“Decline and fall can’t ever be easy, but for a star it’s torment. Because, when they are on top, they are so adored. Movie stars, as has been stated elsewhere ad nauseam, are perhaps as close as we come to royalty. So the distance of the drop is much greater than the rest of us may (or will) experience.”
I mentioned before that my friend sent me a bunch of books all about the film industry, either compendiums of film reviews by a particularly persuasive reviewer, or commentary books taking a look at said reviewer’s life, or narratives about their personal dealings with the screen trade. Phew. A lot of beautiful pages of text to untangle. I’ve been reading one that sits in that last category.
It’s William Goldman. He wrote “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” which ranks right behind “Cool Hand Luke,” as one of the all-time best films of cinema, for me.
I’m just hitting the 60-page mark, and I have so much in front of me –but it’s wonderful. He speaks so clearly, resonates so universally and really makes you understand why we go to the movies.
The above quote is in his opening about “Stars” and it’s brilliant in its simplicity (the chapter, not necessarily the quote).
He explains from a financial perspective why we have stars, who decides who they are, and all the hapless ways that they stumble onto success; he also delves into the more personal ramifications that go along with their ebbing with the volatile tides of public opinion. I know no one’s going to go out and pick up “Adventures in the Screen Trade,” (though it WAS a national bestseller in the 80s), but at least you can watch a teeny, tiny bit of Butch Cassidy.
It’s such a great movie.