16 November 2018


RIP William Goldman (1931-2018). I find it fascinating that his contributions to everything except All the President's Men (the film) are getting extensive coverage in the "appropriate" places — when arguably, All the President's Men exists as a film (and something in the consciousness of America) only because Goldman both hid and reinforced Mark Felt's role. It would have been incredibly easy to write the mysterious Deep Throat role in a way that would have been inconsistent with Felt, but he didn't. Casting Hal Holbrook helped, but wouldn't have been possible with a more looming-conspirator role as popular in H'wood (ranging from The Manchurian Candidate through many others to The Parallax View). Of course, Goldman himself downplayed his experience on that film as "miserable," but one of the inferences one can find between the lines — and not very far between them — is that there was too much "star power" trying to make itself/themselves the hero in a story in which the real heroes are a document and an abstraction, not a person.

But perhaps not as surprising given the disturbing parallels between Drumpfian electoral shenanigans and Nixonian electoral shenanigans. Or, for the matter, the evolution of the Southern Strategy. Or… never mind, this blawg is not going to turn into a conspiracy theory outlet. I hope.

But at least James Caan's feet are now safe. And so are Dustin Hoffman's teeth.