Is there more to the film than a great central performance by Joanne Woodward? Can Paul Newman direct? Would Estelle Parsons’ character have made a better character to follow? Tune in to this week’s show to get these answers and more!

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David Mamet wrote screenplays for several years before he jumped into the director’s seat, and while some of them still distinctly sound like Mamet’s writing, others really don’t. The ‘Mamet Speak’ isn’t there, or perhaps it’s just less obvious. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off another Mamet series, this time focusing on films he worked on only as screenwriter.

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William Goldman is often credited as the first screenwriter to sell a spec script, meaning he wrote a script without getting paid for it then sold it once he was done with it. It’s common in the novel-writing world, but in the late 60s, it was unheard of in the film business. That script was “The Sundance Kid & Butch Cassidy,” which legendary producer Richard D. Zanuck, who was running 20th Century Fox at the time, optioned for twice what they were allowed to, knowing it was going to be big. And he was right. We continue our Couples On the Run series with George Roy Hill’s 1969 western, “Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid.”

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After his father fired him from 20th Century Fox and a short stint at Warner Bros., Richard D. Zanuck joined forces with his buddy David Brown from his Fox days and the two joined forces as the independent producing duo under the banner The Zanuck/Brown Company. For their first film? They found possibly one of the greatest scripts ever written – David S. Ward’s “The Sting” – attached George Roy Hill to direct with Paul Newman and Robert Redford heading up the stellar cast, and ended up producing the Best Picture winner of 1973, as well as one of the greatest films ever made. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – this week for the second in our Richard D. Zanuck series as we discuss (and maybe gush a little bit because of our overwhelming love for this film) everything that makes “The Sting” great.

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