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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an essential insight into the industry
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...
Published on 1 Feb 2000

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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 it that much
Published 19 months ago by dave s


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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
This review is from: Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood (Paperback)
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
This review is from: Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood (Paperback)
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quick glimpse at the world of Fantasy known as Hollywood., 4 Dec 1998
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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written account from a premier screen writer, 28 Dec 2002
This review is from: Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood (Paperback)
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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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 review is from: Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood (Paperback)
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Personal View, 31 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood (Paperback)
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. As a multiple award-winning screenwriter, Goldman knows his craft and has created a beautifully written book on his experiences as a writer in the world of film-making. An absorbing, page-turning read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb, 5 Mar 2008
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This review is from: Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood (Paperback)
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 watch one every couple of weeks.

The major part of the book is memoir about working in Hollywood as a screenwriter but he talks about many other aspects of the industry from his perspective. We get to hear the inside dope on stars and directors. Sure, this book was written in 1982 but we can assume a lot of what he says remains true... and the names he mentions are big enough to be instantly recognisable today.

I was all set to give the book five stars as I reached the final pages of the book. And then something almost miraculous happened: it got better. The final section gives you a short story of Goldman's and he takes you through the process of creating a screenplay for a short film based on that story. And then he interviews people (a production designer, cinematographer, director and more) as to how they would approach their aspect of making this proposed film. It's a brilliant insight into how films are made. I put the book down with three times as much passion for films as I had when I began. I think I will watch films with new eyes now.

I always knock a review down to four stars, at most, if I finish a book feeling something could be improved. I can't recall the last five star review I gave. I give this five stars without hesitation.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I am going off to buy Goldman's follow up book, "Which Lie Did I Tell". Unfortunately it's not available from Amazon UK. However, there are some related sellers supplying second hand copies. It is not hard for me to take a risk on them.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential cinephile purchase, 2 May 2014
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Weshty (Co.Clare, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood (Paperback)
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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revealing and informative, 3 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood (Paperback)
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 they are the greatest thing ever to happen to screenwriting, this is a very honest and entertaining book. Despite his apparent modesty and willingness to include his mistakes and failures for all to see, Goldman clearly has the runs on the board as a genuine expert in his topic. A particular highlight is the "mock screenplay" he includes, which is an adaptation of one of his early short stories. He then has it reviewed by a director, a composer, a cinematographer etc. These people (again, experts in their fields) pull no punches in criticising Goldman's little screenplay. Their comments are surprising and educational for the reader. Great stuff!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventures in the Screen Trade, 20 Feb 2012
This review is from: Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood (Paperback)
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, from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to A Bridge Too Far via Marathon Man and many in between. Goldman treats us to insider stories; details of his frustrations dealing with Studio Bosses, Directors and Producers; his dealings with the Stars and his personal view of film making, all in his witty and engaging style.
His most famous and important quote? "Nobody Knows Anything" Is as true now as it was 30 years ago.

This is an excellent book for anyone interested in a career in film making and everyone interested in film.
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Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood
Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood by William Goldman (Paperback - 7 Mar 1996)
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