Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting

Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting

William Goldman

Language: English

Pages: 608

ISBN: 0446391174

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Now available as an ebook for the first time!

No one knows the writer's Hollywood more intimately than William Goldman. Two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter and the bestselling author of Marathon Man, Tinsel, Boys and Girls Together, and other novels, Goldman now takes you into Hollywood's inner sanctums...on and behind the scenes for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President's Men, and other films...into the plush offices of Hollywood producers...into the working lives of acting greats such as Redford, Olivier, Newman, and Hoffman...and into his own professional experiences and creative thought processes in the crafting of screenplays. You get a firsthand look at why and how films get made and what elements make a good screenplay. Says columnist Liz Smith, "You'll be fascinated.

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run that fast. You have to show the Germans and your own men your contempt for danger.") Well, Attenborough standing there on Nijmegen Bridge with the Million Dollar Hour approaching wasn't about to show fear, either, so he does what he always does in moments of stress: He whistles Handel and walks around in little mystic pat- terns that may have meaning to him, certainly to no one else. Eight o'clock is coming nearer and nearer and things seem as if they're starting to break. Everything's got

the present was plenty lucrative enough for even the greediest executive. April twenty-third, 1896-as much as any date, that can be taken as the beginning of the motion picture business. It marked the opening of the first theatre in New York that took money from the public in exchange for filmed entertainment. By the year 1910, there were over nine thousand theatres in operation across the country. Movies, of course, were shorter then. D. W. Griffith, in one five-year stretch, directed over

the same ever since: Every time the business is about to self-destruct, they can pinpoint the reason-it's the goddam greed of the stars. In the late sixties, the most recent crisis time till now, it was the Burtons' fault, each of them getting a million to co-star in such items as The Comedians and Boom! (The exclamation point didn't help the latter at the box office.) Today, a million dollars is what you pay a star you don't want. Personally, I don't blame the stars for grabbing every cent

running things was Cassidy. Why? The answer is in- credible but true: People just liked him. Everybody liked Butch. Sometimes (and I could never figure out how to gel this into the narrative) when he was being followed, he would ride up to a farm and say, more or less, "Look, I'm Butch Cassidy, there are some people after me, I'd really appreciate it a lot if you'd hide me for a while." And they would. There have been only two American outlaws who were outsized legends during their careers:

Menagerie was the other.) And '51-that was the two Cleopatras, the Shaw, and the Shakespeare he performed in with Vivien Leigh. And '58 was his phenomenal work in 0sbone's The Entertainer. He never referred to the plays, just the years. But those weren't dates we were talking about; that was theatre history. During a break that afternoon, he was telling a story about being mugged. I was a good distance away, staring out the window like a fool, listening to every word. The point of the story

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