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William Goldman

William Goldman

Birthday: 12 August 1931, Highland Park, Illinois, USA
Height: 185 cm

Screenwriter, novelist, playwright, non-fiction author. Born in Highland Park, Illinois, USA, began his career as a novelist in 1957. Started writing screenplays in 1965 with "Masquerade". A ...Show more

William Goldman
On what he felt to be miscasting of The Stepford Wives (1975): You don't commit murder and make a ne Show more On what he felt to be miscasting of The Stepford Wives (1975): You don't commit murder and make a new creation to have it look like Nanette Newman. Hide
[on the significance of the movie All the President's Men (1976)] "No less acute [an] observer of Am Show more [on the significance of the movie All the President's Men (1976)] "No less acute [an] observer of American politics than Governor Ronald Reagan of California said that he thought the movie eventually cost Gerald Ford the presidency against Jimmy Carter, because the film's release in April 1976 and its long run flushed to the surface again all the realities of Watergate that the Republicans had tried so hard to bury. We are talking then about a movie that may be one of the few that just might have changed the entire course of American history." Hide
[on Woody Allen] Most stars like to be thought of as being private people, being shy. We even grant Show more [on Woody Allen] Most stars like to be thought of as being private people, being shy. We even grant those attributes to Woody Allen, this in spite of the fact that he must be the most visible celebrity in New York. Hide
Some screenplays are like Jacob Marley: dead to begin with. Many more, however, are recommended or p Show more Some screenplays are like Jacob Marley: dead to begin with. Many more, however, are recommended or passed on within the first 15 to 20 pages. By then, a typical story analyst (script-reader) or studio exec will be either hooked or bored. If he's hooked, Hallelujah. If he's bored, then Houston, we have a very serious problem. Hide
Directors lose it around age 60, they're either too rich or they can't get work anymore. And it's ph Show more Directors lose it around age 60, they're either too rich or they can't get work anymore. And it's physically debilitating work. That's why Gran Torino (2008) amazes me. Clint Eastwood is nearly 80, and he can still make a movie like that. He is having the most amazing career. Hide
[on Norman Jewison] A tough, feisty, no-nonsense director. [on Norman Jewison] A tough, feisty, no-nonsense director.
[about Hollywood:] "Nobody knows anything." [about Hollywood:] "Nobody knows anything."
[on Sidney Lumet] Lumet never keeps anybody waiting -- no director has earned a larger reputation fo Show more [on Sidney Lumet] Lumet never keeps anybody waiting -- no director has earned a larger reputation for efficiency and organization. Hide
[on the persistent rumor that he, and not Ben Affleck & Matt Damon, is the actual author of the scre Show more [on the persistent rumor that he, and not Ben Affleck & Matt Damon, is the actual author of the screenplay for Good Will Hunting (1997)] I would love to say that I wrote it. Here is the truth. In my obit, it will say that I wrote it. People don't want to think those two cute guys wrote it. What happened was, they had the script. It was their script. They gave it to Rob Reiner to read, and there was a great deal of stuff in the script dealing with the F.B.I. trying to use Matt Damon for spy work because he was so brilliant in math. Rob said, "Get rid of it". They then sent them in to see me for a day - I met with them in New York - and all I said to them was, "Rob's right. Get rid of the F.B.I. stuff. Go with the family, go with Boston, go with all that wonderful stuff". And they did. I think people refuse to admit it because their careers have been so far from writing, and I think it's too bad. I'll tell you who wrote a marvelous script once, Sylvester Stallone. Rocky (1976)'s a marvelous script. God, read it, it's wonderful. It's just got marvelous stuff. And then he stopped suddenly because it's easier being a movie star and making all that money than going in your pit and writing a script. But I did not write [Good Will Hunting], alas. I would not have written the "It's not your fault" scene. I'm going to assume that 148 percent of the people in this room have seen a therapist. I certainly have, for a long time. Hollywood always has this idea that it's this shrink with only one patient. I mean, that scene with Robin Williams gushing and Matt Damon and they're hugging, "It's not your fault, it's not your fault". I thought, Oh God, Freud is so agonized over this scene. But Hollywood tends to do that with therapists. Hide
I make a point of never reading anything I've written in rewrites. I make a point of never reading anything I've written in rewrites.
Understand this: all the sleaze you've heard about Hollywood? All the illiterate scumbags who scuttl Show more Understand this: all the sleaze you've heard about Hollywood? All the illiterate scumbags who scuttle down the corridors of power? They are there, all right, and worse than you can imagine. Hide
[on Richard Attenborough] By far the finest, most decent human being I've ever met in the picture bu Show more [on Richard Attenborough] By far the finest, most decent human being I've ever met in the picture business. Hide
[on Mike Nichols] Nichols' work is frivolous -- charming, light and titanically inconsequential. Wha Show more [on Mike Nichols] Nichols' work is frivolous -- charming, light and titanically inconsequential. What Nichols is is brilliant. Brilliant and trivial and self-serving and frigid. Hide
I know an author whose book was optioned for a movie, on the condition that the main character be ma Show more I know an author whose book was optioned for a movie, on the condition that the main character be made a much younger man. When the wind is right I can almost hear his screams. Hide
[on Alan J. Pakula] Alan is a gentleman. We had mutual acquaintances in the business and they said n Show more [on Alan J. Pakula] Alan is a gentleman. We had mutual acquaintances in the business and they said nothing but good things about him as a human being. Neither can I. He is well-educated and serious about his work. Hide
Directors - even though we all know from the media's portrayal of them that they are men and women o Show more Directors - even though we all know from the media's portrayal of them that they are men and women of wisdom and artistic vision, masters of the subtle use of symbolism - are more often than not a bunch of insecure assholes. Hide
William Goldman's FILMOGRAPHY
All as Actor (4) as Creator (14)
Fmovies