Skip to main content

The Best of the Best Screenplays

The Writers Guild of America West recently published what they’re considering to be the 101 greatest screenplays of all time. One thing all of the screenplays on the list have in common is that the vision belongs to the writer. This list is based upon the votes of professional film and television writers who were asked to list their top ten favorites regardless of age. Below are the top ten.

Click on the Movie Title to read the screenplay!

  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
  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
  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.
  10. The Godfather II – Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo.

Helpful eBooks for Your Writing

Learn to Write Stronger Story Concepts, Themes & Loglines

There’s a saying that “Concept is King”. I tend to agree with this. Think about it. The concept of your story is the overall idea at its most basic core. It’s what makes us want to read your book, screenplay or see your movie after millions of dollars has been spent on developing it. You‘ve probably read a book or screenplay that was well written with lots of clever wordplay, but when’s the last time you have heard anyone excited about a mediocre concept? For me, concept is king, but execution is just as important. After all, what good is a cool idea if the author can’t tell the story in the best way it could possibly be told? Imagine if the movie “Karate Kid” was just a movie about a boy learning karate and receiving a black belt at the end to make his single mother proud. What if “The Godfather” was just about an old mob boss who ran his organization with an iron fist then just died at the end of the movie. How would that be any different from the thousands of mob flicks we’ve never even heard of with forgettable plots? These are concepts you most likely would forget an hour after watching them on the big screen.

Learn More

How to Name Your Fictional Characters (Plus More Than 2,500 Names & Meanings To Get Your Creative Juices Flowing)

You know what’s just as bad as hitting a brick wall with the plot of your screenplay or novel? Hitting that same brick wall even harder when it comes time to give your protagonist or any other character that perfect name. Having the right name for your characters not only helps them to become memorable, but can help sell the story as well. Sebastian Dangerfield (“The Ginger Man”), Tony Starks (“Iron Man”), Atticus Finch (“To Kill A Mockingbird”), Luke Skywalker (“Star Wars”), James Bond (“Casino Royale”)…the list goes on. Imagine pitching your screenplay or novel with any of these character names.

Learn More

Leave a Reply