Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Mum’s the Word” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Widows, Bodyguard, and the legacy of William Goldman.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 530 with Dana Stevens, Julia Turner, and Stephen Metcalf with the audio player below.

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On Slate Plus, the hosts discuss the ending of Widows in full spoiler-y detail.

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This week, Steve, Dana, and Julia take on Widows, a twisty heist movie from Steve McQueen and Gillian Flynn, debating how effective it is at juggling big ideas and a prime-time crime drama’s worth of plot. Next, Bodyguard was a record-breaking, genre-redefining sensation when it first aired in the U.K. Does the Richard Madden–led thriller feel as fresh to an American audience? Finally, the critics discuss the life and legacy of William Goldman, from The Princess Bride to All the President’s Men, and reflect on the changing role of screenwriters in Hollywood.


Links to some of the things we discussed this week:


• “Widows Is the Rare Heist Movie That Seamlessly Blends Thrills and Politics” by Dana Stevens in Slate

• Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave

Ocean’s 8, starring Sandra Bullock

• Jordan Peele’s Get Out


• “To Die For: How Bodyguard Became the Biggest New TV Drama of the Decade” by Zoe Williams in the Guardian

• Kiefer Sutherland’s 24

• “William Goldman, Screenwriting Star and Hollywood Skeptic, Dies at 87” by Glenn Rifkin in the New York Times

• William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade

• “William Goldman’s The Season Is the Best Book Ever Written About Theater” by Jason Zinoman in Slate

• Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride

Scriptnotes Podcast


Dana: Becoming a Charter Subscriber to the Criterion Channel

Julia: Reyner Banham’s Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies

Steve: The second season of Happy Valley

Outro: “Dazed Summer” by Molife

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This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. Our production assistant is Alex Barasch.

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