Goldman, William 1931- (Harry Longbaugh, S. Morgenstern)
Goldman, William 1931- (Harry Longbaugh, S. Morgenstern)
Born August 12, 1931, in Chicago (some sources say Highland Park), IL; son of Maurice Clarence (in business) and Marion (maiden name, Weil) Goldman; brother of James Goldman (a writer); married Ilene Jones, April 15, 1961 (divorced, 1991); children: Jenny Rebecca, Susana. Education: Oberlin College, B.A., English, 1952; Columbia University, M.A., English, 1956. Avocational Interests: Baseball, basketball, swimming, tennis, mysteries.
Agent—Creative Artists Agency, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067.
Writer. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, teacher of creative writing, 1965-66; Cannes Film Festival, member of jury, 1988; Miss America Pageant, judge, 1988. Military service: U.S. Army, 1952-54; became corporal.
Screen Award, best written American drama, Writers Guild of America and Edgar Allan Poe Award, best motion picture, Mystery Writers of America, both 1967, for Harper; Academy Award, best writing, story and screenplay based on material not previously published or produced, Screen Award, best drama written directly for the screen, Writers Guild of America, Golden Globe Award nomination, best screenplay, 1970, and Film Award, best screenplay, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1971, all for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination, best motion picture, 1973, for The Hot Rock; Golden Globe Award nomination, best screenplay—motion picture, Screen Award nomination, best drama adapted from another medium, Writers Guild of America, and Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination, best motion picture, all 1977, for Marathon Man; Academy Award, best writing, screenplay based on material from another medium, Golden Globe Award nomination, best screenplay—motion picture, Film Award nomination, best screenplay, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and Screen Award nomination, best drama adapted from another medium, Writers Guild of America, all 1977, for All the President's Men; named writer of the year, National Association of Theatre Owners, 1977 and 1987; Edgar Allan Poe Award, best motion picture, 1979, for Magic; Laurel Award, Writers Guild of America, 1985, for lifetime achievement in screenwriting; Screen Award nomination, best screenplay based on material from another medium, Writers Guild of America, 1988, for The Princess Bride; Lifetime Achievement Award, Las Vegas Film Critics Society, 2000; Phoenix Film Critics Society Award nomination, best screenplay—adaptation, 2002, for Hearts in Atlantis.
Assistance, The War of the Roses, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1989.
Creative consultant (Washington, DC, unit), A Few Good Men, 1992.
Consultant, Malice, Sony, 1993.
Consultant, Dolores Claiborne, Sony, 1995.
Consultant, Extreme Measures, Sony, 1996.
Himself, The Making of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (documentary short), Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 1970.
Himself, Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows, Warner Bros. Home Video, 2000.
Himself, As You Wish: The Story of "The Princess Bride" (documentary short), 2001.
Himself, Going the Distance: Remembering "Marathon Man" (documentary short), Paramount, 2001.
Himself, Misery Loves Company (documentary short), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment, 2002.
Himself, On Location with "Gunga Din" (documentary short), Warner Home Video, 2004.
Himself, Screenwriting for Dummies (documentary short), Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2006.
Himself, All That Follows Is True: The Making of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (documentary short), Fox Home Video, 2006.
Himself, Telling the Truth About Lies: The Making of "All the President's Men" (documentary short), Warner Home Video, 2006.
Himself, Out of the Shadows: The Man Who Was Deep Throat (documentary short), Warner Home Video, 2006.
Himself, Miracles and Mystery: Creating "The Green Mile" (documentary), Warner Home Video, 2006.
Himself, ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway (documentary), Twentieth Century-Fox Home Entertainment, 2007.
Television Appearances; Specials:
The 49th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1977.
Word into Image: Writers on Writing, PBS, 1994.
NBA at 50, TNT, 1996.
AFI's 100 Years … 100 Movies, 1998.
Norman Jewison on Comedy in the 20th Century: Funny Is Money, Showtime, 1999.
"Fame," The Human Face, The Learning Channel, 2001.
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: Outlaws of Time" and "A Bridge Too Far," History vs. Hollywood, History Channel, 2001.
AFI's 100 Years, 100 "Movie Quotes": The Greatest Lines from American Film, CBS, 2005.
The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat, NBC, 2005.
Television Appearances; Episodic:
"Arts Review 1990," The South Bank Show, 1990.
"Paul Newman: Hollywood's Charming Rebel," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 1995.
"Robert Redford: Hollywood Outlaw," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2000.
"Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows," American Masters, PBS, 2000.
"The Western," Film Genre (also known as Hollywood History), 2002.
"Miss America," The American Experience, PBS, 2002.
"Dreamcatcher: Unraveling the Nightmare," HBO First Look, HBO, 2003.
(With James Goldman) Blood, Sweat, and Stanley Poole, produced at Morosco Theatre, New York City, 1961, published by Dramatists Play Service (New York City), 1962.
(With James Goldman and John Kander; and lyricist) A Family Affair (musical), produced at Billy Rose Theatre, New York City, 1962.
(With Michael Relph) Masquerade (also known as Operation Masquerade and A Shabby Tiger), United Artists, 1965.
Harper (also known as The Moving Target; based on a Ross MacDonald novel), Warner Bros., 1966.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1969, published by Corgi, 1969, published by Bantam (New York City), 1971.
The Hot Rock (also known as How to Steal a Diamond in Four Uneasy Lessons and How to Steal a Diamond), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1972.
(Lyricist) When the Legends Die (based on the novel by Hal Borland), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1972.
(With Bryan Forbes) The Stepford Wives (based on the novella by Ira Levin), Columbia, 1974.
The Great Waldo Pepper, Universal, 1975, published by Dell (New York City), 1975.
All the President's Men (based on the book by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein), Warner Bros., 1976.
Marathon Man (based on Goldman's novel), Paramount, 1976.
A Bridge Too Far (based on the novel by Cornelius Ryan), United Artists, 1977.
Magic (based on Goldman's novel), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1978.
Heat (based on Goldman's novel), New Century-Vista, 1987.
The Princess Bride (also known as The Bridges' Bride; based on Goldman's The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure, the "Good Parts Version," Abridged by William Goldman), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1987.
Misery (based on the novel by Stephen King), Columbia, 1990.
(With Bryan Forbes and William Boyd) Chaplin (also known as Charlon and Charlot), TriStar, 1992.
(With Robert Collector and Dana Olson) Memoirs of an Invisible Man (also known as Les aventures d n homme invisible; based on the novel by H. F. Saint), Warner Bros., 1992.
Year of the Comet, Columbia, 1992.
Maverick (based on the television series created by Roy Huggins), Warner Bros., 1994, published by New American Library (New York City), 1994.
The Chamber (based on the novel by John Grisham), Universal, 1996.
The Ghost and the Darkness, Paramount, 1996, published as The Ghost and the Darkness: The Book of the Film, Applause Books, 1996.
Absolute Power (based on the novel by David Baldacci), Columbia, 1997, published as Absolute Power: The Screenplay, Applause Books, 1997.
(Uncredited) Fierce Creatures, 1997.
(With others) The General's Daughter (also known as Wehrlos—Die tochter des generals; based on the novel by Nelson DeMille), Paramount, 1999.
Hearts in Atlantis (based on the novel by Stephen King), Warner Bros., 2001.
Dreamcatcher (also known as L'attrapeur de reves), Warner Bros., 2003.
The Monkey Wrench Gang, Columbia, 2008.
Also wrote a script based on In the Spring the War Ended, a novel by Stephen Linakis.
William Goldman: Four Screenplays with Essays (contains Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Marathon Man, Misery, and The Princess Bride), Applause Books, 1995.
William Goldman: Five Screenplays (contains All the President's Men, The Great Waldo Pepper, Harper, Magic, and Maverick), Applause Books, 1996.
Mr. Horn, CBS, 1979.
The Temple of Gold, Knopf (New York City), 1957.
Your Turn to Curtsy, My Turn to Bow, Doubleday (New York City), 1958.
Soldier in the Rain, Atheneum (New York City), 1960.
Boys and Girls Together, Atheneum, 1964.
The Thing of It Is …, Harcourt (New York City), 1964.
(As Harry Longbaugh) No Way to Treat a Lady, Gold Medal (New York City), 1964, then (as William Goldman) Harcourt, 1967.
Father's Day, Harcourt, 1970.
(As S. Morgenstern) The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure, the "Good Parts Version," Abridged by William Goldman, Harcourt, 1973.
Marathon Man, Delacorte (New York City), 1974.
Wigger (juvenile), Harcourt, 1974.
Magic, Delacorte, 1976.
Tinsel, Delacorte, 1979.
Control, Delacorte, 1982.
(As S. Morgenstern) The Silent Gondoliers, Del Ray (New York City), 1983.
The Color of Light, Warner Books (New York City), 1984.
Heat, Warner Books, 1985.
Brothers, Warner Books, 1987.
Work represented in anthologies, including New World Writing 17, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1960; and Stories from the Transatlantic Review, edited by Joseph F. McCrindle, Holt (New York City), 1970. Contributor of short stories to periodicals, including Esquire, New York, Rogue, and the Transatlantic Review.
The Season: A Candid Look at Broadway, Harcourt, 1969, revised edition, Limelight Editions, 1984.
William Goldman: Story of A Bridge Too Far, Dell, 1977.
Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting, Warner Books, 1983.
(With Mike Lupica) Wait Till Next Year: The Story of a Season When What Should've Happened Didn't and What Could've Gone Wrong Did!, Bantam, 1988.
Hype and Glory, Villard Books (New York City), 1990.
The Big Picture: Who Killed Hollywood? and Other Essays, Applause Books, 2000.
Which Lie Did I Tell? More Adventures in the Screen Trade, Pantheon, 2000.
Contributor to books, including The Movie Business Book, edited by Jason E. Squire, Simon & Schuster (New York City), 1992; and Rainbow: A Star-Studded Tribute to Judy Garland, edited by Ethlie Ann Vare, Boulevard Books (New York City), 1998. Author of the foreword for the book The First Time I Got Paid for It—Writers Tales from the Hollywood Trenches, edited by Peter Lefcourt and Laura Shapiro, PublicAffairs (New York City), 2000. Also a contributor of articles to numerous periodicals.
Soldier in the Rain, released by Allied Artists in 1963, is based on Goldman's novel of the same name. Another of Goldman's novels, No Way to Treat a Lady, was adapted as a film and released by Paramount in 1968. Douglas J. Cohen wrote the book, music, and lyrics for a musical version of No Way to Treat a Lady produced in 1987 at the Hudson Guild Theatre in New York City.
Andersen, Richard, William Goldman, Twayne (Boston, MA), 1979.
Contemporary Novelists, 7th ed., St. James Press, 2001.
Newsmakers, Issue 1, Gale Group, 2001.
St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers, St. James Press, 1996.
Empire, June, 2000, pp. 110-112, 114.
Entertainment Weekly, February 14, 1997, p. 39.
Maclean's, February 17, 1997, p. 72.
Nation, March 17, 1997, p. 43.
New Republic, March 17, 1997, p. 28.
Newsweek, February 17, 1997, p. 67.
People Weekly, February 17, 1997, p. 19.
Premiere, November, 1999, pp. 59-60, 66-67.
Time, February 24, 1997, p. 67.
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Writer. Nationality: American. Born: Chicago, Illinois, 12 August 1931; brother of the writer James Goldman. Education: Attended Highland Park High School; Oberlin College, Ohio, B.A. 1952; Columbia University, New York, M.A. 1956. Military Service: U.S. Army, 1952–54: corporal. Family: Married Ilene Jones, 1961 (divorced), two daughters. Career: Writer: first novel published 1957; author of two plays with James Goldman, Blood, Sweat, and Stanley Poole, 1961, and A Family Affair, 1962; 1964—first film as writer, Masquerade.Awards: Academy Award, Writers Guild Award, and British Academy Award, for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969; Academy Award and Writers Guild Award, for All the President's Men, 1976. Address: 50 East 77th Street, New York, NY 10021, U.S.A.
Films as Writer:
Masquerade (Dearden) (co)
Harper (The Moving Target) (Smight)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Hill)
The Hot Rock (How to Steal a Diamond in Four Uneasy Lessons) (Yates)
The Stepford Wives (Forbes)
The Great Waldo Pepper (Hill)
All the President's Men (Pakula); Marathon Man (Schlesinger)
A Bridge Too Far (Attenborough)
Mr. Horn (Starrett); Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (Lester) (idea)
Heat (Richards); The Princess Bride (R. Reiner)
Misery (R. Reiner); The Lions of Salvo (de Palma)
Year of the Comet (Yates); Memoirs of an Invisible Man (Carpenter) (co); Chaplin (Attenborough) (co)
Last Action Hero (McTiernan) (co)
The Chamber (Foley) (co); The Ghost and the Darkness (Hopkins)
Absolute Power (Eastwood); Fierce Creatures (Schepisi and Young) (uncredited)
The General's Daughter (West) (co)
Films Based on Goldman's Writings:
Soldier in the Rain (Nelson)
No Way to Treat a Lady (Smight)
By GOLDMAN: fiction—
The Temple of Gold, New York, 1957.
Your Turn to Curtsy, My Turn to Bow, New York, 1958.
Soldier in the Rain, New York, 1960.
Boys and Girls Together, New York, 1964.
No Way to Treat a Lady, New York, 1964.
The Thing of It Is . . ., New York, 1967.
Father's Day, New York, 1971.
The Princess Bride, New York, 1973.
Marathon Man, New York, 1974.
Wigger (for children), New York, 1974.
Magic, New York, 1976.
Tinsel, New York, 1979.
Control, New York, 1982.
The Color of Light, New York, 1984.
The Silent Gondoliers, New York, 1984.
Heat, New York, 1985, as Edged Weapons, London, 1985.
Brothers, New York, 1986.
William Goldman: Four Screenplays, New York, 1997.
William Goldman: Five Screenplays, All the President's Men, Harper, The Great Waldo Papper, Magic & Maverick, New York, 1998.
By GOLDMAN: other writings—
With James Goldman, Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole (play), New York, 1962.
With James Goldman, A Family Affair (play), New York, 1962.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (screenplay), New York, 1969.
The Season: A Candid Look at Broadway (nonfiction), New York, 1969.
The Great Waldo Pepper (screenplay), New York, 1975.
The Story of A Bridge Too Far, New York, 1977.
Adventures in the Screentrade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting, New York, 1983.
With Mike Lupica, Wait till Next Year: The Story of a Season When What Should've Happened Didn't and What Could've Gone Wrong Did, New York, 1988.
Hype and Glory (nonfiction), New York, 1990.
The Big Picture: Who Killed Hollywood? And Other Essays, New York, 2000.
Which Lie Did I Tell? More Adventures in the Screen Trade, New York, 2000.
By GOLDMAN: articles—
Films Illustrated (London), July 1976.
Filmmakers Newsletter (Ward Hill, Massachusetts), October 1977.
In The Craft of the Screenwriter, by John Brady, New York, 1981.
Films (London), May 1984.
Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), February 1991.
Positif (Paris), no. 361, March 1991.
Disaster Movies, no. 38, New York, 1992.
Cinema 66, no. 20, New York, 1993.
Sins of Omission, no. 6, New York, 1993.
"Butch Cassidy and the Nazi Dentist," no. 5, Esquire, 1994.
The Pig and the Hunk, no. 8, New York, 1996.
"Tracking The Ghost and the Darkness," in Premiere (Boulder), November 1996.
"From Brando to Paltrow," in Premiere (Boulder), December 1996.
Film en Televisie + Video (Brussels), July 1997.
"William Goldman on Norman Jewison," in The Toronto Star, 18 April 1999.
"The Gray '90s: Nobody Knows Anything," in Premiere (Boulder), November 1999.
On GOLDMAN: book—
Andersen, Richard, William Goldman, Boston, 1979.
On GOLDMAN: articles—
American Film (Washington, D.C.), January/February 1976.
Cinéma (Paris), August/September 1977.
Cinéma (Paris), August/September 1978.
National Film Theatre Booklet (London), April 1984.
Stone, Botham, in American Screenwriters, 2nd series, edited by Randall Clark, Detroit, 1986.
Radio Times (London), 19 February 1994.
Feeney, Mark, "The Goldman Standard: Oscar-Winning Screenwriter Says It's Easy: Work Hard, Stay Scared, and Above All Be Lucky," in The Boston Globe, 8 March 2000.
Welkos, Robert W. "Profile: He Knows They Don't Know," in The Los Angeles Times, 2 April 2000.
Sragow, Michael, "Famous Screenwriters School," in The New York Times Book Review, 9 April 2000.
* * *
William Goldman is a master craftsman of streamlined scripts with well-delineated characters and crisp dialogue. For Goldman, screenwriting is carpentry. "The single most important thing contributed by the screenwriter," he once said, "is the structure." Accordingly, Goldman's scripts are fast-paced models of plot design.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was an important screenplay even before it was produced. In 1967 it sold for the then unheard-of price of $400,000, setting an industrial precedent that helped American screenwriters gain recognition and clout. The film was extremely popular, but suffered critically in comparison with Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, released a few months earlier. Where The Wild Bunch was a gritty, intensely graphic revisionist Western, Butch Cassidy appeared lightweight, flip, and coy. And Butch Cassidy's freeze-frame ending (which came directly from Goldman's script) seemed tame and retrograde compared to The Wild Bunch's apocalyptic bloodbath. But for all its cuteness, Butch Cassidy was revisionist too. Goldman's heroes were imperfect (Sundance cannot swim, and Butch, notorious leader of the Hole in the Wall Gang, confesses he has never killed anyone) and drawn on a human rather than heroic scale (Butch and Sundance spend most of the film running away from the railroad agents, strenuously avoiding the obligatory Western confrontation). Goldman parodied train robberies, bank holdups, and tightlipped face-offs. He made a joke of the gathering-of-the-posse scene (de rigueur since The Great Train Robbery) by writing one in which the local marshal fails to persuade the townsfolk to rush out after Butch and Sundance. ("It's up to us to do something!" exhorts the marshal. "What's the point?" answers one uninterested citizen.) Perhaps most revisionist of all was Goldman's arch, smart-alecky dialogue. Having his characters speak like witty urbanites was an experiment that might have failed, but it worked, and its originality was no small part of the film's charm. If The Wild Bunch madeus think about violence in Westerns, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid made us question Western conventions.
Although Goldman has adapted other authors' works as well as his own, he is not, by his own admission, ruthless enough when the source is his. This may account for the absence of Goldman's usually hard-driving plotting in Marathon Man and Magic, both adapted from his best-selling novels. Szell's torturing of Babe with a dental drill is unforgettable, but the main action in Marathon Man is muddled. Magic develops some keen moments of tension, but it fizzles where it should pop, and pales badly in comparison with its generic ancestor, Michael Redgrave's ventriloquist sequence in Dead of Night. But in adapting others' works for the screen Goldman is expert. Indeed, it seems the longer and more intricate the original, the better his final script. His adaptations for A Bridge Too Far and All the President's Men, both based on nonfiction books about complex historical events, are clean and economical translations, especially considering the problems he faced.
In A Bridge Too Far Goldman was required to make commercially palatable what was essentially a noncommercial property. Cornelius Ryan's book documented a crucial but (in the United States) little-known Allied operation that defies simple summarization (unless it would be "We lost"). Goldman cut through the book's tangled historical web and provided an easily understood, straight-line narrative by making the film, as he says, "the ultimate cavalry-to-the-rescue story": the Allies need to take a series of bridges and relieve 35,000 soldiers who have parachuted in behind enemy lines. But the loss suffered by the Allies when they came up one bridge short of their objective dictated a deflated ending, which no doubt had something to do with the film's disappointing reception.
In All the President's Men Goldman had to find a way to interest audiences in a talky political story, lacking in action and climactic confrontations, with an ending viewers already knew. Goldman's solution was to model the film on late 1940s-early 1950s investigative reporter films noir (Goldman's script preface specified that the film should have "a black-and-white feel") and give it racehorse pacing (another prefatory script note: "This film is written to go like a streak"). He structured the film as a dramatic progression of clues uncovered by the giant-killing investigators, Woodward and Bernstein, and built a solid foundation for a gripping thriller.
Goldman is a pragmatic professional about his work and about the baroque process of going from script to screen. In Adventures in the Screen Trade Goldman looks at the movie business sans rose-colored glasses and comes up with screenwriting rules of thumb such as what he considers to be the key movie industry fact: "NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING." And there is this clear-eyed observation, which may explain why Goldman continues to describe himself as a novelist who writes screenplays rather than the other way around. This thoroughly professional screenwriter feels that in the final analysis screenwriting—because of built-in industrial limitations—will ruin a serious writer. "I truly believe," Goldman writes, "that if all you do with your life is write screenplays, it ultimately has to denigrate the soul. . . . Because you will spend your always-decreasing days . . . writing Perfect Parts for Perfect People."
During the first half of the 1980s, Goldman went through a fallow period when none of his scripts were produced. However, these doldrums ended in 1986, when Goldman sold his screenplay of The Princess Bride (based on his 1973 novel of the same name). He remained busy throughout the decade of the 1990s (a period whose films Goldman has characterized as the most lackluster in the history of American cinema) and beyond. In the spring of 2000, he published two nonfiction books. Which Lie Did I Tell? More Adventures in the Screen Trade was a sequel to Goldman's popular 1983 memoir, Adventures in the Screen Trade. The second book, The Big Picture: Who Killed Hollywood? And Other Essays collects short pieces that Goldman originally wrote for Premiere and other popular magazines.
—Charles Ramirez Berg, updated by John McCarty, further updated by Justin Gustainis
"Goldman, William." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/goldman-william
"Goldman, William." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/goldman-william
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
Nationality: American. Born: Chicago, Illinois, 12 August 1931; brother of the writer James Goldman. Education: Highland Park High School; Oberlin College, Ohio, 1948-52, B.A. in English 1952; Columbia University, New York, 1954-56, M.A. in English 1956. Military Service: Served in the United States Army, 1952-54: Corporal. Family: Married Ilene Jones in 1961 (divorced); two daughters. Awards: Oscar, for screenplay, 1970, 1977. Address: 50 East 77th Street, New York, New York 10021, U.S.A.
The Temple of Gold. New York, Knopf, 1957.
Your Turn to Curtsy, My Turn to Bow. New York, Doubleday, 1958.
Soldier in the Rain. New York, Atheneum, and London, Eyre andSpottiswoode, 1960.
Boys and Girls Together. New York, Atheneum, 1964; London, Joseph, 1965.
No Way To Treat a Lady (as Harry Longbaugh). New York, Fawcett, and London, Muller, 1964; as William Goldman, New York, Harcourt Brace, and London, Coronet, 1968.
The Thing of It Is…. New York, Harcourt Brace, and London, Joseph, 1967.
Father's Day. New York, Harcourt Brace, and London, Joseph, 1971.
The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure: The "Good Parts" Version, Abridged. New York, Harcourt Brace, 1973; London, Macmillan, 1975.
Marathon Man. New York, Delacorte Press, 1974; London, Macmillan, 1975.
Magic. New York, Delacorte Press, and London, Macmillan, 1976.
Tinsel. New York, Delacorte Press, and London, Macmillan, 1979.
Control. New York, Delacorte Press, and London, Hodder andStoughton, 1982.
The Color of Light. New York, Warner, and London, Granada, 1984.
The Silent Gondoliers (as S. Morgenstern). New York, Ballantine, 1984.
Heat. New York, Warner, 1985; as Edged Weapons, London, Granada, 1985.
Brothers. New York, Warner, and London, Grafton, 1986.
Uncollected Short Stories
"Something Blue," in Rogue (New York), 1958.
"Da Vinci," in New World Writing 17. Philadelphia, Lippincott, 1960.
"Till the Right Girls Come Along," in Transatlantic Review 8 (London), Winter 1961.
"The Ice Cream Eat," in Stories from the Transatlantic Review, edited by Joseph F. McCrindle. New York, Holt Rinehart, 1970.
Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole, with James Goldman (produced New York, 1961). New York, Dramatists Play Service, 1962.
A Family Affair, with James Goldman, music by John Kander (produced New York, 1962).
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (screenplay). New York, Bantam, and London, Corgi, 1969.
The Great Waldo Pepper (screenplay). New York, Dell, 1975.
Memoirs of an Invisible Man, with Robert Collector and DanaBodner, 1992.
William Goldman: Four Screenplays with Essays. New York, ApplauseBooks, 1995.
William Goldman: Five Screenplays. New York, Applause, 1996.
The Ghost and the Darkness: The Book of the Film. New York, Applause, 1996.
Absolute Power: The Screenplay. New York, Applause, 1997.
Masquerade, with Michael Relph, 1964; Harare (The Moving Target ), 1966; Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969; The Hot Rock (How to Steal a Diamond in Four Uneasy Lessons ), 1972; The Stepford Wives, 1974; The Great Waldo Pepper, 1975; All the President's Men, 1976; Marathon Man, 1976; A Bridge Too Far, 1977; Magic, 1978; The Princess Bride, 1987; Heat, 1987; Misery, 1990; The Chamber, Universal, 1997.; Absolute Power, Columbia Pictures, 1997; The General's Daughter. Paramount Pictures, 1999.
Television Films: Mr. Horn, 1979.
The Season: A Candid Look at Broadway. New York, HarcourtBrace, 1969; revised edition, New York, Limelight, 1984.
Wigger (for children). New York, Harcourt Brace, 1974.
The Story of "A Bridge Too Far." New York, Dell, 1977.
Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting. New York, Warner, 1983; London, Macdonald, 1984.
Wait Till Next Year: The Story of a Season When What Should've Happened Didn't and What Could've Gone Wrong Did, with Mike Lupica. New York, Bantam, 1988.
Hype and Glory. New York, Villard, and London, Macdonald, 1990.
The Big Picture: Who Killed Hollywood? and Other Essays. NewYork, New York, Applause Books, 1999.
Which Lie Did I Tell?, or, More Adventures in the Screen Trade. NewYork, Pantheon Books, 2000.*
William Goldman by Richard Andersen, Boston, Twayne, 1979.* * *
William Goldman is a successful novelist, film scenarist, playwright, critic, and children's book author who focuses much of his attention on the illusions by which men and women live. These illusions often make existence more miserable than it need be and provide a core from which all of Goldman's protagonists seek to escape. Ironically, what they escape to is more often than not other illusions, which, because of the artificial distinctions society attaches to them, rarely satisfy their human needs.
When Raymond Trevitt's desperate attempts to protect the ideals of his childhood from adult realities in The Temple of Gold inadvertently cause the deaths of his closest friends, he leaves his home, but discovers only frustration and intolerance elsewhere. In Your Turn to Curtsy, My Turn to Bow, Chad Kimberly is driven by his ambitious illusions into believing he is a new Messiah, whose schizophrenic demands frighten the novel's protagonist, Peter Bell, into a life of escapist day-dreaming. Ambition is not the only illusion that drives the characters of Boys and Girls Together to New York; most of them are escaping from the unbearable circumstances of their home lives. Nevertheless, their hopes for self-improvement are dashed by unsuccessful love affairs, domineering parents, professional failures, embarrassing social exposures, and suicide. In Soldier in the Rain, Eustis Clay and Maxwell Slaughter cannot free themselves from the military-economic complex of which they are so much a part.
The great American illusions about success are the central concerns of The Thing of It Is … and Father's Day, in which the talented, rich, but quirky Amos McCracken spends a tremendous amount of money trying to save his marriage and then his relationship with his daughter. In the end, his guilt-ridden personal failures lead him to create fantasies that enable him to fulfill the images he has of himself but that also pose a serious threat to the safety and well-being of others.
Unlike Amos McCracken or Kit Gil of No Way to Treat a Lady, Westley and Buttercup of The Princess Bride, Babe Levy of Marathon Man, and Corky Withers of Magic cannot retreat to a fabulous land to try to make themselves whole; they already live in fabulous land, where they are constantly assaulted by its empirical and psychological facts. Forced to encounter a vast confusion of fact and fiction, to deal with pain and death, and to seek power against forces that are difficult to pinpoint and consequently understand, the protagonists of these three novels must stay rooted in social systems that attempt to deny their vitality while creating illusions that life is what it should be.
Combining the everyday reality of Goldman's early novels with the fabulous reality of his later works, Tinsel tells the story of three women who desperately try to escape from the boredom of their daily lives to the fame and fortune of movie stardom, which, like all illusions, eludes them. As he did in Marathon Man and Magic, Goldman divides this into many chapters, so short and so different from any other in terms of setting and action that they flash by the reader like scenes in a movie. Because of their length, Goldman can keep simultaneously occurring stories running vividly in the reader's imagination without making any significant connections between them. When the individual stories eventually come together, Goldman continues flashing different scenes containing markedly different actions at such a pace that reading Goldman's story about the film industry becomes as close to a cinematic experience as literature can provide.
With The Color of Light Goldman returned to the themes of innocence and loss that concerned him in his early novels, only this time around he discusses them as subjects for writing. Unfortunately, this serious book, like some of his early serious novels, wasn't as well received as it should have been, and Goldman returned to the fabulist landscape of Marathon Man and Magic in Control and Heat. But he passed through fantasyland on the way just as he did in 1973 with The Princess Bride. The Silent Gondoliers tells us why the gondoliers in Venice no longer sing. Even they have lost their innocence in a world from which there is no escape.
Perhaps because of his popularity or the reputation he has established in Hollywood (many of his novels have been adapted to the screen), many critics have misunderstood or underrated Goldman's works. Perhaps these critics have been confused by Goldman's use of multiple modes—novel of manners, confessional journal, psychological novel, social satire, romantic parody, black humor novel, detective story, spy novel, radical protest novel, soap opera, absurdist novel, and more—within a wide frame of genres. Whatever the reason, Goldman is an extraordinarily talented and prolific writer whose incorporation of cinematic techniques with conventional narrative forms mark a significant contribution to the novel tradition. His success in the screen trade has perhaps influenced a move away from fiction, with a growing number of successful screenplays, along with memoirs of his work in Hollywood, to his credit.
"Goldman, William." Contemporary Novelists. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/goldman-william
"Goldman, William." Contemporary Novelists. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/goldman-william