The WGA has released a list of the "101 best screenplays
," which really is a list of "101 great screenplays that got turned into great movies instead of being screwed up by the producer's nephew."
who makes the dumb comment that "Gee, was it the screenplay that made Casablanca
great? I thought it was Bogart." Right. Because Bogart was equally
good in The Return of Doctor X
Actually, he probably was
equally good. The difference was the screenplay.
Without Miller's Crossing it's a joke.
When I saw it yesterday my first impression was: "how American centric". Then I realized the list came from the WGA so I figured they meant: the greatest American screenplays of all time.
But then I saw Fellini's 8 1/2 so I checked how the list was put together. I found out that "any film, past or present, English-language or otherwise, was eligible."
I counted only one non-American film in the list! Hopefully I missed a couple of them... ;-)
So this raises a question for me--considering that an excellent movie is a synthesis of excellent writing, excellent directing, excellent acting, etc. Are there any movies that you can tell had a great screenplay, but were poorly executed?
The Family Man was an amazing screenplay and a mediocre movie.
That is one crazy list. And ridiculous, since there is no way of knowing what the screenplay was like. The list is identical to a list by an organization of architects picking "The Top 100 Blueprints".
I noticed "The Wild Bunch" is on the list, which is one of the great movies. But did the WGA know, I wonder, when they compiled this list, that the famous march up the street before the film's climax was a sudden inspiration Sam had on the set and was nowhere in the screenplay?
I imagine many of the best screenplays ever written probably have never been made into movies.
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