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Book Title: William Goldman: Four Screenplays with Essays|
The author of the book: William Goldman
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Reader ratings: 3.1
Edition: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books
Date of issue: February 1st 2000
ISBN 13: 9781557832658
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.74 MB
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I remember my reaction when I heard a movie version was being made of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. I loved the book and was worried the screen adaptation wouldn’t live up to my expectations, as often happens. But the film turned out to be just as good as the book and now I know why. It’s because William Goldman wrote the screenplay. I’ve only read a few movie scripts before but for some reason I picked up this book which also contained the screenplays for three other movies Goldman wrote, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. But it was the Princess Bride that caught my eye and was the most enjoyable to read. (Goldman’s staging directions are as entertaining as the dialogue.) I could easily visualize Florin Castle, the Cliffs of Insanity, the Fireswamp and the Zoo of Death, and follow the adventures of Buttercup, the Dread Pirate Roberts, Prince Humperdinck, Inigo, Fezzik, Vezzini and Miracle Max. Whether you read the book or watch the movie, The Princess Bride is a lot of fun thanks to its unforgettable characters, hugely entertaining scenes and memorable lines (“My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die”) and I know I’ll be reading it again sometime. Or I could just keep renting the movie, which almost didn’t get made according to what I found out by reading the commentary that accompanied this collection of screenplays. Goldman described how he had initially written the book for his daughters (one of them wanted a story about princesses and the other wanted one about brides) and then it became a movie project that ended up taking a decade and half to finalize. I enjoyed reading about the cast, especially Andre the Giant who played Fezzik and really was as huge as he looks on screen. He was also one of the gentlest and kindest persons Goldman had ever known. It was interesting to discover that at first the movie was only a mild success mainly because the studio didn’t know how to market it. (“Just what was the movie? Was it a comedy? Fingers crossed, yes. Action flick? Fingers crossed again. . .what the hell was it? They never figured out.”) The trailer was pulled from theaters because it was so confusing, and the ad campaign kept being changed. Nevertheless Goldman maintains that it’s always been his favorite movie to make. It’s certainly always been one of my favorite movies to watch.
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Read information about the authorGoldman grew up in a Jewish family in Highland Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, and obtained a BA degree at Oberlin College in 1952 and an MA degree at Columbia University in 1956.His brother was the late James Goldman, author and playwright.
William Goldman had published five novels and had three plays produced on Broadway before he began to write screenplays. Several of his novels he later used as the foundation for his screenplays. In the 1980s he wrote a series of memoirs looking at his professional life on Broadway and in Hollywood (in one of these he famously remarked that "Nobody knows anything"). He then returned to writing novels. He then adapted his novel The Princess Bride to the screen, which marked his re-entry into screenwriting.
Goldman has won two Academy Awards: an Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and an Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay for All the President's Men. He has also won two Edgar Awards, from the Mystery Writers of America, for Best Motion Picture Screenplay: for Harper in 1967, and for Magic (adapted from his own 1976 novel) in 1979.
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