Don James Goldman

James GoldmanI am still away from home, but I will be back later today and we’ll get back to normal around here! I have been working in and around the Bay Area this weekend, and it was Gay Pride weekend. That’s all fine, but the whole thing has turned from what was once an important political event to a great big party that draws people from all over the Bay Area. That’s great. I’m happy that gay rights are largely a non-political issue. But dealing with the crowds and all has been a total pain!

On this day in 1927, the great playwright James Goldman was born. Yes, I did him last year. But what can I do: I really love one of his scripts. Of course, he is best known for the film (and play) The Lion in Winter. And here’s the thing: that is a great film. That would have been enough. But no, not for James Goldman!

He wrote one of favorite films, They Might Be Giants. It is the only truly successful modernization of Don Quixote. As I wrote last year:

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:

And that’s all I have to say about it right now. I should probably write more about the film, because it truly is brilliant. Or at least the script is.

Happy birthday James Goldman!

0 thoughts on “Don James Goldman

  1. @Dono – For the record, most people don’t really get the film. But as long as you understand the point of it all, you should be fine. I hope you like it!

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