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Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting Paperback – March 10, 1989
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"[This] is that big, sad, funny, incisive, revelatory, gossipy, perception-forming book about Hollywood that publishers have been promoting for years -- and now the real thing is finally here."―St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"A deliciously honest book...Goldman deserves a special Read of the Year award."―The Plain Dealer (Cleavland)
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I like Friedkin's book (his autobiography) more than Goldman's book, but they are equally educational. Goldman is prone to clichés in his writing, but at least it isn't pretentious or difficult. (Full disclosure: I am a technical writer.)
Unfortunately it came to me with a mark/rip on the cover and it's pretty obvious. A minor thing but I'm pretty particular about keeping my books safe and neat looking so it was a bit saddening for me.
William Goldman is one of most respected screenwriters alive; he knows as much about it as anyone. What he gives us is a picture of Hollywood (the business and who does what), the art of writing a screenplay, the process of working on a film, and his own personal anecdotes. One of the chief pleasures of the book is how cheerfully gossipy it is. "PART ONE: HOLLYWOOD REALITIES" is full of stories of the excesses of Hollywood that people out there consider normal. A lot of the time he doesn't supply names, but sometimes he does. (Dustin Hoffman, while a brilliant actor, is notorious for being a bit eccentric.) He also gives us an idea of how the studio works and how pictures get made.
The last third of the book will primarily interest serious film students. Goldman includes his entire script for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and uses it as a teaching tool. Then he presents a short story he wrote and uses that as a teaching tool regarding adapting previously written material.
This book was written in 1982 and reading it is a stroll down memory lane. That was a dark time in motion picture history. Most of the films he references from that period have been forgotten. In other words, it is just like today. We need to read this book again more than ever.