Exclusive: William Goldman Slams Spielberg

Oscar-winning scriptwriter explains why he prefers Stephen King to Steven Spielberg


by Willow Green |
Published on

With two Oscars under his belt and a slew of awards for screenplays as diverse as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to The Princess Bride, William Goldman is in a relatively good position to comment on Hollywood and he's not slow in coming forward. In an interview with Empire to promote his latest book Which Lie Did I Tell?, Goldman took aim at a couple of Hollywood's idols and began firing. Here are just a few of the choicest morsels… On Saving Private Ryan 'A detestable piece of shit. But with brilliant stuff in. I think the last hour, once they find Private Ryan is as bad as a movie can be...the first 24 minutes tells you all the awfulness of war...The last hour and a half gives the lie to all that..I think it's a shockingly bad movie. And shockingly easy patriotism.' Whether Roberto Benigni deserved that Oscar 'the worst performance in the history of the Academy Awards. I thought it was putrid. I thought he was phoney. His performance, not the movie. I just hated it.' About the rumour that he wrote Good Will Hunting 'It's horseshit. I met with [Damon and Affleck] for one day…But because people hate them they can't believe they wrote it.' Aside from these and other frank comments, Goldman revealed some details about his current project - working on a screenplay of Stephen King's novel Hearts in Atlantis - a collection of five stories of childhood set against the Vietnam War. 'I'm essentially done with it and fiddling,' he told Empire. 'So far it's gone fairly well, but one never knows.' To read the full interview with William Goldman check out the June issue of Empire out on 1 May 2000.

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