But the day belongs to playwright James Goldman, who was born on this day in 1927. He was the older brother of novelist and screenwriter William Goldman. He’s best known for the play and the filmed version of it, The Lion in Winter. But I most admire him for the film They Might Be Giants, which was also a play but it has never been published.
The film is extremely deep, but I fear that most people don’t understand it. It is basically a modern version of Don Quixote. But in this telling, instead of Quixote thinking he is a knight, he thinks he is Sherlock Holmes. His family thinks he is insane, so he becomes a patient of a psychiatrist, Dr Mildred Watson. Once learning of her last name, Holmes becomes convinced that she is his Dr Watson. As time goes on, Watson is pulled completely into Holmes’ fantasy. On its surface, the film is just a silly comedy. But it is really quite deep and poses all of the most important questions that humans ask. Here is the end of the film (which is about all I could find), which shows the final commitment of Watson to Holmes’ world. It doesn’t completely work on screen, but on the stage it would have been perfect:
Happy birthday James Goldman!
The human heart can see what is hidden to the eyes, and the heart knows things that the mind does not begin to understand.