Which Lie Did I Tell?

"Which Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures in the Screen Trade" is a work of non-fiction first published in 2000 by novelist and screenwriter William Goldman. It is the follow up to his 1982 book "Adventures in the Screen Trade".

Originally to be called "The Big Campfire", the inspiration for the title came when Goldman was in the office of a Hollywood producer who was talking on the phone to one of his associates. Suddenly he cupped his hands over the receiver, snapped his fingers and said “Bill, Bill! Which lie did I tell?”


The book begins with more stories about movies he has been involved with, starting with the period from 1982—when Adventures in the Screen Trade was published—to 1986 when he received no movie work. Goldman then tells the unfortunate story of how he became mixed up in "Memoirs of an Invisible Man", before the saving grace of "The Princess Bride" brought him his first screen credit in nearly nine years. Other adventures are "Misery", "The Year of the Comet", "Maverick", "The Ghost and the Darkness" and "Absolute Power". Two films he does not cover are "Heat" (for legal reasons) and "The Chamber" (because it was not remotely interesting).

The next part of the book has Goldman analyzing scenes from various screenplays he admires including "There's Something About Mary", "North by Northwest" and "Chinatown".

The next section covers four original story ideas he has had and why he does not want to write any of them.

The final section is an original screenplay where he examines the writing process and asks other famous screenwriters for their opinions.

In between chapters are various musings on a range of topics from why not to open a script with a courtroom scene to how he sets about adapting a book. Some of these snippets offer an insight into Goldman's background that was not in the first book—such as his relationship with his parents, his university life and time in National Service—so that the book becomes the next best thing to an autobiography.

Note: The chapters on "The Princess Bride", "Misery", "Maverick" and "The Ghost and the Darkness" are reprints of articles that previously appeared in his books "Four Screenplays" and "Five Screenplays" and in the published shooting script for "The Ghost and the Darkness".


*cite book |last=Goldman |first=William |authorlink= |coauthors= |others= |title=Which Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures in the Screen Trade |year=2001 |publisher=Vintage |location= |isbn=0375703195

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