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Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood [Paperback]

William Goldman
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 9.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 Mar 1996
As befits more than twenty years in Hollywood, Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman's sparkling memoir is as entertaining as many of the films he has helped to create. From the writer of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President's Men and Marathon Man, Adventures in the Screen Trade is an intimate view of movie-making, of acting greats such as Redford, Olivier, Newman and Hoffman, and of the trials and rewards of working inside the most exciting business in the world.

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Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood + Which Lie Did I Tell? + Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-drugs-and Rock 'n' Roll Generation Changed Hollywood
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; 2Rev Ed edition (7 Mar 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034910705X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349107059
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


This is the real Hollywood. (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

William Goldman's book is the best I have read on Hollywood. (DAILY MAIL)

Fast and witty...a brave and very funny book. (Time Out)

About the Author

William Goldman was a screenwriter on such films as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President's Men. He lives in New York City.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an essential insight into the industry 1 Feb 2000
By A Customer
Here William Goldman disects the entire film industry and shares with you his experiences alongside his thoughts. This book really is a must-read for anyone interested in joining the industry, especially through screenwriting. It exposes different of media characters step-by-step, from directors to make-up. I was reccomended this book during my time at university, and it really is a most useful and relevant guide to the reader.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reader from Tokyo 29 Jun 2000
By A Customer
Another warm and funny look at the film industry. I read the sequel ("Which lie did I tell")before reading this one, and found that there was a bit of overlap between the two, but that was fine. Lots of anecdotes, more Hollywood gossip, entertaining and informative. I've just ordered his latest ("The Big Picture"). Anyone with an interest in movies should read this, whether or not you want to make a career of it...still, he gives some useful tips and hints for those of you who cherish dreams of breaking into the industry...
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
William Goldman account of how and why Hollywood works. Written in 1982 it has stood the test of time, even if the top 10 box office stars that he talks about have not quite made it (burt reynolds, ryan o'neal etc)
Goldman vividly describes how he works in a never dull way. Often indiscreet and opinionated - in one of his down moments he predicts, nay guarantees the film that would win the following years oscar because it was a comic book film which was all that Hollyood seemed to want to produce, he was describing E.T - the eventual winner was Gandhi, hardly comic book.
The final third of the book is the short story, built into screenplay called Da Vinci. A slightly bizzare concept of an artistic barber is critiqued by some leading Hollywood players.
Really good effort.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
William Goldman removes some of the veil of mystery that surrounds the movie industry in this remarkably humorous and easy to read work. In it, he not only lets the reader look into the mind of the screen writer, but he offers a quick view into the minds of others in the industry, from stars to studio executives. Goldman's language choices for this book seem to be engineered to make it of interest to those who have been involved in the process of making movies, but still with basic language and definitions that enable those wha are completely ignorant of the subject follow along. Perhaps the most intriguing part of this book is a section in which a short story is presented, converted into a screenplay, and confronted with the difficulties of turning the printed word into live-action film. A definite must-read for every movie nut, or aspiring writer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An essential cinephile purchase 2 May 2014
By Weshty
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are only two books so enjoyable I've never wanted them to end, Alan Jay Lerner's autobiography "The Street where I live", and this.

William Goldman was screenwriter on "A Bridge too far", "Princess Bride", "Butch Cassidy", "All the President's men" and "Marathon Man". Apropos this is a witty, observant and very readable bible on the art of screenwriting, with it's most oft quoted line being

"Nobody knows anything...... Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what's going to work.
Every time out it's a guess and, if you're lucky, an educated one."

It deconstructs brilliantly the complex and necessarily reductive process of adapting a play/book/idea to the visual medium of the big screen. He explains how what works on the page will NOT work on screen, and how backstories and exposition can be subtly added by glances, actions and scenery.

The author's style is joyfully self deprecatory, with a wonderful hint of Borsch-belt witticisms. Buy it, read it and proudly mount on your bookshelf.
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5.0 out of 5 stars just wonderful 28 Mar 2014
By pt
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Read it on hol then on a bus and two trains couldnt put it down. Wise funny and thought provoking
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's A Wonderful Book 5 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This is a great book by any standards. It's about film, for sure, but a lot more besides - it's about what moves us and entertains us, about how we behave, about perception and reality, about What We Know... file next to Pauline Kael in your 'great film writing' section.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 2 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
William Goldman is an excellent script writer. He has written a good book, too. It may be too personal, though.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Personal View
Part autobiography, part gossip column, part screen-writing guide - this is a fascinating book that you just won't be able to put down at times. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dalea11
2.0 out of 5 stars hollywood storys but not screenwriting tips
william goldman is a screenwriter , this book is his views on hollywood , i was expecting far more on screenwriting like how he writes but its not about writing so im not enjoying... Read more
Published 14 months ago by dave s
5.0 out of 5 stars gr8 read
gr8 insight into hollywood and the film business in general. Its written very well also. So it's easy to read
Published 15 months ago by Barry Finan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great, book needed for uni studies, good for those who are interested in plays as I needed this for my creative writing part of my English Degree.
Published 16 months ago by Sharfa Sorwar
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventures in the Screen Trade
This book was recomended to me by a colleague as an excellent book on film making. The author, William Goldman, was the writer responsible for so many great films of the 80's,... Read more
Published on 20 Feb 2012 by Richard G
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and informative
William Goldman's book on his life as a scriptwriter is both funny and a salutary lesson to all prospective writers. Read more
Published on 17 Oct 2011 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars All You Need To Know. . .
Want to be a screen-writer? Been looking at those MA courses at some of the newer, trendier universities? Don't waste your time. Read Adventures In The Screen Trade instead. Read more
Published on 14 Jan 2011 by N Foster
5.0 out of 5 stars Revealing and informative
Although written more than 20 years ago, this is a timeless expose of what makes Hollywood tick. Written from first-hand experience by someone who (for once) doesn't seem to think... Read more
Published on 3 Oct 2009 by BKH
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie history
Following author William Goldman into Hollywood history is a truly joyful experience. I am pretty sure that everybody working in the movie biz has read and loved this one
Published on 6 May 2009 by Wolfgang
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb
This is a superb book. I came to it via recommendations from people who want to become screenwriters but I say it's a brilliant book for anyone interested enough in film to sit and... Read more
Published on 5 Mar 2008 by Bodnotbod
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