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WGA Lists Greatest Screenplays, From 'Casablanca' and 'Godfather' to 'Memento' and 'Notorious'

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 27, 2013 at 2:33PM

The Writers Guild lists the 101 Greatest Screenplays. Among them are many familliar classics, like "Casablanca," "The Godfather," "Chinatown," "Citizen Cane" and "All About Eve," which comprise the top five.
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WGA best screenplays
'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,' 'The Godfather,' 'Thelma & Louise'

The Writers Guild lists the 101 Greatest Screenplays. Among them are many familliar classics, like "Casablanca," "The Godfather," "Chinatown," "Citizen Cane" and "All About Eve," which comprise the top five. Check out the top twenty below and the full list here.

The youngest scripts on the list are Charlie Kaufman's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004) at #24, Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman's "Adaptation" (2002) at #77, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor's "Sideways" (2004) at #90 and Christopher Nolan's "Memento" (2000) at #100. The '90s also fared well with "Shakespeare in Love," "American Beauty," "Pulp Fiction," "The Sixth Sense," Being John Malkovich," "Forrest Gump," "L.A. Confidential," "Fargo," "The Usual Suspects," "The Shawshank Redemption," "Jerry Maguire" and "Thelma & Louise."

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
 

This article is related to: Screenwriters, Lists, News, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.