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  1. #1
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Writer's Guild Top 101 Screenplays: Casablanca #1

    The Writers' Guild of America put together a list of 101 Greatest Screenplays, based on a poll of its membership.

    http://www.wga.org/subpage_newsevents.aspx?id=1807

    Some surprises IMO include #9 Some Like It Hot, #27 Groundhog Day, #51 Broadcast News, #66 Jerry Maguire, and #100 Memento.

    1. CASABLANCA
    Screenplay by Julius J. & Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch. Based on the play "Everybody Comes to Rick's" by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison
    2. THE GODFATHER
    Screenplay by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola. Based on the novel by Mario Puzo
    3. CHINATOWN
    Written by Robert Towne
    4. CITIZEN KANE
    Written by Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles
    5. ALL ABOUT EVE
    Screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Based on "The Wisdom of Eve," a short story and radio play by Mary Orr
    6. ANNIE HALL
    Written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman
    7. SUNSET BLVD.
    Written by Charles Brackett & Billy Wilder and D.M. Marshman, Jr.
    8. NETWORK
    Written by Paddy Chayefsky
    9. SOME LIKE IT HOT
    Screenplay by Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond. Based on "Fanfare of Love," a German film written by Robert Thoeren and M. Logan
    10. THE GODFATHER II
    Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo. Based on Mario Puzo's novel "The Godfather"
    11. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID
    Written by William Goldman
    12. DR. STRANGELOVE
    Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Peter George and Terry Southern. Based on novel "Red Alert" by Peter George
    13. THE GRADUATE
    Screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. Based on the novel by Charles Webb
    14. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
    Screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. Based on the life and writings of Col. T.E. Lawrence
    15. THE APARTMENT
    Written by Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond
    16. PULP FICTION
    Written by Quentin Tarantino. Stories by Quentin Tarantino & Roger Avary
    17. TOOTSIE
    Screenplay by Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal. Story by Don McGuire and Larry Gelbart
    18. ON THE WATERFRONT
    Screen Story and Screenplay by Budd Schulberg. Based on "Crime on the Waterfront" articles by Malcolm Johnson
    19. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
    Screenplay by Horton Foote. Based on the novel by Harper Lee
    20. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
    Screenplay by Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett & Frank Capra. Based on short story "The Greatest Gift" by Philip Van Doren Stern. Contributions to screenplay Michael Wilson and Jo Swerling
    21. NORTH BY NORTHWEST
    Written by Ernest Lehman
    22. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
    Screenplay by Frank Darabont. Based on the short story "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" by Stephen King
    23. GONE WITH THE WIND
    Screenplay by Sidney Howard. Based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell
    24. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
    Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman. Story by Charlie Kaufman & Michel Gondry & Pierre Bismuth
    25. THE WIZARD OF OZ
    Screenplay by Noel Langley and Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf Adaptation by Noel Langley. Based on the novel by L. Frank Baum
    26. DOUBLE INDEMNITY
    Screenplay by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler. Based on the novel by James M. Cain
    27. GROUNDHOG DAY
    Screenplay by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis. Story by Danny Rubin
    28. SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
    Written by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard
    29. SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS
    Written by Preston Sturges
    30. UNFORGIVEN
    Written by David Webb Peoples
    31. HIS GIRL FRIDAY
    Screenplay by Charles Lederer. Based on the play "The Front Page" by Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur
    32. FARGO
    Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
    33. THE THIRD MAN
    Screenplay by Graham Greene. Story by Graham Greene. Based on the short story by Graham Greene
    34. THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS
    Screenplay by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman. From a novelette by Ernest Lehman
    35. THE USUAL SUSPECTS
    Written by Christopher McQuarrie
    36. MIDNIGHT COWBOY
    Screenplay by Waldo Salt. Based on the novel by James Leo Herlihy
    37. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY
    Screenplay by Donald Ogden Stewart. Based on the play by Philip Barry
    38. AMERICAN BEAUTY
    Written by Alan Ball
    39. THE STING
    Written by David S. Ward
    40. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY
    Written by Nora Ephron
    41. GOODFELLAS
    Screenplay by Nicholas Pileggi & Martin Scorsese. Based on book "Wise Guy" by Nicholas Pileggi
    42. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
    Screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan. Story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman
    43. TAXI DRIVER
    Written by Paul Schrader
    44. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES
    Screenplay by Robert E. Sherwood. Based on novel "Glory For Me" by MacKinley Kantor
    45. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST
    Screenplay by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman. Based on the novel by Ken Kesey
    46. THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE
    Screenplay by John Huston. Based on the novel by B. Traven
    47. THE MALTESE FALCON
    Screenplay by John Huston. Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett
    48. THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI
    Screenplay by Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson. Based on the novel by Pierre Boulle
    49. SCHINDLER'S LIST
    Screenplay by Steven Zaillian. Based on the novel by Thomas Keneally
    50. THE SIXTH SENSE
    Written by M. Night Shyamalan
    51. BROADCAST NEWS
    Written by James L. Brooks
    52. THE LADY EVE
    Screenplay by Preston Sturges. Story by Monckton Hoffe
    53. ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN
    Screenplay by William Goldman. Based on the book by Carl Bernstein & Bob Woodward
    54. MANHATTAN
    Written by Woody Allen & Marshall Brickman
    55. APOCALYPSE NOW
    Written by John Milius and Francis Coppola. Narration by Michael Herr
    56. BACK TO THE FUTURE
    Written by Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale
    57. CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS
    Written by Woody Allen
    58. ORDINARY PEOPLE
    Screenplay by Alvin Sargent. Based on the novel by Judith Guest
    59. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
    Screenplay by Robert Riskin. Based on the story "Night Bus" by Samuel Hopkins Adams
    60. L.A. CONFIDENTIAL
    Screenplay by Brian Helgeland & Curtis Hanson. Based on the novel by James Ellroy
    61. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
    Screenplay by Ted Tally. Based on the novel by Thomas Harris
    62. MOONSTRUCK
    Written by John Patrick Shanley
    63. JAWS
    Screenplay by Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb. Based on the novel by Peter Benchley
    64. TERMS OF ENDEARMENT
    Screenplay by James L. Brooks. Based on the novel by Larry McMurtry
    65. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
    Screen Story and Screenplay by Betty Comden & Adolph Green. Based on the song by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown
    66. JERRY MAGUIRE
    Written by Cameron Crowe
    67. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL
    Written by Melissa Mathison
    68. STAR WARS
    Written by George Lucasn
    69. DOG DAY AFTERNOON
    Screenplay by Frank Pierson. Based on a magazine article by P.F. Kluge and Thomas Moore
    70. THE AFRICAN QUEEN
    Screenplay by James Agee and John Huston. Based on the novel by C.S. Forester
    71. THE LION IN WINTER
    Screenplay by James Goldman. Based on the play by James Goldman
    72. THELMA & LOUISE
    Written by Callie Khouri
    73. AMADEUS
    Screenplay by Peter Shaffer. Based on his play
    74. BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
    Written by Charlie Kaufman
    75. HIGH NOON
    Screenplay by Carl Foreman. Based on short story "The Tin Star" by John W. Cunningham
    76. RAGING BULL
    Screenplay by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin. Based on the book by Jake La Motta with Joseph Carter and Peter Savage
    77. ADAPTATION
    Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman. Based on the book "The Orchid Thief" by Susan Orlean
    78. ROCKY
    Written by Sylvester Stallone
    79. THE PRODUCERS
    Written by Mel Brooks
    80. WITNESS
    Screenplay by Earl W. Wallace & William Kelley. Story by William Kelley and Pamela Wallace & Earl W. Wallace
    81. BEING THERE
    Screenplay by Jerzy Kosinski. Inspired by the novel by Jerzy Kosinski
    82. COOL HAND LUKE
    Screenplay by Donn Pearce and Frank Pierson. Based on the novel by Donn Pearce
    83. REAR WINDOW
    Screenplay by John Michael Hayes. Based on the short story by Cornell Woolrich
    84. THE PRINCESS BRIDE
    Screenplay by William Goldman. Based on his novel
    85. LA GRANDE ILLUSION
    Written by Jean Renoir and Charles Spaak
    86. HAROLD & MAUDE
    Written by Colin Higgins
    87. 8 1/2
    Screenplay by Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, Brunello Rond. Story by Fellini, Flaiano
    88. FIELD OF DREAMS
    Screenplay by Phil Alden Robinson. Based on the book by W.P. Kinsella
    89. FORREST GUMP
    Screenplay by Eric Roth. Based on the novel by Winston Groom
    90. SIDEWAYS
    Screenplay by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor. Based on the novel by Rex Pickett
    91. THE VERDICT
    Screenplay by David Mamet. Based on the novel by Barry Reed
    92. PSYCHO
    Screenplay by Joseph Stefano. Based on the novel by Robert Bloch
    93. DO THE RIGHT THING
    Written by Spike Lee
    94. PATTON
    Screen Story and Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North. Based on "A Soldier's Story" by Omar H. Bradley and "Patton: Ordeal and Triumph" by Ladislas Farago
    95. HANNAH AND HER SISTERS
    Written by Woody Allen
    96. THE HUSTLER
    Screenplay by Sidney Carroll & Robert Rossen. Based on the novel by Walter Tevis
    97. THE SEARCHERS
    Screenplay by Frank S. Nugent. Based on the novel by Alan Le May
    98. THE GRAPES OF WRATH
    Screenplay by Nunnally Johnson. Based on the novel by John Steinbeck
    99. THE WILD BUNCH
    Screenplay by Walon Green and Sam Peckinpah. Story by Walon Green and Roy Sickner
    100. MEMENTO
    Screenplay by Christopher Nolan. Based on the short story "Memento Mori" by Jonathan Nolan
    101. NOTORIOUS
    Written by Ben Hecht
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  2. #2
    Forum Regular Registered Member paul_pci's Avatar
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    Why does Memento surprise you?

  3. #3
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    Why does Memento surprise you?
    I love that movie, but I just wonder if it's really worthy of an all-time 101 ranking. Groundhog Day at #27 was the big headscratcher.
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  4. #4
    Forum Regular Registered Member paul_pci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    I love that movie, but I just wonder if it's really worthy of an all-time 101 ranking. Groundhog Day at #27 was the big headscratcher.
    Right. So, it makes me think that one prevailing criteria is originality. Like those two movies or not, they are pretty original. And I think original and best are not mutually inclusive. Remeber, Samuel Johnson's famous remark to a protege: "Your manuscript is both good and original. But the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good."

  5. #5
    Kam
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    oddly enough, but it really seems like the wga is giving the benefit of the final film to the script. the scripts of a lot of these movies is not what you see on screen. yes, some of them are nearly verbatim what you see (shawshank, raiders) but others are very different from what was on the paper to what the director and actors brought forth to the finished product (the graduate being the key example of this one, the movie of the graduate is extremely different from the script of the graduate). but.... like all "all time greatest" lists, should be taken with a grain of salt and enjoyed for what it is.
    i could actually see Groundhog Day being higher up on the list for its rather unique story structure in how it was written and thought up. In that the 'inciting incident' takes place for nearly 3/4s of the movie and there is no impetus whatsoever for why it starts in the first place (ala a kids wish for his father to be better (liar, liar) or a magical curse, or a genie, or anything, it just 'is' it just 'happens' with no explanation given and none, strangely enough, even required).
    i can understand memento being on their for its pretty ridiculously difficult structure as well: two cyclic timelines of one character, interwoven with the flashback of another, unrelated character, all the while with the kicker of the 'unreliable narrator.'
    am also surprised that of all the kaufman scripts, Eternal sunshine was the one they called in, not that it doesnt deserve it, but i could see him having multiple representations on the list (although i guess adaptation was a little too close to home).
    /create

  6. #6
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    These can't be in order right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    I love that movie, but I just wonder if it's really worthy of an all-time 101 ranking. Groundhog Day at #27 was the big headscratcher.
    Groundhog Day #27
    ........
    LA Confidential # 60
    Silence of the Lambs #61
    Psycho #92?!

    I understand there's a lot of pot smoking going on in the Guild these days (somethings never change)
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    VIP Member Smokey's Avatar
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    I am surprise they didnít include the movie Odd Couple in their top 100 list, written by Neil Simon. That might be one of the funniest and wittiest script ever written


  8. #8
    Forum Regular Registered Member paul_pci's Avatar
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    I don't disagree that the Odd Couple is funny, but don't you think that it's based on a formula that just "writes itself"?

  9. #9
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I'm surprised "Caligula" didn't make it...One of my all time favs...

    I always like looking at these lists, even if I don't agree with order or selection, I usually find a few gems I haven't seen yet...

  10. #10
    VIP Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    I don't disagree that the Odd Couple is funny, but don't you think that it's based on a formula that just "writes itself"?
    That might be true. But it is a pretty good one at that

  11. #11
    RGA
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    Like any list we can all pick apart those films we disagree -- I'd start with number one "Casablanca" which is about as hoaky as dialogue gets and while filled with charm is to me perhaps the most overrated film I can think of.

    There are some films on this I did like and even made a top ten list but best screenplays - ever -- Forest Gump, Silence of the Lambs (This is a very puny script and really not a great film -- it is carried by two truly standout performance which manage to rise above a purely banal script). Groundhog Day is a feedback loop story which is nothing truly original.

    And umm Star Wars? This is Cowboys and Indians in space - I dunno.

    I would have liked to see Margaret's Museum, the War Zone and Red, Blue, White (though White might have been the downfall) and perhaps Talk to Her and lastly Before Night Falls.

    I could think of piles of others -- granted some of this is based on the end result of the films themselves but ultimately the screenplay is that which is left in the film not on the cutting room floor. And if you think I'm just foreign fan crazy I'm not. 81/2 is one of the most self indulgent derivitive piles of caca ever put to film and I am amused that so many critics fall for the poor me writers block story and Hollywood is evil diatribe.

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