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Author: Earwolf, Paul Scheer & Amy Nicholson

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Listen up, film fans! Actor & comedian Paul Scheer and film critic Amy Nicholson want your advice as they make the ultimate list of the greatest movies of all time. In Season 1, they watched every one of the AFI’s Top 100 films...and decided they could kick off half. Now, they're filling in the gaps by investigating wildly diverse areas of film through miniseries on topics like horror movies, documentaries and romantic comedies, with help from listeners' picks. 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. And when Unspooled has built their own list of the best movies on earth, they'll blast them into space to be immortalized for eternity. Seriously.
168 Episodes
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Alien

Alien

2021-06-1701:43:342

Amy & Paul burst out of 1979's sci-fi horror pioneer Alien! They learn about the film's original darker ending, contrast it with another classic horror film Unspooled has covered, and ask whether today's filmmakers have lost the visual imagination that made Alien feel so innovative. Plus, the eternal debate: Alien or Aliens? Next week Unspooled's space series continues with Solaris (the 1972 original)! You can join the conversation for this series on the Unspooled Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/unspooledpodcast, and on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Contact

Contact

2021-06-1001:45:15

Paul & Amy reach out to 1997's Robert Zemeckis extraterrestrial encounter film Contact! They learn about the long journey Carl Sagan's story took to the screen, ask whether Matthew McConaughey's character is too daffy, and debate the existence of God and aliens. Plus: How did they get Bill Clinton to cameo? Next week Unspooled's space series continues with Alien! You can join the conversation for this series on the Unspooled Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/unspooledpodcast, and on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Spool Party: Clueless

Spool Party: Clueless

2021-06-0301:11:201

Amy & Paul totally get into 1995's Jane-Austen-in-high-school comedy Clueless! They discuss what makes this a perfect Emma adaptation, learn which actor's mistake director Amy Heckerling intentionally kept in the film, and play a Paul Rudd themed guessing game. Plus: Ronna Glickman (Jessica Chaffin) dishes out some love advice. (This episode originally aired live on YouTube as part of Unspooled’s “Spool Party” series.) Next week Unspooled's space series WILL resume with Contact! You can join the conversation for our space film series on the Unspooled Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/unspooledpodcast, and on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
The hosts of the George Lucas Talk Show (Connor Ratliff, Griffin Newman and Patrick Cotnoir) reenact a scene from "Ewoks: The Battle For Endor," defend Rise Of Skywalker, and pitch a new Star Wars prequel in this all-Lucas episode of Screen Test!   This episode was originally released as part of our Premium game show series Screen Test; to hear more, just sign up for Stitcher Premium at stitcher.com/premium and use the promo code UNSPOOLED for one month free.
Paul & Amy dance on the keys for 1988's Tom Hanks body swap comedy Big! They discuss the unique perspective director Penny Marshall brought to the film's romantic scenes, play some of their favorite oddball Hanks cameos, and ask how Josh's experience would go on to shape his real adulthood. Plus: Lauren Lapkus shares why this is her favorite film. (This episode originally aired live on YouTube as part of Unspooled’s “Spool Party” series.) You can join the conversation for our space film series on the Unspooled Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/unspooledpodcast, and on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest

2021-05-1301:46:092

Paul & Amy beam aboard 1999's TV sci-fi satire Galaxy Quest! They discuss how fandom has changed over the last 20 years, learn about an in-joke that inspired the villain's name, and debate whether Tim Allen was the right choice for the Shatner-esque lead role. Plus: Paul shares his secret history with this film.   You can join the conversation for this series on the Unspooled Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/unspooledpodcast, and on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
A Trip to the Moon

A Trip to the Moon

2021-05-0601:16:291

Amy & Paul set a course for 1902's seminal space short A Trip To The Moon (aka Le Voyage dans la Lune)! They dissect it as a work of imperialist satire, learn more about director Georges Méliès, and listen to a modern score made for the film by Air. Plus: Which films will we cover for the rest of our space series?   Next week our galactic trip continues with Galaxy Quest! You can join the conversation for this series on the Unspooled Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/unspooledpodcast, and on Paul's Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams

2021-04-2901:26:351

Paul & Amy take on 1994's groundbreaking high school basketball documentary Hoop Dreams! They compare the look of the film to slick modern docs, look at the subtle ways director Steve James contrasts his two subjects, and learn what stars Arthur and William are doing today. Plus: how Siskel & Ebert's advocacy for the film unveiled an Oscar scandal. Next week, we begin our discussion of films set in space with A Trip To The Moon, and start the conversation on which films should be part of the series! 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
2021 Oscar Special

2021 Oscar Special

2021-04-2201:59:372

Paul & Amy break down Nomadland, Mank, Judas & The Black Messiah, and all the Best Picture nominees before this year's Academy Awards! They discuss which movies looked too depressing to tackle during a pandemic (and which are less depressing than you'd think), ask why the Best Picture and Best Director nominations aren't one and the same, and give their predictions for the big category winners (and the shorts of course). Plus: some of their favorites from 2020 that didn't get nominations!   Next week, we finish our Underdogs series with the fan-voted pick, Hoop Dreams! 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
A League of Their Own

A League of Their Own

2021-04-1501:58:251

Amy & Paul hit a grand slam for 1992's Penny Marshall baseball comedy A League Of Their Own! They make the case this is a film about female friendship as much as a sports movie, dig into the camaraderie between Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell, and ask what was really going through Dottie's head in the final game. Plus: Amy met a Rockford Peach!   This is the fifth episode of our Underdogs series; next week tune in for our preview of the 2020 Oscars! 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire

2021-04-0801:20:371

Paul & Amy run through 1981's Olympic track drama Chariots of Fire! They learn why this is Joe Biden's favorite film, ask if this thoroughly British story was at all jazzed up for American audiences, and compare the arcs of individual sports like running to the team sports they've covered so far. Plus: How composer Vangelis fought to get his iconic theme in the film. This is the fourth episode of our Underdogs series; next week’s film is A League Of Their Own! 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Cool Runnings

Cool Runnings

2021-04-0101:40:083

Paul & Amy slide through 1993's Jamaican bobsledding comedy Cool Runnings! They learn which parts of the script were true and which were exaggerated for the film, praise John Candy's generous straight man performance, and ask whether formula is always a bad thing in filmmaking. Plus: Doug E. Doug (Sanka Coffie) recalls talking the production team out of some bad ideas.   This is the third episode of our Underdogs series; next week’s film is Chariots Of Fire! 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Brian's Song

Brian's Song

2021-03-2501:17:421

Paul & Amy tackle 1971's football integration melodrama Brian's Song! They learn why Burt Reynolds ultimately wasn't cast in the James Caan role, praise the film's use of real game footage, and discuss why it all works despite often feeling like an after school special. Plus: what makes Brian's Song a famous 'guy-cry?'   This is the second episode of our Underdogs series; next week’s film is Cool Runnings! 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Hoosiers

Hoosiers

2021-03-1801:22:58

Amy & Paul double team 1986's Gene Hackman basketball drama Hoosiers! They praise the film for capturing the realism of small town life, dissect what makes films based on true stories successful, and ask whether Hackman is actually a good coach. Plus: How does Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar nominated score hold up?   This is the first episode of our Underdogs series; next week's film is Brian's Song! 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Amy and Paul sit down with Mark Harris, author of "Mike Nichols: A Life," to discuss the career of the famed director of films like "The Graduate" and "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?", and the insights Harris uncovered by diving into his life and work.   Next week, movie discussion resumes, as we kick off our Underdogs series on real-life-inspired sports films with Hoosiers!
The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

2021-03-0401:40:205

Amy & Paul fight for 1987's Rob Reiner meta-fairytale The Princess Bride! They discuss what makes Reiner's films stand out, listen to Cary Elwes' Marlon Brando impression, and ask if this is a perfect example of an 'everything' film. Plus: some Andre The Giant stories you won't believe.   This is the final episode of the Couple Goals series; next week we kick off Underdogs, our series on true-life sports films, with Hoosiers! 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain

2021-02-2501:43:311

Paul & Amy can't quit 2005's groundbreaking gay romance Brokeback Mountain! They analyze how the beginning and ending shots of the film mirror each other, ask why so much early coverage of the film felt tone deaf, and praise all four central performances as the emergence of a new generation of great actors. Plus: What makes Ang Lee one of our greatest living directors.   This is the seventh episode in our Couple Goals series; next week’s film, and the winner of the Couple Goals fan vote, is the Princess Bride! 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Love and Basketball

Love and Basketball

2021-02-1801:35:572

Amy & Paul alley-oop 2000's Gina Prince-Bythewood athletic romance Love And Basketball! They discover the impact this film made on WNBA players like Candace Parker, learn why Sanaa Lathan had to prove she was up for the lead role, and ask if a childhood argument foreshadows the central couple's turbulent relationship. Plus: Why did the love scene almost get cut by the MPAA?   This is the sixth episode in our Couple Goals series; next week’s film is Brokeback Mountain! 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Paul & Amy can't forget 2004's mind-melting romance Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind! They learn why director Michel Gondry asked Jim Carrey not to improvise, watch a deleted scene featuring a character cut from the film, and ask if this couple is really meant to be together. Plus: learn which rap superstar was heavily inspired by the movie!   This is the fifth episode in our Couple Goals series; next week’s film is Love And Basketball! 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 listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
BONUS: Promising Young Woman

BONUS: Promising Young Woman

2021-02-1001:17:502

On a bonus Unspooled, Paul & Amy discuss 2020's thorny modern revenge story Promising Young Woman! They praise the film's tonal balancing act and subversion of audience expectations, view Cassie's story through the prism of the misogynist pop culture of the 00s, and listen to highlights from Amy's conversation with director Emerald Fennell and star Carey Mulligan.
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Comments (51)

Scott Kieffer

Sound of Metal is not fun... it was kinda a downer like Paul assumed. It was better & less depressing than he thinks, but I would definitely not describe it as "fun." In a year where everything good was super serious... the ones that balanced the seriousness with hope, energy & movement stood out above the rest. Those were Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, Judas & the Black Messiah, and maybe Trial of the Chicago 7 (Mank too I guess). I also think Emma & King of Staten Island fit that bill & deserve more attention than they got. Tenet & Invisible Man also were excellent, standout movies in their genres. Though for whatever reason those genres never get considered as "real" movies for Oscars (big-budget sci-fi/action and a horror/thriller). Would have liked to see love for Vast of Night too though it might not have been eligible. The Father, Ma Rainey's, One Night in Miami... all interesting good movies but too serious & too little plot movement. They seemed more like concept movies than finished drafts.

Apr 25th
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Terry Mediafreak66

One of my favourite movies of all times! I cry every time too! I even cried during this podcast. Great analysis (as usual).

Apr 23rd
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Nik Grzeskowiak

so...it seems Paul believes that Raising Arizona is like the animated movie Inside Out where all the characters are parts of Nick Cage's character existing in Cage's mind...and also the real world. Paul may be reaching too far for meaning in a Cohen Brothers movie. It's just a fun story about weirdos who mess up. It's not the Iliad.

Nov 22nd
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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
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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
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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
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Lloyd Higley

Boy you two never got close to understanding this movie.

Mar 7th
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‍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
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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
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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
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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
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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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