TV & Film

Unspooled

Earwolf, Paul Scheer and Amy Nicholson

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Paul Scheer is a lifelong movie buff, but he's never seen many of the all time greats. On Unspooled, his team-up with film critic Amy Nicholson, he's remedying that by watching the AFI's top 100 movies of all time, to find out what makes classics lik...Show More
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Citizen Kane

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
A Night At The Opera

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
Saving Private Ryan

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
The Graduate

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
BONUS: 2019 Oscars

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
Best of 2018: Listener’s Picks

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
Best of 2018: Critics’ Picks

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
Best Of 2018: Blockbusters

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
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

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
Sunset Boulevard

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
The Last Picture Show

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
Unforgiven

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
The Searchers

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
In The Heat Of The Night

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
It’s A Wonderful Life

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
Schindler’s List

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
Rocky

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
A Clockwork Orange

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
Sophie’s Choice

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
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

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
Listener Questions Special

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
Duck Soup

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
The African Queen

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
Raiders Of The Lost Ark

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
Psycho

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
The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

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
Apocalypse Now

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
High Noon

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
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

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
Taxi Driver

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
The Sixth Sense

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
Singin' In The Rain

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
Double Indemnity

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
All About Eve

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
King Kong

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
The Shawshank Redemption

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
The General

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
Platoon

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
Bonnie And Clyde

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
2001: A Space Odyssey

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
Titanic

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
The French Connection

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
Swing Time

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
The Wizard Of Oz

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
Ben Hur

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
Preview: What Is Unspooled?

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!