Adventures in the Screen Trade
The book is divided into three parts.
"Part One: Hollywood Realities" is a collection of essays on various subjects ranging from movie stars and studio executives to his thoughts on how to begin and end a screenplay and how to write for a movie star.
"Part Two: Adventures" has stories from eleven projects that Goldman has been involved with, from Charly and Masquerade, to the Academy Award winning Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President's Men, to some projects that didn't get made, like a musical remake of Grand Hotel.
"Part Three: Da Vinci" has Goldman showing the reader how he would go about adapting his own short story "Da Vinci" into a screenplay. The full text of "Da Vinci" and the subsequent screenplay he wrote are included, followed by interviews with key movie industry figures, including director George Roy Hill, cinematographer Gordon Willis and composer Dave Grusin.
"Nobody Knows Anything"
Perhaps the most famous quotation from the book. It is one of his two "Roman numeral I's" and is repeated throughout the book. Now widely quoted, it is often inaccurately used to suggest that Hollywood executives are stupid, but in fact refers to Goldman's strong belief that, prior to a movie's release, Hollywood has no real idea how well a film will do.
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- Goldman, William (1989). Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting (reissue ed.). Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0-446-39117-4.
- Goldman, William (1996). Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood (2nd rev. ed.). Abacus. ISBN 0-349-10705-X.
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