When Harry Met Sally is typical of Rob Reiner's films - hugely popular with audiences, not critically acclaimed. See Misery, The Princess Bride, The Bucket List. Only A Few Good Men received an Oscar nod. Uploaded by moviemobsters.com.
It’s kind of sad that after all he’s accomplished as a writer and director, my first thought of Rob Reiner is to call him “meathead.” That role on All in the Family gave Reiner the credibility he needed to make his move in show business. (Being the son of the great Carl Reiner didn’t hurt, of course.)
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His directorial debut came with the brilliant This Is Spinal Tap (Great American Things, November 21, 2010), which he also co-wrote. Among the movies he directed:
- Stand by Me (1986)
- The Princess Bride (1987)
- When Harry Met Sally (1989)
- Misery (1990)
- A Few Good Men (1992)
- The American President (1995)
- Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)
- The Bucket List (2007)
As an actor, he won two Emmy Awards for his part in All in the Family. He’s maintained his acting skills, performing mostly character roles in such movies as Postcards from the Edge, Sleepless in Seattle, and The First Wives Club. Most of his movies resonated more with audiences than critics, though I’m not sure Reiner would appreciate that point of view. Even so, only one of his films (A Few Good Men) has been nominated for an Oscar. But that filmography demonstrates conclusively why he belongs in the list of Great American Things.
William Goldman wrote five novels before it ever occurred to him to write screenplays. But when he got started, he did it better than anyone. Uploaded by wga.org.
I have to acknowledge that William Goldman is one of my writing heroes. I found his novels, including Magic and Marathon Man, to be some of the most enjoyable reading I’d ever experienced. And that was before I realized that he was one of the most talented screenwriters in Hollywood history.
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Goldman had five novels published before he wrote his first screenplay. But since that time he’s written some of the best movies of the last half-century. I bet you’ve seen a bunch of them (* indicates adapted from his own novel):
Harper (1966) … Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969 – Academy Award) … The Stepford Wives (1975) … The Great Waldo Pepper (1975) … Marathon Man* (1976) … All the President’s Men (1976 – Academy Award) … A Bridge Too Far (1977) … Magic* (1978) … The Princess Bride* (1987) … Misery (1990) … Maverick (1994) … Absolute Power (1997)
In addition, he worked as a script doctor, helping get such movies as A Few Good Men and Last Action Hero into presentable shape. If you can find it, grab a copy of Goldman’s autobiography, Adventures in the Screen Trade. It’s one of the most famous (and honest) “Inside Hollywood” books ever written.