Saturday, April 08, 2006

101 screenplays and The Village

Here's another list, via Brandywine Books: the 101 "best" screenplays as selected by the members of the Writers Guilds of America (East and West). Cue a lot of US screenplays, inevitably -- with the odd UK effort sneaked in (eg Shakespeare in Love). The list starts with 101, Notorious; 100, Memento; 99, The Wild Bunch; 98, The Grapes of Wrath; the Sixth Sense weighs in at no. 50; and the inevitable top 4 (in reverse order) are Citizen Kane, Chinatown, The Godfather and Casablanca. Nothing unpredictable, then. The list does not seem to distinguish between original screenplays and adaptations of books, plays and the like. The WGA has provided a table of the "top 25" films (in alphabetical order) with links to biographies of the writers and "film facts" for each one. You don't get a link to the screenplays themselves, but you can find some scripts on the web. I once watched a rented copy of "The Village" which was damaged into unwatchability after the first half, apart from odd snatches here and there. The movie was certainly not good enough to re-order and watch again, so I read the script to find out what happened in the famous "plot twist" at the end. I was not much the wiser when I had finished, but I appreciated the option of not having to sit through the movie again. (Note: despite the rest of the movie, the actress Bryce Dallas Howard was very good in it, I thought.) P.S. I thought I read the script on the IMDB (Internet Movie Database) collection, but when I looked just now there was no script collection there. Either I have misremembered or the IMDB has a script collection but has put it behind a firewall or similar.