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Which Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures in the Screen Trade

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  1,828 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
From the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Princess Bride (he also wrote the novel), and the bestselling author of Adventures in the Screen Trade comes a garrulous new book that is as much a screenwriting how-to (and how-not-to) manual as it is a feast of insider information.

If you want to know why a no-name like Kathy Bates was cast
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Paperback, 485 pages
Published February 20th 2001 by Vintage (first published 2000)
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Abdullah H.
Mar 20, 2012 Abdullah H. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a sucker for William Goldman. But this REALLY was useful.
I will say it was better than Part I.

An absolute must have on shelf for any screenwriter.
While I took many notes, I know, like his first back, I will
be pulling this off of the shelf and using it as a reference.

Pedro Kerouac
Apr 18, 2017 Pedro Kerouac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book on the adventures of one of the most acclaimed Hollywood screenwriters, full of insightful information and a very sarcastic sense of humour. Essential for every movie buff.
Mariel
May 25, 2009 Mariel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers
William Goldman's (his name might sound familiar because he's the author of the book The Princess Bride, and the film's screenplay) follow-up to Adventures in the Screentrade, Which Lie Did I Tell, covers his works post-1982 such as The Princess Bride, Misery and The Ghost and the Darkness. While 'Adventures' is about the happy accidents and why no one really knows anything about how to make movie magic, 'Lie' is a great book about making choices and where to go from there. I can apply his stori ...more
Paul Lyons
Jul 11, 2012 Paul Lyons rated it liked it
Enjoyable follow-up to William Goldman's excellent 80's book "Adventures In the Screen Trade." At times repetitive and frustrating, "Which Lie Did I Tell?" touches on perhaps too many things that were first brought up in "Adventures In the Screen Trade." His continual references to BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID got annoying after awhile. Not only does he mention the movie (and his script) throughout the book, Goldman also devotes an entire chapter to his 1969 Oscar-winning script. William ...more
Annie
Jan 11, 2009 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want to write a screenplay.

I want to be friends with William Goldman, author of The Princess Bride and this awesome book! He has the most delightfully conversational style. This book gets pretty technical, but I like that. I don't know if a non-writer would enjoy it quite so much, but maybe if he or she just skipped over the advice in grey, it would be just a book full of dirt on a screenwriter's adventures in Hollywood (among other places.)

This is apparently a sequel, but here are the movies
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William Koon
I have been a big fan of Goldman's since college days. I loved his novels like Temple of Gold and Marathon Man. I loved his screen plays, particularly Butch Cassidy. I loved his Adventures in the Screen Trade wherein he did a bit of kiss and telling. However,this follow-up is a bit too snarky and polished for me and fairly empty. As a record of Goldman's continuing journey, it's OK. I suppose he had to write it. But the quoting --at vast lengths-- of his favorite screen plays becomes tedious. Al ...more
Gabriel
Oct 05, 2013 Gabriel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll start this off by saying I love movies penned by William Goldman.

I'll also say that, for my money, the novel of The Princess Bride is funnier than the movie.

So with those two things in mind, join me as I walk through the economically depressed streets of San Pedro, CA. I'm there with a friend, killing time while we wait for the Lovecraft Festival to start up and next door to the (soon-to-be) crowded Whale and Ale Pub is a little bookshop that's just about to close down. Our presence convinc
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Sergio GRANDE films
Good book. Funny stories. Great advice and lots to think about.
And it would have been a greater book if the writer realized that already in the year 2000-odd, when the book was released, he couldn't get away with using James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart as character references -most people in the world may remember the names but not know the guys at all (Cagney died 30 years ago, Bogart 30 years earlier than Cagney. Their careers had peaked decades before they died, FFS). Wanna use a reference we
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J. D.
Feb 28, 2017 J. D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you think passing law is like making sausage, then making a movie is head cheese. William Goldman has written numerous award winning scripts and novels including The Princess Bride. He describes the journey of this bedtime story for his daughters evolved into a cult classic and beyond. If you're interested either from a professional standpoint or out of personal curiosity, this is an excellent read.
Andrew
William Goldman, the screenwriter of two of my favorite movies (and in my opinion, two of the best movies of all time)--"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Princess Bride"--offers an witty, insightful, acerbic and neurotic look at the world of writing in Hollywood. I haven't read this book's predecessor, "Adventures in the Screen Trade," but I have no doubt it was equally enjoyable and eye-opening.

Apart from recounting his own experiences in Hollywood (or "Out There" as Goldman calls i
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Kevin
Aug 28, 2015 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter Goldman follows up his irreverent, gossipy and indispensable screenwriting bible, "Adventures in the Screen Trade" (1983), with this equally wise, tart and very funny account of the filmmaking process. He begins with the surprising admission that he was a "leper" in Hollywood between 1980 and 1985: after MAGIC (1978), he was unable to get any screenplays produced until THE PRINCESS BRIDE (1987). (Moviegoers' loss was readers' gain: during those years he wrote ...more
Greg Pettit
Aug 31, 2009 Greg Pettit rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, movies
An interesting collection of anecdotes and advice about screenwriting and Hollywood.

About 30 pages into the book, I realized I had read it before. However, I was enjoying it so much I decided to read it again anyway. Goldman has a very conversational style throughout the book, which makes it a very easy read. He's very articulate and often funny, and even though he name-drops constantly throughout the book, he does it with a humility that makes it bearable.

At the end of the book, he included a f
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Eli Goldwag
Feb 06, 2012 Eli Goldwag rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. Being interested in screenwriting and movies in general, I thought Which Lie Did I Tell? offered a very personalized view into the movie industry. William Goldman's perspective of screenwriting and film making gives a more real picture of the process of writing, casting, filming, and all other aspects that make up a movie production. William Goldman is the writer of such movies as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Princess Bride, and The Year of the Comet. This bo ...more
***Dave Hill
Oct 13, 2011 ***Dave Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text, non-fiction
(Original review, 3/1/2002)

Goldman manages to teach about screenwriting, describe his career, and provide practical advice about watching (and writing) movies, all in an endlessly entertaining package. Great stuff.

This is a continuation of his writing (see Adventures in the Screen Trade) about his screenwriting career, and serves as combination autobiography, kiss-n-tell, background exploration of the movies he’s written, and a genuinely interesting and educational discussion of the screenwritin
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Adam
Jan 24, 2011 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goldman's approach to explaining screen-writing is a unique one. The first section of the book details how his movies got made and which stars were in his movies and which ones were not. I didn't care much for this section and found it to be a bit too heavy on name-dropping and short on substance. However, after getting through that the book got much more interesting. In the second section he analyzes four famous movie scenes and discusses why they work. In the following third section he discuss ...more
Dave
Feb 13, 2014 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With more than four decades of screen writing under his belt, it's unsurprising that Goldman's sequel to Adventures In the Screen Trade is both immensely readable and full of anecdotes and practical advice. The tone is conversational, making you feel as if this is a chat over a cup of coffee rather than a lecture on screenplay structure.

Goldman's focus can waver on occasion (and he's maddeningly vague about the extent of his involvement in doctoring the Good Will Hunting script), but in a very r
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Nacho
Apr 03, 2008 Nacho rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: divulgación, cine
Es todavía mejor que el original del que es secuela. Se centra menos en la gramática parda que necesita saberse de corrido un guionista y cuenta un montón de anécdotas de los rodajes en los que ha participado Goldman entre las ediciones de ambos libros. Gracias a él, sé que Clint Eastwood, a la hora de comer, se pone con su bandeja en la cola, con los electricistas, los iluminadores y cualquiera que pase por allí, y no permite que se le dispense un trato de favor por ser el director del cotarro. ...more
Zora
Mar 31, 2014 Zora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny anecdotes and uncomfortable truths about the movie industry, and about 1/3 advice to wannabe screenwriters and analysis of scripts. A bit dated. Whenever he tries to explain how big some 70's actor was, he compares him to a 1992 actor, and you can't help but think, wow, he was big once?, even when you lived through that time, as I did. Those bits would confuse anyone under 25, except for serious film buffs. Still, for that shortcoming (and for the shortcoming that it's really two different ...more
Mark
Jul 31, 2007 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm a great admirer of William Goldman's imagination and skill. After all, what bad can you say about the man who wrote "The Princess Bride," "Marathon Man" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?" Still, as many good anecdotes as this had and as good a writer as he is, this book is sort of an uncomfortable mishmash between autobiography and a how-to book for aspiring screenwriters. It could be of more interest to anyone interested in the writing craft, but for a general audience, less compelli ...more
Mugizi Rwebangira
It's pretty much the same material as in the previous book "Adventures in the Screen Trade", so if you liked that book, you'll probably like this one.But this book was not quite as good as the other as he seemed to ramble on a bit in a somewhat disjointed manner. Too many rambling asides and not a clear idea of what he's trying to say. Still, he gives a lot of interesting comments and ideas about screenwriting that are not in the other book, so if you are seriously interested in screenwriting it ...more
Emily Snyder
Aug 20, 2011 Emily Snyder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I spent only a month studying screenwriting in Hollywood, CA, but I'll tell ya - this book is SPOT ON. A must-read for anyone interested in show *business.* Most tellingly, his description of the arrogance of actors is, unfortunately, quite true. (I'm a theatre director, and while's it not half as bad in live theatre, there's still an element of diva/o in the lowest chorus member!) Even if you have no interest in the inner workings of screenwriting, do pick up this book merely for the joy of Gol ...more
Dante
Mar 22, 2008 Dante rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe not as essential as Goldman's first book on the business and craft of screenwriting ("Adventures in the Screen Trade", early 1980s), but pretty damned close as far as aspiring screenwriters (or fiction writers in general) are concerned.

I read most of this book a few years ago, though I stalled midway through the "new" screenplay Goldman wrote as a lesson for Part IV of the book ("The Big A") for some reason. So I started from the beginning and breezed through it -- glad I did!
Amy Wilder
Jan 02, 2010 Amy Wilder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was on sale at Samuel French (the famous aspiring filmmaker/screenwriter/actor bookstore in LA) the year I moved out here. I read it thinking I was going to get into the movie business and there are some valuable lessons here. Mostly it's just great anecdotes told by a good storyteller.

Is he biased? Almost certainly. Is it a fun and informative read? Most definitely. I still retell some of his stories regularly.
Mumbler
Later in the book, it was all example stories that I wasn't as interested in. Didn't pick it up for weeks and then it was due back. Might finish some time but don't care a lot. Broke down at page 299 of 512.

The majority that I read had some good stories and some decent-sounding points.

Really sloppily written, like its more famous predecessor. The constant device of ending anecdotes with open ellipses is awful.

David Jedeikin
Sep 23, 2011 David Jedeikin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting follow-on to Goldman's "Adventures in the Screen Trade" (where he coined what is arguably the greatest three-word boil-down of the movie industry, or perhaps any industry and its pundits' understanding of why things succeed: "Nobody knows anything"). Packed with tips for current and wannabe scribes, though the last part where he writes and dissects a sample script of his own lost me a little. But overall, a worthwhile read for Hollywood-watchers.
Jennie Pollock
Jan 04, 2015 Jennie Pollock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
If you're interested in the craft of writing, especially screenwriting, this book is an absolute gem. Definitely up there with Stephen King's 'On Writing' (and surpasses it, in my opinion, for sheer interestingness about the art, the craft and the journey). It's like a director's commentary on a DVD, only in far greater detail, and is packed with tips, pointers and wonderful anecdotes from Goldman's rich and varied career. A real gem.
Greg
Dec 07, 2009 Greg rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite-authors
I could just read Goldman's ramblings for the rest of my life and be completely contented. I'm not sure how much of his stories are exaggerated, but they've certainly got color! I really appreciated the progression of the culture of Hollywood that I experienced having read Adventures in the Screen Trade years ago and now this one that takes me a little closer to the present. If you like movies, this is an excellent read!
Ernest
Jul 26, 2011 Ernest rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is book is for those who are willing to go behind the constructed façade that we all sometimes buy into (willingly or not) in Hollywood. I am not sure whether it has as wide an appeal as the author’s previous book, but as it covers some later stories in his life, readers may be more familiar with the films mentioned. I will admit to having to force myself to continue reading through some points.
Peggy Bechko
I read Adventures in the Screen Trade - another book worth reading by the way, by William Goldman and had to read this follow up, "Which Lie Did I Tell? - More Adventures In the Screen Trade". The man has succeeded in the screenwriting world and has a dry, witty sense of humor. If you're at all into screenwriting or even if you just like to read some of the inside stories of Hollywood, Mr. Goldman's books are the best.
Aki Umemoto
Enjoyable comments by Goldman, has some insights to writing screenplays, but mostly anecdotes and opinions. Some of his opinions I totally disagree with, but still interesting. The last portion of the book is his unsold screenplay which I couldn't get through. I can only recommend it to fans of Goldman, not really a book to learn how to write screenplays.
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What a great title... 2 9 Feb 21, 2013 01:18PM  
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Goldman 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
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