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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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His screen credits span almost five deceased, starting with Masquerade (with Michael Relph; 1965), Harper (1966), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969; Academy Award), The Hot Rock (1972), The Stepford Wives (1975), The Great Waldo Pepper (1975), Marathon Man (1976) - based on his novel, All the President's Men (1976; Academy Award), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Magic (1978; Edgar Award) - based on his novel, Heat (1986) - based on his novel, The Princess Bride (1987) - based on his novel, Twins (1988; uncredited), Misery (1990), A Few Good Men (1992; consultant), Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992), Year of the Comet (1992), Chaplin (1992), Indecent Proposal (1993; uncredited), Last Action Hero (1993; uncredited), Malice (1993; consultant), Maverick (1994),
Dolores Claiborne (1995; consultant), The Chamber (1996) - based on the novel by John Grisham, Extreme Measures (1996; consultant), The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), Good Will Hunting (1997; consultant), Absolute Power (1997), The General's Daughter (1999), Hearts in Atlantis (2001), Dreamcatcher (2003), Wild Card (2014) - based on his novel.
In this book, Goldman tells us how his life and craft took him on a lifelong adventure in the creative world of novels and films (and much more!). And he tells it like it is (or was) with grande modesty, cutting humor, and cynical yet heartfelt sincerity -- and without reservations.
I would recommend this book not only to those who love novels and movies, but also to anyone interested in biographies of people who accomplished incredible achievements in their chosen trade while overcoming modest beginnings, economic hardships, personal weaknesses, vicious naysayers, and outright impassable barriers on the path to an unlikely yet breathtaking success.
This is a wonderful book about an incredible life in the real world of make belief. Highly recommended!
Avraham Azrieli writes books and screenplays.
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.