Something odd, if predictable, became of screenwriter William Goldman after he wrote the touchstone tell-all book on filmmaking, Adventures in the Screen Trade (1983), he became a Hollywood leper. Goldman opens his long-awaited sequel by writing about his years of exile before he found himself--again--as a valuable writer in Hollywood.
Fans of the two-time Oscar-winning writer (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President's Men) have anxiously waited for this follow-up since his career serpentined into a variety of big hits and critical bombs in the '80s and '90s. Here Goldman scoops on The Princess Bride (his own favorite), Misery, Maverick, Absolute Power, and others. Goldman's conversational style makes him easy to read for the film novice but meaty enough for the detail-oriented pro. His tendency to ramble into other subjects may be maddening (he suddenly switches from being on set with Eastwood to anecdotes about Newman and Garbo), but we can excuse him because of one fact alone: he is so darn entertaining.
Like most sequels, Which Lie follows the structure of the original. Both Goldman books have three parts: stories about his movies, a deconstruction of Hollywood (here the focus is on great movie scenes), and a workshop for screenwriters. (The paperback version of the first book also comes with his full-length screenplay of Butch; his collected works are also worth checking out). This final segment is another gift--a toolbox--for the aspiring screenwriter. Goldman takes newspaper clippings and other ideas and asks the reader to diagnose their cinematic possibilities. Goldman also gives us a new screenplay he's written (The Big A), which is analyzed--with brutal honesty--by other top writers. With its juicy facts and valuable sidebars on what makes good screenwriting, this is another entertaining must-read from the man who coined what has to be the most-quoted adage about movie-business success: "Nobody knows anything." --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter Goldman follows up his irreverent, gossipy and indispensable screenwriting bible, Adventures in the Screen Trade (1983), with this equally wise, tart and very funny account of the filmmaking process. He begins with the surprising admission that he was a "leper" in Hollywood between 1980 and 1985: after Magic (1978), he was unable to get any screenplays produced until The Princess Bride (1987). (Moviegoers' loss was readers' gain: during those years he wrote six novels.) Wildly opinionated ("Vertigo--for me, the most overrated movie of all time") but astute, Goldman is a 35-year industry veteran with lots of tales and a knack for spinning them. He knows how to captivate his audience, peppering his philosophical advice with star-studded anecdotes. Whether he's detailing why virtually every leading actor turned down the lead in Misery before James Caan offered to be drug-tested to get the part, or how Michael Douglas was the perfect producer but the wrong actor for The Ghost and the Darkness, Goldman offers keen observations in a chatty style. In the last section of the book, he gamely offers readers a rough first draft of an original screenplay. Even more bravely, he includes instructive, intuitive and sometimes scathing critiques by fellow screenwriters, including Peter and Bobby Farrelly (There's Something About Mary), Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise) and John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck). Movie buffs of all stripes, even those with no interest in writing for the screen, will enjoy this sublimely entertaining adventure. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter Goldman follows up his irreverent, gossipy and indispensable screenwriting bible, "Adventures in the Screen Trade" (1983), with this... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Pageturner in NYC
I thought "Adventures in the Screen Trade" was boring, but this "sequel" is considerably better. It's worth a look.Published 1 month ago by A reviewer
Goldman, being the consummate writer that he is, and storyteller, has not only told several stories about stories, many of a personal nature, but taught a class on screen writing... Read morePublished 4 months ago by RJ
William Goldman is full of himself. It oozes all over this self-directed pat on the back to him perceptions on what makes good writing. Read morePublished 4 months ago by babyboomerlarry
Very intellegent person, his texth lacks warmth.He is obssesed with Butch Cassidy .
It ` s a book for explorate and discover, if you are looking for something organized... Read more
A fireside chat for screenwriters and wannabes. Goldman's script and workshop notes offers a glimpse of what is needed to both create work and digest feedback.Published 5 months ago by K. Jordan
Real Hollywood screenwriter. Love this book. For a glimpse into the competitive nature of Hollywood read his friends reviews of a screenplay idea he writes. Read morePublished 7 months ago by C. Schwab