September 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Book Review

William GOLDMAN


Adventures in the Screen Trade  
  Abacus Books. Paperback 418 pages. 9:99 ISBN 0-349-10705-X  

Adventures in the Film Trade

Regular readers will remember I reviewed William Goldman's best-selling sequel to this book, Which Lie Did I Tell earlier this year. Recently I caught up with his original book, Adventures in the Screen Trade in a sale at Waterstone's the UK booksellers. It was first published in 1983.

The style is very much the same. Again we have witty observations of the trials and tribulations of writing for the big screen, of agents' and producers' hustling, of star's angsts (they must always be seen as heroes never with any sort of foible or weakness); and directors' foibles and prejudices.

Goldman tells why some of his pet projects became disasters, victims of studio politics or disastrous weather conditions or budget restraints etc. With great wit he reveals what happened through the production of many of the films for which he wrote the screenplays (or began to or was originally commissioned to) including: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid , Marathon Man, The Stepford Wives, All the President's Men, The Right Stuff and A Bridge Too Far.

The book is a fascinating, witty and revealing insight into the craft of screenwriting. As in Which Lie Did I Tell, Goldman writes a short potential screen play (this time about a most unusual barber) and offers it for comment to a clutch of experts for criticism including: a production designer, a cinematographer, an editor, a director, and, interestingly, a composer.

Heartily recommended a rattling good read. Note Waterstone's, the UK-based bookshops have been selling this book at an attractive discount.

Ian Lace

****

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