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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.
152 Episodes
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Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain

2021-02-2501:43:271

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

2021-02-1801:35:571

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.
A Place In The Sun

A Place In The Sun

2021-02-0401:47:091

Amy & Paul are infatuated with 1951's tragic love triangle A Place In The Sun! They hear Elizabeth Taylor explain how watching Montgomery Clift helped make her a real actress, ask what makes George Stevens a great director, and discuss how the film expertly toys with the viewer's sympathy. Plus: an infamous Tonight Show moment with Shelley Winters.   This is the fourth episode in our Couple Goals series; next week’s film is Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind! 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
Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

2021-01-2801:52:333

Paul & Amy relive 1993's Bill Murray time loop comedy Groundhog Day! They learn about the tempestuous relationship between Murray and director Harold Ramis, read an excerpt from the original script, and compare the film to another magical realist classic, It's A Wonderful Life. Plus: Just how long was Phil stuck in that loop anyways?   This is the third episode in our Couple Goals series; next week’s film is Groundhog Day...er, actually it's A Place In The Sun! 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
Chungking Express

Chungking Express

2021-01-2101:30:291

Paul & Amy dream of 1994's Wong Kar-wai romantic diptych Chungking Express! They look at Wong's influence on modern auteurs like Quentin Tarantino and Barry Jenkins, trace a metaphor through the film for a Hong Kong in transition, and ask why it was considered "too MTV" by some contemporary critics. Plus: What does this film have in common with Final Fantasy VIII?   This is the second episode in our Couple Goals series; next week’s film is Groundhog Day! 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
When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally

2021-01-1401:45:45

Amy & Paul go to the airport for 1989's quintessential romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally! They learn how director Rob Reiner helped Meg Ryan prepare for the orgasm scene, ask why Harry Connick Jr. doesn't appear in the film, and discuss whether the film's ending undermines the message that men and women can be just friends. Plus: Highlights from the scenes that didn't make the theatrical cut.   This is the first episode in our Couple Goals series; next week's film is Chungking Express! 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
Dogtooth

Dogtooth

2021-01-0701:18:522

Paul & Amy highway into Yorgos Lanthimos' jarring family parable Dogtooth! They learn how audiences around the world interpreted the film differently, discuss how parents can radically shape their children's world, and lament that more American films don't use Lanthomos' method of high allegory. Plus: A snippet of the younger sister's real-life art punk band.   This is the final episode in our Kinspooled series on “effed up families”; next week we kick off "Couple Goals" with When Harry Met Sally! 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
Home Alone

Home Alone

2020-12-2401:53:432

Amy & Paul break into 1990's abandoned child comedy phenomenon Home Alone! They praise John Candy as the film's MVP, learn why Joe Pesci was tougher to wrangle on set than any of the child actors, and debate whether Kevin McCallister is a sociopath. Plus: A look at how Macaulay Culkin has responded to the film's success as an adult.   This is the seventh episode in our Kinspooled series on “effed up families”; our next film, as voted on by Unspooled listeners, is Dogtooth! We'll be taking next week off for the holidays, returning on 1/7. 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 Farewell

The Farewell

2020-12-1701:25:53

Amy & Paul say hello to 2019's Chinese-American family reunion The Farewell! They praise director Lulu Wang's use of motion, discover how Awkwafina won the dramatic lead role despite being best known as a rapper and comedian, and learn about the real fake mourners common at Chinese funerals. Plus: What's that familiar song covered in the end credits?   This is the sixth episode in our Kinspooled series on “effed up families”; next week’s film is Home Alone! 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
We're releasing this episode of our Premium game show series Screen Test with Paul & Amy for free! To listen to more Screen Test, just sign up for Stitcher Premium - you can go to stitcher.com/premium and use the promo code UNSPOOLED for one month free.   In this holiday-themed episode, contestants Bill, Amanda and Alex attempt to say something nice about Cats, act out Arnold Schwarzenegger looking for a Baby Yoda toy, and pitch the next great Hanukkah movie.
In this bonus episode, Paul & Amy complete the Unspooled Godfather trilogy by watching "The Godfather, Coda: The Death Of Michael Corleone," director Francis Ford Coppola's new edit of The Godfather Pt. III. They also talk to Talia Shire, about how she reapproached the character of Connie, and which film she would like to see blasted into space.
Paul & Amy invite themselves over to 1967's Sidney Poitier "meet the parents" dramedy Guess Who's Coming To Dinner! They praise the movie's light touch with then-controversial social issues like interracial marriage, compare the film to early mainstream gay comedies like The Birdcage, and listen to a posthumous letter star Katharine Hepburn wrote to Spencer Tracy. Plus: Every sitcom with an episode title inspired by this film.   This is the fifth episode in our Kinspooled series on “effed up families”; next week’s film is The Farewell! 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 Royal Tenenbaums

The Royal Tenenbaums

2020-12-0301:39:45

Amy & Paul move back in with 2001's Wes Anderson family reunion piece The Royal Tenenbaums! They ask if Anderson is sneakily a great director of actors, posit that Ben Stiller is the true heart of the movie, and discuss whether the female Tenenbaums are well served by their storylines. Plus: Which other legendary actor was considered to play Royal Tenenbaum?   This is the fourth episode in our Kinspooled series on “effed up families”; next week’s film is Guess Who's Coming To Dinner! 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, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxal
Eve's Bayou

Eve's Bayou

2020-11-2601:36:401

Paul & Amy use their second sight on 1997's Creole family tragedy Eve's Bayou! They learn why director Kasi Lemmons cut a mute observer character from the film, compare the story to To Kill A Mockingbird, and praise the film's slippery relationship with truth and memory. Plus: A look at On Our Own, the Smollett family sitcom.   This is the third episode in our Kinspooled series on “effed up families”; next week’s film is The Royal Tenenbaums! 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, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
Tokyo Story

Tokyo Story

2020-11-1901:13:343

Amy & Paul visit 1953's Japanese generational drama Tokyo Story! They discuss the unique, still-life-inspired style of director Yasujiro Ozu, learn how the film became regarded as a masterwork by future generations of directors, and ask if the children of the central characters are actually villainous or just human. Plus: Which novelty single was huge in America when Tokyo Story was in theaters?   This is the second episode in our Kinspooled series on “effed up families”; next week’s film is Eve's Bayou! 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
Raising Arizona

Raising Arizona

2020-11-1201:31:542

Paul & Amy raise up 1987's Coen Brothers kidnapping caper Raising Arizona! They track the secret references to other Coen projects, learn why they thought of a baby as an "emotional squib," and ask why Hi and Ed are so lovable despite committing an awful crime. Plus: discovering Nic Cage's thoughts on babies.   This is the first episode in our Kinspooled series on “effed up families"; next week's film is Tokyo Story! 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 Thing

The Thing

2020-11-0501:43:401

Amy & Paul burst out of 1982's Antarctic John Carpenter sci-fi feature The Thing! They learn how the incredible special effects were literally dreamt up, praise Wilford Brimley's everyman appeal, and ask what relevance this story of paranoia and mistrust has in modern-day life. Plus: An excerpt from The Thing: The Musical.   This is the final episode of our “Unghouled” horror miniseries; next week we kick off a series on "effed up families" with Raising Arizona! 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
Ganja & Hess

Ganja & Hess

2020-10-2901:29:031

Paul & Amy sink their teeth into 1973's visionary vampire film Ganja & Hess! They learn how director Bill Gunn used the success of films like Blacula to get funding for his more experimental work, examine the parallels the film draws between Christianity and vampirism, and explore the role race plays in Gunn's vision. Plus: a look at how the critical reaction at the time shaped the film's legacy.   This is the fourth episode of our “Unghouled” horror miniseries; next week’s film and the winner of the Unghouled fan vote is The Thing! 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
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Comments (51)

No thankyou

Why. This movie will not hold up and I hope y’all are human enough someday to regret supporting it.

Feb 10th
Reply

No thankyou

I was so excited for this discussion and it's really a bummer that the Promising Young Woman discussing is so intertwined. That movie may be well made but it is a terrible cultural work and statement. We did not need another film that argued that women must die before violent men # not all men face consequences. There are some great analyses out there on PYW. I appreciate the show's stance to take at for its own sake but honestly is just begun to feel like a huge blind spot rather than neutrality.

Feb 5th
Reply

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
Reply

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
Reply

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)

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
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