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

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,530 ratings  ·  97 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
Paperback, 485 pages
Published February 20th 2001 by Vintage (first published 2000)
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Abdullah H.
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.

Paul Lyons
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
Oct 09, 2010 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
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
***Dave Hill
(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
Eli Goldwag
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
Greg Pettit
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
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
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
Great insight into Hollywood in general, but I especially loved hearing more about how The Princess Bride came to be (book and film), and his adaptation of Misery for the big screen.
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
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
Rebecca Angel
I wrote a screenplay. Then read this book, and promptly gave up on that particular form of writing. It's a great book, very funny, and very honest about how Hollywood works.

FYI: If you love The Princess Bride, get this book out and read the section on both writing the book and the movie. Worth the whole thing.
This would be a great book for aspiring screenwriters, as they seem to be the author's audience, but is also entertaining for other folks who just like the inside scoop on some of the great movies the author has written or worked with. Also some insights (not always happy) into the way Hollywood and the film business work.
Dan Solomon
Half memoir, half screenwriting how-to, and William Goodman is exactly the guy you want both of those things from. Worth the price of admission just for the PRINCESS BRIDE stories alone, but there's a lot to learn here if you give a shit about screenwriting, too.
Kimberly Jordan
stories about story

A fireside chat for screenwriters and wannabes. Goldman's script and workshop notes offers a glimpse of what is needed to both create work and digest feedback.
Loved it. It's so easy to read, so compelling. It's a mix of insider stories and a meditation on storytelling, mixed with plenty of examples and exercises.
Lily Mulholland
An enjoyable follow-up to Adventures in the Screen Trade, but a little disjointed and unstructured. Still, it's William (Bill) Goldman, so well worth a read.
Stephen Huntley
Can't help but like this man. He is extremely honest and self-effacing, and has written some magical movies. The book is entertaining, light and fun.
Brian Rogers
This was a wonderful meander into the art of screenwriting and the nature of Hollywood. If those are of interest to you it is fascinating stuff. Goldman's analysis of his own work - both in the screenplays themselves and how they fared on the way to the cineplex - are engrossing and full of humorous detail.
Debra Komar
Gossipy, a little self-absorbed but an interesting take from a writer who went from the top to the bottom to the middle.
D, All of the above. And that's my final answer
Required Reading for prospective screenwriters.
Emily Snyder
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
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
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!
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What a great title... 2 9 Feb 21, 2013 01:18PM  
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  • The Devil's Candy: The Anatomy Of A Hollywood Fiasco
  • What They Don't Teach You at Film School: 161 Strategies For Making Your Own Movies No Matter What
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  • Hello, He Lied and Other Tales from the Hollywood Trenches
  • The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script, 4th Ed.
  • Rebel Without a Crew, or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player
  • Conversations with Wilder
  • Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System
  • Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter's Guide to Every Story Ever Told
  • Who the Devil Made It: Conversations With Legendary Film Directors
  • Making a Good Script Great
  • A Short History of the Movies
  • In the Blink of an Eye
  • A History of Narrative Film
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
More about William Goldman...
The Princess Bride Marathon Man Adventures in the Screen Trade The Silent Gondoliers Magic

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