Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood by William Goldman

By William Goldman

As befits greater than 20 years in Hollywood, Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman's gleaming memoir is as enjoyable as some of the motion pictures he has helped to create. From the author of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance child, all of the President's males and Marathon guy, Adventures within the monitor exchange is an intimate view of movie-making, of performing greats corresponding to Redford, Olivier, Newman and Hoffman, and of the pains and rewards of operating contained in the most fun enterprise on the earth.

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You can say what you will about the morals of these early titans, you can scorn them as little more than furriers. But boy, they sure weren't dumb. 00 per week. 00 per week. 1914: Miss Pickford re-signs for double her previous weekly fee. 00 weekly compensation. 00 per week-that was Charlie Chaplin's sti- pend. 00 inbonus money for signing. 1919; Fatty Arbuckle became the first star in history to be guaranteed a salary of one million dollars per year. Minimum. The war cry of the studios has been the same ever since: Every time the business is about to self-destruct, they can pinpoint the reason-it's the goddam greed of the stars.

Author! and the company was shooting an exterior scene in Gloucester, Massachusetts. In the winter. The windchill factor was way below. The whole crew was ready for the shot. Ready and wailing. Pacino stayed in his trailer for over an hour. When he finally emerged, he walked into the setup and decided he didn't like the lighting. Something about it reminded him of the lighting from an earlier film of his. Cruising. He wanted the lighting changed. Arthur Hiller, as gentlemanly a director as any now operating, exploded.

Scheider stands quietly in the imaginary doorway, waiting. A lot of people have flashlights by their bed tables, Schlesinger tries. Hoffman isn't playing a lot of people, he is playing Babe and Babe wouldn't have a flashlight by his bed table. Schlesinger makes another attempt: You've just been mugged, you're upset, you're taking precautions. No sale. Now a practical assault from the director: We need the effect of the flashlight beam bouncing off the walls to add interest to the scene. Hoffman replies there won't be any scene worth anything if he can't play it, and he can't justify the goddam flashlight.

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