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
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.