Screenwriter Bo Goldman, who gained Oscars for his scripts to “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Melvin and Howard” and was amongst a select group of film scribes along with Robert Towne and William Goldman considered to be amongst that expertise’s biggest, died Tuesday in Helendale, Calif., his son-in-law, director Todd Space, confirmed to the New York Situations. He was 90.
Goldman was moreover Oscar nominated for 1993’s “Scent of a Woman.”
The 1976 Oscar he shared with Lawrence Hauben for co-adapting Ken Kesey’s novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was a really spectacular achievement considering that “Cuckoo’s Nest” represented solely Goldman’s second screenplay and the first to be produced. The win for tailor-made screenplay was part of a sweep for the film that moreover included victories for biggest picture, director, actor and actress. No movie had gained these 5 awards since 1934’s “It’s a Improbable Night time time” (this achievement was equaled in 1991 by “Silence of the Lambs”).
Goldman began in television: He edited, wrote scripts and served as an affiliate producer for CBS’ prestigious “Playhouse 90” anthology assortment throughout the late Nineteen Fifties, engaged on episodes along with Civil Battle drama “The Tunnel.” Moreover in the middle of the Nineteen Fifties, he was an affiliate producer on “The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse” and a producer of CBS’ transient “The Seven Energetic Arts.”
Goldman co-wrote every the lyrics and the music to a tuner adaptation of “Pleasure and Prejudice” often known as “First Impressions” that starred Polly Bergen, Hermione Gingold and Farley Granger nevertheless failed on Broadway in 1959.
Goldman later suggested the Motion Picture Editors Guild E-newsletter, “I imagine that lyric writing was glorious teaching for writing screenplays — on account of you’ll be capable of’t waste a variety of phrases, although I focus a tremendous deal, throughout the movies I write, on language. I imagine there’s a extremely extremely efficient rhythm that exists in any film and each you’ve an ear for that in any other case you don’t — it’s a musical issue.”
He did the variation for a 1962 NBC mannequin of “The Paradine Case,” earlier made as a attribute by Alfred Hitchcock; penned a 1964 episode of “The Defenders”; and produced two segments of “Good Performances” in 1974: “Enemies,” based on a play by Maxim Gorky, and “June Moon,” a play from the Twenties by George S. Kaufman and Ring Lardner. Nevertheless sometimes, for a protracted interval sooner than he broke into choices with “Cuckoo’s Nest,” Goldman found so little work that, the New York Situations acknowledged in 1980, “His partner supplied lots of the family’s income by working a seafood market often known as Loaves and Fishes in Sagaponack, L.I.”
Director Milos Forman chosen Goldman to rewrite “Cuckoo’s Nest” after finding out his script “Shoot the Moon” (later made right into a film starring Albert Finney and Diane Keaton).
Goldman obtained solely $8,000 for his work on “Cuckoo’s Nest,” nevertheless the important acclaim and Oscar jumpstarted his occupation.
The strengths of his subsequent produced work, 1979’s “The Rose,” laid in Bette Midler’s volcanic effectivity and fewer throughout the fragmented script by Goldman and an uncredited Michael Cimino that loosely tailor-made the lifetime of Janis Joplin. (Midler and supporting actor Frederic Forrest deservedly drew Oscar nominations.) Goldman professed to not identical to the film.
His subsequent film, “Melvin and Howard,” on which he carried a solo writing credit score rating, was far more spectacular. With director Jonathan Demme he crafted what Vincent Canby often known as a sharp and engaging “satiric expression of the American Dream” throughout the story of Melvin Dummar, who claimed to have met Howard Hughes and be one in every of many beneficiaries of a suspicious will that surfaced after the eccentric billionaire’s dying. Goldman gained his second Oscar for his effort. (The screenwriter moreover penned a Hughes-related script for Widespread often known as “Sonny” that was certainly not produced, and he later wrote one different Hughes-centered script for Warren Beatty; in 2014 Beatty directed and starred in a film centered on an affair Hughes had seemingly based on his private script.)
After “Shoot the Moon,” directed by Alan Parker, in 1982, Goldman did uncredited work on Demme’s 1984 comedy “Swing Shift,” starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, and on Garry Marshall’s romantic dramedy “The Flamingo Youngster,” starring Matt Dillon.
“Little Nikita,” a 1988 spy thriller with Sidney Poitier and River Phoenix, was additional industrial, nevertheless Goldman obtained right here once more with director Martin Brest’s 1993 film “Scent of a Woman,” which the screenwriter tailor-made from the 1974 Italian film of the equivalent establish and the novel upon which it was based. The film picked up Oscar nominations for biggest picture, director and Goldman’s screenplay, and Al Pacino gained for biggest actor.
“By the highest of ‘Scent of a Woman,’” Roger Ebert wrote, “we now have arrived on the conventional conclusion of the coming-of-age movie, and the identical previous conclusion of the prep college movie. Nevertheless infrequently have we been taken there with quite a bit intelligence and expertise.”
Goldman didn’t have unerring judgment about each the initiatives he chosen or these he turned down: “I did the first draft on ‘Ragtime’ for Milos and decided I didn’t must proceed,” the screenwriter suggested the New York Situations. “I moreover turned down ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ and ‘Peculiar Of us.’” He appeared to have a humorousness about it.
Director Harold Becker’s Pacino-John Cusack film “Metropolis Hall” (1996), to which Goldman contributed along with Ken Lipper, Paul Schrader and Nicholas Pileggi, didn’t dwell as a lot as its ambitions to be a politically muckraking New York story alongside the strains of “Prince of the Metropolis.”
For the spiritually inclined romantic drama “Meet Joe Black,” vaguely based on the essential 1934 film “Dying Takes a Trip,” Goldman was launched on by director Brest to work on a script that was ultimately credited to 4 writers (though Goldman claimed he didn’t take a look on the earlier drafts). Sadly, the film that resulted, starring Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins and Claire Forlani, was not well-received by critics.
Robert Goldman was born in New York Metropolis; his father, Julian, owned the Goldman division retailer chain and employed Franklin Delano Roosevelt as his lawyer nevertheless misplaced his fortune in the middle of the Despair. Robert repeatedly attended stage performances alongside together with his father, a backer of Broadway displays, and was educated at prep faculties included Phillips Exeter Academy. Whereas at Princeton he wrote a musical, “Ham ’n Legs,” that was ultimately launched on “The Ed Sullivan Current.” After college he served throughout the Army for 3 years.
Interviewed for William Froug’s 1996 book “Zen and the Paintings of Screenwriting,” Goldman acknowledged of penning screenplays: “It’s not a craft, it’s an art work. It takes the sensibility of an artist. And a variety of good writers who’re novelists or journalists can’t do it.”
Whatever the success he achieved, Goldman had six children and sometimes took assignments for the money. In 1990 he did uncredited work on the Warren Beatty film “Dick Tracy” although he blamed Beatty partly for the poor displaying of “Shoot the Moon,” in line with Peter Biskind’s Beatty biography “Star.”
Additional impressively, he did a whole (though uncredited) rewrite of the script to “The Good Storm,” which turned an infinite subject office success in 2000.
Goldman was held in extreme esteem by his fellow writers. In 1998, Eric Roth suggested the New York Situations that the “good Bo Goldman” is “the pre-eminent screenwriter — in my ideas almost nearly as good as a result of it’s going to get. He has in all probability probably the most numerous and intelligent credit score, from ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ to ‘Shoot the Moon,’ the best divorce movie ever made, to ‘Scent of a Woman,’’ to the great satire ‘Melvin and Howard.’ He infrequently makes errors, and he manages to maintain up a selected American voice. And he manages to stay properly timed.”
The screenwriter reaped quite a lot of kudos from the Writers Guild of America, profitable WGA Awards for “Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Melvin and Howard,” drawing nominations in 1983 for “Shoot the Moon” and in 1993 for “Scent of a Woman” and deciding on up the guild’s Laurel Award for Show Writing Achievement in 1998.
Goldman’s son Jesse died in 1981. He’s survived by son Justin Ashforth, an actor; and daughters Serena Rathbun, an occasional writer and costume designer who’s married to actor-director Todd Space, film editor Mia Goldman, producer Diana Rathbun, and Amy; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.