Anyone with even a passing interest in the movie business owes it to themselves to read this book. Goldman goes into great depth about how movies are come to be, rather than how they are made: the bulk of the book is about Deals. In the latter part he takes a short story of his own, converts it into a script, and then dissects it. This is an interesting insight into the process of screenwriting, but it is the large collection of anecdotes and bitchy backstabbing earlier on that is much more amusing.
As the book was written in 1982, it is also very interesting to see how Hollywood has moved on since then, particularly in terms of movie budgets. A major big-budget film for $10 million? Pocket change, now.