X-Men film Logan. Plus: Digging into your thoughts and theories on Blade Runner.   For Modern Times week, what silent film do you think needs to be on 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. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Blade Runner

Blade Runner

2020-06-0402:04:491

Amy & Paul run through 1982's moody Ridley Scott dystopia Blade Runner! They listen to the infamous original voiceover, learn what inspired Philip K. Dick's source material, and yes, give their theories on whether Deckard is a replicant. Plus: Screenwriter David Peoples explains which pivotal scene makes the whole film work.   Give us a more iconic cowboy name than "Shane"! 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   Donate to the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund here: https://www.naacpldf.org/support/donors/ Learn more about Black Lives Matter LA at blmla.org
A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

2020-05-2801:56:253

Paul & Amy roll into 1951's Southern Gothic Tennessee Williams drama A Streetcar Named Desire! They compare the opposite physicality of Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh, analyze the buildup to Brando's famous scream, and listen to a montage of musical Streetcar references. Plus: Brian Lohmann from the Impro Theater discusses improvising in the style of Tennessee Williams.   For Blade Runner week, give us your rendition of the "tears in rain” speech! 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   You can watch the Tennessee Williams UnScripted show we talk about in our interview with Brian here: https://vimeo.com/291407149/46ddada77a
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Comments (48)

Elisabeth Hawkins

I was so excited about this podcast but realized only the horror ones are worth listening to. I got up halfway through "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" before I quit. maybe you ended up addressing this. if so I'm sorry, but I think you failed to see how they play with reality. Yes, fertility is addressed, but the idea of the nuclear family, marriage, and the facade of normalcy as a whole is as well. Martha and George play literal games to play escape and manipulate fact and fiction. At one point Nick says "I don't know when you people are lying or not," to which George and Martha smile and George days "you're not supposed to." Their lack of children isn't the defining factor that makes their lives the miserable train wrecks, it's all the little choices and possibly regrets they've made in life (their marriage, career, George not publishing his book, etc.) Their use of games and constant questioning of reality, including but very probably not limited to their son, invite you into what Martha calls "the refuge we take when the unreality of the world weighs too heavy on our tiny heads." (..and I'm sure a few liters of bugon helps with letting go of reality too.)

Oct 18th
Reply

Н. Л.

Amy, for my ears your articulation is not very clear sometimes, as if you have something in your mouth and as if you wouldn't like to be understood. It is upsetting, Amy, because you are a highly intelligent person, and your observations are interesting and I want to hear them.

Sep 29th
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Jess Hart

Good content but tough to binge

May 14th
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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)

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
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Heidi Hocking

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

Mar 26th
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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
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