Which screenplays do you recommend reading?

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  • Which screenplays do you recommend reading?

    Which screenplays do you recommend I read and, if you can be bothered, but not necessarily, why do you think that script in particular is a good idea for a developing writer to read.

  • #2
    Re: Which screenplays do you recommend reading?

    A few that come to mind:

    Men In Black - Extremely clever.

    Panic Room - Great example of how to develop conflict and character arcs in a single location.

    Back to the Future - Just a perfect script in terms of plot, character, and humor.

    Terminator and The Matrix - They have great character work, but more importantly demonstrate how to seamlessly embed complex world-building into a script.

    Michael Clayton - I'm a big fan of Gilroy's naturalistic dialogue and scene description.

    The Bourne Identity - A good example of how to use mystery to create intrigue in what's otherwise a very formulaic story.

    The Apartment - Wilder does a great job of creating a rooting interest in characters and relationships without overtly telling the audience how they're supposed to feel.

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    • #3
      Re: Which screenplays do you recommend reading?

      Years back a friend told me about the novel BUILD MY GALLOWS HIGH. Made into the film classic noir OUT OF THE PAST. Best dialogue ever by the guy who also wrote INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Two classics in two different genres. My favorite line - "Baby, if I'm going to die, I'm going to die last." by Robert Mitchum.

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      • #4
        Re: Which screenplays do you recommend reading?

        American Beauty is my all-time favourite.
        TimeStorm & Blurred Vision Book info & blog: https://stormingtime.com//

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        • #5
          Re: Which screenplays do you recommend reading?

          In the Romantic Comedy sector, My Best Friend's Wedding was on the tube last night.

          It has some of the classic features of RomCom (the misunderstanding, the chase), but turns some on their heads (Is the protagonist also the antagonist or is the object of her desires the one actually standing in her way?)

          Some nice dialogue about Jello and who is chasing whom.

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          • #6
            Re: Which screenplays do you recommend reading?

            Despite all the crap he gets for the ending of GOT, David Benioff has solid craft. I read the screenplay for Troy recently and I was impressed. You can tell from the opening paragraphs that he has a lot of skill, though perhaps his prose writing ability is better than his storytelling ability.

            Anyway, if you like those types of movies Troy is a good one. At the very least you'll see what you're up against. John Milius's Conan script is also solid (and the movie is bad ass).

            Edit- John Milius and Oliver Stone's Conan script.
            Last edited by DDoc; 04-17-2020, 12:55 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Which screenplays do you recommend reading?

              Alien (1979) is a good script to read for a lesson in screenwriting. Originally titled “Starbeast” (which is a great title, IMO), the original script is different from the produced script. Here’s a link to the original script by Dan O’Bannon: Alien

              Usually, screenwriters read scripts in the genres they like and screen stories (scripts from that genre) like the ones they want to write.
              "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

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              • #8
                Apologies for "reviving" this, but I'm new.

                Anyway, I don't even like comedies and I'm a dude (see my user name) but, Bridesmaids, I would 100% recommend to anybody looking to write a good, fun film for female audiences.

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                • #9
                  Screenplays by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang); William Goldman (The Princess Bride, All the President's Men); and Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile). I recommend them because the writers and the scripts are exceptional.

                  A couple more recent scripts that are particularly good examples of voice are Deadpool and Bright.
                  GirlinGray

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