Inconceivable! All the Movies Legendary Screenwriter William Goldman Wrote
Legendary Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman has died. The award-winning writer, who also produced novels and plays, was 87 years old. He passed away at his home in New York from complications of colon cancer and pneumonia, his daughter Jenny Goldman told the Washington Post.
Goldman published his first novel in 1957 and later went on to have a long career in the film industry. His novel Soldier in the Rain was adapted into a film in 1963, and in 1965 he wrote Masquerade, his first screenplay.
His colleagues paid tribute to the writer on Twitter after news of his death broke. Ron Howard described Goldman as “one of the greatest most successful screenwriters ever.” Meanwhile, Stephen King praised Goldman’s adaptation of his book Misery.
So sorry to hear of the passing of William Goldman. He was both witty and talented. His screenplay of my book MISERY was a beautiful thing. Rest In Peace, Bill.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) November 16, 2018
Misery was just one of three works by King that Goldman adapted for the screen (the others were Hearts in Atlantis and Dreamcatcher.) But Goldman is probably best known to many for his screenplay he wrote from one of his own novels: The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride was just one of Goldman’s many movies
Goldman wrote the novel The Princess Bride in 1973. It made the leap from page to screen in 1987 and from there to the pop culture canon. The movie is packed with quotable lines including “Inconceivable!” and “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
The Princess Bride is far from Goldman’s only memorable work, though. He also wrote the screenplay for the 1969 hit Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It was his first original screenplay and he won an Oscar for it.
Goldman also took home an Oscar for 1977’s All the President’s Men (and coined another catchphrase in the process – Deep Throat’s advice to “Follow the money.”) His other notable screenplays include Harper, The Stepford Wives, Marathon Man (adapted from his novel of the same name), A Bridge Too Far, Misery, Chaplin, The Chamber, The Ghost and the Darkness, The General’s Daughter, and Wild Card.
Goldman was also an in-demand script doctor. He reportedly did uncredited work on the screenplays for A Few Good Men and Indecent Proposal.
At one point, Goldman was the best-paid screenwriter in the movie industry, earning $1 million per script, according to IndieWire. His script for Butch Cassidy sold for $400,000, which Goldman described as “really a freakish amount” of money at the time.
Goldman wrote his first novel Temple of Gold in three weeks. He eventually wrote 16 novels as well as several works of non-fiction, including his 1982 memoir Adventures in the Screen Trade, which the New York Times has called “wickedly witty, take-no-prisoners peek behind the curtain of showmanship and bravado.” In that book, he famously declared of Hollywood: “Nobody knows anything.” He continued his candid observations of the movie industry in his 2000 book Which Lie Did I Tell?
While screenwriters work behind the scenes and don’t get the attention of famous directors and actors, Goldman believed they were essential to a successful film. “Screenwriters are the basis, I think, of everything,” he said in a 2010 interview with the WGA Foundation. “If you have a sh**** script, even if you have Bergman or Fellini or David Lean, it’s not going to work as a movie. It isn’t.”
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!