As You Wish…Hollywood Mourns The Death of William Goldman
The last number of days have brought a whirlwind of sadness. First, at the young age of 95Stan Lee left our world for the next. And now, just as we’ve come to terms with the father of Marvel’s passing, the death of William Goldman leaves us in a state of disbelief.
For those of you who don’t know, William Goldman was one of the most respected writers that Hollywood ever had. Goldman had knowledge about the industry that very few could ever come close to getting. He had an understanding that simply could not be replicated.
He rose to prominence with his screenplay of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The story was so well written that when sold it fetched an unprecedented $400,000. Not only did Butch Cassidy become a commercial and critical success, the screenplay gave him his first Academy Award.
His work didn’t stop there, however. By the time the mid 1980’s rolled through, Goldman’s screenplays were in high demand. In fact, his screenplay for All The President’s Men turned the attention of the Oscars on him once again. Like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All The President’s Men won an Oscar. This time instead of Best Original Screenplay, he won for Best Adapted Screenplay.
He grabbed the attention of children all over the world, myself included, with his novel and subsequent movie, The Princess Bride.
I can’t put an exact number on it but my brother and I must’ve watched that movie 100 times over the years. I suppose that it helped that Andre the Giant (we grew up wrestling fans) was in it but that’s beside the point. The movie is famous for its one-liners, ridiculous character names and traits, its over the top villains, and, of course, the way in which it tells a good vs evil story. To this day I can still hear the kindest words I had ever heard, “As you wish.”
There are a few movies that I can sit back and watch over and over:
- Captain America The Winter Soldier
- Spider-Man Homecoming
- Garfield Christmas
- Emperors New Groove
And The Princess Bride is easily included.
There’s something about the way in which it captivated its audience and doesn’t let them go until the last absurd drop has been swallowed that has kept my love for years.
But he wasn’t just a writer.
For all that he did for storytelling, William Goldman might be best known for paraphrasing everything Hollywood is when he said, “Nobody knows anything.” Having never worked on Hollywood I can’t comment on its truth but from an outsider looking in, it seems to make sense.
The death of William Goldman is sudden and leaves us all in a state of shock. Rest peacefully Mr. Goldman.