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William Goldman is a novelist, screenwriter, playwright and is the author of the seminal book Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting. He has won two Academy Awards, for Best Original Screenplay (for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and Best Adapted Screenplay (for All the President's Men), and three Lifetime Achievement awards in screenwriting. His novels The Princess Bride and Marathon Man, are also published by Bloomsbury. He lives in New York City.
A famed screenwriter (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President's Men) and novelist (Boys and Girls Together), Goldman follows up Adventures in the Screen Trade (LJ 5/15/83) by ruminating on his own more recent efforts (The Princess Bride, Misery, Maverick, The Ghost and the Darkness, and Absolute Power) as well as past and present cinema. He discusses screenwriting perils, explains how successful movies like Charade and The Sound of Music wreaked havoc by siring copycat films, describes how Andre the Giant always paid for lunch, complains that MTV's impact on quick-cutting has helped make 1990s films awful, reveals that only Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery are tall, investigates how great comedy scenes worked in When Harry Met Sally and There's Something About Mary, debunks auteurs, and divulges why no big star would play Superman in 1978. How can you not admire a writer who consistently pictures Cary Grant and Jean Simmons as his protagonists and argues that Gunga Din is the best movie ever made? An engaging expos‚ that is not mean-spirited; recommended for public and academic libraries and film collections.--Kim R. Holston, American Inst. for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, Malvern, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
'This is a book no movie buff should fail to beg, borrow or steal' Observer 'Brilliantly told ... an irresistible, wickedly funny read' Empire
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 Cahners Business Information.
YA-In this sequel to Adventures in the Screen Trade (Warner, 1989), Goldman instructs his audience in the art and industry of screenwriting and filmmaking, while regaling them with stories from his career. From The Memoirs of an Invisible Man to Absolute Power, this master storyteller explains his role and his thought processes for each film, at the same time delivering an exposition on how stories are written and films are made. Sprinkled throughout is his advice for future screenwriters. In the second section, he analyzes classic film sequences, setting each scene, quoting excerpts from the screenplays, and then explaining what made them great. Finally, the author offers story ideas and examines their potential for the big screen. Students of films will find this book entertaining and informative.-Jane S. Drabkin, Potomac Community Library, Woodbridge, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.