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TV & Film

Unspooled

Earwolf, Paul Scheer & Amy Nicholson

+6 FANS
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 lik...Show More
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1:41:13 | Sep 5th

Paul and Amy journey through 1962's David Lean WWI epic Lawrence Of Arabia! They ask if this can fairly be called a "white savior" film, learn about the many injuries Peter O'Tools endured during the shoot, and compare the film's structure to Citizen...Show More

1:33:04 | Aug 29th

Amy & Paul surf through 1976's Sidney Lumet TV news satire Network! They explore how writer Paddy Chayefsky came up through the TV trenches, listen to modern media figures who took inspiration from Howard Beale, and ask if the film has become too rea...Show More

1:31:24 | Aug 22nd

Amy & Paul flirt with 1940's archetypal Katharine Hepburn romantic comedy The Philadelphia Story! They discover the origins of the industry trope of "box office poison," explore the strange social mores of the 40s, and learn that everyone on set may ...Show More

1:26:57 | Aug 15th

Amy & Paul fly through 1941's Humphrey Bogart proto-noir The Maltese Falcon! They ask if this is the ultimate "dad movie," learn about all of Malta's unique animals and praise the incredible fonts of 1940's San Francisco. Plus: Adam Savage (Mythbuste...Show More

1:40:51 | Aug 8th

Paul & Amy sing the praises of 1975's sprawling country opus Nashville! They compare Robert Altman's loose technique to the perfectionist auteurs of past Unspooled movies, find further parallels to Quentin Tarantino's latest, and learn what real Nash...Show More

1:23:48 | Aug 1st

Amy & Paul dig into 1938's Howard Hawks screwball classic Bringing Up Baby! They ask if Cary Grant was the model for Christopher Reeve's Superman, learn how Hepburn modulated her performance to get the comic tone just right, and wonder why weddings w...Show More

1:19:31 | Jul 25th

Paul and Amy boogie through 1994's Quentin Tarantino indie breakout Pulp Fiction! They revisit the moment Pulp Fiction won at Cannes, ask what this film did right that so many imitators did wrong, and try to figure out what's in the briefcase. Plus: ...Show More

1:31:43 | Jul 18th

Amy and Paul drink in 1966's black relationship comedy Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? They learn about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's status as the Brangelina of their day, ask which member of the ensemble is the meanest, and wonder if George...Show More

1:45:32 | Jul 11th

Paul & Amy go to war over 1939's blockbuster Southern epic Gone With The Wind! They praise the chemistry of Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh, watch a trailer for the misbegotten sequel, and ask whether a film this messy deserves to be in the AFI's Top 10...Show More

1:31:53 | Jul 4th

Paul & Amy take aim at Michael Cimino's 1978 Vietnam War epic The Deer Hunter! They investigate the film's controversial use of Russian Roulette, ask whether Robert De Niro's character is too perfect, and try Unspooled's first ever film-inspired food...Show More

1:40:02 | Jun 27th

Amy & Paul don't fight the power of 1989's Spike Lee breakthrough Do The Right Thing! They praise the film's Shakespearean qualities, analyze the infamous reception it received at Cannes, and ask whether this story has a true villain. Plus: The man h...Show More

1:45:26 | Jun 20th

This week Paul & Amy play with 1995's pioneering CGI adventure Toy Story! They learn about the surprising career of Randy Newman, ask if Sid was really such a bad kid, and debate whether the film was a greater triumph for art or commerce. Plus: Annie...Show More

1:30:48 | Jun 13th

Paul & Amy walk into 1969's New York hustler drama Midnight Cowboy! They look for meaning in the song "Everybody's Talkin'," ask whether Jon Voight's babyfaced features make him the perfect Joe Buck, and marvel at how modern the film still feels. Plu...Show More

1:06:55 | Jun 6th

What horror films should be added to the AFI's signature list? Do films like The Sixth Sense or Psycho count as horror? Paul and Amy debate these questions live from the Overlook Film Festival in New Orleans, with special guests Sam Zimmerman from Sh...Show More

51:10 | May 30th

50 films down, 50 to go! But first, Paul and Amy celebrate making it halfway through the AFI list on this special episode. They discuss their favorite performances from the films so far, break down a controversial DVD/Blu-Ray packaging campaign, read...Show More

1:25:04 | May 23rd

Paul & Amy fall into Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 psychological thriller Vertigo! They learn who created the famous Vertigo zoom, listen to a classic 90s song inspired by Vertigo, and ask if the age gap between Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak works to the fil...Show More

1:35:00 | May 16th

Amy & Paul cross-examine 1962's Southern drama To Kill A Mockingbird! They compare the slice-of-life storytelling to later filmmakers like Richard Linklater, reveal Brock Peters' on-set nickname, and ask whether the film can be considered separately ...Show More

1:34:19 | May 9th

Paul & Amy dig into 1991's serial killer thriller The Silence Of The Lambs! They praise the many ways the film puts us in Clarice Starling's head, discover the inspirations for Hannibal Lecter's voice, and learn how Buffalo Bill was originally receiv...Show More

1:29:45 | May 2nd

Amy and Paul suit up for 1982's gender-bending Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie! They ask whether Michael is really a great actor, praise Bill Murray's scene-stealing performance, and compare the film to last year's Best Picture winner. Plus: drag comed...Show More

1:34:02 | Apr 25th

This week Paul & Amy investigate 1974's sunlit neo-noir Chinatown! They examine the charges against Roman Polanski and discuss how to watch and contextualize his work today, before diving into the film's recurring water symbolism and Faye Dunaway's s...Show More

1:27:43 | Apr 18th

Amy & Paul excavate 1948's Humphrey Bogart thriller The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre! They ask if Fred C. Dobbs qualifies as an antihero, look at the wild career of director John Huston, and explore how Treasure inspired everything from Breaking Bad ...Show More

1:22:33 | Apr 11th

This week Paul & Amy investigate 1976's journalistic thriller All The President's Men! They learn about the controversy surrounding who wrote the screenplay, appreciate the unshowy direction of Alan Pakula, and ask whether Woodward & Bernstein are a ...Show More

1:28:49 | Apr 4th

Amy & Paul gaze through the looking glass into 1937's Walt Disney fairy tale Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs! They appreciate Snow's sense of humor, question the hygiene of squirrels washing dishes, and wonder what Disney would think of the behemoth ...Show More

1:28:12 | Mar 28th

Paul & Amy tumble through 1931's Charlie Chaplin comedy City Lights! They ask whether the film presaged the structure of modern comedies, compare Chaplin's style to Buster Keaton, and ask where the line is between genius and megalomaniac. Plus: Chapl...Show More

1:44:51 | Mar 21st

Amy & Paul rumble with 1961's musical Shakespeare riff West Side Story! They compare the film's colors to modern art, praise the intelligence Rita Moreno brings to Anita, and ask how Elvis would have performed in the lead role. Plus: writer and Steph...Show More

1:29:29 | Mar 14th

This week Paul & Amy sing the praises of 1935's Marx Brothers comedy "A Night At The Opera!" They take apart the film's most famous scene in detail, listen to the "Shallow" of 1935, and debate what modern comedies could make the AFI list now. Plus: A...Show More

1:25:55 | Mar 7th

Amy and Paul storm the beaches of 1998's Steven Spielberg WWII picture Saving Private Ryan! They plunge into the disorientation of the storied opening sequence, look at what the film means to the Greatest Generation, and ask whether Sausage Party cou...Show More

1:42:23 | Feb 28th

Amy & Paul scuba-dive into 1967's generation-gap dramedy The Graduate! They look for thematic connections in early Nichols & May sketches, wonder how such a small scale film became an enormous hit, and ask whether Mrs. Robinson is a fantasy or a full...Show More

56:22 | Feb 25th

Amy and special guest host Griffin Newman (The Tick, Blank Check) talk about last night’s Oscars, and unveil the winners of the first annual Spoolies! Plus: A heartwarming Christmas tune from Green Book screenwriter Nick Vallelonga. This episode ...Show More

1:32:29 | Feb 21st

Paul & Amy round out the Best Of 2018 miniseries with an all-star lineup of callers talking about their favorite films of last year! Guests like Damon Lindelof, Lucia Aniello, Leonard Maltin, Reggie Hudlin, Casey Wilson, Chris Gethard and the wonderf...Show More

1:38:17 | Feb 14th

Amy & Paul continue their review of 2018 in film with a look back at last year's most critically acclaimed films! They praise Nicholas Cage's passion in Mandy, marvel at the realism and empathy of Eighth Grade, and argue whether Hereditary has third ...Show More

1:35:39 | Feb 7th

Paul & Amy travel to the distant era of 2018, with a look back at last year's 20 biggest movies! They cover everything from Bohemian Rhapsody to Aquaman, A Quiet Place to Black Panther, with an eye on which films deserve to be placed on a future AFI ...Show More

1:29:10 | Jan 31st

Paul & Amy fly over 1975's countercultural touchstone One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest! They discuss how the film strays from Ken Kesey's novel, discover how Milos Forman caught actors in unguarded moments, and ask whether R.P. McMurphy or Nurse Ratch...Show More

1:37:14 | Jan 24th

Paul & Amy drive down to 1950's Hollywood house of horrors Sunset Boulevard! They ask if Joe Gillis is a reliable narrator, praise Gloria Swanson's transformative performance, and wonder if Hollywood really hasn't changed in 70 years. Plus: Alicia Ma...Show More

1:38:35 | Jan 17th

Amy & Paul travel deep into the heart of 1971's Texan coming-of-age story The Last Picture Show! They ask who the film's true protagonist is, marvel at the murderer's row of incredible actors, and wonder if this was the key inspiration for the boom o...Show More

1:28:54 | Jan 10th

Amy & Paul saddle up for Clint Eastwood's revisionist 1992 Western Unforgiven! They ask if Gene Hackman is truly the villain of the piece, put the film in the context of Eastwood's career, and praise the script's comic touches. Plus: Screenwriter Dav...Show More

1:20:52 | Jan 3rd

This week Paul & Amy ride deep into Texas for The Searchers! They discuss the complicated legacy of John Wayne, place the film in the context of Western history, and look at The Searchers' influence on directors from Martin Scorsese to George Lucas. ...Show More

1:31:38 | Dec 27th, 2018

Amy & Paul take a trip down South for 1967's racially charged police thriller "In The Heat Of The Night!" They celebrate the excellent soundtrack, scrutinize how well the film holds up as a procedural, and take a close look at Sidney Poitier's incred...Show More

1:31:29 | Dec 20th, 2018

Paul & Amy earn their wings with 1946’s Jimmy Stewart holiday fable “It’s A Wonderful Life!” They wonder if Mary is actually a witch, explain why the term “Capra corn” is unfair, and play a very timely SNL parody. Plus: Karolyn Grimes, aka Zuzu Baile...Show More

1:32:46 | Dec 13th, 2018

This week Paul & Amy take a close look at Steven Spielberg's unflinching Holocaust drama "Schindler's List." They discuss the filmmaking instincts Spielberg brings to difficult material, praise Ralph Fiennes' terrifying performance, and discover the ...Show More

1:31:51 | Dec 6th, 2018

Paul & Amy go the distance for Sylvester Stallone's 1976 pugilistic parable Rocky! They play a stunning clip of Stallone talking to himself, posit that the film's true villain is Rocky's self-doubt, and question whether the average person is actually...Show More

1:06:00 | Nov 29th, 2018

Amy & Paul undergo the Ludovico technique to watch Stanley Kubrick's dark dystopia A Clockwork Orange! They explain the history of the famous "Singin In The Rain" scene, compare the complicated adaptation to Anthony Burgess' original novel, and quest...Show More

1:23:54 | Nov 22nd, 2018

This week Paul & Amy travel back to 1982's love triangle / Holocaust drama Sophie's Choice! They ask whether Stingo is supposed to be an actual good writer, marvel at the energy of a young Kevin Kline, and break down what makes Meryl Streep's work in...Show More

1:24:28 | Nov 15th, 2018

Amy and Paul filibuster through Frank Capra's 1939 political fable Mr. Smith Goes To Washington! They learn about Jean Arthur's initial impressions of Jimmy Stewart, compare Capra's visual style to Michael Bay, and explore the film's pop culture lega...Show More

58:26 | Nov 8th, 2018

In this week's special episode, Paul & Amy are answering all of your questions, submitted by Unspooled's Facebook group! They reminisce about the origin story of the podcast, explain which documentaries they would add to the AFI 100, and tell each ot...Show More

1:18:32 | Nov 1st, 2018

This week Amy & Paul hail the Marx Brothers' 1933 madcap comedy Duck Soup! They ask whether this is the first great comedy of the talkie era, parse the different comedic styles of the brothers, and praise Margaret Dumont as the perfect foil. Plus: Co...Show More

1:09:46 | Oct 25th, 2018

Paul & Amy set sail through 1951’s Katharine Hepburn & Humphrey Bogart adventure The African Queen! They ask whether the central romance is convincing, discuss John Huston’s groundbreaking and arduous location shoot, and reminisce about the Disneylan...Show More

1:25:28 | Oct 18th, 2018

This week Amy and Paul uncover 1981's rollicking Indiana Jones adventure Raiders Of The Lost Ark! They ask if Indy is actually a good archeologist, find out whether Belloq really ate a fly, and discuss what makes the film's action sequences so irresi...Show More

1:19:53 | Oct 11th, 2018

Paul & Amy pull off the highway for a short stay at 1960's proto-slasher masterwork Psycho. They dissect Alfred Hitchcock's artful use of misdirection, listen to Anthony Perkins' pre-Psycho pop single, and ask if there was any value in Gun Van Sant's...Show More

1:23:16 | Oct 4th, 2018

Amy & Paul embark on an epic quest through Peter Jackson's 2001 fantasy adaptation The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring! They praise Elijah Wood's stellar silent acting, learn which modern dictator hates being compared to Gollum, and deb...Show More

1:25:10 | Sep 27th, 2018

Paul & Amy plunge into the heart of darkness to cover 1979's Vietnam War fever dream Apocalypse Now. They discover which famous film character screenwriter John Milius inspired, dig into the meaning of the USO show sequence, and are ultimately amazed...Show More

1:14:50 | Sep 20th, 2018

Amy & Paul saddle up and ride through 1952’s archetypal Western, High Noon! They celebrate Katy Jurado’s fierce performance, learn about the ill-advised High Noon sequel, and discover how the film works as an allegory for HUAC-era America. Plus: Henr...Show More

1:35:41 | Sep 13th, 2018

Paul & Amy beam up to Steven Spielberg’s heartwarming alien feature, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial! They learn E.T.’s real name, marvel at Spielberg’s uncanny ease directing children, and wonder how well the film holds up with kids today. Plus: Seth Sho...Show More

1:29:41 | Sep 6th, 2018

This week Paul & Amy cruise through 1976's terrifying character study Taxi Driver. They ask whether the film is anti-misogynist or simply misogynist, debate whether the ending is real or fake, and discover a surprising source of inspiration for anoth...Show More

1:24:43 | Aug 30th, 2018

Paul and Amy see dead people in 1999's supernatural drama The Sixth Sense! They debate how Haley Joel Osment's performance compares to modern child actors, explain how the famous twist is accomplished through misdirection, and dive deep into the care...Show More

1:18:54 | Aug 23rd, 2018

Amy & Paul tap, swing and two-step through 1952's meta-musical Singin' In The Rain! They are dazzled by the film's stylized color, dive into its perspective on honesty in Hollywood, and hear Lena Lamont's real voice. Plus: dancer & choreographer Sara...Show More

1:14:11 | Aug 16th, 2018

Paul & Amy investigate 1944's murderous noir Double Indemnity! They talk about what lines snuck past the censors, learn about the true story that inspired the film, and ask whether Barbara Stanwyck's femme fatale is actually telling the truth in her ...Show More

1:25:06 | Aug 9th, 2018

Fasten your seatbelts - this week Paul & Amy take on 1950's showbiz satire All About Eve! They marvel at how well Joseph Mankiewicz understands his female characters, dish on which actors secretly hated each other, and furiously debate whether the ti...Show More

1:11:03 | Aug 2nd, 2018

This week Amy & Paul unveil 1933's seminal monster movie King Kong! They ask if this was the first true blockbuster film, discover how the distinctive animal sounds were made, and wonder what Ann sees in Jack Driscoll. Plus: primatologist Kate Gilmor...Show More

1:08:07 | Jul 26th, 2018

This week Paul & Amy tunnel through Frank Darabont's prison allegory The Shawshank Redemption! They discuss the use of opera as a 90's film signifier, learn why Shawshank was constantly played on TNT, and debate whether this is "the Bud Light of movi...Show More

1:12:21 | Jul 19th, 2018

Amy & Paul plow full steam ahead through Buster Keaton's silent opus The General! They realize this was the Fast And Furious of 1926, examine the rivalry between Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, and dig into Buster's incredibly depressing childhood. Plus:...Show More

1:23:51 | Jul 12th, 2018

Paul & Amy hunker down to cover 1986's Vietnam War drama Platoon! They look at director Oliver Stone's relationship with Martin Scorsese, discover how he film captures the chaos of war, and remember the ill-advised Platoon video game Plus: Amy sits d...Show More

1:18:38 | Jul 5th, 2018

This week Paul & Amy tear through 1967's revolutionary "Bonnie And Clyde!" They discuss how the film mixes wildly different tones, adore Faye Dunaway's style, and learn the secret source of those terrifying gunshot sounds. Plus: An interview with the...Show More

1:07:56 | Jun 28th, 2018

Paul & Amy journey beyond the infinite to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey! They ask what the film has in common with a Rothko painting, marvel at what 2001 got right about the future, and decide whether to join Team Hal. Plus: Discover what o...Show More

1:17:29 | Jun 21st, 2018

Amy & Paul chart a course through 1998's epic tragedy Titanic! They marvel at the film's structure and use of geography, discuss whether the Titanic backlash was deserved, and count how many times Jack & Rose say each other's names. Plus: Danny Nucci...Show More

1:08:44 | Jun 14th, 2018

This week Paul & Amy hit the streets for 1971's The French Connection! They discuss whether Popeye Doyle is actually a hero, what went sideways during that incredible chase scene, and who the real-life inspirations for Doyle & Russo were. Plus: an in...Show More

1:00:27 | Jun 7th, 2018

Put on your best dancing shoes for Swing Time with Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire! Paul & Amy caper through the 1936 film's strange comic beats, spontaneous choreographed dances and timeless tunes. Plus: an interview with choreographer Kat Burns (Crazy...Show More

1:01:20 | May 31st, 2018

Close your eyes, tap your heels together three times, and join Paul & Amy as they discuss 1939's The Wizard Of Oz! Discover what makes the land of Oz so satisfyingly tactile, how the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion tormented each other on set, and whether ...Show More

1:02:33 | May 24th, 2018

Strap on your death sandals, as Paul & Amy jump into 1959's Roman epic Ben Hur! They discuss the incredible scope of the film, how Star Wars ripped off the famous chariot race, and how many characters say the word "leper." Plus: Paul & Amy talk to st...Show More

1:00:22 | May 17th, 2018

On episode one of Unspooled, Paul and Amy jump straight into the AFI’s number one film of all time, Citizen Kane. They explain why it was almost never released, take a closer listen to Orson Welles’ innovative use of sound, and try to answer the big ...Show More

07:46 | May 7th, 2018

Paul & Amy introduce their new podcast Unspooled, where they watch every movie on the AFI’s Top 100 Films list. Subscribe now - episode 1, “Citizen Kane,” drops May 17th!