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Halfway There Special

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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 pitches for AFI movie mashups from listeners, and unveil their newly-ordered Top 50 list.


Next week, we're releasing our live episode from the Overlook Film Festival in New Orleans, where we'll be debating what horror films should be on the AFI list. Come see us there this Saturday! Tickets and more info at overlookfilmfest.com. Or call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824, and tell us the horror film you would pick. Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall

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It was a good episode looking back. 

As far as a top horror list a top 15 for me might be (this is off the cuff, so don't hold me to it) :

  1. The Bride of Frankenstein
  2. Alien
  3. Halloween 
  4. Nosferatu ('22)
  5. The Thing ('82)
  6. Night of the Living Dead
  7. Dracula ('31)
  8. Cat People ('42)
  9. Evil Dead 2**
  10. Dawn of the Dead ('78)
  11. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  12. The Exorcist 
  13. Frankenstein
  14. Jacob's Ladder
  15. Re-Animator


Non-American mentions: Susperia, Audition, Godzilla, The Wicker Man (if you can find a longer cut)

**In a just world, this scene alone would have made Bruce Campbell as celebrated as much as Buster Keaton: 


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"If this was real meme advertising...all the quotes should be wrong."

He's 100% right. Sometimes logic is illogical.

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The two mash-ups that came to mind that no one said:

1. Martin Sheen's Willard from Apocalypse Now being the captain of the spaceship in 2001.  What type of room the Monoliths might make for him would be interesting. 

2. Hal piloting the ship in A Night at the Opera... which I guess would just be a more chaotic version of Wall-E.


If we're taking this as a time to post our lists again, I might do three lists:

The ranked list of the movies we've seen.

An AFI ballot of the movies so far (ie, what movies I'd include on my ballot, unranked. top five movies, unranked, for tiebreaker purposes).

And a BFI-like ballot (top 10 movies, unranked), while restricted to American movies, don't have to be what's been on the show.

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I haven't listened to the episode yet, but I had the urge to run some numbers on how the first 50 films were distributed, since 80-90% of them were chosen by the Zocchihedron.

First, Zocchi was a little top heavy: 70% of the top 30 films on the AFI list have been covered, while just 41% of the bottom 70 films have been covered.  (This might be the biggest reason that Paul and Amy wanted to move away from Zocchi, so that we can save some of the crème de la crème for the end.)

Secondly, Zocchi had a slight recency bias: 65% of the films on the list made since 1980 have been covered, and 46% of the films made before 1980 have been covered.

Furthermore, I did a full breakdown of how many films from each decade have been hit already out of how many are on the list.
1910s: 0 of 1
1920s: 1 of 3
1930s: 8 of 12
1940s: 4 of 11
1950s: 8 of 16
1960s: 7 of 17
1970s: 9 of 20
1980s: 5 of 8
1990s: 7 of 11
2000s: 1 of 1

Zocchi liked Spielberg a lot, but was more restrained with the other directors who have multiple films on the list.

Spielberg: 4 of 5
Hitchcock: 2 of 4
Kubrick: 2 of 4
Wilder: 2 of 4
Capra: 2 of 3
Chaplin: 1 of 3
Coppola: 1 of 3
Huston: 2 of 3
Scorsese: 1 of 3

Just to verify that Zocchi nailed its expected value for some category: Of the 23 films that weren’t on the 1998 list, we've covered 12 of them.

And finally, the category of movies on the AFI list that Robert Duvall appeared in throughout his 6 decades of film work: We've covered 2 of 6 (and the one featured most recently on the podcast wasn't a Zocchi pick).

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Hmm here's my quick Oscars for these first 50 films

Best Actress - Jodie Foster Silence of the Lambs 

Best Actor - Charlie Chaplin City Lights

Best Director - Stanley Kubrick 2001

Best Screenplay - Billy Wilder / Raymond Chandler Double Indemnity

Best Picture - 2001

here's my personal ranking of the first 50, though I do fiddle with the rankings a lot so it's ever-changing


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Here’s my Top 50 (Well, 52 since I went ahead and watched Modern Times and The Gold Rush)


I should point point out, this is what my list looks like today. I tend to shuffle things around quite a bit. :) 

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Are Paul and Amy planning to release their individual rankings again? I'd like to actually see how it all shook out, even if they felt there wasn't time to go through it all on the podcast itself. 

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